Dear Ordeal Member,
Wóchaηtewašte! In the words of our Omaha brothers, "Rejoice!" It is good to see that you have stuck with it, and completed your ordeal successfully. Sometimes we can be removed from these experiences, and lose sight of what is important in our lives, but I am glad that I can truthfully feel gladness in my heart for each and every new Ordeal Member of our Lodge.
Yes, this letter is typed, and yes it would be more meaningful if I were to write to you with pen and paper, but let's face it; there's absolutely no way i could do that and perform as Lodge Chief, not to mention the amount of homework I wouldn't be able to do! As this is the case, I have typed this letter to you. I do not know your name any more than I know the names of each of the other 200 people who were admitted into the Order this year in our Lodge, but I hope that this does not remain so. I hope that someday I might work with each of you individually on something, be it your Brotherhood test, your Vigil, or something completely unrelated to Scouting. This is a lofty goal, I know, and I also know that it will never be realized, but I am glad that I can still dream.
The reason I wrote this letter to you, is that I know just how difficult it can be to remain interested in Scouting and the Order of the Arrow at times. we get busy with all of our day-to-day responsibilities, and forget that we are each members of something great! Yes, great. The Order of the Arrow, though you may not know it yet, it something which can never be replaced. In how many organizations can you walk up to someone, and begin a conversation about an old medicine Man who bid you strictly keep a pledge of silence, and be interrupted by a comment about a friendly Guide who asked you to help him find the Arrow? This may sound cheap, and maybe it is, but it is great that we all have one thing in common! We have all taken the same oath in front of Alowat Sakima, with the help of Nutiket and Kitchkinet, under the watchful eye of Meteu. Those experiences, and the bond they create, are truly special if we allow them to grow in our hearts and consciences.
I, as Lodge Chief, urgently implore you; please remain active in your Units, your Chapters, and this Lodge. I cannot adequately express my sorrow when I think of all those who do not embrace the Order for what it can do. Through the Order of the Arrow, one can learn many things about leadership and service that one cannot find anywhere else! I, myself, have been exposed to some of the most influential people I have ever met. None of whom I would have met if it had not been for OA.
Please keep this thought in your mind, as you continue your passage through life. If you cannot remain active at present, please make an effort to return when the time is ripe! You will never regret your time in the Order of the Arrow if you put your heart and soul into serving others through this organization; I certainly don't! I can't even begin to think of how different I would be if I hadn't been admitted into this brotherhood. I hope to see you soon, and to search for the Arrow by your side!
Yours in Service,
Michael Katalenich, Kit-Ke-Hak-O-Kut Lodge Chief