I, too, have kept the Vigil
I don't have time to do a lot with the Order of the Arrow any more, yet time was when it was most precious to me. As almost the only older youth left in my small Troop, it would have been easy to drop out of Scouting, lose interest entirely. The OA introduced me to new friends across the Council, kept me involved in Scouting -- even sending me back to my Troop, determined to help the younger boys! As a college freshman, I spent most of my weekends returning home to do Scouting activities -- much of it Arrowman stuff, including being on the Lodge Indian Dance Team, the Heyokas. This is perhaps why fraternities never had much attraction for me: the Order was my Brotherhood.
I hold many honors in Scouting, some of them due only to my longevity in the program, perhaps. But my Vigil Honor membership in the Order remains something of which I am extremely proud. And those who gave me my Vigil name in the Lenape language -- Geschitehen,
meaning "Determined One" -- had an insight into my character even at age 18 that amazes me.
So, it is with great expectation that I am going to camp this weekend. I haven't attended a Fall Fellowship in our lodge for many years, but this one is special. T.J., one of our Venturers from Crew 119, an Eagle Scout of Troop 119, is keeping the Vigil. I want to be there for him. I believe in T.J., just like those wise old Scouters back when believed in me.
It seems hard to believe that it's been so long. I kept the Vigil before T.J.'s mother was even born! But somehow, I feel ever young when I'm in the woods, the fire is lit, and Allowat Sakima opens the ceremony. The signs are given, the circle is formed, and I join my younger self and all my old mates in greeting our new brothers.