With all of the changes and challenges that the Order of the Arrow faces, our senior leaders are always looking for ways to support and empower local lodge leadership. Of the many resources that have been created and distributed, one of the most useful is the Polestar: Induction Leadership Training. Given the positive impact of Polestar: Induction Leadership Training on lodges across the nation, some youth leaders from Talidandaganu’ Lodge in the Cherokee Area Council offered their thoughts on how this training is important for lodges everywhere.
The purpose of the Polestar training sessions is to educate, excite, and motivate your lodge and chapter leadership regarding the importance of the new member journey – known as the Induction. The training provides the latest updates and best practices for your lodge’s Induction practices.
A few weeks ago, Talidandaganu’ Lodge conducted a full Polestar: Induction Leadership Training. While one of the benefits of the training is that it can be done in a variety of formats, this lodge decided to go with the recommended format: in-person on a dedicated Saturday, allotting roughly eight hours for the training, by playing the video (divided into ten chapters) and hosting live (and lively!) discussions in between each chapter.
When asked about the Polestar training that was conducted in the lodge and how it went—specifically, if the training was too long, former Lodge Chief and Polestar facilitator Joel H. asked his team of youth to provide some feedback. Specifically, he wanted to know if they found the Polestar training engaging, if it was too long or too short, and if it was actually effective.
From Joel’s lodge leadership team, we heard positive reviews of both the content and structure of the training.
One key member of the team said that
For me, Polestar was engaging to help us understand what we need to work on as a lodge. I think that the training time was alright, not too short, not too long, but overall, it was great.
While including all of the Polestar training modules in a single session makes for a long day, each part of the training has proven to be beneficial to the facilitators and the learners.
Another member of the lodge’s leadership said,
I found the Polestar training to be quite engaging and informative in that I now further understand how the lodge works and what we can improve upon.
Talidandaganu’ lodge has also found that parts of the Polestar training are useful for preparing their Unit Election teams, ceremonial teams, and Elangomats for their roles in the Induction process.
From a newer Arrowmen’s perspective, we heard,
I would have loved to take even more time to follow the response format to the videos. There’s a perfect amount of detail without being over-detailed, which is what I think prompts such great discussions.
Typically, newer Arrowmen are responsible for key components of the Induction process, such as serving on a unit election team or as an elangomat. It is important that each Arrowman is given the time to develop an understanding of what each step of the Induction process is and how every step leads to activated, inspired servant leaders.
In summary, the youth response to the Polestar training is that it is positive, engaging, and deserves more time rather than less. If any lodge leaders are concerned about the Polestar training and its length, it is worth considering that the key to the training is the format. The blend of an instructional video and live discussion means that participants are never stuck on one topic for more than twenty to thirty minutes and enables participants to take bite-sized pieces rather than swallowing the entire two-hour video at once.
As always, these resources are available for anyone to use at https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions/polestar.