A Thing of the Outdoors

by Joey Fletcher

“The Order of the Arrow is a thing of the outdoors rather than the indoors. It was born in an island wilderness. It needs the sun and rain, the woods and plains, the waters and the starlit sky.” –E. Urner Goodman

These words from the founder of the Order of the Arrow are just as meaningful today as when they were written. But they also apply to Scouting as a whole. As Scouts, we learn to love the outdoors as we spend time in it. Although nature isn’t always kind to us — sometimes we may have to hike through rain and mud, or take shelter in strong summer storms — ultimately it helps us reflect on ourselves and our surroundings.

Imagine that you’re walking through the woods on a warm spring day. The sun is beginning to shine through the trees, and its warm glow illuminates the grass that you walk through. You begin to contemplate and reflect. Maybe you remember walking by this spot years back with a friend or mentor. Spending time outdoors helps us foster these kinds of personal reflections. 

“Nature reminds us of what we are, and makes us self-reliant.” –Polestar: Induction Leadership Training

Nature is at the soul of Scouting. It’s easy to plan indoor meetings and activities, and just rely on those all the time, but that wouldn’t truly be Scouting! Through rainstorms and sunny afternoons, the outdoor element of Scouting gives us the opportunity to learn from experience and become better campers, affording us the opportunity to become the best version of ourselves.