The Order of the Arrow is built upon the idea of leadership and spirit, the ideas that further change and inspire career interests in each generation. Upon completing one’s Ordeal, each Arrowman is tasked with bearing selflessness and demonstrating service to others. However, it takes time to hone in on these skills and apply them to the real world. There are a plethora of ways to grow in the OA and learn how to use the skills taught, whether it be through leadership trainings, officer positions, staffing an event, or even serving on a High Adventure crew. These activities are great ways to gain an understanding of the ideas of leadership and spirit.
One of the OA’s activities that sparks the ideas of leadership and spirit are national trainings. For example, attending a National Leadership Seminar (NLS) is a fantastic way to not only strengthen one’s knowledge of the OA’s ideals, but to learn how to apply those ideals in careers. From acknowledging one’s leadership style, to learning thinking strategies such as the “Golden Circle” method, there seems to be no better leadership training provided to its participants.
In fact, Section G5 Chief and NLS Trainer Brandon Hollister, states that NLS helps Arrowmen “become better leaders” and have “more confidence” in their skills.
The trainings and teachings provided at NLS help shape each Arrowman’s understanding of leadership through service and fellowship, which are necessary skills to have in a future career. For information on NLS and to learn how to sign up, click here.
Yet, despite the fact that national trainings such as NLS can provide a rich, rewarding experience, they focus on an Arrowman’s skill development and problem-solving skills at a broad level, whereas section and lodge trainings are tailored towards “the area,” according to Hollister. For example, trainings such as the ACT conference or a Lodge Leadership Development teach Arrowman to tackle local issues and is “a lot more personalized,” according to Hollister. These trainings further the idea of fellowship through collaboration with section or lodge-mates. In a career, social skills with clients or co-workers are often required in order to perform well.
Alongside social skill development, levels of personal responsibility can be attained as well. Both the OA and Scouts provide different levels of leadership, such as an officer role. These positions offer the chance to engage and network with others through challenging higher duties.
According to Hollister, “leadership positions resemble a business model that can be applied into careers and gives you a place to grow.”
Through leadership positions, opportunities in the career fields, such as business, political, and medical fields may open up. Another opportunity leadership positions provide is learning how to network. In any career field, it is vital to make connections with others and learn how to be comfortable speaking with new people. For example, the OA National Communications Committee offers chances to collaborate with Arrowmen from across the nation, whether it be through creating written content, developing pieces of social media, or even working behind the scenes on technology to help the OA function. Within any group, event planning is crucial. Planning events can help prepare us to execute projects in a wide range of settings. Above all, communication skills are vital in any team setting. Effective communication can help guarantee a smooth carry out and outcome of any event. These opportunities immerse Arrowmen in situations to prepare them for real challenges in a future career.
Outside of seminars, trainings, and positions, there are many other collaborative programs that spark leadership and spirit in Arrowmen. For example, “Operation Arrow will be a great leadership experience,” according to Hollister. In just a few weeks, many Arrowmen will return to the Summit Bechtel Reserve to serve on the Operation Arrow staff for National Jamboree, which allows its participants to help with behind-the-scenes activities such as shows, leading activities, and enacting leadership through the service corps. Through Operation Arrow, Arrowmen can learn how to work with and for people, which can be helpful attributes in discovering a career.
Another program, OA High Adventure, serves as an aspiring activity and a life-changing experience. There are various OA High Adventure Programs, including OA Trail Crew, OA Summit Experience, or OA Wilderness Voyage which all further the aspects of leadership, communication, and team work in Arrowmen. By participating in the Order of the Arrow and OA High Adventure, Arrowmen can discover potential careers. Each base offers job opportunities during its season which can serve as a point of interest for a career. For example, Northern Tier offers chances to work with National Park Services. Indeed, both Operation Arrow and High Adventure make for a thrilling, yet inspiring experience which can lead to the discovery of future careers. If you're interested in learning more about OAHA, click here.
At the end of the day, Arrowmen walk away with ideas of how to demonstrate service and fellowship, and it is up to them to decide how to apply those aspects of leadership in the real world. Each Scout and Arrowman has a choice to do what is right for them and their future, and to do it with a smile on their face. It is always important to keep in mind that the OA is a thing of spirit, meaning it is key to have fun and enjoy oneself in irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities. Through the OA’s activities, Arrowmen can apply their understanding of leadership and spirit into future careers.