Annnnnd we’re back! What an awesome trip Occoneechee Lodge just had to Michigan State University for NOAC. I talked to each youth attendee and learned that each and every one of them thoroughly enjoyed their trip and most importantly, will go again! NOAC has forever been one of my most favorite things to do in the Order; this year was no different. 7,000+ brothers joined us in East Lansing, each arriving UNITED, to leave a legacy. The Occoneechee transformer patches, if you can imagine, went like hotcakes. On multiple occasions kids would come up to me and ask for a transformer patch in exchange for several of their own. It was a cool thing to be a part of. A special congratulations to Martin Bowers who completed in the OA Risk Board game competition, winning 4th place in the competition! Even though he didn’t win, Brandon Kelly competed in the Talent Show at NOAC, showing off his martial arts skill.

The Occoneechee Drum Team competed in the Southern Singing Competition, making a strong name for Lodge 104. I would like to congratulate, on behalf of Occoneechee Lodge, the Southern Singers from Wahissa Lodge 118 and the Northern Singers of Croatan Lodge 117. Both Drums won their respective singing competitions, leaving a strong SR7B mark on the nation. Thanks to Chris Peterson, Eli Lamb, Andy Wilkins and Dylan and John Taylor for being a part of the Occoneechee Drum. Congratulations to Davis Tapp, who earned honor ceremonialist in the Vigil Competition and to the Eluwak Ceremony team Eli Lamb, Andy Wilkins, Davis Tapp and Dylan Taylor, who earned honors in the pre-ordeal competition. Wear those medals with pride guys. I also would like to congratulate each of the individual dancers who competed this summer. Drew Bain of Canotka Chapter competed in the Straight Dance competition and from what I understand he is very excited about what the next two NOACs have in store for him. David Graham Lynn, also of Canotka, competed in the Fancy Dance competition and did very well. Tom Neas and Dylan Taylor competed in the Grass Dance competition, both doing very well and making it into the second round of a very difficult field of dancers. In fact, Dylan’s heat included four of the eleven dancers that made into the Night of Champions, which featured the best dancers in the Nation. The other Taylor brother was a member of Dylan’s heat and John was able to make it on stage to the Night of Champions, placing fifth in the nation! Shouts of “104!” could be heard throughout the arena that night.

One of the great things about the trip to NOAC is the people from your own Lodge that you meet that you may not have met before. I feel I have a story about each person on this trip, but I only want to highlight a few!

Gray Keith and Troy Sturdivant, both of Kiowa Chapter, are now known to the NOAC contingent as Batman and (Troy will hate me for this) Robin, the boy wonder.

If you have worked at summer camp the in either of the last two summers then chances are you have met Rachel Little, who hurt her foot badly last summer. Well another member of the Little family, Bryan, wanted to be just like his sister, so he hurt his foot while at NOAC!

Sam Volk ate so many slices of bread at a Bob Evans in Ohio that the baker had to come out and personally ask him how man loaves he yearned for. Okay so that’s a little bit of stretch, but Sam did like the bread!

These guys are very excited for the 100th anniversary of the Order at the 2015 NOAC. I hope more lodge members will join us for the Conference, National is planning on 10,000 people coming to the event. If you are interested in attending the next NOAC, feel free to ask anyone in the contingent how the event was for them. If you have questions about how good the patch trading was, find Hunter Edge, he was in heaven! Thanks Occoneechee Lodge for reading this whole post, see you at Fall Fellowship!

John Taylor
Past Chief
Occoneechee Lodge 104

104’s pre ordeal team wins HONORS.

John dancing the grand entry.

John’s waiting for the start of the NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS!!

David Hellbig and Tom Neas eating dinner in Holmes dining hall.

Davis Tapp carrying the drum team.

John Taylor poses with a judge after competition.

Occoneechee dancers prepare for competition.

Getting some good training at NOAC.

Occoneechee Lodge 104 contingent arrives at Michigan State University for NOAC.