At the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference in August, a Centennial Fire will burn bright with wood from every OA lodge in attendance. Once that fire has cooled to ash, each lodge will get a vial of the powdery residue to take home.
It should be a spectacular way to unite the OA brotherhood.
But some readers were concerned about the kind of wood being used in the Centennial Fire, and a paragraph in the May-June 2015 issue of Scouting magazine added to the confusion.
In our Trailhead section, we mentioned that each OA lodge would bring firewood to NOAC in August for the Centennial Fire. Firewood wasn’t the right word.
Yes, it’s wood for a fire, but what’s going into the Centennial Fire isn’t firewood like you or I know it.
The OA and its chairman, Ray Capp, have been clear about this from the start.
“All the lodges were and have been told the types of wood to bring and specifically what types of wood NOT to bring to NOAC,” Capp writes. “In 2012, when we first asked folks to bring their wood, we were very specific about it.”
So what kind of wood will be used? It should be kiln-dried wood (no ash, no pine, no bark). That means they don’t want the kind of firewood you used in your fireplace last winter.
This photo shows some examples of wood that lodges might bring:
As you can see, this is reclaimed and recycled wood (but again, no ash or pine). Recycling wood in this way fits in well with the BSA’s — and the OA’s — strong history of care for our planet.
“I assure you that as a counselor of all the conservation merit badges,” Capp writes, “our legacy of conservation is very much on my mind and part of our plans.”
Lodges are also reminded to follow the applicable state and local laws regarding transporting wood across state lines.
For more information, see this “Ask the Chairman” article.