Nawakwa Lodge

Written by Owen Clapp

Six brothers from Occoneechee Lodge drove up to Virginia to attend a lodge event hosted by Nawakwa Lodge, which serves the Heart of Virginia Council. Matthew Bobzein, Owen Clapp, Cameron Hill, Douglas Hill, Dylan HIll, and Brian Lehrschall experienced the Nawakwa Lodge Summer Service Weekend event June 7-8. The contingent arrived on Saturday morning ready for a full day of excitement and the sharing of best practices. Camp T. Brady Saunders was a welcoming place where the brothers were able to experience the great program that Nawakwa had to offer.
These Thunderbirds were treated highly as guests, escorted to cabins and had full access to all events, with help available from any lodge member available to get them to where they needed to be. The kindness of the local lodge is expressed in Dylan Hill’s comment, “I had a fantastic time with Nawakwa Lodge, they were extremely accepting and generous. I would love to do this again, and I’m sure the others that came along on the trip enjoyed it too!”
Interestingly, the camp was not a first time sight for all of the contingent members. Douglas Hill, one of the members of the group, used to live in the area and attended summer camp there as a youth. Seeing the camp then and now, Hill was able to add new wonderful memories to those of his youth. There was nostalgia in the air through this experience.
Even more special was the fact that three of the attendees, the Hill family, had this trip as their first Order of the Arrow event outside of their ordeal. Despite a sense of newness, in the words of Douglas Hill, “I truly felt part of a brotherhood much larger than myself.” It a good taste of what the OA has to offer with a special twist on it.
The trip was certainly a way to learn about what practices are good and need improving within a lodge. The whole weekend was a way of exchanging information on best practices. Lehrschall said, “I think overall the trip went well and we’ve learned some good ideas and plan on using them and incorporating them in our lodge.” The learning experience was priceless.
Matthew Bobzein and Brian Lehrschall, as the brotherhood committee representatives, learned how Nawakwa performed their Brotherhood trail. “The trip was a fun weekend where we learned a lot about all areas of their lodge. We personally met many of their lodge leadership and they taught us a lot,” explained Bobzein.
Owen Clapp, as Tipi and 12th Point Chairman, a ceremonialist, and a dancer was able to learn a lot as well. He enjoyed “sharing with their respective chairman practices and learning from them, having fun watching the lodge wide ceremonies, and dancing in between, as well as receiving an unexpected gift of a dance mirror board.” The trip was truly a benefit to all who attended.
Saturday left participants from our lodge full of excitement for ways to grow Occoneechee in program and help Nawakwa as well, and heart full of the fellowship experienced with Nawakwa. It was amazing for the contingent to see the brotherhood of cheerful service across borders, an Order of an Arrow uniting them all.