Chiefly Speaking: Build Upon the Fire

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“Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.”

I recall a meeting about a year ago this month. It was the first time that members of former both lodges had the chance to sit and discuss how we were going to facilitate the merger. Walking into this small meeting room in a Panera Bread – we were unsure of where we would be a year later. Two groups, different cultures, unfamiliar faces, and different opinions; we had our work cut out for us. After an extensive amount of time discussing preliminary ideas – merger date, methods of decisions making, dates for events – we had to come to a consensus on something that would unite us in the process.

The Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow have a history of mergers not working. At that meeting, we decided to do something different. The group decided to use this merger as an opportunity to be better than the sum of our parts.  We set a goal so big, that we had to grow as an organization in order for it to be possible.

That’s exactly what we have done since the conception of Pennacook Lodge. We are successfully sustaining ourselves as the newest lodge in the nation. Astounding event attendance, over 500 dues paid members, and the recipient of the Order of the Arrow Innovation Award to name a few of our feats thus far.

Sustainability is critical – especially in our first year – but how do we go from sustaining to thriving?

  • It takes vision – determining where we are, where we’re going, and what we could be.
  • It takes a commitment – putting in that extra mile even when the finish line seems far away.
  • It takes excellence – the state of mind that “good is never good enough” and that we must expect excellence from ourselves if we are to expect it from others.

Most importantly – it’s going to be a team effort; you, me, and the Arrowmen that follow us.  With that, we will undoubtedly become the greatest Order of the Arrow lodge to ever exist; one with is more than a patch that we wear or a sash that’s been earned, but rather something that is a part of our lives; a lodge that is an integral part of the Spirit of Adventure Council, its districts, and its units; a lodge where every Arrowman has a role to play and the opportunity to reach their full potential; a lodge where we are a model lodge for the rest of the nation to measure up.

We’ve been burning the tinder and kindling – now is the time to add the fuel and build upon the fire. I’m on board, are you with me?

 

Yours in Brotherhood,

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Justin St. Louis

Lodge Chief