We had the opportunity to interview the 2017 Western Region Chief, Manué Lopez. Manué is from the Orange County Council in Aliso Viejo, CA. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of Wiatava Lodge.

What are some of the highlights of you many years of service?

When I was lodge chief of Wiatava Lodge at the 2015 NOAC our contingent was about 115 members. Our lodge has these cog hats which as to do with our totem. They’re these big yellow hats and in that moment I just look back at my contingent and they all are wearing their hats and chatting, having fun ya know? That was a really special moment for me.

What was your favorite part of NOAC 2015?

The Shows were awesome! I also did a bit of trading which was cool. I also got to attend the Western Region Luncheon where I got to listen to the 2015 Western Region Chief, Nathan Lee. The Hodag and the hub were also great. Ugh I can’t pick!

Any defining moments?

When I was chapter chief I had decided I had basically seen everything there was to see in the OA. I was pretty set on hanging up my sash and focusing on the three G’s of high school, grades, girls, and gaming. My advisor insisted on me attending NLS. She came up to me and told me that she paid for me to go to it and it would really mean a lot to her and my chapter if I attended. Since she had paid I thought I might as well. When I got to NLS I was blown away. I went from a 12 man chapter meeting to having the 2014 Southern Region chief as a table guide. The lessons I learned there and the people I met really inspired me. That’s when I decided I wanted to run for Lodge chief. I truly believe my journey in the OA began with NLS.

What’s the best part about being a national officer?

I would say traveling across the western region and meeting arrowmen from across the region is awesome. I get to hear their viewpoints on scouting and learn how they do things. That’s an amazing experience.

Favorite merit badge?

The merit badge that helped me the most was the Public Speaking merit badge. I wasn’t that adept at public speaking before that. The merit badge I really enjoyed was my whitewater merit badge. I went up on my second camping trip with my troop and just had a blast!

What are some memories from your first Conclave?

I had a blast! I was lodge chief so I got to lead my lodge in cheers and events. My favorite moment was Mascot Mayhem. We had all of the lodges in their mascot costumes and you’re just cheering your mascot on as they go through an obstacle courses. Its super cool to see lodges hanging out and everyone in such high spirits.

Who’s your hero?

My older brother Danny was my protector. He’s 10 years older than me and I’ve always looked up to him. Just seeing what he’s done in scouting and life and the way he held himself as a leader is something I’ve always aspired to emulate. I’ll admit I haven’t lived up to it yet but I’m working. He’s a real inspiration.

We hear you’re a Disney fan, what’s your favorite ride?

That’s probably the most difficult question I’ve been asked. If I had to pick I would say Haunted Mansion. When I was a kid my mom and I used to play a game to see who could see the most ghosts and the winner got candy. She always let me win.

What made you run for Western Region?

I felt as western region chief I could encourage people to go on further in scouting like Michael Kintscher did for me 3 years ago. The ability for me to bring my ideas to help make the region a better place encouraged me to run for national office

Why should a first year arrowmen go to conclave?

It’ll be an experience unlike he’s ever had. The things he’ll do, the people he’ll meet, the life changing experiences he’ll have. It doesn’t matter how far away it is because he’ll come back a different person. Who knows, he might come back thinking he wants to run for Section chief!