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News for all Arrowmen about what's happening today in the Order of the Arrow.

What’s in a theme?

<p>If you attended the 2015 National OA Conference, you would be hard pressed to find someone who did not know the conference theme, It Starts With Us. This slogan represented a theme which radiated throughout the conference and sent a message to all of the guests and staff in attendance.</p> <p>Have you ever wondered what goes into creating a conference theme? Are you thinking about incorporating a theme into your next lodge or section event? Here is how the NOAC thematics team created the message for the conference, and some ways you can apply that process yourself.</p> <p><strong>Creating the theme</strong></p> <p>The thematics team was led by 2015 National Vice Chief Donnie Stephens. The team had the huge undertaking of creating a theme that would resonate with NOAC’s 15,000 guests, staff and visitors.</p> <p>To put NOAC in context, the team wanted to look at the different issues facing the organization so they sent out a survey to the OA’s top youth and adult leadership. The feedback from the survey indicated that the theme should focus on the future of the OA rather than its history. This data led the team to develop the thematic learning objective, or the message the conference should convey. That message was to create tomorrow with actions today.</p> <p>Once the conference learning objective was set, it was necessary to develop a slogan that would encapsulate the theme. The theme team developed a number of ideas and shared them with the 2014-15 section chiefs, who selected It Starts With Us. The theme and slogan were unveiled at the 2014 National Planning Meeting in Westlake, TX, where youth leaders from around the nation gathered to begin conference planning.</p> <p>When looking to create your own theme and slogan, talk to the people in your lodge or section, find an issue you would like to solve, decide what message you want to communicate to address the issue, and develop a slogan that easily reminds people of that message.</p> <p><strong>Incorporating your theme</strong></p> <p>Once you have the theme for your event, and a slogan to support it, it is time to make sure that the theme radiates in every aspect of the event. At NOAC, there was a thematic training session called The Secret to Ruling the World, which helped guests understand their place in the world and how they could make a difference. That was just one example of the theme in action: all of the nightly shows highlighted the theme, as did the speeches from BSA National President Dr. Robert Gates, National Chief Alex Call and National Vice Chief Donnie Stephens.</p> <p>Another way the theme was conveyed was through the use of branding. A ripple was used as a unifying image of the conference, and it appeared on all of the different publications, PowerPoint slides of trainings and different signage throughout Michigan State Unviersity. Creating a visual identity for the event-helped guests associate the ripple with the theme, keeping it at the forefront of everyone’s mind.</p> <p>Branding your event doesn’t have to be complicated, it is just a way to have people visually associate words and pictures with your event in order to leave a more lasting impact. Pick something simple and iconic; a relevant, powerful image is more impactful than a complicated brand guide. The best way to integrate your theme is to have a theme that people can get behind, and make meaning of for them. The more excited they are about it, the more effective it will be.</p> <p>Whether you’re planning a conference for 15,000, or a fellowship for 150, have a strong theme and incorporate it into every aspect of your event. This will add to the event’s impact. Guests left NOAC looking to create tomorrow with action today, which was focused via small acts of kindness with the #DareToDo campaign. Great event themes should likewise have a call to action — tackling a problem in the OA, or the world as a whole. Creating a theme will take your events to the next level, especially when that theme has impact beyond the event itself!</p>

Oct 29, 2016   OA Today
Joining the Centennial Campaign

<div><a href="https://oa-bsa.org/uploads/announcements/2016/Centennial_Campaign_Flyer.pdf"><img alt="" src="//oa-bsa.org/uploads/announcements/2016/Centennial_Campaign_Flyer.jpg" /><br /> Download the Flyer</a></div> <p>The Order of the Arrow's 100th anniversary was an exceptional time that will be talked about for many years. The historic Centennial Campaign to secure funding for a number of our high adventure facilities has moved us much closer to our goal. At Philmont Scout Ranch, a major expansion of the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library will take place, and there will also be significant displays provided by the Order of the Arrow at Northern Tier, the Florida Sea Base and the National Scouting Museum.</p> <p>The Centennial Campaign began with donations from members of the National Order of the Arrow Committee, and this effort has now spread across the nation to hundreds of committed Arrowmen. Several lodges and one section have stepped up to make their contributions. In North Carolina, Section SR-7B has used a variety of activities to contribute to the Centennial Campaign including Legacy Fellowship to past advisers and a sporting clay tournament. Overall, Section SR-7B has contributed $5,000 to the Centennial Campaign.</p> <p>Three lodges have also demonstrated their desire to be a part of this campaign. Unami Lodge (Cradle of Liberty Council) and Witauchsoman Lodge (Minsi Trails&nbsp;Council) have each contributed $12,500 to the gateway entry of the Summit Circle at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. In addition, Wa-Hi-Nasa Lodge (Middle Tennessee Council) has contributed $25,000 to the main campfire ring at the Summit Circle. Any lodge wishing to contribute to the campaign will first need to make an equal size gift to their council.</p> <p>This campaign will conclude on June 30, 2016, allowing only a few months for you to become part of this historic and significant fundraiser. Contributions will provide the Order of the Arrow with a significant presence and impact at our high adventure bases. Are you going to join this historic endeavor?</p> <p>Please consider how you can be part of this campaign and our achieving 100% of our goal. For more information, please contact National OA Director Matthew Dukeman at 972-580-2455 or <a href="mailto:matthew.dukeman@scouting.org">matthew.dukeman@scouting.org</a>.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   OA Today
Centennial Belt Buckle

<p>Back by popular demand... the Centennial Belt Buckle. Head on over to the <a href="http://tradingpost.oa-bsa.org/SearchResults.asp?Cat=66">Trading Post</a> to get yours today.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   OA Today
Not So Long Ago, In a Lodge Not Too Far Away

<p>One of the toughest and most consistent challenges for any lodge is the ability to host successful events. An often essential component for an event, especially a fellowship weekend, is a unique event theme. The leadership of Sequoyah Lodge knew this, and after deliberation, planned their lodge’s fellowship around a Star Wars theme.</p> <p>It all started last May when the idea of a Star Wars themed fall fellowship was pitched to the lodge chief. The idea was approved, and the event was carried out from September 12-14. While the idea of the theme certainly had appeal, the success of the event relied on how the lodge actually incorporated the theme into its event. When asked about how the lodge mixed Star Wars into its activities, Lodge Chief Anthony Johnson stated that the lodge, “had both traditional and modern activities” which appealed to all attending members. Johnson elaborated by saying that there were teambuilding and confidence-building activities that incorporated Star Wars motifs into them. The lodge also set up several video game systems that allowed lodge members to play Star Wars: Battlefront, a popular Star Wars video game.</p> <p>Johnson claimed that the event saw a slight increase in membership attendance compared to other fellowships. He stated that the event was a big success and said, “It was the best one I’ve been to in a while.” He was pleased that the youth had a great time with the Star Wars themed events and that the adults were happy running the rifle range and other activities.</p> <p>One interesting addition that Johnson mentioned was the lodge’s policy to use dues revenue to allow brand new members to attend the fellowship for free. This certainly incentivized the new, enthusiastic members to attend the event, hopefully leading to continual participation.</p> <p>The leadership of Sequoyah Lodge realized that they needed a unique theme for their fall fellowship, and they took their Star Wars idea and ran with it. Designing their activities with a unique theme encouraged increased youth attendance. The challenge for Sequoyah now is to take the momentum and continue to provide unique, stimulating program.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   OA Today
OA ReliefCorps helps heal Louisiana after historic flooding

<p>Thousands of Americans have seen their neighborhoods submerged, their towns decimated and their homes lost. Record flooding in Louisiana created the largest disaster since Superstorm Sandy and the worst to hit the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina. Seeing the devastation, Arrowmen from across the nation rallied to come to the aid of those affected by the flooding through the coordinated effort of the OA ReliefCorps.</p> <p>The OA ReliefCorps is an effort conducted by the Southern Region of the Order of the Arrow whenever major disaster strikes the region. It was first called into action in 2011 after tornadoes ravaged parts of Alabama, then again in 2013 to Oklahoma and last year to South Carolina. In its fourth installment, this time as Operation Louisiana Relief, the program has faced its most daunting challenge yet - helping to heal the worst disaster this country has faced since Sandy in October 2012.</p> <p>For Andy Chapman, the Southern Region OA Chairman and a Louisiana native, this disaster struck very close to home. With his family and loved ones being from the affected area, these victims were not just faces on a television screen, these were people he cared about. As a lifelong Scout hearing about this disaster, he remembered that “it is written right into our Oath, to help other people at all times.” He knew that help was needed for those in the affected area and understood that it is only right for Scouts and Arrowmen to make themselves a part of the relief effort. After coordinating with Jeff Sedlacek, the Southern Region Chief, they tasked Section SR-1A to activate OA ReliefCorps: Operation Louisiana Relief.</p> <p>Thus, the OA ReliefCorps was authorized and mobilized to serve Louisiana in its fourth installment. Fortunately, the OA ReliefCorps met the challenge of serving Louisiana quicker than any challenge before due to the help of the Southern Region OA communications team. Chapman remarked that they were able to craft logos and written content in as little as twenty-four hours. This speed gave the effort more time to get off the ground and begin its service.</p> <p>How exactly though has the OA ReliefCorps been serving Louisiana? Their two-pronged approach consists of both encouraging lodges to perform service projects (such as a resource drive collecting cleaning supplies for victims) and a fundraising component where patches are sold and the proceeds go to victims. Lodges can be a part of this effort by creating their own service project. At the same time, they can help with fundraising efforts by either promoting the purchase of OA ReliefCorps patches or through buying patches in bulk and reselling to the lodge’s membership. Any lodge can help, even those outside of the Southern Region.</p> <p>As Arrowmen, we are called to cheerfully serve others. The people of Louisiana, its men and women, its families and its Scouting community are calling upon us for service. As Sedlacek notes, this effort is “important because it’s what the OA is all about - cheerful service and helping others”. Times like these are where we put our Obligation to the test. How will you fulfill it? Contact your lodge leadership and see how you can be a part of healing Louisiana</p> <p>More information can be found at:&nbsp;<a href="http://southern.oa-bsa.org/2016/08/18/reliefcorps-2016-operation-louisiana-relief/">http://southern.oa-bsa.org/2016/08/18/reliefcorps-2016-operation-louisiana-relief/</a></p>

Sep 26, 2016   OA Today