Chiefly Speaking: Reflecting on 2020


2020 has been challenging, to say the least. As I write this article, I find myself looking back on the countless creative ideas I’ve seen this year. We as an organization adapted to COVID-19 to bring Scouting virtual.  From lodge game nights to intense virtual trainings, Section W-1S has seen it all when it comes to online events. It amazes me how Scouts and Scouters every day come up with innovative and better ideas on how to work around COVID-19. 

On the section side, we put on our first ever virtual conclave, improved  our websites, hosted a Section Campfire Chat (more to come!), as well as improving the section communications and certain section committees. The officers and I have high hopes for this next year, and our goals as a section will be finalized and published after the January COC meeting.

Personally, I have a goal of my own. I want to see our activation rate section-wide increase. Activating those new Arrowmen is a key step, as it gets them coming back and bringing new friends to lodge events. To reverse the membership decline, activation is the first step to a solid foundation. So next time you log onto a Zoom meeting or drive to a chapter activity, invite an OA friend or two. 

I urge you all to put the next foot forward. Join the chapter Zoom meetings. Go to other lodge’s virtual events. Build upon the foundation of the future of this organization. Creating momentum and moving forward is the most important piece of next year. It is our opportunity to expand upon the ideas of 2020, improving our lodges and chapters. The steps we’ve taken this year can be broadened exponentially, leaving room for steady growth and improvement. Take this chance to get involved with Scouting; I ensure you’ll find something that interests you. 

Stay Safe, and I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for us. 

Happy New Year W-1S! 

Dirk Smelser
Section W-1S Chief