There are always a lot of questions to be had when it comes to the challenge of taking a lodge to High Performing status: What can be done to keep new members coming back? How can lodges reach all units during election season? In pursuit of answers, the Arrowmen of sections C-5A and C-5B joined forces in January for a High Performing Lodge Seminar at Naish Scout Reservation.
These two sections cover most of Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri, as well as the entire state of Kansas. Given the states these sections serve, the seminar’s staff were faced with a unique challenge: catering to lodges that differ vastly in size and the type of area they serve. The seminar’s content had to appeal to lodges ranging in size from a few hundred to a few thousand Arrowmen. Best practices shared from trainers also had to work for lodges serving rural areas, mid-sized cities like Des Moines, or sprawling metropolises like Kansas City.
During his term as section chief of C-5B, Garet Schmidt coordinated with then-C-5A chief Scout Perryman to plan and conduct the seminar. At the seminar, all lodges were shown their Journey to Excellence scores to give them a clear picture of what specific areas they could improve upon. Throughout the seminar, lodges seeking to make progress in certain Journey to Excellence criteria learned from lodges who excelled in these areas. Every lodge brought different strengths to the table, and discussions were facilitated on how to turn each area of the High Performing scorecard into something each lodge could excel at. Thirteen different training sessions, ranging from “The Art of Delegation” to a session on LINK, gave Arrowmen in attendance the tools to take what they learned home and implement new ideas.
Despite only a few months having passed since the High Performing Lodge Seminar, the wheels of change have already been turning in the lodges that attended. Plans of action have been formed in these lodges by motivated Arrowmen with a vision of High Performing status. Still active on the COC, Schmidt has heard positive news that the lodges who came to the seminar are due for large strides towards becoming High Performing. Given the seminar’s success, Schmidt remarked, “it was an amazing event where our brothers got to meet others from their neighboring section to take away an inspiring message about how to ignite change in the Order’s Midwest”.