Gone Home - George Edward McDonald
Posted:  July 6, 2020

George Edward McDonald

July 13, 1947 – June 28, 2020

George Edward McDonald was born on the 13th of July, 1947, and lost a courageous battle with cancer on the 28th of June, 2020. George was the eleventh of thirteen children born to James Arthur McDonald and Agnes Mae Snyder McDonald in Gainesville, Florida. 

Our dad has gone to join his parents, six sisters (Frances, Teressa, Dorothy, Barbara, DeDe, Harriet) and infant son Samuel Conrad in the home of glory. Surviving him are wife Sue, sons Ben (Melissa), and Perry Davis (Megan), daughters Callie (Ryan), Jenna and Sarah (Matt), grandchildren, Colin, Peyton, Andrew, Chayton, Lucas, Hudson, Jacob and soon to be born baby Hattie. He leaves his sisters Jimmie Mae and Arvie Jean, brothers Ray, Richard, Dave and Billy, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.   

So many happy adventures in his lifetime were a result of growing up in a family with thirteen children, and our dad could put a smile on anyone’s face. It was always fun, whether he was goofing around with us, performing magic tricks, tickling his grandkids, or telling jokes to friends. He was an old school Navy electrician who could fix anything with an oscilloscope and some duct tape and was a master scrounger who always seemed to find just the right deal for the esoteric thing he needed for the next new project he was cooking in the garage. Dad taught us to look up at the night sky and appreciate the wonderment of the stars. He was our rock.

Dad was never happier than when he was cruising the countryside on his motorcycle. What a smile on that face! He touched the lives of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, teaching skills that would take them through life. When we lived in Florida, he picked up whittlin’ and soon became a lifelong carver, craftsman, and woodworker at a professional level. We marveled at his ability to create whimsical faces on anything; pencils, pumpkins, totem poles, and he even carved a life-size Indian. He spent years trying to strike it rich as a gold prospector, and then one day, he did! He found North Carolina’s largest single piece of gold in over 100 years. He said, “I don’t need to look anymore; I’ve found my best.”

Some of our favorite memories were simply listening to him tell stories as we all crowded around a table with a jigsaw puzzle. He took pleasure and pride in joining our mother with her passion for preserving history at the Mint Hill Historical Society. Dad served on the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees and played an extraordinary role in the development of the Carl J McEwen Historic Village. His larger than life personality had an impact on every person who was lucky to know him. We will always remember him as a loving father who would fill the room with joy and laughter.

A memorial service celebrating George’s life will be held at a later date. 

The family asks that any donations be made to the Mint Hill Historical Society, where George worked and played.

Effective Immediately and subject to change:
Posted:  May 18, 2020


An error occurred in Gmail sending the last email that didn’t include important information so please disregard it. The empty space from the last email didn’t have a paragraph that is below:

Unfortunately due to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus Catawba Lodge has chose to cancel June Ordeal.  This decision was not made without consulting scout leaders, scout executives, & official guidelines.  The decision was also made with information we currently don’t know.  This includes guidance for ordeals from OA National & North Carolina Phase 2 reopening.  This means our next Council event will be September Ordeal (9/11-9/13). Our next region event will be Carolina Order of the Arrow Conference - COAC (8/28-8/30). Thank you all for your patience and understanding with this decision.  

The following have been changed from the April 2nd update:

All Council OA functions and activities other than elections are postponed and suspended until 8/28. We are still waiting to make a determination on September Ordeal.

All Lodge sponsored National and Regional functions and activities are postponed and suspended until 8/28. 

All Lodge expenditures are to be put on hold until 8/28. If your committee needs anything during this time period please email the Key 3 for approval.   

Remote elections have been approved by OA National. Any Ordeal Candidate that has been elected from January 1st - July 1st will have 24 months from the date of election to complete their ordeal.  

All remaining items from the 3/19 update remain intact. Feel free to email if you have any questions or concerns regarding today’s update.  Hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Beau Seate
Catawba Lodge Chief

Posted:  May 1, 2020

NOAC Delegates,

It is with deep sadness we inform you that the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference has been cancelled out of concern for the safety of all attending Arrowmen, as well as the Michigan State University and East Lansing communities.

Many factors were considered in making this difficult decision. We worked closely with both the local health department and Michigan State University, and determined that it was impossible under current and anticipated conditions to hold a safe and exciting NOAC. We also took into account the economic toll COVID-19 has taken on Arrowmen and their families, and came to realize that we may not be able to offer a NOAC experience consistent with our high standards for national conferences. Like you, we are disappointed that we will not be gathering in person this summer, but we are not discouraged and fully believe this is the right decision.

Contingent members and staff will receive a full refund of all conference fees paid to-date to the national Order of the Arrow office, including the non-refundable deposit. These refunds will be issued as credits to your local council. Specific instructions on how to handle these refunds will be available in the next several days. Contingent members should also check with their contingent leaders for information about refunds for funds collected by the lodge beyond the conference fee, including travel.

The spirit of our brotherhood remains true whether we meet in-person or not. We see it every time we witness a virtual lodge meeting, visit an online section conclave, and hear about a virtual unit election. With that in mind, we also will be hosting a virtual event during the first week of August. Top of mind for this virtual event is how Arrowmen and the Order of the Arrow can quickly adapt to society’s new reality while maintaining our core values and purpose. More information about this virtual event will be released in the coming weeks.

We sincerely thank the 2020 National Conference Committee, our lodges’ contingent leadership teams, and our conference host Michigan State University, for all of the incredible work done in preparation for the conference.

NOACs are always an exciting opportunity for our organization, but our programs and mission extend far beyond the reach of a college campus every few years. When we started our terms, we spent some time thinking about how we wanted this year to be remembered. Here is what we said:

"This year will be remembered as more than just a moment. It’s not enough to say that NOAC will be the greatest thing we do this year. Will it be the most amazing conference we’ve ever held? Yes, but NOAC will not define 2020. This year, we are going to move our organization forward. We will personally hold ourselves accountable for ensuring every leader has the tools needed to support lodges, and our team will be there every step of the way. 2020 will be remembered for each day that we take the opportunity to advance our organization. That lasts 366 days, not just six."

We know there are some Arrowmen who still would like to attend a national Order of the Arrow event this summer. To meet this need, we are offering a new event called Momentum that will be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve from August 3-8, 2020. This event will focus on the many programmatic opportunities that exist at the Summit. Momentum will have limited space and we are asking those who meet the CDC’s higher risk group to not attend. This event will be a contingent-only event, and the cost is $545 per participant. More information about Momentum can be found here.

Lodges will be able to transfer fees already paid for NOAC to Momentum for as few or as many individuals that are interested in attending, as long as all youth protection requirements are fulfilled. In the coming days, contingent leaders will receive information on how to request a refund of their NOAC fees, or transfer their NOAC fees to Momentum. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can not guarantee that the Momentum event will not also be cancelled. However, due to the decreased size of this event and the physical layout of the Summit Bechtel Reserve compared to Michigan State University, we are hopeful Momentum can take place. We will make a final decision if this event will occur no later than June 17, 2020.

The Order of the Arrow and Scouting remain as strong as ever. You have the power to make a positive impact on the Order of the Arrow when you "Step up and Step forward," no matter where you are. While we hoped NOAC would be a part of that vision, we know each of you will still take the conference’s message to heart and channel your energy into making a lasting impact on your lodge. After you have reviewed the FAQ section of this message, if you still have questions you may email them to

We all must preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of weighty responsibilities, because those who chose you need you, now more than ever.

In Brotherhood,

Zach Schonfeld
2020 National Chief
 Noah Smith
2020 National Vice Chief
Clint Takeshita
Conference Chairman
Michael Hoffman
National Chairman
Matt Dukeman
National Director

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - Temporary Camping Night Policy Due to COVID-19
Posted:  April 30, 2020

The Catawba Lodge is developing an implementation plan based on this national policy.

In light of the extended period of camping restrictions attributable to COVID-19, the following temporary modification is being made to the camping requirements for OA eligibility:

Virtual camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility if all the following stipulations are met:

  • To be counted, all virtual camping nights should be a direct result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and be part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event (i.e., multiple members of the unit are involved and camping simultaneously at remote locations).
  • Some form of unit-organized communications should occur either during or immediately following the event.
  • All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines should be followed.
  • No more than 3 nights of virtual camping are to be credited in any month in which government- or council-imposed COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

This change is in effect until September 1, 2020.

Units which have already held an election between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020 are authorized to hold one additional election for any individuals who were ineligible at the time of the election due to the camping requirement, but would have been considered eligible at the time if this temporary policy had then been in effect.  This second election must be completed no later than July 1, 2020.  Those who were previously considered for election in the first election may not be reconsidered on this second ballot (i.e., no one can be considered for election more than once in a year).

For questions related to this update, please email

2020 Vigil Honor Class!!!
Posted:  April 23, 2020

Please join me in congratulating the 2020 Vigil class for Catawba Lodge:

Candidates:                  Guides:

Aidan Gough        Tracy Lane
Peter Staffieri        Anthony Roux
Vaughn Bolt        Jenn Bolt
Eli Jewell        Greg Jewell
Bob Coughlin        Braeden Coughlin
Joseph Grier        Dusty Sparks
Darel Torrence        Colby Torrence
Kendall McAteer        Larry Unferth

Griffin Cook
Vigil Honor Chair

"Always pass on what you have learned"

Message from the 2020 National Chief
Posted:  March 18, 2020


Our world has experienced a lot of change in recent days, and I want to take a moment to address the current situation. While the change caused by the spread of COVID-19 may seem disconcerting, we cannot lose sight of the bigger picture and our overall mission. The values that Scouting and the Order of the Arrow brings to communities are needed now more than ever before, and as we go through the uncertain days ahead, I implore you to always keep those principles at the forefront of your mind.

To any Arrowman who has a family member or friend affected by the virus, my thoughts are with you.

Earlier this week, we announced the suspension of all in-person national, region, and section events until May 2. We encourage you to work with your local council regarding lodge and chapter events. You can find our updates related to COVID-19 at With the spread of the virus postponing many Scouting and OA events in the coming weeks, I know that many of you feel disheartened. I’m disappointed too, but I am not discouraged.

To every Arrowman who planned to attend a Scouting event that has been affected by the virus—I am sorry. I cannot wait to see the exciting programs that still lie ahead, even if they may be delayed.

To every unit elections chair, ordealmaster, conclave coordinator, and Arrowman involved in planning an event that has been postponed or cancelled—I am sorry. I appreciate all that you have done to deliver our Order’s program to our members, and your talent is still needed as we move forward.

To every Arrowman who feels discouraged right now—I want you to reflect for a moment on how you feel. If the pause until your next Scouting event is saddening, I challenge you: channel these emotions into something positive. When we return to normal, whenever that may be, Scouting and the Order of the Arrow will need your help. Let’s work together as one united brotherhood to deliver this program to every Arrowman and the future generations of Scouts who will come after us.

While some of our lives and Scouting plans may temporarily change, our core values of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service remain unaltered. These principles that bind us together are far stronger than any change or setback we encounter and will persist through the uncertain days ahead.

Maintain our bonds of brotherhood. Keep planning, engaging and innovative events that will help the future of our Order. Above all, never lose sight of the values we cherish.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

If I can ever be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out. Stay healthy, and I’ll see you along the Scouting trail soon.

In brotherhood,

Zach Schonfeld

2020 National Chief

CATAWBA LODGE - 70th Anniversary Award Pin
Posted:  November 6, 2019
This Anniversary Award Pin is available for all youth and adult Arrowmen in the Lodge.  Arrowmen must complete all requirements between December 1, 2019 and October 3, 2020 and then must attend the re-dedication ceremony at the 2020 Fall Fellowship.   Completion of the Award Card qualifies the Arrowman the option to purchase the Award Pin in the Lodge Trading Post during Fall Fellowship 2020.

Arrowmen must complete the following activities:

Please click HERE the award card!!

UPDATE - NOAC CANCELLED as of May 1, 2020
NEW!, NEW!, NEW! - National Order of the Arrow Conference - "NOAC That Never Happened" - LIMITED PATCH SET SALE!!!!!!!!!!
Updated:  May 13, 2020


Hello Brothers - Friday will be the LAST DAY we offer the "NOAC that Never Happened" patch set to Lodge members only so if you are interested please contact Gray Newman at if you are interested. After Friday we will be putting this offer out to non Lodge members.

I know the fundraiser, trader, and delegate sets are out there on the trading sites but it is the founders day patch that makes this set unique and completes the collection. Please let know how many you want.  We are offering a patch package from the “NOAC That Never Happened” for $20.

You will receive a set of the Trader, Fundraiser and Delegate patches along with a Founders Day patch that was to be handed out at NOAC itself.  If you are interested please send an email to letting him know how many packages you want.  We have a limited supply and it will be first come first served.  Once we have received the orders we will send out payment info.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Again, if you have any questions regarding payments, email Gray Newman.

NOAC Youth Chair - Vaughn Bolt
NOAC Advisor - Gray Newman / 704.609.3160


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