Tell the world why you #ChooseOA

As a member of the Order of the Arrow, you chose to be a part of an organization greater than yourself; an organization whose mission is to instill the values of selfless service and devotion to others in the minds of every boy who joins the Scouting program. Sensing your dedication to these values, your fellow Scouts called you to take part in something beyond yourself. That call, in part, requires you to spread the message of the Order of the Arrow to those Scouts and Scouters who have not yet had the opportunity to join the OA, and to choose to be a part of the movement beyond simply completing your Ordeal.

The Order of the Arrow has always valued the preservation of tradition. In many ways, it is that tradition which makes the Order of the Arrow such a valuable program. The traditions which we hold so close tell us to be cheerful, even in arduous labor. They tell us to be mindful of the needs of others, and to place those needs before our own. These traditions help to build the tightest bonds of brotherhood that the Boy Scouts of America has ever seen.

When immersed in the experiences of our brotherhood, it becomes easy to forget that those who chose you need you. Even so, while many lodges across the nation enjoy a healthy brotherhood conversion rate, many more struggle to meet Journey to Excellence standards. This is not because the state of our brotherhood is weak. On the contrary, membership retention levels for the OA are higher than those of the BSA at large. However, simply remaining part of our brotherhood isn’t enough.

Now, more than ever, it is time that we as Arrowmen show the world why we chose to participate in this brotherhood. It is time to show Scouting what it means to live a life of servant leadership, of unselfish service and of devotion to one’s brothers. This is why, over the last several months, the National Order of the Arrow Committee has worked to compile a bank of resources to aid in accomplishing this goal. Some of the resources that have been developed include:

OA unit election materials: In the annual JTE report for 2015, many units reported that the OA unit election is the least desirable OA experience. To help ensure that OA unit elections are a great experience, the #ChooseOA team has put together a new presentation complete with a cheat sheet on how to more successfully conduct the OA unit election. This is the first interaction that many new Scouts and Scouters will ever have with the Order of the Arrow; let’s make it a great one!

#ChooseOA brochure: Many parents, unit leaders and professional Scouters who are not OA members report having very little knowledge on what the OA is; we’ve developed something to help them understand. The #ChooseOA tri-fold brochure will serve as a tool for lodges to take to unit elections, new member orientations, and other OA events to spread the message. We’ve also included a blank page that lodges can customize to talk specifically about their program.

#ChooseOA information booth: Resources for an OA information booth at non-OA events have been developed, and are ready to go to your next council camporee or district roundtable.

These resources, among others, were debuted at NEXT: A New Century this August in Bloomington, IN. To find out more information on these resources visit the #ChooseOA.
Remember, those who chose you need you! It’s time to tell the world why you decided to #ChooseOA, and encourage those around you to do the same!

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