The Chief’s Midwestern Missive

My Fellow Arrowmen,

My time as the Central Region Chief is drawing to a close. It has been my pleasure and my honor to serve you all over this past year. This year has not been typical, but through the consistent leadership of many throughout this region, we have continued to thrive.

Over the course of this past year, multiple events have had to be cancelled. From the National Order of the Arrow Conference and the National Leadership Seminar to section conclaves and lodge events. But, in spite of these cancellations, we still found a way to get together as a region and have amazing events! In early August, we started with Momentum: Launch. I was joined by 241 members of the Central Region for a few days full of training, fellowships, and many games! This event led to some of my most treasured memories from this past year: the competitions and fellowship that I had with the other officers throughout the country. I remember looking at the other officers and thinking, “8 months ago, I didn’t know any of these people, and now they’re some of my best friends.” This year has brought me so many great friendships across the region and the OA as a whole, and I’m so thankful for everyone that helped make this year so special. Momentum: Launch was our first foray into digital events, and I couldn’t be prouder with how it turned out!

Following Momentum: Launch was our second event in the Momentum series. Momentum: Spark served as a way for Arrowmen throughout the country to come together to gain a better understanding of the induction process, while new Arrowmen were inducted into our brotherhood during the virtual inductions component of this event. 

The week after Momentum Spark was the Section Officers Seminar. Even though we could not all have been together, I was able to have a great weekend socializing with leaders from all across the region, and continued development of our leadership skills. For the first time ever, we opened up select segments of this event to the entire region. Arrowmen from all levels of our organization came together to learn more about leadership in the Order of the Arrow. If you wanted to attend these sessions, but couldn’t make it, we have published all of the resources and the recording of these sessions here. This event could not have been as successful without the continued support of many people throughout our region. For those of you who directly worked to put this event together, you have my heartfelt thanks. 

This year has been a tumultuous one. We have faced, and continue to face, challenges that we have never experienced before. It has not been easy, but the Central Region continues to innovate and overcome the challenges that have been set before us. Our success is not my doing, but rather is built on the efforts made by all those who have stepped up throughout the region. From Arrowmen who want to become active, to those who lead their chapters and lodges, to the section officers, to those who serve the Region Committee, and to those who advise these leaders, you have my deepest gratitude. As my term comes to an end, I am incredibly thankful for the support you have given me throughout this difficult year. 

Soon, our eleven section chiefs will work with other section leadership from across the country at the National Planning Meeting. During this event, these key leaders will elect a new slate of national officers, who will continue to lead us into the future of this organization. I have full confidence that whoever is elected to serve the Central Region over this next year will continue to improve the region in amazing ways. To them, I want to say: “Know when to ask for help. There is a huge support system within the Central Region, both for advice and to delegate tasks to. By taking advantage of all these skilled Arrowmen, you will be able to accomplish far more during your term than you imagined when you were elected on December 28.”

But, they are not the only person who will be stepping into a new leadership role in this organization. Throughout our region, there are individuals who are just beginning their journey on the path to leadership throughout the Order of the Arrow. To those who are considering taking on a leadership role, whether that might be planning an event or being involved with the induction process, or anything else your chapter or lodge may need, I commend you, and encourage you to take that plunge. Once, I was in that same position, and the decision to become involved has completely changed my life for the better. Your efforts will continue to shape this organization for years to come. Like the incoming region chief, you will have a huge support system. It may come from your lodge chief, or maybe your section chief. Maybe it’ll come from some other lodge officer, or perhaps from an adviser. No matter the source, there are many people who want you to succeed in your plans, and who are willing to help you fulfill them.  I have complete confidence in the future of this organization with the continued growth of leadership at all levels. 

My year as the Central Region Chief has allowed me to grow in a way that I did not think was possible. But now, it is time for another to take my place. I will be taking on another role in the Order of the Arrow, along with the other outgoing leadership at the region and national level. Together, we will become a part of OA Beyond, which will work with the new regional and national leaders to continue to lead this organization into the future. I do not know what our future holds, but I am positive that it will be bright!

Your Brother in Cheerful Service,

Patrick Mclnerney

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