We're getting excited about a unique partnership coming up this summer--ArrowCorps 502, which will bring as many as 502 Boy Scouts, mostly members of the elite Order of the Arrow, to Mount Rainier and its neighboring National Forests for a week of training and service in early August. On February 15, several members of the group joined us at park headquarters to fill us in on the plans and answer questions. Park staff are busy putting together projects for the young men to complete, and helping with logistics.
ArrowCorps 502 is a concept based on "ArrowCorps 5," a nationwide volunteer project a few years ago that brought thousands of Scouts to five different National Forest sites. ArrowCorps 502 is organized by the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts, local T'Kope Kwiskwis Lodge number 502, and the Order of the Arrow. About half of the young people being recruited for the project will work in Mount Rainier National Park, based out of Camp Sheppard north of the park, the Longmire Volunteer Campground, Ipsut Creek Campground, and possibly Round Pass. The other half will work on trail and road projects in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Gifford Pinchot National Forests.
The Scouts have spent a year and a half now planning for this project, including participating in recent National Public Lands Days and other volunteer efforts at Mount Rainier.
Here's a great video put together by the Scouts themselves that captures well the energy behind this effort:
Here's the press release that went out a few weeks ago. Watch this blog for more information as the July 31 kickoff of ArrowCorps 502 approaches!
"The goal of the project," said Evan Skandalis, ArrowCorps502 Chairman, "is to invite hundreds of Scouts, Scouters, and Arrowmen from all over the country to spend a week in Mt. Rainier National Park. It‟s a great way to get people to „pay it forward‟ and give back to one of our iconic National Parks."
The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America. The local branch of the Order of the Arrow is T‟Kope Kwiskwis Lodge #502. The organization is known nationally for its mission of community service and focus on outdoor adventure. Uniquely, the programs in the Order are planned and executed almost entirely by youth members.
The Chief Seattle Council serves over 35,000 youth and registered adult volunteer members each year and encompasses five counties: King, Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and North Mason.
Please contact Darla Sklar for more information and/or to participate in this incredible conservation project. Scouts are available for interviews. ArrowCorps502 is a weeklong conservation project at Mt. Rainier National Park, sponsored by Chief Seattle Council and the T‟Kope Kwiskwis Lodge of the Order of the Arrow. From July 31st through August 6th Scouts and volunteers from all over the country will rebuild campsites, blaze trail, clear invasive species, and leave a legacy that will last generations. The program is open to any Scout, Scouter, Venturer, or Sea Scout. There will also be a one-day Cub Scout program. This summer, adventure calls. Will you answer?