Best Practices - Your Ideas from Around the Nation

These ideas were submitted by Arrowmen across the country who have benefited from both years of experience and trial and error. By sharing these resources, these Arrowmen hope to share the wisdom they have gained over the ages. The National Order of the Arrow Committee hopes other lodges can benefit from this repository of ideas that have proven successful for lodges in the past. The Best Practices have been divided into the eleven categories below. Use the category links to quickly reach each section.

Events and Promotions - Brotherhood Conversion - Communications - Membership Retention - Inductions - Lodge Executive Committee - Administration - Leadership - Recognition - Service - Miscellaneous

If you have a Best Practices idea that has worked for your chapter or lodge and would like to share it, please send them to the team at ChapterResources@oa-bsa.org.

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Events and Promotions

  1. NLS Promotion - Here's how one lodge stepped up its devotion to providing leadership opportunities to youth. (85k)
  2. Event Pass - An innovative way to increase your participation at lodge events. (82k)
  3. NOAC Fundraising - Lodges that understand the benefit of youth attending NOAC can help ensure that funds do not stand in the way of an eager youth being able to attend.  See a few fundraising ideas that one lodge implemented to raise thousands of dollars which will lower the cost for many attendees, making NOAC more accessible for all. (81k)
  4. Thematic Events - Spice up your events and boost attendance by adding a bit of creativity. (362k)
  5. Creative LLD - Take your LLD to the next level, and increase attendance, by inserting some fun into the meeting. (76k)
  6. Lodge Rideshare - Increasing event attendance is as simple as making sure Arrowmen can get there!  See how one lodge addressed the problem directly. (80k)

Brotherhood Conversion

  1. Brotherhood Conversion - Learn how to increase your lodge's brotherhood conversion rate to over 50%. (110k)
  2. Troop OA Board - Monitor and encourage Brotherhood conversion by developing a Troop OA Board. (126k)

Communications

  1. Lodge E-Newsletter - Create a cost effective, efficient communication method with a new twist on an old idea. (95k)
  2. Click2Mail - Spend resources more efficiently by letting an outside vendor print and ship the lodge's membership cards. (78k)

Membership Retention

  1. Eligible Scout Discussion - Many units and lodges experience the problem of Scouts completing the Ordeal and then not returning to lodge functions.  Try this idea to better inform eligible Scouts of what is expected of them after the election. (84k)
  2. Dues Payment - Increase the rate of dues payments by streamlining the process for your members. (77k)
  3. New Member Dinner - Suffering from "sash and dash"?  Hosting a dinner for new members, and including parents, is one way to have a captive audience. (79k
  4. Dues Pin - Here is a way to incentivize and recognize those Arrowmen who pay their dues on time and deter "Sash and Dash". (76k)
  5. Troop Rep Letter Idea - Build a relationship with Scoutmasters in your council to more effectively implement the Troop Representative Program in your lodge. Use this letter to start communicating with them today. (130k)

Inductions

  1. Elangomat Recognition - Develop a perpetual training program for Elangomats to reap Brotherhood conversion benefits. (88.5k)
  2. Elangomat Worksheet - Provide your Elangomats with the information they need to ensure that candidates have a positive Ordeal experience. (82k)
  3. Ordeal Planning Backdater - What do you do when you're in charge of conducting an Ordeal weekend?  This helpful checklist can assist you with planning, publicizing, and conducting a successful Ordeal induction for candidates. (100k)
  4. Parents' Ordeal Letter - Parents often do not understand the purpose of meaning behind the Ordeal weekend.  See how one lodge approached this problem by explaining to parents directly what the participants experienced. (161k)
  5. Ordeal Survey - Take the time to solicit feedback from new Ordeal members.  You might learn something interesting! (134k)
  6. Chapters Helping Ordeals - Demonstrate servant leadership, and improve the induction experience, by involving chapters in running an Ordeal. Simple teamwork can show great results! (76k)

Lodge Executive Committee

  1. LECM Agenda Template - Manage the expectations of your Lodge Executive Committee by distributing a formal agenda before each meeting.  Not only will it keep the group focused, but it will make sure no topic goes overlooked! (80k)
  2. Board Room Experience - Here's a quick and easy way to inspire youth at an LLD or LECM. (75k)
  3. Virtual LEC Attendance - The use of modern technology can help those members of the LEC who can't be there in person to still participate in the meeting. (90k)

Administration

  1. Registration Options - A discussion of different means to keep Arrowman registered with the BSA and the Lodge. (89k)
  2. Establishing Lodge Goals - Too often, lodges don't think critically about their annual goals, resulting in goals which are neither specific nor measurable.  Make goal setting a serious priority by thinking critically about how to measure success. (90k)
  3. Chapter and Committee Binders - Help your chapter chiefs and committee chairmen get off to a fast start with a binder that preserves the lessons learned and builds toward a successful future.(75k)
  4. Election Packet - End the struggle of trying to find the right resources.  Put everything an election team needs right at their fingertips. (373k)
  5. One Day Trading Post at Camp - Create a "win-win" for the lodge, the council, and the camp by opening up the lodge trading post one day each week of summer camp. (78K)
  6. Lodge Budget - Take control of your lodge budget by using this detailed template.  With a mastery of the lodge's finances, you can focus on controlling costs and maximizing the impact of the lodge's service. (57k)

Leadership

  1. Oath of Office - Add the dignity of an oath of office to your next installation of lodge or chapter officers. (69k)
  2. Lodge Officer Petition - Running for a lodge office is a big commitment.  Set the expectations high in your own lodge by using a lodge officer petition and interview process. (126k)
  3. Electing Lodge Officers - Has your lodge experienced difficulty or frustration with its lodge officer election process?  Here's a simple, fair method that has worked for one lodge for a long time. (95k)
  4. Welcoming New Officers - When new officers are elected, advisers can take important first steps to setting the tone for the rest of the officers' terms.  Try some of these after your next election and see how communication opens up! (89k)
  5. Adviser Rotation - An adviser rotation plan can help prevent burnout and keep the program running smoothly during the succession from one adviser to the next. (78k)
  6. Becoming Lodge Adviser - What do you do when you are confronted with becoming lodge adviser?  Here are some tips to consider. (86k)

Recognition

  1. First Year Arrowman Award - Here is a way to help stop "Sash and Dash" while improving your lodge's Brotherhood conversion rate. (161k)
  2. James E. West Award - A way to provide financial support to your council, while recognizing a deserving member at the same time. (77k)
  3. Awards and Recognition - Think outside the box when choosing how best to recognize servant-leaders in your lodge.  This best practice offers suggestions to properly recognize your lodge or chapter members. (114k)

Service

  1. OA Ranger - See how one lodge is trying their hand at fixing the problem of low OA involvement in urban troops. (80k)
  2. Community Service - Ever at a loss for a community service idea? Check out what lodges across the country have done. (98k)
  3. Council Support - Here is a way to improve your Scout Camp while supporting your Council. (77k)

Miscellaneous

  1. Tool Talk Rap - Take a boring topic and turn it into something fun!  Here's an example of how to spice up your communications. (84k)
  2. Icebreakers - Getting to know each other is a great way to improve productivity in a group or committee.  Break the ice and step outside the bounds of your comfort zone with this best practice. (125k)

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