It Starts With Us.

Well actually it started on August 3rd. Our centennial National Order of the Arrow Conference, NOAC, was one of the best experiences that I have ever had in scouting. The journey to East Lansing Michigan began on August 2nd at 5 am. It was too early for anyone to be in a great mood, but the Occoneechee pride rose through.

We took off on our day of travel around 6 am and finally arrived in our overnight accommodations, Camp Berry in Findley Ohio, around 9 pm. There we encountered a lodge from Massachusetts also spending the night in the large cabins that filled the camp. We arrived  at Michigan State University in the afternoon of the following day.

The day culminated with an opening show better than any scouting production I’ve ever seen. The stadium where the shows were held filled with 15,000 Arrowmen. It was a sight to see.

Each day there were thousands of things to do. My personal favorites included going Scuba diving, seeing the Order of the Arrow museum at the NOAC Goodman Edson Observatory, and patch trading with friends.

Tuesday Nights show was the best. Not only did we have front row seats, but a juggler who had  competed  in America’s got talent lit up the stage with an array of LED lights and flaming jugglers sticks. Tuesday night ended with a live performance from the country band Maddie & Tae.

Wednesday night  Alex Call our National chief challenged the whole Order to the #DareToDo challenge for the next 100 days. We should each do a good deed and post it on social media to tell the world of our  service and therefore change the world. This is the beginning of a movement.

Friday ended with mixed emotions, the long week had put a toll on us, all while we did not want the fun we had to end. The closing show really embodied the theme of It Starts With Us, teaching us all to take the initiative. I thoroughly enjoyed NOAC and can’t wait until NOAC 2018 at Indianan University.

Yours in Service,
A.J. Raulynaitis
Lodge Chief