Campers spend a part of each day as a member of one of the two most feared Indian Tribes in the Ouachita Mountains - the Caddo and the Osage.
Legend has it that the very spot on which Camp Ozark is located is the ancient battle ground of these two fierce tribes. Upon arriving at Camp Ozark, each camper is initiated into one of these two tribes in a secret and solemn ceremony.
From that moment on, the two tribes lock horns in a series of unique competitions. A running score is kept so that at the close of each Camp Ozark session one of the two tribes, the Caddo or the Osage, is declared the final victor for the session...
At Camp Ozark we believe that each and every child has gifts and talents that are a gift from God. What we make of those gifts and talents represents our gift back to God, to ourselves and to all those with whom we come in contact. Accordingly, we believe that we should learn to give everything we have to everything we do. Hopefully, if a child can learn to try his hardest in a simple game at Camp Ozark, they can take that attitude home and apply it to much more important endeavors than a simple game, things like school, family, friends and their relationship with God.
In today's culture, whether it be the NBA or youth sports, we are seeing the death of sportsmanship. At Camp Ozark we believe that there is a proper way to respond in victory and defeat. When we win, we believe it is important to respond with dignity and class, not rubbing it in the face of the one who has been defeated. We also believe that credit should go to the team, not any particular individual. When we don't win, we believe that we should not blame or point fingers at others, rather we should respect and congratulate our opponent and respond with dignity and class while resolving to do better the next time. TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP, a vanishing behavioral trait, is our second flame of Tribal Competition.
The third flame of Tribal Competition is a Camp Ozark trademark. We believe that too many kids today are told they are not good enough, that they should sit and watch as those more gifted participate. At Camp Ozark we believe that is complete hogwash. We believe that every child should live life energetically, enthusiastically, & shooting for the moon so that even if they fail they are sure to land among the stars. At Camp Ozark we call that being FIRED-UP. MAXIMUM ENTHUSIASM is our third flame of Tribal Competition.
The Order of the Arrow award goes to the camper on each team who best displays what we like to call, The Heart of a Champion. The Order of the Arrow award is never given on the basis of athletic ability, rather it goes to the one camper on each team who best displays the three flames of Tribal Competition - Maximum Effort, True Sportsmanship, and Maximum Enthusiasm. Order of the Arrow winners wear a gold wristband throughout their years at Camp Ozark and once a camper has received the award three times, their name is engraved and permanently displayed on a plaque in the Dining Hall.