Section Vice-Chief

Dirk Smelser

Section Vice Chief

Lo La'Qam Geela Lodge

Dirk is a brotherhood member in Lo La’Qam Geela, hailing from Northern California, Eureka. He attends Eureka Senior High School, planning to continue education, pursuing business administration after high school. 

Previously, Dirk has served as My Chapter Rocks CVC, Lodge Chief, and Vice Chief of Activities. He has also staffed two years at Camp Makualla and two years of NYLT Staff. Dirk is a Lodge Arrow of Honor and Recognition of Cheerful Service recipient. 

What is your favorite scouting memory?
Doing an OA Trail Crew Trek. Those two weeks change any person for the better.

What are your biggest goals in your position for 2019?
To support the Lodge’s officers and encourage communication between the three Lodges.

Who is someone you look up to in Life? 
James Alexander. He’s supported me throughout my scouting career and pushed me to places I never thought I could get to. 

Section Chief

James Verheyden

Section Chief

Lo La'Qam Geela Lodge

James is an Eagle Scout and Brotherhood member of Lo La’Qam Geela Lodge from Bend, Oregon. He is currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.


Previously, James has served as Section Vice Chief, Training CVC, Host Lodge CVC, Lodge Chief, VC of Administration, and Chapter Chief. James is also a Founder’s Award recipient.


In his free time, James enjoys hiking and studying geology, which he is minoring in.


What is your favorite Scouting memory?

Serving as a Trek Guide with Operation Arrow at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree


What are your biggest goals in your position for 2019?

I want to improve the unit election process and foster more collaboration between our lodges


If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Exploring the wild continent of Antarctica


Auction Donations Needed

We are still in need of donations for the section auction at conclave. The section auction supports year-round section program and operations and helps deliver the best possible experience to Arrowmen.  Consider donating today. Contact auction adviser Todd Hatfield at with any questions. 

Here is a message from the 2019 Auction Committee.

“Guardians and Patrons of Section W-1S,

Thank you for your past contributions to Section W-1S through the section auction. We continue to support the youth of our program through your generous contributions and donations.  We again need your help for 2019; we have a great Conclave coming up at Camp Meriwether on Sept 6-8. We are hoping you will make it and see the benefit of your donation to the section. Our auction this year will be a challenge with 2 different locations; however,fFun will still be had.

As you know, we cannot raise the funds necessary to continue our long tradition of investing in our youth Arrowmen without your help. So we are again asking if you will be able to contribute through donation or contribution to the section auction as you have in past years. If you are able to contribute at the Patron or Guardian levels, please let me know so we can also provide you the VIP seating and recognition you deserve. If you have other organizations or individuals that might be interested in making a contribution or donation, please let us know so we can also reach to them and help our section have a great event and auction.

Thank you again for your support of Section W-1S!”

Thrive: A National Webinar

On Saturday, October 19, 2019, the Order of the Arrow will host its first ever national webinar entitled, “Thrive: A National Webinar, a Local Commitment.” 

The webinar will address the redefined role of the section, deliver new concepts focusing on key performance indicators, lay out a 3 year plan for lodges to reach the status of “high performing,” and issue and organization wide call-to-action. 

It is will require every single national, regional, section, lodge, and chapter leader on board to correct the course of our organization. If we fail to intervene, the Order of the Arrow will cease to exist. We can choose to live in a future where the Order of the Arrow is THRIVING. 

Talk with your lodge leadership about how to view the national webinar. 

More information about the Thrive webinar is available at


Conclave Staff Needed

Conclave is just around the corner and preparations are underway for over 450 Arrowmen from around the section to gather for a weekend of fun and fellowship at Camp Meriwether on September 6-8. Events like these take a lot of manpower to pull off. 

We are still in need of volunteers to help staff different areas of conclave. Areas in need of help are listed below. If you are able to help out, please contact individual committee directly. 

Youth and adults are needed to help set-up and run the afternoon activities. Fill out the activities volunteer sign up form HERE or contact

Youth and adults are needed to help staff the section auction throughout the event. The auction is a very important part of conclave; allowing the section to run a top-notch program throughout the year. It is one of the busiest jobs during the conclave. Auction staff gets to play with all the cool Scouting memorabilia, set the starting prices of items, and help raise money for the section. Contact

The Comms Team is looking for some youth or adults that are interested in photography or videography to help capture conclave memories. Contact

The merchandising committee is looking for one adult and one youth to assist in the trading post during the event. Contact

Trainers are still needed to teach classes during conclave. If you are knowledgable in a subject and interested in sharing your experience, apply to be a conclave trainer today! Contact

How to Earn the Section Comms Team Patch

Created in 2018, the Section W-1S Communications Team patch is given to those Arrowmen who support and contribute to section communications. Due to the high demand for this patch, the Comms Team created a list of criteria to earn the patch.

Anyone who completes the criteria can earn the patch. There are some instances where the Section Secretary will release a patch for a special giveaway or fundraiser auction. 

Arrow of Honor Nominations

Each year, Section W-1S awards the Arrow of Honor to those who have consistently given outstanding service to the Section over a number of years. The meeting to select the year’s recipients is held annually at the August COC Meeting. Nominations for the Arrow of Honor are due no later than August 17, 2019 at 3:00pm. The form should be sent electronically to Vince Bishop at before the meeting if possible; however, paper copies will be accepted at the meeting if final signatures need to be collected onsite.

Running for Section Office

Are you considering running for section office at conclave? There are some requirements you need to meet in order to do so. 

Any youth Arrowman who is registered in good standing with a lodge in Section W-1S is eligible to run for section office provided that they will be under the age of 21 for the entire term of office. Youth intending to run for section office should secure written approval of their candidacy from their council Scout Executive or their designee. This approval can be sent to Section Adviser Vince Bishop at

Click the button below for the full process to run for section office. 

National Vice Chief to Attend Conclave

National Vice Chief — Eric Harrison

Eric is a Vigil Honor member from Taylorville, Illinois. After serving as the Illinek lodge chief for two terms, Eric served as section vice chief and section chief for Section C-3B. He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, as well as the Founder’s Award and James E. West Award. Eric intends to major in marketing at the University of Illinois - Champaign. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and spending time with friends and family.

We are excited for Eric to join us in the Pacific Northwest for our 2019 Conclave at Camp Meriwether on September 6-8. 

Summer Photo Contest

Share your spring and summer photos with us on social media for a chance to win some cool prizes!

How to Enter

  • Post your photo(s) on Facebook or Instagram and tag the section @sectionw1s in your photos or post OR include #SectionW1S in the post.
  • Your photos must be entered by August 5th.

Contest Rules

  • Photos must be taken by the person submitting them
  • Photos are encouraged to be Scouting or nature related
  • It is encouraged that photos be taken from within the boundaries of Section W-1S, though not required.


  • Each week, we will select a few of our favorite photos and feature them on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Followers will be encouraged to react (i.e. like) or comment on the photo(s) that they like the best.
  • The photos with the most reactions each week will move onto the semi-finals.
  • The semi-finalists will be posted on our Facebook and Instagram during August 7-11.
  • The semi-finalists with the most reactions will move onto the finals.
  • Finals will take place August 12-15.
  • The winning photo will be announced by August 18th.


  • The winning photo will be featured on our website and the winner will receive a $5 gift certificate to the section trading post.

*Gift certificate will be valid for the trading post at the 2019 Section W-1S Conclave only. Only valid on Section W-1S merchandise.

This contest is sponsored by the Section W-1S Communications Team. Questions? Contact

Seattle NLS & DYLC Recap

On the weekend of April 26-28, 2019, Arrowmen from around the nation (yes, the nation!) gathered at Camp Pigott in Snohomish, Washington (in Section W-1N) for a weekend full of amazing food, great fellowship, and important lessons in leadership. 

Attendees of the National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and the Developing Youth Leaders Conference (DYLC) kicked off the weekend of leadership training on Friday, followed by a delicious crackerbarrel.

Saturday morning started off bright and early as Arrowmen ate breakfast and headed off to a day packed full of training on important leadership skills. By Saturday night, NLS participants were ready to use their new skills to attempt to summit Mount Everest; two groups summited, but everybody had a fun time and learned from mistakes.

Sunday morning, both courses concluded their training, followed by a recognition ceremony and banquet.

As Arrowmen departed Sunday afternoon, they pondered the many ways their newly learned skills could be used to strengthen the Order. If you weren’t able to attend NLS or DYLC, make sure you attend the next one that is near! Talk to your lodge advisers if you have anything stopping you; both courses are an amazing experience that you will not want to miss!