Fall Fellowship Recap (article and photos by Mary Kelly-Crapse)
On Friday, September 17, 2021, Ordeal Candidates and Brotherhood Candidates rendezvoused at Camp Durant for the first Order of the Arrow event this year that was almost “normal”. While face masks still had to be worn indoors, outside was clear, sunny and maskless. During the weekend, 122 new brothers join the Lodge, 27 Arrowmen earned their Brotherhood and 19 candidates were nominated for the Vigil Honor, the highest honor of the Order of the Arrow.
Many housekeeping tasks were completed by the Ordeal candidates, including trimming back trees, cleaning up campsites, repairing cots and trimming the grass. The Brotherhood candidates and Brotherhood members installed a new walkway on the rifle range.
In the afternoon, Jacob Labaza, was elected as the 2022 Lodge Chief. Keeping with tradition, the Lodge watched with excitement as 2021 Lodge Chief Alberto Daniel voluntarily jumped, instead of being thrown into Lake Nello Teer by his successor. Brett Hernandez-Strong, current America Ninja Warrior attended Fall Fellowship. Brett is a former Occoneechee Lodge Member and current Camp Durant Staff member. There was also a visit by Charles Flowers, Occoneechee Scout Executive, who told the order a little bit about his background and fielded questions by the members. Questions ranged from, “What is your favorite color?” (yellow) to “How will we recover from Covid and scouts who have not returned to the program?” (After visiting 50 Summer Church Camps, Mr. Flowers thinks the best path forward is to have current members recruit new members. Look for more details in your mail this fall!)
Saturday was topped off with Thunderfest, where there was food, a dunk-tank, patch trading and fellowship. The weekend was jammed packed with a lot of fun things for every Arrowmen!