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Serrano Chapter celebrates 60 years

Posted: September 5, 2009 2:25 p.m.
Updated: September 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Serrano Dancers, members of the Serrano Chapter of the Order of the Arrow, pose in dance regalia. Left to right, Matt Van Grinsven, Marc Seltzer, Curtis Van Grinsven, Luke Seltzer, Christopher Howell, Ethan Reynolds and Johnny Howell.

"I am 19, and the Serrano Chapter is 60 years old, a little more than three times my age," said Johnny Howell, the present leader of the Serrano Chapter. "I am the chapter chief now, and I wonder what the chiefs before me thought about the chapter. I wonder what the boys did before me - way before me."

The Serrano Chapter members will host a party 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 for all former and present members of Serrano Chapter and their families, members of Malibu Lodge, members of other Order of the Arrow Lodges, and friends. The party will be held at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus.

Jim Van Grinsven, adult leader for Serrano, said one of the ideas for having the birthday celebration was to see if older members would return and talk about what it was like to be in the Serrano Chapter 15, 25 or 50 years ago.

"We are still trying to contact old-time members in the Santa Clarita Valley or surrounding areas," Howell said. "It would be neat to hear what they did as boys."

Van Grinsven said the youths just wanted to celebrate the fact the chapter has been around 60 years.

"We are part of a long tradition of service. Maybe we do not know what it was like in the Serrano Chapter years ago, but we do know what we have been doing," he said. "We have contributed, as a group, hundreds of service hours to the community. Our birthday party will celebrate all this, and for all the hours of service present and future members will give."

The Serrano Chapter of the Order of the Arrow, an honor society within Boy Scouts, is composed of scouts from all the different troops in the SCV. Each year scouts, during a troop meeting, vote on which one of their own members can join Order of the Arrow.

Van Grinsven said he, and the leadership composed of young scouts, take the new members and mold them into young men who will contribute service hours to the community.

Since OA members dedicate themselves to service in the community and Boy Scouts, a slide show presentation will be given on the Serrano Chapter's past and present activities. Also, Ted Garcia, a Chumash Elder, will tell stories and sing songs about Native American traditions.

For information and tickets, visit or call (661) 250-9067.


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