Congratulations to our Awards Recipients!

Congratulations to the following lodges in the Southern Region on their achievements!


E. Urner Goodman Camping Award

Unalai’Yi Lodge

Coastal Garolina Council #550

Charleston, SC


Wewanoma Lodge

Rio Grande Council #775

Harlingen, TX


National Service Award

Mikanakawa Lodge

Circle Ten Council #571

Dallas, TX


O-Shot-Caw Lodge

South Florida Council #84

Miami Lakes, FL


Innovation Award

Echockotee Lodge

North Florida Council #45

Jacksonville, FL


Shenandoah Lodge

Stonewall Jackson Area Council #763

Waynesboro, VA

We Support Camping Award Celebrates Record Year

The Southern Region’s annual We Support Camping Award was created in 2012 for the 2013 program year.  The award’s purpose is to encourage and incentivize lodges to sharpen their focus on camping support within their council.  The award is designed to be challenging, and to meet this challenge lodges must demonstrate leadership, service, and financial assistance to their local council’s outdoor program.

The award criteria was changed for the 2016 program year to more closely align with those of the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award.  In this way, qualifying lodges would continue to gain regional recognition for their camping support, while providing a larger annual pool of applicants for the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award.  The changes proved to be effective as 24 lodges received the award in 2016, the most ever in a single year.  Of the 24 recipients, 12 lodges received it for the first time.  Also for the first time, there was at least one recipient lodge from each of the Southern Region’s 11 sections.


In the four years since its inception, a total of 70 We Support Camping Awards have been earned by 37 unique Southern Region lodges.  These are a testament to the Order’s commitment to Scout camping.  The award plaques for the 2016 recipients will be sent to their respective section advisers in time for formal presentation at the conclave.


Here are the recipient lodges of the 2016 We Support Camping Award (those lodges marked with an asterisk have received the award all four years).


Aal-Pa-Tah                    Mowogo                    Skyuka

Aracoma                        Nakona                      Ta Tsu Hwa

Ashwanchi Kinta         Nawakwa                    Ti’ak

Catawba                        Nayawin Rar              Tutelo

Ini-To                            O-Shot-Caw               Unali‘yi

Ittawamba*                  Occoneechee*            Wa-Hi-Nasa

Kawida*                        Sebooney Okasuka    Wewanoma

Mikanakawa                Shenshawpotoo*        Yustaga


For more information on the award, as well as a complete list of past recipients, go to the Southern Region’s document library (

Why Wachipi?

Arrowmen across the country are asking about Wachipi, the American Indian Seminar held on June 6th-10th, 2017 at the Philmont Training Center. Many are aware of the rich history that American Indian Activities (AIA) has in our Order but what’s so special about this event?


Why Wachipi?


1. You will learn how to properly represent American Indian Activities.

There is a lot of confusion in the Order of the Arrow about what role AIA serves in our organization. Many believe that it strictly consists of lodge ceremonies, but that is simply the tip of the iceberg. From dance teams to tipis, Wachipi will help you strengthen AIA programs back in your home lodges.

2. You will be able to start new programs in your Lodge.

There is going to be a lot of information at Wachipi that you can bring back to your lodges. While many lodges may want to start a dance team, it can be hard to find proper training for American Indian Craft and the dances themselves.  Wachipi will provide arrowmen with the tools needed to get these programs up and running.

3. You’ll get to learn about AIA from around the nation.

One thing many Arrowmen don’t know about is the diversity of AIA from lodge to lodge. Wachipi allows Arrowmen to compare programs with other Arrowmen who share their passion for AIA.

4. You can find a new passion in the Order.            

“This is a chance for members who aren’t necessarily involved in AIA to come and find an interest for life.” Wachipi was created to breathe new life into the Order of the Arrow’s AIA program. Whether you are already passionate about AIA , or looking to get involved, Wachipi is for you.

5. The Lodge that sends the most Arrowmen will receive a reward.                        

Wachipi is also offering a challenge to every lodge: The lodge that sends the most Arrowmen from each region will receive a beautiful pendleton blanket.


To find out more about Wachipi, visit


Register today at

March Chiefly Speaking

In the past few years, I have gained an appreciation for just how large the Order of the Arrow really is.  With over 170,000 members across over 250 lodges around the world, it is no surprise that our organization is able to provide several opportunities for Arrowmen from everywhere to participate and benefit.

One such event is the National Leadership Seminar, held multiple times each year in each region.  NLS is a leadership course designed for lodge and chapter leaders to learn countless leadership skills that will serve them in and out of Scouting.  The Southern Region offers three NLS sessions each year, and 2017 is no exception.  Tennessee, Florida, and Texas will all host an NLS this year, and I highly recommend every Arrowman take the chance to attend.  When I participated in 2013, I had an amazing weekend, and have heard dozens of others say the same.

Paired with NLS is the new Developing Youth Leaders Conference.  A successor to the former NLATS program, DYLC is oriented for adults within the OA, teaching them each how to work alongside youth, for the greater good of our organization on all levels.

This summer, a unique event is being held at Philmont for Arrowmen with an interest in American Indian activities.  Wachipi will be June 6-10 for $285, and is sure to provide youth and adult Arrowmen alike the chance to learn how to accurately build and improve their AIA program.  Lodges with an existing program, or those looking to start one, should certainly send at least one representative.

Another opportunity being held this year is reflective of one of the cornerstones of our organization- service.  With the National Jamboree being held this summer at the Summit Bechtel Reservation, it is critical that Arrowmen provide service to the event and its participants.  For $425, a fraction of the cost of being a general participant, Arrowmen can serve in one of three key staff roles- service corps, trek guides, or AIA Village staff.  I personally can not wait for wait Operation Arrow, this staff opportunity, holds for each of us.

Again, with an organization as big as ours, it is impossible to not want to participate in one of these great events.  If you have any questions, or can’t wait to get involved, find out more at

National Leadership Seminar Testimonial


By Matthew Bobzien

Anthony Peluso is from Virginia Beach, VA and a member of Blue Heron Lodge in Section SR-7A. He currently serves as Section Chief and has previously served as Lodge Chief. In April 2015, he attended the National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and has since staffed 4 times in addition to serving on the National NLS Refresh Committee.

His favorite part about NLS was being able to bond with the people at his table. He was glad to be able to find out what other lodges’  best practices are and share some of his own. He also loved hearing about other people’s experiences in the OA.

For him the most valuable sessions were the ones about working with other people. He loved learning how to really understand the people you are leading and how to try to get them to want to do what is needed instead of them just doing it because you said to. This also helped him see what he wants to see in a leader.

He also thought the staff was excellent. Each of the Arrowman had different backgrounds which really added to the diversity and relevance of the program. They also had lots of experiences to draw from and use as examples. Overall, he thought they were amazing.

He has been able to apply what he has learned not just to scouting but also his everyday life. Whenever he is working in a team he tries to get everyone to work together. In school projects he does not take over and dominate everything but instead he works to see what everyone in the group’s strengths are and tries to see how they can use that to add to the project. These are all skills that he learned at NLS.

Anthony has said that if he could go back through NLS he would. In fact, he basically has by staffing. When you are on staff, you are seeing the program again but from a different perspective. Every time he goes back he learns something new he didn’t  the last time. NLS offers so many things to learn from that even he has not gotten bored of it, no matter how many times he has staffed it.

Anthony has also said that NLS is a lot better than his Lodge LLD and more defined. At LLD you typically are able to pick your track on what you want to learn but at NLS it is standardized across the nation. This makes it even better because that means the program is of high enough quality to have served Arrowmen all over the nation for years.

Anthony has some thought to Arrowmen on the fence. “Sometimes people [will] say they already know that stuff, [but] maybe you could share [your] experience with others… this is a national training and a fantastic opportunity and you should seize it, especially if it is near you.”


Day in the Life: Region Communications Coordinator

By Brendan Switts


Our region communications committee is lead by Coordinator Reed Powell from SR-5, but what does he even do? Let’s take a look at what a normal Friday before a section conclave means for him.


5:00 AM – Reed starts his day by waking up bright and early. The early bird catches the worm, and for Reed that worm is an hour of snapchatting, replying to emails and playing games on his phone. Productivity is best done early!

6:00 AM – An hour after he wakes up, Reed finally makes his way to the shower in his dorm at the University of Georgia.

7:00 AM – Once Reed gets out of the shower, he eats some breakfast while watching clips from late-night talk shows from the night before.

8:00 AM – Thankfully Reed has no Friday classes, so he is able to escape his usual 8:00 mad-rush to class.

9:00 AM – A full four hours after he wakes up, Reed begins to pack for the section conclave. He makes sure to pack his favorite windbreaker and triple-checks that he has his phone charger.

12:00 AM – Packed and ready to go, Reed eats his weekly lunch at Zaxby’s, a popular fast-food chain featuring fried chicken. He is definitely from the Southern Region.

1:00 PM – Reed is finally on the road, driving a Nissan Rogue and listening to a variety of music but most likely featuring Sia, Ariana Grande and the Hamilton Cast Album.

6:00 PM – Reed arrives at the section conclave, and checks in. Once he receives his credentials, he proceeds to go looking for food.

7:00 PM – Settled in at the event, Reed begins to fellowship with the local Arrowmen; asking them where they are from and their involvement with the OA.

8:00 PM – Reed starts taking photos of the event, both for region operations and his personal Snapchat.

9:00 PM – Reed typically takes some time to contact his communications team leadership and ask them if they have any specific media requests for the weekend. As he messages and calls them, he begins to update the region communications channels.

10:00 PM – Enjoying the cracker barrel, Reed plans out his weekend to make sure he can be productive while enjoying the local Council of Chief’s hard work.

11:00 PM – Exhausted after a long day, Reed goes to bed to rejuvenate for an exciting weekend.


Check back each month for another Day in the Life feature. Let us know who you want to see next.

Southern Standard 2016

Southern Standard ImageThe Southern Region is proud to release the Southern Standard, a yearbook showcasing event photos and summaries from 2016. Relive all the best moments that took place at national, regional, section events and more!

We’ve created three different versions (all contain the same content) that you can download depending on your intended use; whether viewing online or printing for distribution at a lodge or section event.

An Arrow of Recovery: Help support OA Reliefcorps 2016

By: Owen Clapp

Tears stream down the face of families everyday, homes swept away along with hopes, dreams and ambitions for the future. There are natural disasters that hit people of the world, the United States, and especially the states of the Southern Region. Earlier this year in August, the natural disaster of intense rain hit the state of Louisiana. Death total reached over a dozen, along 40,000 residential homes damaged, and 10,000 people sent to emergency shelters.  Even so, one man’s image of a Brotherhood of Cheerful Service in 1915 lead to an effort to serve and provide help that has continued today in the Southern Region.

Even though the helm is being taken up by Section 1A, the OA ReliefCorps allows for any Arrowman any lodge can participate in helping with efforts. This action plan consists of two different options that people can grasp onto to get involved: by donating or by doing a service project. Everyone that participates in an effort that benefits any aspect of the community, aside from the BSA or a local for 5 hours, such as sending cleaning buckets, will receive a Gold bordered patch in commemoration. The lodge service should be noted on the Lodge Reliefcorps Report and sent to to receive the patches to be handed out by November 30th of this year. One can also donate 10 dollars to the recovery effort for a silver bordered patch and 100 dollars to receive the gold bordered patch. Take the opportunity to reach out and show how the Order is truly an organization that is about cheerful service by  helping here today.

ReliefCorps 2015: Operation Carolina Relief

In early October 2015, Hurricane Joaquin unleashed unprecedented rain to the State of South Carolina. In what Governor Nikki Haley has described as a “thousand-year” event, over half a dozen fatalities have occurred with over 800 South Carolinians displaced so far. More than twenty inches of rain in a weekend have left cars almost completely submerged, dams breaking, and a destroyed infrastructure. As a response to the disaster, Region Chief Alex Leach tasked SR-5 to relaunch Southern Region ReliefCorps 2015: Operation Carolina Relief.

The vision of ReliefCorps is to give aid to those affected by the recent natural disasters in the Southern Region. ReliefCorps is a Southern Region program sponsored by Section 5 in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. As previously sponsored by Section 9 in 2011 and Section 8 in 2013, this will be the third IMG_7028taskforce established. All lodges are encouraged to participate.

The program has two components: a lodge service project and a fundraiser. To commemorate our recovery efforts, a special gold mylar bordered patch has been designed and can be obtained by participating in a lodge organized service project. The only requirement for the lodge service project is that the project must benefit the community and not the BSA or any council. Any OA member who participates in the lodge service project and contributes 5 or more hours of service will receive the special patch. At the conclusion of the service project, the lodge should complete the Lodge ReliefCorps Report (available here) and submit it electronically by November 30, 2015, to Reed Powell at After the Lodge ReliefCorps Report is received, the patches will be sent to the Council Service Center for distribution.IMG_9065

Additionally, a silver mylar bordered patch may be purchased for $10.00 and the proceeds from these sales will be given to the American Red Cross. There is no service requirement to purchase the fundraiser patch. Patches may be purchased by going to by November 30, 2015. All purchased patches will be mailed to the Council Service Center along with the patches from the service project. Please help reach out to the victims of these natural disasters by participating in this program and remember that “he who serves his fellows is of all his fellows, greatest”.

Yours In Service,

Reed Powell

OA ReliefCorps Coordinator

Play-by-Play: The Mechanics of Journey to Excellence

Play-by-Play Logo

JTE is one of many three letter acronyms that’s heard all the time in the Order and in Scouting, too. But what is JTE and why is it important in lodge and chapter operations? Our March 2014 Play-by-Play Guide has the answers.

When the Boy Scouts of America launched the new strategic plan, a transition was made to Journey to Excellence, a new program to measure unit, district, and council performance. Following the Boy Scout’s transition, the national Order of the Arrow committee adopted the Journey to Excellence program to replace the National Quality Lodge program. Journey to Excellence (JTE) places emphasis on continuous improvement. Just as the Boy Scouts of America Journey to Excellence program recognizes each level of the organization (unit, district, council), the OA’s program creates Journey to Excellence recognition for chapters, lodges, and sections.

How it works

There are three levels of JTE: bronze, silver, and gold. The bronze requirements, which are similar to the old Quality Lodge requirements, are the minimum indicators of a good lodge program. You will notice that under each content area, the silver and gold requirements increase in difficulty. Lodges earn points for each benchmark they reach. The total number of points accumulated determines the overall rating for the lodge. Lodges receive recognition for their accomplishments for the year, but are also able to see areas for improvement to be addressed in next year’s plan.

The JTE program is focused on continuous improvement rather than reaching some minimum requirements. The program is designed to encourage lodges to improve their program and set annual attainable goals. The process doesn’t stop once the goal is obtained, rather it enables lodges to identify areas for improvement whereas Quality Lodge simply gave lodges a pass or fail grade.

Just like with Quality Lodge, there are requirements for finance, program, membership, council service, leadership and governance. Each of these areas are indicators of how well the lodge is meeting the purpose of the Order and supporting its council.

Finance: The lodge’s financial stability determines their ability to easily execute their annual programs as well as their ability to contribute to their respective council.

Membership: Every lodge needs to experience annual growth but this is just as important as retaining new and old members.

Program: From unit elections to national event attendance, a quality program is how lodges display to the public their hard work, and this can only be accomplished through communication and proper planning on the lodge leadership level.

Council Service: The Order of the Arrow is a brotherhood of cheerful servants. We have received this title through our countless community service hours, but also through our support of local council programs, the primary purpose for which we exist.

Leadership: Developing future leaders is what the Order of the Arrow does best, and this is accomplished through superior training and opportunities to utilize the skills learned in the classroom. Each of these areas has specific requirements for lodges to work toward.

JTE allows chapters, lodges, and sections to analyze their health and program delivery in a quantifiable way. For more information on JTE, visit the JTE Resources Page on