Defining what your lodge has accomplished: The Annual Report
Witauchsoman Lodge's 2011 Annual Report
by TAYLOR BOBROW
The annual report is one of the key items in every lodge's administrative process.
The report is an opportunity for the lodge to recognize its accomplishments and
areas needing improvement. This report also serves to provide future officers continuity
in how they can better continue to achieve the goals of the lodge. However, the
annual report is not relevant to just the lodge's functions, but also the council.
For this reason, the annual report is an opportunity to earn points on the Journey
to Excellence Score Card for lodges.
It is suggested that the annual report be presented by the lodge chief to the
executive board of the council with which the lodge is associated. This report is
an opportunity to share with the council how the lodge is doing, outside of the
usual communication with the staff adviser. The lodge has the opportunity to share
its weaknesses and strengths with the council.
The key to a successful annual report is creativity and content. A great way
to make your annual report successful is to capture your audience with multimedia
graphics. You can include pictures of your members working on camp projects, a clip
of an Arrow of Light ceremony performed at a local pack, or giving a camp promotion
"Witauchsoman Lodge has been using videos to present their annual report to the
council for the past four years," says Matt Planer, lodge chief of Witauchsoman
Lodge. The Witauchsoman Lodge 2011 Annual Report video consists of a variety of
statistics. A series of photos acts as a backdrop that supports the statistics and
information. Planer says, "Don't put the report off until the end of the year. Work
throughout the year, maintain accurate records, and keep the information being presented
focused and concise." Witauchsoman Lodge uses service hour tracking sheets, OA Lodge
Master, and a variety of other resources throughout the year to track information.
Along with the video, Witauchsoman Lodge provides a one-page printed report.
While designing your annual report, remember to keep a majority of your information
relevant to the council and try not to bore them with unnecessary information. When
presenting your annual report, you are representing the Order of the Arrow, and
more specifically your lodge. Be on time, dress for success, and represent the organization
It is important to realize the true power of this document. The annual report
should not be kept within a small group of people. It should be shared with the
lodge members so they understand where the lodge is headed. An adapted version could
be used when looking to seek support from organizations outside of Scouting, similar
to a portfolio. Whether you are looking to create a complex video or a well-designed
PowerPoint, resources exist to aid you in the process. Consider searching the Internet
for other lodges' annual reports to gain ideas. A lodge annual report template is
also available in Microsoft PowerPoint format off the OA's website. This template
has been field tested by several lodges and is user-friendly and easy to work with.
The link for this and others are listed below.
For a detailed template for your lodge annual report,
To view Witauchsoman Lodge's 2011 Annual Report on YouTube,
To view Witauchsoman Lodge's other reports,