American Indian Affairs


Ceremonies are an important part of the activities of the Order of the Arrow. They are designed to be rich and vibrant experiences that communicate the essence of the Order to the candidates in a unique way. To achieve this effect, it is essential that team members know their parts so that they actually create the character they are portraying. The efforts of all Arrowmen involved in putting on the ceremonies must be well-coordinated, and training, rehearsing, and other preparation done well in advance are essential.

We have many ceremonial events throughout the lodge year. One of the hallmark events for many family, friends, and members is our weekly summer camp call-out ceremonies. These feature our traditional opening, a Native American dance pageant, the call-out ceremony, and our traditional closing. Other ceremonies include the pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil honor induction ceremonies.

The ceremonies of the Order bind us all together through common experience and are an important part of Wahissa Lodge. Each chapter can form ceremony teams to serve the their chapter and the lodge. In addition, they can even compete with other groups from within the lodge, section, and beyond. For more information contact the Ceremonies Chairman.


In Wahissa Lodge we take pride in our dancing program and always make a good show at competitions. In the past we have had countless Conclave champions and even a few national champions, including current Vice Chief of Publications Hunter Day. He was the 2009 straight dance champion and also a leader of the 2012 national champion drum team. Dancing is always a key part in the weekly summer camp call-out ceremonies at Camp Raven Knob.

In the Order of the Arrow, we put a lot of focus on Indian Affairs and we strive to make it as authentic as we can. In 2011, Wahissa took a contingent to the National Powwow in Oklahoma where they learned about native culture and were taught new methods. These experiences and information makes our program even better as we pass them down to newer dancers.


As some of our youth dancers age out, there is always a need for new dancers to keep our tradition going. There is a variety of styles that you can participate in – you never know what style you will like until you try it. Whether you’re interested in grass, fancy, traditional, or even chicken, we have the resources in our lodge to get you started.


Wahissa Lodge seeks to learn and honor the history of Native American tribes through its drumming and singing program. Our lodge focuses on the southern powwow style originating from tribes of the southern Great Plains. Lodge members have studied drumming and singing directly from members of the Ponca and Kiowa tribal nations in Oklahoma. We have a long history of profound drumming and singing teams – those that have competed at the section and national levels.

Our most recent accomplishment was at the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference at Michigan State University. The Wahissa Lodge southern drumming and singing team soared to victory. The win marked the seventh national drum title for Wahissa Lodge 118.

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If you would like to begin your journey learning and honoring the Native American history, we welcome you. Our team can get you resources to begin learning the various songs. Contact us today or feel free to ask where every you hear the drum playing!

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