ArrowCorps5

Between June and August 2008, the Order of the Arrow and the National Forest Service hosted a series of conservation service projects called ArrowCorps5. For five weeks, five thousand Arrowmen performed service at five locations around the country: Mark Twain National Forest, Manti-La Sal National Forest, George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and Bridger-Teton National Forest. ArrowCorps5 was, and remains, the largest service project ever undertaken by a federal land management agency and the Boy Scouts of America.

Thanks to a nationwide advertising blitz and years of hype, seven Arrowmen from T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge traveled to the Shasta-Trinity project in California, which took place July 12-19. There they learned about trail crew methodology, safe handling and proper use of tools, and the history of the site and of America’s national public lands. They met committed and passionate people from around the country who shared their drive to make a difference. They sampled the high-adventure opportunities in Northern California on their days off. But throughout the event, a common thread tied everything together. Over and over, participants were encouraged to take the lessons they learned back to their home lodges, to ensure that the legacy they began that week could continue.

Later that summer, the staff at Mount Rainier National Park heard of the successes of ArrowCorps5, and approached then-Camp Sheppard ranger Pat Tobin about why there was no such project at their park. With enthusiastic encouragement from the Shasta-Trinity contingent, then-Lodge Adviser Jason Stewart met with Pat to discuss the idea of staging a major conservation service project in the Mt. Rainier area. The rest, they say, is history.