The Order of the Arrow has always been heavily rooted in American Indian Activities (AIA) and cultures. From our ceremonies to the drumming and dancing that takes place around the country at OA events, AIA programs permeate throughout the Order. In the Northeast Region, Section NE-5B has devised a way to improve AIA within their borders through an innovative Native Spring and Spirit workshop.
Ray P. of Section NE-5B led the charge to conduct a section-based event outside of Conclave that focused on American Indian Activities. Working with three fantastic advisers, an idea was developed revolving around a single day or weekend workshop where all five of the lodges in the section would meet and work on costuming, practice ceremonies, dance, and drumming. Through this, the Brothers in all five lodges could build stronger bonds and learn more about AIA. This past March and April, Section NE-5B conducted four workshops this past dubbed the “Native Spring and Spirit” days.
During the first day of a workshop, twenty participants made chokers and medicine bags. Tomahawk throwing and an archery range were also provided as additional program. Additionally, a Lenni Lenape educator shared stories and lore with the entire group, providing an inspirational tie to the Order of the Arrow. The second day, a flint napping demonstration followed a moccasin-making training.
As a principle of the Order, the third day of the workshop was focused around service. The attendees assisted in repairing a Lenape long house that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy at the Churchville Nature Center in Bucks County.
Hopefully, Section NE-5B’s initiatives to tackle AIA improvements and performances will lead to your own lodge or section implementing a similar program. Remain true to the roots of the Order of the Arrow, and seek to find the arrow!