As a young teenager I was never too interested in Scouting. By the time I got my First Class Scout I was ready to be completely done with the program and move on with my life. Something held me back though. I had a friend that I had tented with at National Jamboree as well as spent a lot of time with during Cub Scouts. He was heavily involved in Scouting and was always by my side encouraging me to do the same. It was at this time that he introduced me to some of his other friends that were in the Order of the Arrow with him. They asked me if I would be interested in learning Native American strait dancing skills and I accepted. I started going to weekly practices with my friend and enjoyed every minute of it. From that point on I participated in hundreds of Arrow of Light ceremonies and Eagle ceremonies. I loved the feeling of knowing that I had done for someone else a service they couldn’t do themselves.
Then I moved on to bigger and better things. I became interested in running for Lodge Chief. This new job would require me to travel everywhere in the Council in order to support the smaller branches (chapters) as well as organize several service projects and events. After deciding to give it a shot I was elected Lodge Chief and loved every minute of it. By this point I was feeling the fire that the Order lights in people’s hearts. The fire of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service. I would often spend anywhere from ten to forty hours a week doing service to my lodge and organizing events so that others could do service in their community. These service projects are usually oriented to the outdoors and consist of things from trail clean up to installing fire pits. Our next big project is most likely going to be planting 2,000 saplings in Cedar City in September with other smaller projects until then. The opportunity to participate in these types of projects is something that I wouldn’t give up for any other worldly possession. Service truly is the gateway to happiness and friendship. Now I have a full understanding of why the Order of the Arrow is also known as the brotherhood of cheerful service. Without the OA it would have been a long time before I found the true gifts of happiness.
Author: Connor Creighton | Order of the Arrow Tu-Cubin-Noonie Lodge Chief, Utah National Parks Council