Eagles “Flying” Far and Wide
Meet Arrowmen from Black Eagle Lodge 482 of the Transatlantic Council. They represent 200 units with 6,000 Scouts from 62 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The majority of their units are spread throughout European military bases, U.S. embassies, and U.S. companies in Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and Italy. Their most distant Scout is a Lone Scout in South Africa and their most distant troop is from Abu Dhabi, UAE.
90% of the members of the Transatlantic Council are connected to U.S. military families. Military families are required to move often on assignments which last anywhere from one to three years. They learn to make new friends quickly. A transient life puts a different perspective on normal and Scouting provides a comfort level and familiarity they depend on.
Michael P. is an Eagle Scout from Kaiserslautern, Germany. “Being a military kid is like being a Scout, you arrive set up, camp, then move on,” said Micahel. His mom is a school nurse for the DODEA and dad serves in the U.S. Army. Michael started his Scouting in South Korea, was inducted in Gila Lodge (TX), completed his Brotherhood with Wipala Wiki Lodge (AZ), and is currently a Vigil candidate in Germany.
“Boy Scouts is the only constant factor in my life,” shared Bannon M., an Eagle Scout. He joined as a Bear Cub Scout and was inducted into Occoneechee Lodge (NC), he sealed his membership with Lowanne Nimat Lodge (NY), and kept his Vigil in Amangamek Wipit Lodge (DC). His parents are attached to the NATO forces in Italy, where he currently resides and will start college next year.
Skylor M. is an Ordeal member and a Life Scout. Skylor joined Scouting in Texas as a Tiger Cub and earned his Arrow of Light in Florida before he crossed over, but the majority of his Scouting experiences have been in Germany. Skylor helped clean the 4,399 headstone crosses at the Florence American Military Cemetery in Italy as an Ordeal candidate. Shawn is a brotherhood member and has been involved in Scouting in Washington, D.C., Colorado, England, Italy, and Germany.
Tom Backner, their Lodge Adviser, served for 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, the last 4 with NATO, and has served in eight different councils. His wife was a volunteer with the Boy Scouts in Okinawa when they met. “She was looking for someone with the same values that would be a role model for her two sons,” Tom stated proudly. He staffed NYLT and earned his woodbadge at Gilwell Field in England.
Being part of Black Eagle Lodge and the Transatlantic Council has given these delegates some worldly experiences. Keep in mind they may have to travel to another country or continent before you protest driving across a state border or the few hours to get to a service weekend.
No matter where their families assignment may take them, whether home or abroad, these Arrowmen can count on their Brothers and fellow Scouts to keep them connected and feeling at home. When they return, these brothers are hoping their experiences at NOAC 2018 will help them motivate other Black Eagle Lodge members to make the trip in 2020.
If you, your family, or someone you know in the Order of the Arrow is moving to a different country – and wants to stay involved – visit the Transatlantic Council website, http://tac-bsa.org/programs/oa/.