Wagion Lodge #6

A Chief’s Farewell

So, Wagion. It’s been a good time being an officer for you. I figured the only way I’d really like to go out this year would be with a final post on our lodge website. I have learned too much from this lodge. I really wish I could teach everything I learned just from weekend to weekend in the lodge. The most important thing I learned was that the best thing you can do is be able to think on your toes. I really believe that’s what got Wagion so far.

You guys are all able to step up and help your lodge through tough times because you’re all creative and know how to solve problems. I also believe that we’re very realistic about things. That’s important. Pie in the sky ideas only get you so far, but at Wagion, we truck through and get all of our goals accomplished as kids, and that’s what’s important.

One of my biggest things I really want to say in this message is that you’re only as far away from your goals as you think you are. And you don’t usually need help getting there. At this past election, we probably had a lot of officers get elected in by you guys who might have felt unsure if they’d make it in. But the lodge knows you, and they know the things you’ve done. They will chose you because they do need you. And the only thing that’s stopping you is you to realize that it’s your lodge and your ideas that move everything forward. Waiting around never helped very much.

Here’s a brief history of my OA experience and how I got to chief, it may be boring, so then just skip over it.

In September of 2009, I found an OA membership card at my house my mom had to deliver to someone. Sam Bach, an Eagle from my troop, was a Vigil member. Vigil members…they gave you chills when you were a new brotherhood. What did it mean? How did you get it? Soon enough I found out that Sam was a treasurer. A treasurer, huh? Numbers and math. I liked math. So I decided to run for treasurer.

Easy enough, October weekend comes around, I run for treasurer with no prior LEC experience. Devin ran against me and pounded me. All of a sudden I realized that I needed to be a chairman first. Beside, Devin was a better treasurer than I could’ve been anyways.

Now in December of 2009, I went to a Senior Patrol Leader Roundtable meeting. We talked about boring stuff like Campaganza. Not a lot of people showed up. But it was something to do, and that was that. Afterwards, I ran into Kyle Bryan. I talked about how I wanted to get involved in the lodge. He referred me to come to the LLDC in January to find out about what a chairman does and see which chairman position would be right for me. I later gave Kyle my Eagle mentor pin for doing that for me. During that LLDC, Frank Shimko asked me if I’d like to be activities chairman. I felt so important. I felt like I had a job, and it was really special. So, of course, I accepted. I went home and immediately began working on ideas for the February Banquet. It was a success. At Mr. Colebank’s school, we all had a blast and I really just felt in my niche. I didn’t need to move on, just make activities for lodge members.

I kept it up and around June, I started working towards ideas for Midnight Madness. In my head, it was amazing. A huge success where kids would be everywhere, playing everything and having a blast. Friday night there,  I saw that dream come true. I was really in my zone, though, and I didn’t get to enjoy it. But it was something else to have the entire lake area filled with stuff for the kids to do. But Saturday, it started to rain. I had to frantically run around camp (alone, mind you) finding stuff to cover up the important stuff from the rain. Not being an officer yet, and the officers being asleep, I didn’t have a cabin to bring the stuff to, so I just went to the cafeteria and whined to Kyle Bryan about my catastrophe. At that moment, it dawned on me that for every task you do, you’ll get your payment one way or another. Later that October, I was voted in PVC. It felt great.

PVC was a beautiful position. I still got to have all my fun, but now I was an officer. Jake and I worked together well to make great activities happen. Running the banquet was incredible fun. It was all just too much fun to even recount. Playing Nazi Zombies on a giant screen in a high school auditorium was just one of the bunches of stuff that we did just because we could at events. I never was one to plan big things because it’s hard to break the news that something doesn’t work out to people, but they’re a lot happier if you announce that something they wanted to happen is going to happen at your event.

Oh, but Conclave came, and when I realized I was going to be chief for the 90th anniversary, it all just felt right. It felt like it had all come together. Whether I had been voted in or not, I knew people liked to see me as their chief at least a little bit. August weekend was amazing. There I bought a neckerchief off of Drew, and I proudly shelled out cash for my conclave, chairman, officer, and chief feathers. It felt good. It was beautiful. How did I get here again? But before I knew it, I was home. Senior year was starting.

Here I find out that Senior Homecoming was on the Saturday of the October weekend. Death. Despair. Agony. My girlfriend wanted to kill me. But it wasn’t a question.  I knew where I was going. The lodge weekend. Sorry! Now running for chief, I didn’t really know what to say. I knew what to do, but speeches are tough for me because I personally enjoy reserved speeches because if someone cares enough to know what I do, they’ll find out, and I don’t like telling them. But I write my simple speech about an occurrence in my life where I had remembered cheerful service.

I can say the number one reason why I lost chief right here, because it’s over and the results are in, and my friend is taking over the reigns in exactly 3 days, 1 hour and 11 minutes from when wrote this.

End cue mark’s history.

Robbie is into this lodge stuff. If you don’t believe me, steal his computer for an afternoon to go print out the schedule for the lodge weekend. He lives and breathes this stuff. This is the moment he’s dreamed of for his entire lodge career. Next to Robbie, I didn’t deserve Chief.

Moreover, I’m glad he got it. He’s very open to ideas, and he’s ready to put his own into action big time. He’s a different kind of officer, not a throw in, but a planner. He’s ready to go. And I’m glad we voted him in.

Being an officer really is only as far away as you make it. You are the only thing stopping yourself if you really care.

So, now, my last thoughts as chief:

I hope training goes well this year. So far we had a very productive Officers’ training.

I hope activities rock hard this year. I always have to shout-out my home committee.

Lastly, here’s to you Robbie, and the Officers. It’s your time to shine, and I know you’re all polishing up for the LLDC and the banquet, and frankly I’m excited. I know it’s going to be another great year. And I hope you guys all enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks to everyone who helped get me to where you got me. And if anyone ever needs advice on how to get involved in the lodge, become a chairman, become an officer, or just about anything, I’m always open because nothing has ever made me feel better than chatting with Wesley or Caleb about how to accomplish their goals in the lodge.

It’s kind of bittersweet to write this next part for the last time, but it feels good to pass it on to the next generation of chiefs.

Yours in Wimachtendienk,

Mark Steiner

2011 Wagion Lodge Chief