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National Events

2001 National Jamboree:
Order of the Arrow Service Corps

by Brian Kelly

2001 Service CorpsThe OA Service Corps accomplished much at the 2001 National Scout Jamboree. Exceptional service was rendered to many, many program areas at the Jamboree. Over one hundred and thirty enthusiastic Arrowmen from across the country proudly served Scouting's premier event. The hours of service forged bonds of brotherhood between them that will last a lifetime. Serving on the OA Service Corps was a unique and powerful experience for all involved!

The whole point of having a Service Corps was to provide service, and the service we did had a big impact on both the people served and on the people who provided the service. Every day, new requests would come in for help in different areas. No two days had quite the same projects.

Service Corps members grab some lunch in the field
Arrowmen performed the opening flag ceremony

Arrowmen spent their days distributing kiosk lunches, tying knots at the fishing pond, hosting international Scouts, providing arena show security, and many other essential tasks. We also had the distinct privilege of conducting the opening flag ceremony for the Chief Scout Executive. You always knew that the work you did was appreciated. Although the purpose of the Service Corps was not for recognition, people recognized the value of our service and never failed to thank us.

Service Corps members helped to usher at the arena shows
Distributing food was another weighty task

Service was only one component of the OA Service Corps experience. Fellowship increased as the work for the day wound down. The Service Corps was organized into five chapters, and the members of each grew together throughout the week. We swapped humorous camp songs from around the country, played cards, toured the Jamboree together, and became best friends. Nighttime was the right time for jamming at the youth staff recreation tents run by the OA National Officers. Special themes included "Nerd Night", "Redneck Night", and "Karoke Night". If the rec. tent was not your thing, there were always people to talk with, games to play, or other things to do.

Evening activities in the Rec Tent included lots of games.
What to do when it rains? - Have a mud slide night!

One of the greatest parts of national events is getting to meet Scouting people from all over the country. The guy in the bunk next to you could be a new Section Chief from Hawaii, a Lodge Chief from Texas, or a new Ordeal member from Virginia. The OA national officers lived in a tent just down the row, and any Arrowman knew that he could always talk to them as they walked around the youth staff area or went out on service projects with the chapters.

New friends were easily made in the Service Corps
Adult Advisers help to keep the service on track

The adult leaders of the Service Corps also had their fun, vying for a spot in front of the coveted fan when it was very hot. They also gave the youth the perspective of their many experiences over the years. And they showed the youth that experience helped during intense games of Euchre or Skip-Bo.

You're Awesome!

The official theme for Service Corps was "Getting our sash dirty." The singer Jana, during an appearance at the Jamboree, gave us the line that would come to define our experience: "You're Awesome." All of the leaders who had volunteered their vacation time to come work at the Jamboree were definitely awesome. The more we worked on projects throughout the days, the more we came to realize how completely awesome all the people were whom we helped out. Whenever we got a phone call at our headquarters, we would answer it, "OA Service Corps, You're Awesome!" It helped brighten up the day for everyone who called.

As my two weeks of intense OA experience came to a close, leaving the Jamboree and all the friends I had made was very difficult. Those of us who served on the OA Service Corps will always remember the work we performed and the friends we made. We would all like to be back for more at the next Jamboree.

(Brian served as one of the five Chapter Chiefs of the 2001 OA Service Corps.)

Revised 10/12/01.