The Section NE-3A conclave was held at Camp Woodland in Constantia, NY, from May 30 to June 1, 2015. Lowanne Nimat Lodge of Longhouse Council hosted the conclave, and the theme was “We Are The Storm”, focusing on the impact that a united section could have, especially during the Order’s centennial. Special guests at the conclave included 2015 National Chief Alex Call, Northeast Region Chairman Bob Black, and 2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper. 2014-15 Section Chief Domonic Matthews, 2013-15 Section Vice Chief Forrest Gertin and 2014-15 Section Secretary C.J. Long also welcomed Northeast Region Communications Coordinator Mitchell Heisler and past NE-3B Chief Kevin Montano as guest trainers for the weekend.
On Friday, the conclave began with a game show that featured inter-lodge competitions for youth and adults, followed by a theme show. The highlight of the evening was the donut-eating competition, which involved over 200 donuts hung from strings and was open to all youth attendees. Section Vice Chief Forrest Gertin wrote and emceed the shows, and actors from the section’s member lodges played the principal parts in the theme show that evening. After the show, participants were treated to cracker barrel and a movie: “Back to the Future.”
Saturday began with flags and breakfast under the wedding tent that served as the dining hall for the 353 attendees. The lodge chief and youngest Arrowman from each lodge had the privilege of joining National Chief Alex Call, 2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper, and other special guests at the Very Important Arrowman Breakfast that morning. After breakfast, everyone dispersed to attend or conduct their training courses, which ranged from “Motivational Speaking” to “Nuclear Power for Dummies” to “Large Scale Emergency Preparedness.” A total of 56 individual cells were offered during three one-hour class periods, making this the largest number of trainings offered at an NE-3A conclave in the past 5 years. At noon, once the trainings had ended, the section convened for the candidates’ forum. Moderated by National Chief Alex Call, the forum allowed each candidate for section office to answer questions asked by the youth of the section.
Once the forum was over, the Centennial Party began! Featuring a bounce house, dunk tank, inflatable joust, GaGa ball, and interlodge competitions, the party was an exciting celebration of the Order’s centennial anniversary. In between snow cones, popcorn, and listening to the live band (comprised of Arrowmen from Tschipey Achtu Lodge), Arrowmen could get lunch hot off the grill and compete in the traditional Gold and Silver Arrow Award competitions. Archery, riflery, and tomahawk throwing complimented the athletic contests as part of the fun. The party lasted four hours, ending with the Chiefs’ Pie Eating Contest, a traditional highlight of the conclave.
After the party, Arrowmen had the opportunity to attend a religious service of their choosing, all of which were held inside because of the storm that descended over Camp Woodland. Then came dinner and a birthday cake to celebrate the Order’s 100th year. As the torrential rain continued, Forrest Gertin of Tschipey Achtu Lodge, Tyler Davis of Ashokwahta Lodge, and Thomas Hall of Lowanne Nimat Lodge were elected as section chief, vice chief, and secretary, respectively. After the election, participants participated in a rededication ceremony focused on the importance of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service and watched an American Indian Dance team perform several dances. Soon after, the live patch auction commenced, accompanied by an ice cream bar and other snacks.
Sunday dawned drier than the previous evening, and, after breakfast, the conclave gathered for the section officer installation and award presentation. National Chief Alex Call conducted the installation, and made several poignant remarks on the legacy of E. Urner Goodman, the founder of the Order of the Arrow. Zach Hill of Lowanne Nimat Lodge won the Most Outstanding Arrowman Award, and Nicholas Kandaras of Tkaen DoD Lodge was the Conclave’s Most Cheerful Arrowman. To thank him for his years of service, outgoing Section Adviser Wayne Farnsworth was presented with a stained glass window depicting the lodge flaps of the section's member lodges, and Rick Coloccia was announced as the new NE-3A Section Adviser. The Conclave participants left Camp Woodland excited for the Order’s centennial celebration, and impatiently awaiting Conclave 2016, which will be held at Camp Gorton.