Kinsey Scout Reservation played host to the 2017 SR-2 Order of the Arrow Conclave which brought Lodges from across Louisiana and Central Texas. Over 500 Scouts and Adults journeyed down and took part in a fun-filled weekend celebrating Scouting’s National Honor Society which is the Order of the Arrow. This event happens every year with a different Lodge hosting the Conclave and the membership of Section 2 in the Southern Region. Without the hard work put forth by Joseph Ligon, Lodge Chief, and Charlie Graham, Lodge Advisor, it would have been impossible to pull off such a successful Conclave featuring many activities and competitions focusing on Native American Dancing, Ceremony performances, athletic competitions and creative competitions such as print and social media.
On Friday evening, hundreds of Arrow men and women descended upon Kinsey Scout Reservation for a camping experience that you can only hope to find in Louisiana. Pete Traylor, Camp Ranger, maintained an eye on the weather weeks in advance in order to keep the camp ready for any possible weather contingency imaginable so that the Conclave would experience little, if any, disruption due to inclement weather. It wasn’t long before friends, old and new alike, were found and made as conversations, experiences, and stories were shared by youth and adults who all share a deep love of Scouting. It’s not hard to imagine Scouts sitting around a fire sharing stories through the paintings of Norman Rockwell as these young men demonstrated the tenets of Scouting throughout the evening.
Saturday brought forth an exciting day of training and competitions for Scouts and adults. It is a tradition at Conclave for the attending Lodges of the Order of the Arrow to provide a service project to the host camp. This year, SR-2 set about to update the seating for the chapel at Kinsey Scout Reservation and clear the forest around the chapel so visitors can see the rustic charm and beauty of the chapel. Pete Traylor stated that there is a wedding scheduled to be held at the chapel later on this year by two adult leaders who met as Venture Scouts and both worked on summer camp staff for several summers. “This service project helps our camp demonstrate and teach the twelfth tenet of the Scout Law which is a Scout is Reverent.” said George Holland, District Commissioner in Norwela Council.
Saturday also brought out a wealth of competitions for the Scouts ranging from performance judging on ceremony performances which are a major event in a Scout’s progression through the Order of the Arrow. Also being judged were each Lodge’s media presentations such as website development and newsletters produced by the youth in each Lodge. Rounding out the Lodge competitions were contests in various sports such as volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and dodgeball. Rounding out the afternoon were demonstrations by local groups representing Native Americans who were gracious enough to put on demonstrations in Native American culture such as dances, craft-making, and how to make Native American clothing. In the evening, there was a huge performance of competition dancers in various types of Native American dancing, a patch auction to raise money for scholarship opportunities for Scouts, and a venue for Scouts, young and old alike, to join together in fellowship together.
Sunday brought the installation of the year’s new section officers who will represent this area in the Order of the Arrow. As the men and women departed, many handshakes and hugs were given as friends departed back home all across Louisiana and Texas. Each person departed Kinsey Scout Reservation with many new memories in Scouting and, hopefully, many new friends.