Survey seeks Arrowmen’s input on OA’s second century

A new kind of request arrived in Arrowmen’s inboxes four months ago – a request for feedback. In the weeks that followed, four thousand brothers completed the first-ever survey of the Order’s general membership. The results informed much of the discussions at this summer’s NEXT event but the genesis of this effort goes back several years.

The information collected via the Journey to Excellence (JTE) program has given unparalleled insights into the OA program: what percentage of candidates complete the Ordeal, which members attend lodge events, or which troops complete elections, among other things. What it does not answer is how or why these things happen. Answering those latter questions is key to developing best practices and improving lodges.

After a test survey to unit leaders and some pilot programs at the 2015 National OA Conference, the JTE group expanded the surveying effort into a formal effort that will consist of two surveys per year (one each in the fall and spring). The objective of these surveys is to collect information about what drives the metrics in JTE, and to use that feedback to create better resources for lodges.

The April 2016 survey is the first survey in this initiative, and will be followed by a survey of lodge and section key-three in the fall of 2016.

Each subcommittee of the national OA committee is discussing the results of the survey that apply to them, along with the feedback received during NEXT. There were a number of things that you clearly spoke to in the survey, namely an overwhelming request for a larger number of resources and programs to be delivered at the lodge level.

Beyond the call for additional programming, your 4,000 answers to the survey’s last question: “what is the one thing you would change about the Order of the Arrow?” have provoked wide-ranging debates about how the Order ought to evolve in our second century.

Keep your eyes peeled for future opportunities to provide feedback in the future. If you have any questions, or suggestions for survey topics, feel free to contact jte@oa-bsa.org.

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