Dear Lodge Chiefs and Lodge Advisers,
The arrow - launched into the evening sky during our Ordeal weekend - moves ever onward and upward. Its motion encourages members to preserve a cheerful spirit regardless of the circumstance and to be unselfish in their daily interactions with others. Since its inception over 105 years ago, the Order of the Arrow has actualized this meaning by playing a formative role in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Scouts and Scouters.
Once aging out, some members immediately find positions as adult mentors to youth, but plenty of Arrowmen step away from an active Scouting role: they leave for college, find their professional calling, and/or start a family. Many do not reconnect with the OA, and if they do, it comes decades later. They lose contact with their Scouting friends and only learn about Scouting’s National Honor Society through second-hand accounts or social media posts.
Beginning this fall, The Order of the Arrow Alliance looks to change that!
Entrusted by the National OA Committee and the BSA Alumni Committee, the OA Alliance is a team of Arrowmen supporting the mission and purpose of the Order of the Arrow by engaging alumni through communication, programming, leadership, and service opportunities, all while fostering lifelong friendships among members of the OA community. Simply put, the OA Alliance’s mission is to reintroduce once-active Scouters to the OA and re-engage them with their local Scouting council and lodge. The stories shared, friendships formed, and the adventures experienced have endlessly bound OA members tightly as its circle has widened. The OA Alliance strives to be the spark that re-ignites those memories.
Who is considered “OA alumni?” To start, anyone 18 or older and have missed two years of lodge dues, is automatically signed up for the OA Alliance. They will then begin receiving our communications and be eligible for other forms of engagement.
Why the strong focus on inactive members whose dues have lapsed? Our primary goal is to encourage OA alumni to once again become full dues-paying members of a local lodge and a broad re-engagement strategy is under development. Initially, the OA Alliance will serve just this audience, though we are exploring an option for any adult Arrowmen (21+) to opt-in to OA Alliance membership.
Beginning next month, members of the OA Alliance will receive the OA Alliance eNewsletter, which will:
- Round up the latest Scouting and OA news in a short, to-the-point style
- Promote ways to get involved with local lodges
- Feature stories about alumni who have leveraged their Scouting experiences in unique and meaningful ways professionally, academically, and/or in their local community
- Highlight significant friendships formed during Scouting experiences
- Introduce interest and affinity groups to benefit members
- Provide professional growth and development opportunities
- Demonstrate the value of membership within the OA and OA Alliance
- And so much more
The eNewsletter is only the start too! Down the road, we are excited to announce more multimedia content, membership benefits, and additional programmatic opportunities all geared toward bringing existing adult members into an active volunteer role with their lodge and council.
The OA Alliance Team warmly appreciates your support in this endeavor and welcomes collaboration as we launch our efforts. Concurrent with our eNewsletter launch in late October, we will also introduce a website with more resources for lodge leaders to help them engage with and understand the OA Alliance. Be on the lookout for more updates.
To submit a local highlight of OA alumni for our upcoming content, and/or if you have any questions about the OA Alliance, please reach out to @email.
Yours in Scouting,
Donnie Stephens | OA Alliance Coordinator
Ed Pease | OA Alliance Vice Chairman
OA Alliance Team