By Michael Casey
2016 Participant in OA Trail Crew at Philmont Scout Ranch
The Order of the Arrow High Adventure (OAHA) program was established for Arrowmen to have the opportunity to experience the happiness that lies in forgetfulness of self through serving Boy Scouts of America’s high adventure bases. The OAHA Program was established by three gentlemen: Marty Tschetter, Eugene “Gene” Schnell and Edward Pease when they were trying to find a way to revamp the OA program. This was done to provide another outlet for the OA to serve the Boy Scouts of America program, while providing a chance for youth OA members to experience the high adventure bases at a discounted rate.
In the summer of 2016, I was a participant in the OA Trail Crew program at Philmont Scout Ranch. During my trek, I had two excellent foremen, both of whom were past regions chiefs. My experience was incredible; during the first week we provided cheerful service to Philmont through building trails, and during the second week we were able to plan and embark on a trek that I will never forget.
All participants are assigned a crew of seven to fifteen members. These crews are made up of Arrowmen across the nation. This provides the opportunity to meet and develop life lasting friendships with brothers across the country. Participants and staff of the program leave with glowing reviews. For example, 2015 Central Region Chief Joey Dierdorf who was also a 2016 OA Trail Crew Foreman said that Order of the Arrow High Adventure is a “jewel” of the OA program. Also, Sam G. a past participant of the Summit Experience and Trail Crew said that these programs “helped me to answer questions that I couldn't answer before”.
OA High Adventure has molded me into the person I am today. This program is one of those notable experiences in my Scouting career that I will cherish forever. It has given me the drive and motivation to excel in Scouting, academics, and extracurricular activities.
To express the experience in this program in one quote, word or statement simply couldn't do it justice. You must take part this life changing experience to understand the full value of this program.
To sign up for an opportunity of a lifetime, please visit adventure.oa-bsa.org.