On Friday, September 15th, 530 Arrowmen from all around Area 4 gathered at the Irvine Outdoor Education Center in Irvine, California for a weekend filled with fun and fellowship – an event that took two years to plan and hasn’t occured for nearly 27 years.
Planning for the Areaclave began back in 2016, when two Section Chiefs, Matthias Leier and Javier Venegas of W-4N and W-4S started brainstorming a potential Area Conclave. Then in 2017, the planning continued in under the leadership of chiefs, Jorge Salazar and Matthew McMahan, who headed a joint area CoC in the year leading up to the Areaclave. At Areaclave, trainings, patch trading, auctions, sports, museums, shows, and lodge fairs were amongst the many activities offered to the Arrowmen in attendance.
Friday evening of the Areaclave kicked off with fun as lodge chiefs from the nine lodges in Area 4 were called up to have a dance off before cracker barrel. The festivities continued early the next morning beginning with Meet the Man, where National Vice Chief Talon Parker and Western Region Chief Manué Lopez fielded questions from their W4 brothers. Later Saturday morning, training sessions were held by several special guests from both in and out of the Area. Just before lunch, the traditional Lodge Fair took place alongside the Camp Promotions competition. Amongst the lodge’s booths were super-sized Jenga, finger football, branding, and even an official Skippy approval booth (he’s wicked important).
After lunch, lodges met to set a plan for Flight of the RamBird, a relay-style race where lodges competed head-to-head in a series of mini-competitions to achieve dominance (and bragging rights) over the other eight lodges. Flight of the RamBird, however, was only the beginning for sports – the classic Lodge Ball competition was brought back with a new tournament format to bring the best lodges from each Section to play against each other to crown an Area 4 Lodge Ball champion. Malibu maintained its winning streak in Section W-4N and advanced to the final match versus W-4S Puvunga before pulling off the win for Section W-4N. Everyone is looking forward to see if it is possible to de-throne the Area champion going into 2018.
Silent auctions were held during the Lodge Ball competition for both youth and adults. The Outdoor Education Center’s facilities were used to full extent as the pool, zipline, and ranges were opened for all Arrowmen to use.
In the evening Section W-4N elections took place where Jorge Salazar of Tuku’ut was elected Section Chief, Tyler Grey of Malibu was elected Section Vice Chief, and Gavin Cho of Spe-Le-Yai was elected Section Secretary.
After the elections, Polynesian dancers were brought in to perform. During the show, the new section leadership and lodge chiefs were called to the stage to learn some basic Polynesian dance moves. After showing off their skills in front of the massive Areaclave, the show ended as everyone was treated to a ‘lit’ finale with a fire dancer showcasing his best moves. The evening raged on with a successful live auction (which raised over $5,000) and a pow wow where guests were brought to Areaclave to perform their traditional Native American songs as dance competitors and new Ordeal members alike danced and shared in the Order of the Arrow’s Native American roots. Finally, as Saturday began to conclude, Tuku’ut Lodge’s famous carne asada was served for Area 4 to enjoy.
The weekend ended with a respectful Interfaith Worship Service on the Outdoor Stage. The final event was the Closing Show and Awards Ceremony. Here, lodges supported one another as Section Chiefs Jorge Salazar of W-4N and Matthew McMahan of W-4S presented awards and thanks to that year’s Council of Chiefs members. Closing the show as Manué Lopez inducted the Section leadership into their new offices. The weekend was one for the ages, as lifelong memories and friendships were created and remembered.