Saturday, January 2, 2010

WIP: Designing OA Arrows On A Freezing Winter Weekend (Part 1 of 2)

WIP="Work in progress"

Temperatures in the North Carolina mountains aren't rising above freezing for a three day block and it will be in the low teens tonight. As I stoke up the wood heater I've been reminiscing from last summer when I came close to passing out from the searing heat during my Ordeal. Man it was hot but I wouldn't trade that experience in Ordeal # 1 or serving as an elangomat in Ordeal # 2 for the warmest tropical beach in all the world.

I am very honored to be part of Order of the Arrow and this first experience last summer was quite a moving moment in my life as I had the opportunity to cheerfully serve others, then in the second Ordeal I helped lead a new group of 15 boys and adult leaders on their first experience. What an honor that was.

Now on the first weekend of 2010 (and a cold one at that) I have begun planning for this summers Ordeals. It is my desire to serve again as an elangomat in both Ordeals. An Elangomat is a friend to each candidate and also a Big Brother, so to speak. The candidates look up to you as a friend to help them through the rigors of sacrifice during their experience so that hopefully it will be as memorable and moving as my own was last summer.

With several months of time for planning I decided that I will design each of my candidates their own arrow as  seen in the first picture up top. Candidates are always given an OA arrow to wear during the duration of their Ordeal but I'd like to personalize the arrows for the members of my groups so I'll need to make about 30 total. I carved my own arrow from the rough-out provided then finished it later and I described it more here.

It is a high honor to be chosen for Order of the Arrow and new candidates should feel being a part of something much bigger than themselves. The arrow they will wear will be a lasting symbol of that experience when they sacrificed personal comfort while serving others and I hope that they will cherish it for many years to come.

For now it's a very cold winters night in January... time for putting another log on the fire, pulling up a chair and carving another arrow. It just don't get much better than that. Stay warm and keep on carving!

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