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Chiefly Speaking

The "Chiefly Speaking" is a place for the Section Chief to state whatever he feels, be it an update, motivational quote, or reflection on his experiences.  

March, 2015 (Section Chief Gerald Fraas)


     Unless you’ve previously held an office, it’s often impossible to know exactly what you’re signing yourself up for.  Being elected your Section Chief was a complete honor and one I’m immensely grateful for, but I’ll admit that, when I was being installed on Sunday morning of the 2014 Section Conclave, the first thought in my mind was “What have I just gotten myself into?”  Those gold epaulets, although made of the same fabric as the silver epaulets I wore previously, felt heavier on my shoulders, symbolizing the sudden expansion of my responsibilities.  Now it’s March, six months later, and I can’t say that this metaphorical burden has become lighter since that day in September, but only that I’ve become stronger from the encouragement and advice I’ve received from individuals who are optimistic about the future of our organization.  

     In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (A German Lutheran pastor and staunch Anti-Nazi dissident): “The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.”

     With that said, it’s been a busy past few months and I expect that the next few months will be even busier as we get further into planning our section conclave.  I’m incredibly excited to welcome you to Lewis and Clark Scout Camp for the 2015 Section C-1A Conclave.  It’s at this camp that I’ve earned merit badges, made lifelong friends, and truly come to understand the merits of the scouting program.  Although you’ll only be here for a few days, I’m sure you’ll appreciate everything this camp and Section Conclave has to offer, be it the gorgeous view of the Missouri River, quality trainings, or the fun activities we have planned for you. 

     Until the opening day, your Council of Chiefs will be working hard to make sure that our Centennial Conclave will be our best yet.  On that point, I ask that you save the date, September 11th-13th, to attend the 2015 Section C-1A Conclave at Lewis and Clark Scout Camp in Tabor, South Dakota, you won’t regret it. 

     To end this letter, six months into my term, no less stressed but certainly more confident, I’d ask that you, as an Arrowman, continue to live by example in all that you do.  Please, bear in mind the criteria that made you a worthy candidate to join the Order of the Arrow. 

Who is a friend to all? Who is pleasant and easy to get along with? 

Who is cheerful, even when he has many tiresome jobs to do? 

Who has served your unit all year round, faithfully attending meetings and helping with service projects? 

Will he continue his service in the future?

It’s been a great year so far.  Thank you for all of the opportunities, ideas, and inspiration you all have given me.  It's been a honor to represent you and give back to a group that has given me so much. 

Yours in Service, 

Gerald Fraas

2015 Section C-1A Chief

May, 2014 (Section Chief Ben Johnston)

My Brothers,

Herb Brooks once said that you should “Write your own book instead of reading someone else’s book about success.” Each day when you wake up, you have a new page in your book about success. Are you going to write something down, or leave it blank?  Are you going to create a memory that will last forever, or one that you will forget about tomorrow? Each day is yours, and you can make it whatever you want. Strive to achieve what you want to achieve, and aim to make each day even more memorable than the others.

When I got elected your Section Chief for 2013-2014, I’ll admit I was a little nervous.  I suddenly now represented more than 5,000 Arrowmen in our great section.  I was suddenly tasked with making decisions that will affect our section, our region, and even the national program.  And I knew it was a task I could not take lightly.  So I sat down and planned out what my year was going to look like.  I planned out what I wanted to get done and I figured out ways to make those things happen.

I sit here now, reflecting on my term.  It’s over halfway done. In approximately 5 months, I will be standing in front of many of you at our Section Conclave.  I will be recounting the great successes I had, the many places I got to travel, and the countless people I got to meet.  To those of you that helped host an event I attended, I thank you so much.  Each event certainly had its own memories, and they are some I will not soon forget.  To those of you whom I have not met, I urge you to come to Section Conclave.  I would love a chance to meet you and talk with you.  

So as the next few weeks and months go on, think about something you want to accomplish each day.  What do you want to be your “success” for the day?  What memory do you want to have?  Write your own book of success.  For me, each day until Section Conclave my book will be filled with “successes” from our section.  And after Section Conclave, regardless of what happens, I will still strive to fill my book of successes with things that will benefit you all.  So remember, “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”  Take that opportunity, and turn it into an unforgettable moment.


Ben Johnston

Section C-1A Chief