The strength of the Central Region of the Order of the Arrow is, and always will be, the 64 young leaders who serve as lodge chiefs. When he took office, Central Region Chief Terry Hendriex recognized the importance of this core team and has made it the goal of the Central Region to develop this strong team even further, in turn strengthening all of the lodges. In the eyes of the Central Region, the only way that the Order of the Arrow can overcome the challenges in the coming months is for
“Our leaders to have sustained growth as people in order to continuously innovate to reach high performance. This development comes not from spoon-fed initiatives, but coaching.” -Central Region Chief Terry Hendriex
To accomplish this task, the Central Region has unveiled the Thrive: Traction Initiative. This program has three distinct components: the Breakthrough Summits, the Experience Team Engagement, and LLD: Endeavor. Together, these three components work to:
“Build a high performing tomorrow for the Order of the Arrow pushed not by the national organization, but by 64 inspired lodge chiefs in the Central Region.” -Central Region Chief Terry Hendriex
Every month, lodge chiefs from all over the Central Region gather to participate in a “Breakthrough Summit.” This summit is one of the core tenets of the Thrive: Traction program, and serves as a way to have open dialogue between lodge chiefs about the challenges they are overcoming and as a way for lodges to support each other and for section officers and the Central Region to better serve their lodges.
These summits are broken up into two distinct portions. First, a keynote speaker shares their thoughts on one of the burning issues facing lodges throughout the region. From lodge chiefs speaking about developing a lodge culture, to Samuel Aronson, Assistant Dean at Georgetown University, and key author of the National Leadership Seminar, speaking about his own experiences throughout Scouting, these speakers always have an inspirational impact upon their audience. Once the keynote speaker wraps up, lodge chiefs go into breakout sessions to further discuss the challenges posed by the speaker and how their lodge has overcome (or is working to overcome) these challenges.
“It provides a unique opportunity for lodge chiefs to have meaningful discussions with leaders of similarly sized lodges, all guided by youth leaders with a strong desire to see our brotherhood Thrive.” -Section C-6B Chief Aedhan Scott
But simply meeting once a month to discuss challenges isn’t enough to support a lodge chief throughout the trials and tribulations a lodge faces. The second component of Thrive: Traction serves to extend this support to a personal level. In the words of Ryan Stults, who serves as the Central Region Lodge Support Lead,
“One of Thrive Traction’s most unique opportunities is that we have planned a 1 on 1 mentorship program with each of our lodge chiefs, with a selected group of chiefs enrolled in the pilot program. These mentoring partnerships enable lodge chiefs to have a former lodge chief mentor guide them to success throughout their term.” -Ryan Stults
These Experience Team Engagements serve to fill a simple premise: the only person who knows how to be an effective lodge chief is someone who has already completed their time in that role. This component pairs current lodge chiefs with former lodge chiefs, each of whom is incredibly experienced in leading lodges. These experienced chiefs work not to single-handedly fix all the challenges that a lodge may be facing, but rather prepare the lodge to solve them on their own by coaching the lodge chief. By mentoring a lodge chief, one of the experienced leads can help the lodge solve not just their current challenges, but all the ones that may appear in the future.
“When every lodge chief is inspired and equipped to lead, every Arrowmen in their lodge has the opportunity to excel.” -Ryan Stults
Earlier this year, the Central Region unveiled their LLD: Endeavor program. This served to strengthen and enhance the Lodge Leadership Developments held throughout the region, and assist lodges in the transition to holding their sessions virtually. Even though the first round of sessions has already been released, this program is far from finished. Under the direction of Central Region Training Coordinator Brian Blood, LLD: Endeavor will continue to be a strong resource for lodges throughout the Central Region and will be a core component of the Thrive: Traction Initiative.
“Thrive Traction is the premier way of mobilizing Central Region Lodge Chiefs and giving them the tools to thrive and be high performing. We’ve truly seen lodge chiefs succeed and solve problems facing our organization together and they’re in tune that our movement is bigger than just one lodge.” -Brian Blood
Thrive: Traction’s focus on the development and support of lodge chiefs throughout the Central Region has been a force for positive change in the Order of the Arrow. For any questions or comments about Thrive: Traction, please contact Central Region Chief Terry Hendriex at @email.