All businesses have a plan for goals they want to achieve, and so does the Order of the Arrow (OA) with the 2022-2023 National Business Plan. As we start to emerge from bankruptcy, the strategies outlined in the business plan seek to help us re-evaluate how we work as an organization, and to be able to make modifications to help the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) meet its goals. There are four strategies, each with a different focus.
The first strategy is evaluating the Order of the Arrow’s mission, purpose, and identity to ensure that it is consistent with the needs of the BSA. This will involve looking at Scouting’s needs, determining the future use of American Indian Culture in the Order of the Arrow program, reviewing the Order of the Arrow’s role as Scouting’s National Honor Society, and becoming a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Strategy two is working to establish a direct relationship between the National OA Committee and each lodge. This will allow for easier access to resources, knowledge, and support to help ensure that lodges will become high-performing. Some changes will include clarifying and simplifying expectations of a lodge, guiding lodges to support changes in their council, retaining youth Arrowmen at a 10% higher rate, re-orienting the OA’s training programs to emphasize the tools local leadership needs, and providing mentorship, coaching, and training directly from the national organization.
The third strategy is to stabilize the OA’s youth membership. Scouting as a whole has one big need: membership growth. The OA plans to organize resources behind this goal, define the expectations for OA membership experience, have a defined onboarding program for new members, identify barriers to entry for OA membership and eliminate them where possible, and organize a National OA Conference (NOAC) designed to engage the maximum amount of Arrowmen while keeping them active in their lodge.
The last strategy looks at developing a national structure that focuses on supporting lodges and delivering the member experience. This involves a governance structure that models diversity and the organization’s mission and purpose, creating clear term plans for national appointed positions, defining the roles, organization, and scope of the support structures between the lodge and national organization, and eliminating OA programs that do not align with its mission and purpose.
These strategies are important as they mostly affect the national organization, but certain parts like membership affect the OA as a whole. For more information on the business plan and/or to review it, go to oa-bsa.org/resources/publications.