Lodge Ledger: Arrowman Uses New Year’s Resolution to Improve Lodge Program

By Michael Todd

Every year, Arrowmen from across the country make resolutions for the New Year. While many are traditionally personal goals, some Scouts set goals for their unit, chapter or lodge. We asked our followers on Facebook if they had any Order of the Arrow-focused New Year's resolutions, and many of them did.

Some brothers wanted to make the Order more visible to less active members or non-members, especially during our centennial year. Ben Johnston, a member of Totanhan Nakaha Lodge, plans to help his lodge play a larger role in some aspects of his council’s summer camp's program.

"It will involve four people per camp that will be working on creating a better OA presence," said Johnston. "We plan on revolutionizing how our callout is conducted, as well as create a patch as a memento of their callout that year.”

He also plans on creating a new award, available to all campers, to help raise awareness of the OA.

"The Moose Award. Named after our lodge totem," he noted.

However, this push at camp is only part of Totanhan Nakaha's renewed outreach. Some leaders noticed how few local centennial celebrations were planned.

"Everything requires Arrowmen to come to us to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Order" says Jim Letourneau, associate lodge adviser of Totanhan Nakaha Lodge. He adds that they wanted to reach out so that the OA "was in a troop/district's natural habitat to celebrate."

Letourneau mentioned a handful of their current proposals which included: unit elections where they promote the Arrowman Service Award, an increased summer camp presence and performing a centennial rededication ceremony amongst attendees at district camporees. He also discussed an OA presence at other district and council events, stating that they are all great venues where Scouts and Scouters are already present, making it easy to get them involved in the centennial celebration.

Others had resolutions specific to their leadership positions and passions in the Order.

"I remember seeing the AIA team perform during summer camp and being interested in the OA" said Tucker Shealy, vice chief of Atta Kulla Kulla Lodge, in recalling his first interest in the Order of the Arrow, a memory from his Tenderfoot days.

"I made it my mission to get Arrowmen more involved with the Order by using the interest that sparked in me early on, from just seeing the AIA team perform."

Shealy talks about ways that he got AIA to be the center of attention in his lodge. He notes how he made "AIA really prominent at all of the events put on by our lodge, and that everyone knows how to get on it the team.”

He also reached out to the districts, by coordinating dance team performances at district banquets. But he didn’t stop there.

"I decided that the AIA team could be useful in promoting Scouting in general in our community. So I had the dance team perform at local festivals" he said. "It was amazing to see how many people told us that they were going to get their sons and nephews involved!"

Finally, some want to work on improving their own lodge leadership.

"Our lodge executive committee has consisted of chapter chiefs agreeing to take on some additional responsibility," said Robby Kile, lodge chief of Jaccos Towne Lodge. "What I'm trying to do this term is find Arrowmen who would be good committee chairs."

But finding good leaders isn't all he is doing.

"I'm asking them to select other people to be part of their committees who are not already on the LEC," said Kile. "The goal here is to bring more Arrowmen into the LEC so that information discussed at the LEC is shared."

By doing this, Kile hopes better lines of communication will be created, and more Arrowmen will be informed and attend lodge events.

Regardless of their position, Arrowmen are clearly resolved to strive for greater levels of service in 2015. Whether that's promoting the centennial, expanding AIA program or helping get more Arrowmen in leadership positions, each resolution works toward the betterment of others, in ways that get or keep people involved in the Order of the Arrow and Scouting as a whole.

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