From August 3-9, 2014, Scouts and volunteers from around the nation will converge on Mt. Rainier for a week of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service. Based at Camp Sheppard, trail crews will complete a variety of trail projects under the direction of land management personnel and skilled youth and adult leaders. Participants will have the chance to practice expedition leadership, trail skills, and wilderness ethics while immersing themselves in the story of our national public lands. This exciting opportunity is open to all Arrowmen, Boy Scouts, and Venturers meeting criteria for participation in high adventure activities.
ArrowCorps2014 is hosted by the T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, Mount Rainier National Park, and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Additional support is provided by the Chief Seattle Council and Cascade Leadership Challenge.
ArrowCorps2014 is Innovative and Exciting
ArrowCorps2014 is the latest in a series of conservation leadership programs organized and supported by T’Kope Kwiskwis. Inspired by the ArrowCorps5 projects in 2008, a core group of youth and adult leaders spent three years planning ArrowCorps502, a 100-person service project that took place in the summer of 2011. In 2012 and 2013, Cascade Leadership Challenge and Crew 502 hosted two Conservation Leadership Schools to train the next generation of project leaders in preparation for ArrowCorps2014. Since 1925, Scouts have maintained an unbroken legacy of service and adventure in the Mt. Rainier area, and we are proud to write the next chapter of that history.
Since the beginning, our organization has been on the cutting edge of conservation service programs nationwide. In 2011, we were the first program to simultaneously coordinate projects and develop a comprehensive relationship with both the National Park Service and the National Forest Service, and the first to develop a sustained training program for rising youth program organizers in off-years. In 2014, we are the first to offer a coed Venturing experience under the framework of an ArrowCorps project. Around our region and beyond, people look to us as an example. Our trainers at the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference helped inspire a new generation of trail project modeled after ours, from Oregon to Minnesota to take place this and future summers. Accept no imitations or substitutions: ArrowCorps2014 is the real deal.
What to Expect
ArrowCorps2014 follows a trail crew model. Participants will be organized into crews, led by a trained youth Crew Leader and adult Crew Adviser. During the week, crews will work together to complete one or more projects in Mount Rainier National Park or the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Most crews will be based out of Camp Sheppard, to the northeast of Mt. Rainier, and shuttled daily to their project sites. One or more crews will be based in a frontcountry or backcountry spike camp for the week. These crews are supported by a number of auxiliary staff who work as cooks, drivers, and logisticians.
After arriving at Camp on August 3, participants will receive their assignments, meet their fellow crew members, and attend an orientation. Between August 4 and August 7, crews will complete their trail projects. On August 8, the last full day of the program, a variety of recreational options and outings will be available. When not on the trail, participants and staff will enjoy gourmet food, fun activities, nightly programs, and a full trading post.
ArrowCorps2014 is a transformative leadership experience unlike any other. In an expedition setting, crew members gain self-confidence and outdoor skills, all the while learning lesson they can take back home. As a result, they come back better prepared to lead themselves and others in their families, schools, and communities. They become more active and engaged members of their lodges, their chapters, and their units.
In the years since ArrowCorps502, many participants have been recognized for service:
- 3 have served as Lodge Chief
- 5 have served as Lodge officers
- 3 have served as Lodge advisers
- 13 have been selected for the Vigil Honor
- 4 have been honored with the Founder’s Award
- 1 has been honored with the Distinguished Service Award
Additionally, T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge was honored with a 2012 OA National Service Award for distinguished commitment to service, one of only eight Lodges nationwide to be so recognized.
As well as continuing to serve their community, participants have found a renewed sense of belonging in the wilderness in general, and to the Mt. Rainier area in particular. Many have revisited project sites, hiked the 92-mile Wonderland Trail encircling the Mountain, and three have even summitted the 14,411’ peak. Many have attended BSA and OA High Adventure programs, and others have led rafting, climbing, mountaineering, and backpacking trips closer to home.
In short, ArrowCorps2014 will develop the leadership potential and outdoor skills of each participant and staff member, developing them into the next generation of dedicated, committed, and passionate young adults. For many participants ArrowCorps502 was the highlight of their Scouting careers, and something they will remember for their rest of their lives.
ArrowCorps2014 is much more than a week on the trail. It will be an experience you won't soon forget. It is a chance to reconnect with our old friends and make new ones. It is an opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the most beautiful places in the world, while learning about sustainable outdoor adventure. It is the fulfillment of an obligation to give back and pay it forward to future generations of wilderness users we will never meet. In short, it is the chance to be a part of and become something greater than ourselves. We are the greatest organization doing the greatest work, and we hope that you’ll join us.