Deep in the woods of Missouri in the Mark Twain National Forest, were 700 scouts and their fearless leaders all focused on one thing, "cheerful service" for the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow has had a long-standing program that coordinates national service projects, utilizing the infrastructure and leadership established over many years of success at the Boy Scouts of America's high adventure bases. The projects are working closely together with the United States Forest Service and there are 5 OA project sites, spread across America, that will focus on service and stewardship.
We were at the first of 5 of the OA projects, and here highly enlightened on these service based projects and grateful to be apart of the festivities. For three days we did various demos, awareness workshops, and interacted with the order of the arrow men, the "Mark Twain Arrow Men". The OA conservation project was focused on eradicating cedar trees, which are an invasive species to the area. The overall goal was to take out 100 acres of cedars, and at the time we left there were 86 acres taken out. This is also the only project site where all the work and camping is concentrated at one base camp area. The work these scouts did was tough, with saws and chainsaws, and especially with the elements of the summer heat. Some of our highlights from the event were seeing the worksite, the evening shows, the flag retirement ceremony, and of course teaching and sharing Leave No Trace with the scouts and instructors we met.
Thank you to all the scouts and Matt who helped make us feel right at home, and congrats Mark Twain Arrow men on all your work.
Good luck at the next 4 sites, we know they will be truly successful!