This past year, the Order of the Arrow has had to adapt to the ever changing times. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Section NE-5’s Chief, Nick Sherman, and talk about their recent Fall Virtual Training Series.
Q: So Nick, tell me--what exactly was the Fall Virtual Training Series?
A: The Fall Virtual Training Series was a way for Arrowmen to come together and learn about different topics related to the Order of the Arrow and Scouting as a whole. Sessions covered topics including managing lodge officer teams, effective storytelling, and how to use LodgeMaster to aid in inductions. The series spanned over a two-month frame consisting of six total nights of training. Each night had one or two sessions take place. Overall, this series allowed our section’s Arrowmen to learn about these topics and equipped them with the tools to help their lodges and chapters thrive.
Q: This sounds like quite the complex operation, who else was involved in these sessions?
A: We had Arrowmen from across the nation support this program. Trainers included 2020 National Chief Zach Schonfeld and 2020 National Vice Chief Noah Smith, as well as 2021 National Chief Derek Porter, among many others. I personally want to thank every Arrowmen involved who took time out of their schedules to give back to the program and impart their knowledge on the Arrowmen of Section NE-5.
Q: Why did you and your fellow officers choose to plan and put on this program?
A: We decided to plan and put on this program to allow our section leadership to branch out and provide a program separate from our regular Conclave and Section Leadership Conference. It was very different from any program we have previously held, but at the end of the day, we benefited from it just as much as those Arrowmen who attended.
Q: While this program benefitted those who attended with valuable information and experiences immediately, what do you think the lasting impact will be?
A: I believe that we’re already seeing the impact that this program has on our organization. I have seen other sections nationwide conducting training sessions similar to FVTS and I believe that more will continue to use our blueprint as time and virtual Scouting continues.
Q: Is this something you think that other chapters, lodges, and sections should aim to replicate?
A: Of course! By conducting their own virtual training programs, they will provide Arrowmen with the same valuable information and experiences that the Arrowmen of Section NE-5 gained during our Fall Virtual Training Series. I would recommend this style of training to each and every chapter, lodge, and section in the OA.