At the recent Region Committee Meeting before the annual Double Vigil Golf Tournament the committee unanimously passed a resolution creating the Western Region Order of the Arrow Leadership Fund.

The resolution reads, “The Region Leadership Fund Chairman shall run auctions that are supported, promoted, and publicized by this committee and its sections with a goal of raising $15,000 the first year…”

Annually, each of the four BSA regions holds an OA leadership weekend (often called an SOS or Section Officer Seminar). It serves as training for the region’s section OA leaders. Youth and adult leadership are developed at these events where targeted training occurs, best practices are shared, and overall program is enhanced.
The practice began in the Western Region where we call it the “Western Region Gathering”. Each year, each section in the Western Region sends their section chief and section adviser to the Gathering. Word of this “best practice” spread and each of the three other BSA regions began doing these conferences too. And they improved on them. Instead of just inviting the section chief and his adviser, they invited all three of each section’s youth officers and also the section’s associate advisers. Other regions have found having all of these leaders at their conference critical to the success of their program. However, inviting all of the youth officers on a regular basis has not been possible in the Western Region. Most of the sections cannot afford the travel costs because of the greater distances out West. The Western Region is so large that most sections have to fly to each year’s Gathering. As an example, Western Region Area 2 alone is larger than the entire Northeast region. And many of the sections in the West are small in population. A section like W-2N (primarily Wyoming and Montana) only has 100 Arrowmen at their section conclave and cannot raise sufficient funds for three youth officers to go to the Gathering with a surcharge at that event.

The primary fundraiser will be Scout memorabilia auctions that will be run on eBay. Now the youth leaders in the region need your support and help to get this done. There’re two different, simple ways that you can help.
First, and foremost, you can help solicit quality memorabilia for auction. We all know people to reach out to. Some will be collectors. Others will be Arrowmen that have boxes of stuff lying around that will be glad to assist – but we need to ask. With the decades of Scouting we all have, we each know lots of people to contact. The memorabilia does not have to be region specific or even OA related. It can be anything Scouting related, not just patches.
The second way that you can help is to give straight cash donations to the leadership fund. Anything helps, we ask for a minimum value of around $15 though.

Once the auctions are listed on eBay and ready to go there will be announcements made on the regions various social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

For more information about the fund and how to donate contact the Leadership Fund chairman Bill Topkis topkis@nullsisna.com