2020 Conclave Recap Article

In March, section leadership had to make the difficult decision to cancel the in-person Section W-1S Conclave scheduled for September 11-13 and Hoodoo Ski Area as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to still provide a fun and engaging experience for Arrowmen, the section officers decided to hold the first ever virtual conclave on Saturday, September 12th. 

The virtual event had many of the same components of a traditional in-person conclave just on a virtual platform. To help support the event, the section created a special conclave-specific website to access all the activities for the event.

Conclave officially kicked off on Saturday morning with the opening show live streamed on the Section W-1S YouTube channel and conclave website. The show consisted of a welcome message, several videos related to the conclave theme, “The Roaring ‘20s,” and a message from Chief James Verheyden. 

After the opening show, the morning consisted of training classes, some held live over Zoom and others pre-recorded for the event. Training topics this year included OA Lodgemaster, geology, wilderness first aid, Rubik’s cubes, backpacking, video editing, and more. 

The afternoon was open for participants to check out the variety of activities and information available on the conclave website including OA high adventure, section history, Native American cultural information. There was even special event patches available for purchase in the online trading post and a silent auction where over $2,000 was raised to support the section. 

The highlight of the event was the conclave-wide game, “Pick Up the Slack.” Registered participants were invited to participate in the game which used a platform called Slack to share Scouting experiences and complete tasks to earn points and win prizes. The game launched on Monday, September 7th and over the week, nearly 150 people participated, contributing 1,188 messages and 273 files. The section would like to thank Slack for providing us a standard plan of the platform at no charge. 

At 4:00 pm, the youth members of the section, gathered via Zoom to elect new section officers for the year. Section Vice Chief Dirk Smelser of Lo La’Qam Geela Lodge was elected to serve as chief and Kaitlyn Crowley or Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge was elected as section vice chief. Ryo Takei of Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge was elected to serve a second term as section secretary. Congratulations to all our new officers!

Conclave came to an end with the closing show, also live streamed. The show consisted of a day in review, live activities awards presentation, the closing show, “The Trek,” and other presentations. Youth Arrowman Ethan Jones of Tsisqan Lodge and adult Arrowman Nick Krane of Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge were recognized as the recipients of the Arrow of Honor, an award presented to Arrowmen for exceptional service to Section W-1S. 

2020 has been an unprecedented and challenging year. Despite all the negatives, this year’s officers worked hard to ensure that the 2020 Section W-1S Conclave wouldn’t just be another casualty to COVID-19. 379 people registered for the event and hundreds more tuned in as viewers. More than 800 people visited the conclave website with over 2,000 individual visits and over 14,000 pageviews. It is safe to say that our first ever virtual conclave was a huge success. 

Thank you to chief James Verheyden, vice chief Dirk Smelser, secretary Ryo Takei, the section communications team, and all the conclave committees that made this event a success. 

Save the date and make plans to join us for the 2021 Section W-1S Conclave hosted by Tsisqan Lodge on September 10-12 at Hoodoo Ski Area. 

If you missed conclave, or just want to experience part of it again, check out some of the videos below. 

Opening Show Live Stream (recorded)

Closing Show Live Stream (recorded)

Day in Review 

More videos, including training sessions and interviews are available on our YouTube channel.