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Lodge Ledger: Centennial Blaze #2 - Suggested NOAC Timeline - Top Ten Ideas

  June 20, 2013       Lodge Ledger       Centennial 2015

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  1. Leadership Selection - Each lodge was previously encouraged to recruit a youth/adult Contingent Leadership Team (Update #1). If you have not done so already, look for a youth who has NOAC experience. The adult advising this youth should work well with youth leaders and should have multiple NOACs under the belt. This team will work closely with the Lodge Key 3 from the day they are appointed until your lodge returns from NOAC 2015. The right pair will develop a fantastic plan to get the lodge prepared, signed up, and organized! Depending on the size of your lodge, you may also want to bring other team members on board - a fundraising lead, a transportation lead, a promotions lead, or other positions to suit your lodge.

    Suggested completion time: Now
  2. Planning - Once the team is in place, the lodge and contingent leadership should set recruiting goals & incentives, decide on contingent themes, create social media accounts, prepare trip details & itineraries, design flaps, patches, logos, & etc . Most of the work in this stage is getting everything down on paper and seeing how it all fits together. Do not short change how much time is needed here.

    Suggested completion time: December 2013
  3. Key Group Launch - With a plan in place, it is now time to get buy-in from key groups within the council and lodge. Yes, we said the council. The Council Executive Board needs to be brought on board, as it is in their interest to support NOAC 2015 - the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow. The LEC has to be committed to the vision established by the team, so prepare to sell the plan to them. Your lodge may have other key groups to get on board at this stage. The main purpose of this stage is to start mobilizing on the plan - tell enough people in the lodge to begin mobilizing but not so many that you cannot modify course before the public launch.

    Suggested completion time: January - February 2014
  4. Major Fundraising and Development -With the key groups supporting the NOAC plan, the major fundraising and development time is when you begin to put your promotions plan into action. One objective of your plan should be to reduce the cost of NOAC for your participants. In this stage, your fundraising plan is being executed. The time is now to push hard for support. With your Scout Executive's permission, approach donors for large gifts to help reduce the cost of NOAC for your contingent. Order fundraising flaps, push for large donations from specific individuals, and create the promotional material - videos, slideshows, posters, etc. Be sure that your Scout Executive and Staff Adviser are fully aware of your fundraising efforts - do not step on Friends of Scouting’s toes!

    Suggested completion time: August 2014 (look for Blaze #5 in December tailored for this suggestion)
  5. Public Launch - So far, your work has been behind the scenes. Now, it is time to unveil the NOAC promotions and build up hype within the entire lodge. If the first four stages went right, here on out should be smooth sailing. This is the time to promote in the lodge newsletter, through lodge & chapter wide e-mails, through social media, at lodge events, and to hold early informational meetings. Also, now is the time to announce your recruiting incentives and any major fundraising done during the development stage. Fundraising will continue after the public launch, but you should have a good idea of how many scholarships will be available, if there are any price breaks for youth, and if there is a contingent fundraiser that will be ongoing through NOAC.

    Suggested completion time: Spring - Fall 2014 (look for Blaze #4 in October tailored for this suggestion)
  6. Minor Fundraising - With the public launch comes time to begin selling fundraising flaps and the like. This step gives the entire lodge the opportunity to help the contingent go to NOAC. Not everyone can be a large donor, but everyone can buy a lodge flap!

    Suggested completion time: Fall 2014 to Spring 2015
  7. Registration Drive - By this point, most people in the lodge should know about NOAC. From the public launch on, push for the registration goal. Generally, this will begin with your major fall lodge event in 2014 and potentially may not be complete until the last minute.

    Suggested completion time: Fall 2014 to Spring 2015
  8. Contingent Preparation - As your contingent grows, you will need to hold more informational meetings, as well as to have contingent shake-downs. Signing your contingent up for classes, competitions and the other NOAC activities will be part of this stage. As your efforts continue to pay off, you may find additional participants who decide to go late in the game. Consider waiving late fees for any Arrowmen who you really want on the bus - for example, the lodge chief who just got elected and was not going to go to NOAC.

    Suggested completion time: July 2015
  9. Parent/Contingent Meeting(s) - This is a final gathering of all contingent members and parents available. The purpose is to ensure that the contingent leadership, lodge leadership and all contingent members are on the same page for NOAC. This is a great opportunity to distribute contingent items (hats, flaps, shirts, etc.) well in advance of NOAC. It also provides one last chance to verify who is on what sports team, what youth/adult is responsible for the varying aspects of the NOAC experience for your lodge.

    Suggested completion time: July 2015
  10. Enjoyment - Your contingent gathers and the fun begins! See you there!