Catamount Lodge - Order of the Arrow

Catamount Lodge – Order of the Arrow, is chartered to the Heart of New England Council, Boy Scouts of America #230. Catamount, a word used in the Middle English meaning “cat of the mountain”, refers to the eastern cougar.

The eastern cougar once roamed the northeast US and Canada as a fierce and solitary predator. Known for its speed and agility, the catamount could run upwards of 50 mph and was adept at climbing. Through the 1800s, Catamounts were hunted out of fear for human and livestock safety. An over-harvesting of northeast forests during the 1800s, and the overhunting of white-tailed deer, the catamount’s primary prey, contributed to the catamount’s decline.

While the last known sightings of catamount are believed to be from Maine in 1938 and New Brunswick in 1932, many believe catamount still roam the mountains and underdeveloped parts of the northeast. Possible sightings have been reported since the early 1900s, but there is no conclusive evidence that the catamount survives. Because of this, the catamount has earned the nickname “the ghost cat”. In early 2018, the eastern cougar was officially declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

On October 20, 2018, the catamount was reborn! Once again the ghost cat roams the mountains and hills of central Massachusetts, watching over the Scouting program. Its spirit is a guide – one of fast moving and agile cheerful service to others.

Things of the spirit are what count: brotherhood - in a day when there is too much hatred at home and abroad; cheerfulness - in a day when the pessimists have the floor and cynics are popular; service - in a day when millions are interested in getting or grasping, rather than giving.

E. Urner Goodman - Founder

Upcoming Events

Fall Inductions & Fellowship #1
September 6-8, 2019
Camp Wanocksett

Fall Inductions & Fellowship #2
September 20-22, 2019
Treasure Valley

Annual Banquet
November 30, 2019
Location: TBD

National Order of the Arrow Conference
August 1-9, 2020
Location: Michigan State University

About the OA

Mission

The mission of the Order of the Arrow is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.

Purpose

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:
  • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

2019 Fall Weekends

With fall upon us, it is time to turn our attention as Arrowmen to providing service to our council’s camping programs. Our lodge will be hosting two events this September for both current members and new Ordeal inductees. This is a time for us to expand our Brotherhood and cheerfully serve while having some fun at camp. 

Both events will have opportunities for newly elected members to complete their Ordeal, eligible members to complete their Brotherhood, service time to the camps, and fellowship opportunities for our brothers to have some fun and get to know each other better. 

New for 2019 – The waiting period between induction and eligibility for Brotherhood membership was reduced to six (6) months by the National OA Committee in June of 2019. All other requirements are unchanged. 

We also invite all families to join us for a breakfast on Sunday before departure.

Event at Camp Wanocksett

When: September 6-8, 2019 (Arrival Friday evening after 6pm; depart Sunday morning no later than 10:30am)
Location: Camp Wanocksett (642 Upper Jaffrey Rd. Dublin, NH 03444)
Cost: $25 per member

Event at Treasure Valley

When: September 20-22, 2019 (Arrival Friday evening after 6pm; depart Sunday morning no later than 10:30am)
Location: Treasure Valley Scout Reservation (394 Pleasantdale Rd. Rutland, MA 01542)
Cost: $25 per member

Notes: 

  • Lodge merchandise will be sold during the weekend. 
  • Be prepared with clothes suitable for the weather, boots, hats, gloves, and a warm sleeping bag. 
  • A number of campsites have been reserved for our use; limited beds in cabins will be available for experienced Arrowmen. Younger Arrowmen should bring a tent and ground pad to stay in.
  • Please bring work gloves, rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and other tools that can help prepare our camps for the summer season. Be sure to label your tools with your name. 
  • Field uniforms will be worn for the ceremonies and dinner Saturday evening, as well as the recognitions meeting on Sunday. Work clothes are appropriate during the day on Saturday.
  • Families picking up younger Arrowmen are invited to join the lodge Sunday morning for breakfast starting at 8am. 
  • Lodge Officer elections will be taking place at the September 20-22 event. Arrowmen under the age of 21 interested in running for elected office should email adviser@OACatamount.org to declare their intent.
  • ***PLEASE BRING A PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR MEDICAL FORM WITH YOU****

Annual Lodge Dues & Flaps

Your membership in Catamount Lodge is highly valued. Paying your dues maintains your membership in the Order of the Arrow, helps provide financial and material support for our council’s camps and properties, and funds the lodge’s annual operating budget. Dues also keep you updated with happenings in our lodge through mailings, maintains our communications channels, and provides training for the lodge’s executive board at the National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and Lodge Leadership Development (LLD) seminar. To be an active member of Catamount Lodge you must be a CURRENTLY REGISTERED member of the BSA.

You can pay your dues in one of three ways: 

  1. Complete the paper dues form, and mail it with a check for $18 to Catamount Lodge ℅ Heart of New England Council 1980 Lunenburg Rd. Lancaster, MA 01523. Make checks payable to “Heart of New England, BSA”.
  2. Pay online with a credit or debit card. 
  3. Pay in person at an upcoming event.
Many Arrowmen have asked “How can I purchase lodge flaps to update my uniforms?” You’re in luck! For a limited time during the spring of 2019, standard issue lodge flaps are available for purchase at both Heart of New England council service centers. Stop by the Scout Shop at the Worcester Service Center or the customer service desk of the Lancaster Service Center to purchase your flaps. Charter member flaps are available for pick up at any of our lodge events during the year. After the final event of the year, remaining flaps will be mailed to Arrowmen who have not received them. 

2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference

What is NOAC?

National Order of the Arrow Conference is a gathering of about 8,000 Arrowmen from across the US to celebrate the OA, have fun, learn a thing or two, and of course for friendship, fellowship and service.

Who can attend?

Any dues paid member of Catamount Lodge. You can be any level in the program: Ordeal, Brotherhood or Vigil; male or female; youth or adult. 

What goes on at NOAC?

Training sessions to learn more about the OA; Games and Activities; Ceremonial and Dance competitions; Evening Shows; Special Events; Special Guests; Region and Area gatherings; Offsite Activities; Wayfinders Festival; Adventure Central; and so much more!

Cost

Previous trips to NOAC have cost between $1,000-$1,300. A firm price will be determined and published this fall once National has released the cost for NOAC 2020, and the contingent has met to plan the details of the trip.

 

Unit Elections

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting’s national honor society. It exists to recognize those Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and who set an example for others to follow; to support and promote camping and camping traditions within Scouting; and to encourage Scouts to live a life dedicated to cheerful service to others.

Each year, units have an opportunity to elect youth from their unit to become members of the Order of the Arrow. It is time to schedule your unit’s election for this year. Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout units.

Catamount Lodge conducts unit elections between January 1 and May 31.

Elections are conducted according to specific policies and procedures. When scheduling your elections, please consider the following:
  • Only elections scheduled through the lodge and conducted by a lodge-appointed election team will be considered valid.
  • In order to conduct an election at least 50% of the registered youth in the unit must be present.
  • National policy prohibits conducting OA elections during summer camp.

There are approximately 100 units in Heart of New England Council that we need to visit. Elections are conducted by youth members of the lodge and often require advanced planning for transportation. In order to ensure we are able to accommodate your requested dates, please submit your election requests as soon as possible.

We will not be able to accommodate requests for elections during summer camp.

If your unit has no eligible youth this year, please complete the election request form and indicate that you have no one eligible. This will help us ensure that all units have had the opportunity for an election.

Membership Requirements

Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout units. The new Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Have experienced 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.
  • At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Award, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.

If you have any questions about the election process or the Order of the Arrow, please contact:

Jack S. – Mill Town & Quinsigamond District Elections – elections-south@oacatamount.org
Tom G. – Massasoit & Wachusett District Elections  – elections-north@oacatamount.org
Mike Prifti – Elections Adviser – michael.prifti@heartofnewenglandbsa.org
Andrew Collins – Lodge Adviser – adviser@oacatamount.org

Gisch & Ceremonies Teams

Do you enjoy drumming, dancing, singing? How about acting or helping out off-stage? Maybe you want to just have a good time and be an active member of our lodge? If so, then our Gischachummen (Gisch) and Ceremonies teams are right for you! The Gisch team provides call out at camporees and summer camp, as well as performances for Scouting units and special events. The ceremonies team provides the inductions ceremonies for our lodge weekends. 

The team meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from 7-9pm at the Lancaster council service center (1980 Lunenburg Rd, Lancaster MA). With our new larger lodge, the team is looking to expand its members to all parts of our council. New members are welcome at any meeting. Contact the Gisch chair,  Joe D. at gisch@OACatamount.org or Ceremonies chair Chris M. at ceremonies@OACatamount.org for more information. 

Catamount lodge would not want anyone to miss a lodge event due to inability to pay.
If financial difficulties exist, please contact the Lodge Adviser, Andrew Collins, at adviser@OACatamount.org.