Meet the Central Region Chief
By Kevin Clipper
It was a simple beginning for an ordinary Scout from Illinois. A pudding cup. A simple cracker barrel snack and evening desert. It was the pudding cup that greeted a young and newly inducted Will Coots after a long day at his first national Order of the Arrow event. Being new to the Order, he knew none of the other members and took a seat at one of the tables. As he ate, he was approached by someone whom he recognized as the national chief of the OA. Out of all the other Arrowmen and officers in the room, he chose to leave them all behind to sit and chat with Will for what he believed would only be a few moments, but turned into the rest of the evening. They talked about life, Scouting, OA, and their plans for the future. It astonished him how a national officer, glowing in all his divine splendor, would take the time to hang out with some random new Arrowman.
Despite how much he enjoyed the chat, he couldn’t help but wonder why it happened at all. Will believed his encounters with him had come to an end, but he was wrong. The national chief sought him out the next evening with another pudding cup to speak with him again. The question still plagued him. Why out of everyone else had he picked him, an irrelevant Arrowman, to speak with? It has been a question on his mind as he continued down his path in the OA and the answer is what has inspired and driven him to serve as a region chief. Will realized the greatest gift he could ever give to the Order of the Arrow would be to give back to the membership, all membership, whether they are an experienced lodge chief or the most recently inducted Ordeal member.
“It’s about inspiring membership, especially our new members to continue their involvement and give back to Scouting and OA,” Will said. He continued to explain how “some are in it for themselves to satisfy their ambitions or ego, but I like to think most of us are here because they care about the Order and its membership no matter how new they are.” Will’s desire to give back to the OA is what inspired his Vigil name: Mawat Achowalogen – One Hard Worker.
“The one thing I want Arrowmen to leave NOAC with is enthusiasm,” he said. Will recounted how in 2012 he wasn’t very involved with his lodge and participated mainly only with his chapter. While at NOAC that year he was invited to the Very Important Arrowmen luncheon where he was taken in by members of his lodge, which hadn’t happened much before. NOAC 2012 fueled his fire for the OA, driving him to get more involved with his lodge. He started as a treasurer and went on from there.
Coot’s firmly believes the best outcomes often start with a simple beginning, even as simple as a pudding cup.