Scout attends national conference

Published 12:20 am Sunday, August 16, 2015

David Osburn, a ninth-grader at St. Aloysius, has been a Boy Scout since first grade, and joined the scouts’ national honor society last year.

Recently, he traveled with 60 other Order of the Arrow members from the Sebooney Okasucca 260 lodge in Jackson to the National Order of the Arrow Conference.

The weeklong conference usually takes place every two years, but this year was special because it was their 100th anniversary.

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“I think it’s great because it’s an experience, it’s never going to happen again, they’re never going to have another 100 anniversary,” Osburn said.

The lodge spent 21 hours on a chartered bus traveling to Michigan State University’s campus. Over 15,000 Order of the Arrow members age 12 and up from across the country descended on the campus for a weeks worth of courses, activities and shows.

The conference theme was, “It Starts with Us.” The Order, which is a brotherhood of cheerful service, works to have a ripple effect on all scout troops.

“The big thing was the ripple because once it starts with us it ripples out to other people,” Osburn said.

The courses covered topics about ceremonial programs and scout training on troop and lodge level, and the activities included scuba diving, Frisbee and flag football.

Each night they would attend a show about teamwork, friendship and finding the right way, with comedians, jugglers and actors who inspired and motivated the crowd.

“They talked about how it starts with you, you change yourself, then you can change your friends and family and therefore you can change your town, which can change the state,” Osburn said.

The scouts were high-energy at the shows wearing funny hats or capes. Friday night’s show was his favorite; it showed how different people deal with change.

Osburn gained a lot of friends and memories at the conference, and he also gained a lot of patches. Throughout the week the boys received and traded patches with each other and it was one of Osburn’s favorite things to do with his new friends.

“Some of these [patches] have been earned, some of these have been given by friends,” Osburn said.

Osburn’s lodge got a special patch that said Chief Circle for doing “requirements above and beyond the other lodges.” The requirements consisted of making a lodge history book, bringing a special rock and bringing wood from their council room.

Throughout the week, the scouts collected all kinds of poker chips, pins and coins.

Osburn is in the middle rank of the order having already finished the ordeal level, he is currently at the brotherhood level and will one day move up to the third rank.

To join Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts have to be nominated by members of their local troop. Osburn is not the only Order of the Arrow member from Vicksburg, but he is the only one who was able to participate in the conference.

Osburn gives all the credit to the people in the community who have supported him through the sale of popcorn.

“I had sold enough popcorn, and all the people that paid for the popcorn, that puts money into my scout account,” Osburn said.

Locally he is a member of Boy Scout Troop 7, which is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, and is working towards a new honor that puts him in competition with his brother James.

James became an Eagle Scout at age 15 and Osburn is longing to beat him and obtain the rank at age 14. He said it’s rare for scouts to get the distinction so young with many boys earning it around age 17.

“The main reason I want to get it quick is to get it before my brother did when he was 15,” Osburn said. “We always have little rivalry things like that.”

Osburn is confident he will get there in time.

“I think I can, I just got to keep working at it,” Osburn said.