Tag Archives: oa

Order of the Arrow Pages Background

As of May 2020, I will be celebrating 30 years as a member of the Order of the Arrow.  The first 20 years were in Cahuilla Lodge and 10 additional years have been spent in Tiwahe Lodge.

I have had the great fortune to serve in a variety of leadership capacities as both a youth and an adviser.  I have done virtually everything I could expect to do as a member of the Order, and I have been thinking about other ways I could give back.

It occurred to me that I had a lot to share in writing.  This includes a lot of incredible, inspirational, and memorable experiences.  There have been a few difficult memories as well.  The Order has been a major part of my life.

The Order of the Arrow is the reason I remained in Scouting.  I finished my trail to Eagle in less than 3 years after I joined my Troop.  I am not sure I felt there was much more for me to accomplish.  Yet, after only 9 months as a Scout, I was elected to the OA.  I found a new mountain to climb, only for me, it had dozens of possible trails going in every possible direction.  How does that work as a metaphor for you?

My first spiritual experience in the Order of the Arrow began with our ceremonies.  By my first or second chapter meeting, I had a ceremony booklet in front of me.  I spent the rest of my youth performing in the Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, and Brotherhood ceremonies until I turned age 21.  These ceremonies still mean a lot to me, and I relish the opportunity to see a well-performed ceremony as an adult.

Without a doubt, learning and navigating OA politics helped me when I entered the business world in 1999.  I feel I have been able to thrive in corporate America because of what I learned being an Arrowman.

Some of my strongest friendships have come from the Order.  People I may see only a couple times a year are some of my closest friends for life.  No matter where you come from, the shared experiences being an Arrowman have made the basis for true Brotherhood.

And the memories!  So many memories.  Many I will share, many I can’t share, many stories I will be telling my entire life.

So, I hope you enjoy my OA section.  I want to tell a few stories, share some wisdom I have picked up over the years, include some ideas for the Order’s future, and help me understand the wonderful experience it has been for the last 30 years.

ArrowCorps5 Manti-La Sal Archive

I hope to have a complete project built out in 2018 for the 10th anniversary.

The Project

The Manti-La Sal ArrowCorps5 service project was conducted June 14 – 21, 2008, in South-Central Utah removing invasive tamarisk from some of the upper watersheds of the San Rafael River, including Buckhorn Wash, Dry Wash, and Joe’s Valley Reservoir. The Manti-La Sal project was unique in that it was conducted on both National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.

The Results

Tamarisk growth was almost completely removed from 33 miles of watershed above the San Rafael River.  This was an incredibly successful project.  In particular, the Buckhorn Wash neared 100% removal as of the end of the project.  It is theorized that the invasion of tamarisk was partly responsible for the loss of a perennial spring in Buckhorn Wash.  It is possible, through continued monitoring and removal that Buckhorn could be restored to a perennial stream.

It should be noted that the amount of time, material, and resources to completely remove the tamarisk infestation of the desert southwest would be staggering.  Hundreds of thousands of miles of watershed is clogged full of millions of tamarisk with billions of seeds in the soil.

ArrowCorps5 Manti-La Sal Image Gallery (See 2008 Page For More Images)

Ribbon Cutting to open the 2015 NOAC GEO Museum by T.M. Schultze

Photography’s Role In Developing OA History

Photography’s Role In Developing OA History

Using photography to develop a local OA history is important.  Images are a well-known resource and an under-appreciated asset.  The written record provides the core facts and information about a Lodge’s history.  Supplementing that record with a photographic record provides perspective and presence.

There should be two separate goals to add photography to your Lodge history.  The first is to research and acquire photographs from the past.  The second goal is to begin creating contemporary photographs to serve future Lodge historians of the future.

Photographs From The Past

NP_Krikorian Scan 01

Scanned print from the 1956 Area XII-A Conference

It is likely your Lodge already has some photography to start with.  Long-time lodge members or their families likely possess them in their homes.  If you know members who own these images, you can either ask for a donation, or ask for the opportunity to scan them so the Lodge has a copy.

You have hit the jackpot If you locate images that are still available in slides or negatives.  Scanning your slides or negatives will result in superior images.  Access to a film scanner will come in handy, but you can also look up a local shop who will do the scanning for you for a fee.  Save your scans  at least 300dpi and in TIF format.  Jpegs are popular lossy formats, and there is a significant loss in quality.  If you want to someday print an image in a large size, having the highest quality will be very important.

Prints are also acceptable, but you will likely run into issues with damaged paper, fading paper, low quality prints, and other issues.  Older images tend to age better.  Higher quality paper was used in the early days of photography.

The 1970s in particular are notorious for the low quality of their prints.  Most prints from this period are low quality and fading/yellowing on mediocre paper.  Those images will need serious restoration work from an experienced Photoshop artist.  Many photo businesses offer restoration services but they do charge a hefty fee.

Contemporary Photography

2015 - DSC_1649

Section W6W Chief Vianney Careaga delivers a speech at the 2015 Section Conclave. The right location can deliver a truly impactful image.

Every day, history is made.  It is very important to keep a photographic record for those in the future to enjoy.  Collecting images from the past should provide clues about what is important to your Lodge.

What parts of your Lodge’s history did you find photographs?  What parts of your Lodge’s history are missing images?  What historical moments would you have loved to seen an image?  Write those down and compare to what your Lodge is doing today, and you will have an excellent starter list.

Ribbon Cutting to open the 2015 NOAC GEO Museum

Ribbon Cutting to open the 2015 NOAC GEO Museum

Events are a great way to start.  As you track past events in your Lodge’s history, you will see that recording your current events are important.  Capturing Lodge leaders, key guests, and Arrowmen in action are a great start to a great photographic history.  Supplement your images with names and the subject matter, so future people will know who is who.

Candid photographs are best.  While it is easy to make an image of Lodge leaders standing together, why not capture them in action, whether it be an Ordeal, a fellowship, or a banquet?

Plan your images.  Make a list of the images you want from an event and capture them.  You will be ready when significant unexpected moments come up.

Equipment is not everything.  Everybody would love to have a professional DSLR, a speedlight, and other fancy equipment, but the best camera in the world is the one you have in your hand.  In good light, even a cell phone can make a great image.

Organizing The Images

Now that you have built a historical collection of photographs, and you have a plan for making future images, now you need to do something with them.

Hosting the images on your Lodge website is a good start, but you can also use services like Flickr.  Be wary of social media sites.  They are a good place to upload images copies for many members to see, but those services frequently compress and alter your images to save storage space.  They will not be the same quality as your originals.

Where possible, it is important to save the original RAW files if you taken by an SLR.  You may consider also saving in Adobe’s DNG format to help future-proof your raw files.

In addition, you need to go beyond simply posting photographs.  Photographs should be searchable and include additional metadata.  The most important task is to “keyword” your images with descriptive items that make the images searchable by a variety of areas.

Categorizing your images by a variety areas will help you show your images.  Categories can include events, years, decades or eras, or other descriptive information.

With a plan to acquire older images and create new images while building your Lodge’s local history, photography can be a huge resource to making a resource for your Lodge members and future members to enjoy.