360 Arrowman and guests of Wapashuwi Lodge, Order of the Arrow, formerly of the Greater Western Reserve Council, Boy Scouts of America, met for their annual and final Winter Banquet recently at DiVieste Banquet Hall in Warren, Ohio. Wapashuwi Lodge has more than 300 members from over 90 Boy Scout Troops of the former Greater Western Reserve Council providing service to the scouting community of northeast Ohio and the communities and families of the area.

Founded in 1915, the Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting’s National Honor Society with a focus on leadership development, membership extension, adventurous programming, and broader service to Scouting and the community. For 102 years, their peers have honored scouts who “best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives” with membership in the OA. The OA has over 180,000 members located in lodges affiliated with 310 local BSA Councils.

Following dinner, the 2016 Officers and Advisers of the Lodge were recognized for their service to the Lodge by Mr. John Schlobohm – Interim Council Executive and Mr. Brett Gensburg – Lodge Staff Adviser. The 2017 Officers were installed by Section C-4A Chief J.J. Conklin who are: Joshua Johnston-Lodge Chief, Andrew Pleso-Immediate Past Lodge Chief, Riley Sullivan-Lodge Executive Vice-Chief, Ryan Johnston-Lodge Secretary, Jonathan Feigert-Lodge Treasurer, Jacob Hockensmith-Neatoka Chapter Chief, Ben Elmore-Stigwandish Chapter Chief, Jarred Miller-Tapawingo Chapter Chief and Connor Crowley-T’sisgoli Ama Chapter Chief, Seth Welch-Vice-Chief of Camping and Service, Trevor Ulrich -Vice-Chief of Communications, Nathan Steadman -Vice-Chief of Membership and Conner Orr-Vice-Chief of Native American Heritage.

Awards presented this evening were: The Gary Waldorf Native American Heritage Award, presented to the Arrowman who demonstrates exemplary enthusiasm, dedication, and contribution to Native American Heritage and Ceremonies of Wapashuwi Lodge. The 2016 Waldorf Award recipient is Conner Orr, a Vigil member and a the former Tapawingo Chapter Chief of Wapashuwi Lodge and a member of Boy Scout Troop 4075 in Bristolville, Ohio.

The Wapashuwi Lodge Stewards of the Shadow Award is presented to the Arrowman who gives extensive behind-the-scenes service to Wapashuwi Lodge Ceremonies as they work tirelessly to support ceremonies “from the shadows”. The 2016 Steward of the Shadows recipient was Jarred Miller, a Brotherhood member and a member of Boy Scout Troop 4143 of McDonald, Ohio..
The 2016 Vigil Honor candidates were announced and are Connor Deluga of Boy Scout Troop 4083 in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, Benjamin Elmore of Boy Scout Troop 55 in Madison Ohio, Joshua Johnston of Boy Scout Troop 86 in Southington, Ohio, Nathan Steadman of Boy Scout Troop 11 in Jefferson, Ohio, Riley Sullivan of Boy Scout Troop 4008 in Levittsburg, Ohio, Trevor Ulrich of Boy Scout Troop 75 in Bristolville, Ohio, Seth Welch of Boy Scout Troop 115 in Canfield, Ohio, Mr. Mitchell Babej of Boy Scout Troop 102 in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Mr. Eric Grabman of Boy Scout Troop 46 in Boardman, Ohio, and Mr. Andrew Welch of Boy Scout Troop 115 in Canfield, Ohio.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two special awards, the Wapashuwi Lodge Arrowman of the Year Award and The Order of the Arrow Founders Award.
The Wapashuwi Lodge Arrowman of the Year Award is presented to one youth and one adult per year for rendering outstanding service to the Lodge while truly exemplifying the spirit of the Order of the Arrow. The 2016 Youth of the Year Award was presented to Seth Welch and the 2016 Adult of the Year was presented to Mr. Andrew Welch. Seth is a member of Boy Scout Troop 115 in Canfield, Ohio and a resident of Austintown, Ohio and currently serves the Lodge as Vice-Chief of Native American Heritage and is a Vigil candidate of the Lodge. Mr. Welch of Austintown, Ohio is a member of Boy Scout Troop 115 in Canfield, Ohio and enjoys helping out the Lodge in various ways such as working in the kitchen. The father and son duo enjoy helping out the Lodge. They even built a Ninja Warrior course for the 2016 Lodge Fall Fellowship

First introduced at the 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference, following the death of Dr. E. Urner Goodman, one of the Founders of the Order of the Arrow, the Founders Award is the highest award that can be bestowed at the lodge level. It honors members in the Order of the Arrow for unselfish service above and beyond their normal duties to their Lodge. The Founders Award is presented to one youth and one adult member of the Lodge. The 2016 Youth Founders Award was presented to Joshua Johnston and the Adult Founders Award was presented to Mrs. Terri Andrews. Joshua is a member of Boy Scout Troop 86 of Southington, Ohio and is in his second term as Lodge Chief as well as having served several other positions. Mrs. Andrews is a member of the Headwaters District Committee and resides in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. She serves the Lodge as adviser to the Treasurer and helps in many activities of the Lodge.
Closing remarks were given by Mr. Bret Gensburg – Lodge Adviser and Joshua Johnston – Lodge Chief.

The Greater Western Reserve Council, Boy Scouts of America served youth and families in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Mahoning, Trumbull and a portion of Portage counties in northeast Ohio.
With the consolidation of Boy Scout Councils in northeast Ohio, the Greater Western Reserve Council (GWRC) closed as of Dec. 31, 2016. The northern half of the former GWRC serving the families of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake Counties will merge with the Greater Cleveland Council and the southern half serving families in Mahoning, Trumbull and the eastern portion of Portage counties will merge into the Great Trail Council headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

Thus, Wapashuwi Lodge which served the GWRC will also cease to exist at the end of May, 2017. It too will be split with the members in the northern half of Wapashuwi Lodge merging with Cuyahoga Lodge of the Greater Cleveland Council and the members of the southern half of Wapashuwi Lodge will merge into Marnoc Lodge of the Great Trail Council.

For additional information about the Order of the Arrow, check out the Wapashuwi Lodge website at www.wapashuwi.org or the National Order of the Arrow website at www.oa-bsa.org.