By Greg Bulger
One of the biggest problems in lodges around the nation is getting newly elected Ordeal candidates to follow through with their Ordeal. An even more common problem is getting them to stick around once they complete their Ordeal. Our national leadership hopes to help you reverse this trend.
Last month, two new videos were uploaded to the OA’s YouTube channel. The videos are designed to be shown to newly inducted Ordeal members and their parents, and feature 2013 National Chief Matt Brown and OA National Chairman Ray Capp. The videos serve as a personal congratulations from some of our national leaders, as well as to give an overview of the organization and to introduce them to some events.
In the video intended for the new members, Matt Brown encourages them to become more active now that they have completed their Ordeal, and details a few local, section and national events. He also emphasizes the importance of the unit, and explains that the Order of the Arrow should be seen as a place to learn how to improve one’s unit, rather than an organization made to replace it.
The video for the new members’ parents details some of the scope of events, also touching on local, section and national events. Ray Capp explains how, as a Scoutmaster, he was always happy to drive youth Arrowmen to Order of the Arrow events. He reassures the parents that, if the youth show interest in the program, there will be adult leaders willing to help them get more involved.
Capp also tells parents about the leadership opportunities available in our organization, as well as the outdoor adventures offered through the OA High Adventure programs. Finally, he touches on the fact that the OA is a great way to meet new people from other areas and that those friendships made are bound to last.
Now that the resources are there, it is up to chapter and lodge leadership to spread the message to new members. There are many ways that these videos can be incorporated into a lodge’s program. The best way would be to show them to new members immediately following their Ordeal. This makes sure that the video is seen during a time when they are excited about the OA, and gives them an introduction to the organization that they just became a part of. Other great ways of utilizing the videos could be showcasing them on your lodge website or social media page, embedding them in emails to new members or incorporating them into a new member orientation.
These two videos are a great way to encourage newly inducted Arrowmen (and their parents!) to get more involved in the Order of the Arrow. Be sure to spread the word and include these in your post-Ordeal Jumpstart program; the videos can’t help candidates who don’t watch them!