Jumpstart Your Lodge Inductions
By Riley Berg, 2002 National Vice Chief
One of the most important, yet commonly neglected, parts
of the induction sequence is orienting
our new members to the Order of the Arrow.
After a weekend-long experience, how likely is
it that Arrowmen will become
active and seal their membership in Brotherhood
if they have little or no idea what our organization
stands for beyond scant food, hard work, and silence?
With the realization that the lack of an effective
new member orientation might be a
cause of low membership retention and Brotherhood conversion
rates across the
nation, it was decided to offer a resource
that would help lodges confront these
January 1, 2003, the "Jumpstart
for New Arrowmen" area of the National Order of the
Arrow Web Site was launched, and
later that month the brand new
Orientation Guide was distributed to councils around
the nation and posted on the National
Order of the Arrow Web Site.
At the National Planning Meeting in December 2002, National
Order of the Arrow Chairman Brad Haddock
asserted that a lodge's use of the Lodge
Orientation Guide, and a new member's use
of the interactive web site
were among the National OA Committee's top priorities.
"The introduction and use of the Jumpstart Resource
is a critical priority
for 2003 because we want to assure each new
member appreciates the importance
of service to others and provide assistance
to the lodge in achieving a high
Brotherhood conversion rate as a result," said Haddock.
The Jumpstart Resource comes in two parts: the
orientation guide for lodges
and the interactive website for new Arrowmen.
Orientation Guide, which is available on
this web site, provides everything
youth leaders need to perform a meaningful
orientation. The orientation is split
into 6 parts, and takes approximately one
hour to complete. The newly inducted
members will then leave their Ordeal
having all of the information they will
need to be successful in our organization.
The guide also provides bookmarks
for lodges to place in each handbook,
directing new Arrowmen to continue their
orientation at home on the web.
Orientation Guide is an important step
for us, because it helps lodges
focus on the sixth point of the induction
sequence, the 'New Member Orientation',"
said Rich Moore, the 2003 National Vice Chief.
"Lodges need to put as much effort
into having an effective new member orientation as
they would a Pre-Ordeal or Ordeal Ceremony."
Perhaps the most exciting part of Jumpstart is the new
interactive JumpStart area
of the National Order of the Arrow Website. Here, new members can get
a taste of the Order's rich history,
learn of the opportunities available to
them, and study the requirements for sealing their membership.
"It's an innovative, technology-based way to explain the
purpose and high ideals
of the Order of the Arrow, and to assist
the new Arrowman in understanding and
meeting the challenges of Brotherhood," said Haddock.
"I wish something like
this had been available when I was inducted."