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ACT Conference Serves as a Valuable Resource for Lodges and Sections

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>It is important now more than ever that we provide support to the lodges. Like all of us, timelines have changed and we are being faced with unprecedented circumstances. This is a great time for you, our section leaders, to provide continued support for your lodges within your section. Working on developing your ACT Conference, could be a great way in doing so. Being able to provide your lodges with best practices, whether in person or virtually, will give them the tools to be able to thrive and will encourage critical thinking in the face of the challenges they face. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For those of you who are not yet familiar with the resources at your disposal, the ACT Conference has a developed framework for you to use when planning your own conference. The Management Guidebook is a great tool that can be utilized to make sure that the appropriate steps are taken to host a successful conference! This is not to say that you can’t make the event your own, as a matter of fact, it is encouraged! There are also resources available at your disposal to help show your appreciation to anyone who assisted with the ACT Conference.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The overall program of the ACT Conference helps introduce everyone to the purpose of the conference, the Performance Measurement Program and takes time to highlight the three different metrics that are being used as measurements throughout the program. This is a great opportunity to answer any questions that the lodges may have. Not only this, but the conference is designed for the lodges to self-evaluate, encourage critical thinking and develop a plan to have their lodge thrive! </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For further information regarding the ACT Conference and all up-to-date resources, please visit: </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href="https://oa-bsa.org/training/act-conference"><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span>https://oa-bsa.org/training/act-conference</span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Jun 22, 2020   Section Sentinel
Operation Arrow Opportunities

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>From July 21st - 30th, 2021, Scouts and Scouters from across the nation will attend the 2021 National Jamboree at Summit Bechtel Reserve. Along with them will be hundreds of volunteers from the Order of Arrow helping out as part of Operation Arrow. In order to ensure that Operation Arrow is a success, our sections must spread the word to their lodges.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Although the OA has had a role in supporting the national jamboree since the 1950’s, 2021 will be our biggest initiative to date. If we are to accomplish this goal, we must have a wide range of Arrowmen from across the nation volunteer. It is vital that the section officers do their part by encouraging their lodges to send participants for Operation Arrow. By participating in Operation Arrow, Arrowmen will be able to help make sure all who attend the national jamboree have an incredible time. All who participate in Operation Arrow will additionally be performing cheerful service with fellow Arrowmen, further strengthening the ties of brotherhood within the OA.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Youth Arrowmen who participate in Operation Arrow will have three&nbsp;separate options for service they can choose from. The first option is to be a member of the Service Corps, which for the past 18 Jamborees has worked tirelessly to complete numerous projects. The Service Corps is divided into chapters to complete daily tasks while demonstrating cheerful service! The second&nbsp;option is to work on the Activation Team, which serves as a new area that will work on ways to invigorate all Arrowmen. The OA Activation Team will host live interactive experiences and community engagement in order to energize our future Arrowmen and spread the virtues of brotherhood and cheerful service. The third&nbsp;choice is to serve as part of the Conservation Team, which in partnership with the US Forest Service, the Conservation Team will lead units in conservation-based trailing building and repairing. This is a perfect fit for those who love to get their hands dirty and make a direct and positive impact on their surroundings.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>As you can see there are many fantastic ways that Arrowmen can help out through Operation Arrow. Each Arrowmen will be able to use their own unique skills to provide cheerful service and help make the national jamboree as successful as possible. As section officers, you have the critical role of informing our fellow Arrowmen that these opportunities exist. With your help, word of Operation Arrow will spread to every lodge in the nation.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Planning and Orchestrating the New England Fellowship

<p dir="ltr">As sections across the nation work through the conclave planning process, vast amounts of time, energy, and resources are utilized in pulling it off effectively. While leadership is taken on by the section officers - the chief, vice-chief, and secretary - Arrowmen from the various member lodges typically play vital roles in planning and executing the yearly conclave. This can be seen in a variety of ways with Arrowmen serving in positions of responsibility, typically overseeing one aspect of the process. Section NE-1, with ten lodges spanning from Rhode Island to Maine, has taken this concept and developed it into a detailed mechanism that distributes responsibility in planning for the conclave each year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Planning for the Section NE-1 Conclave, called the New England Fellowship,&nbsp; commences just as most sections do - promptly after the section officers are elected. It begins with selecting coordinators for the year. Similar to conclave vice-chiefs the coordinators each have a specific responsibility for the New England Fellowship. Additionally, each coordinator has a knowledgeable and reliable adviser who oversees and assists their work during the year. For this selection, the section utilizes Scouters specializing in a field that relates to program aspect they supervise. For example, a shows adviser may work in the entertainment industry, while one working in sales may be selected for the trading post adviser role.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Each coordinator is also responsible for a committee of Arrowmen that support and assist them in their designated area. A key component in how this is organized is through the selection and development of the Arrowmen in these positions. Interest forms and applications are sent out to the lodges during the year, looking for Arrowmen interested in becoming a part of the conclave planning process. Typically, the section seeks Arrowmen who have experience in positions of responsibility within their lodge to ensure confident and competent Arrowmen filling these positions. Selection of the coordinators each year falls to members of the committees or the section’s council of chiefs. By doing so, it allows for Arrowmen who have demonstrated responsibility in their lodges to take their talent into the section level, usually starting off as a committee member before taking on the role of a Coordinator later on. Again, this gives Arrowmen a gradual involvement into the section level, encouraging successful Coordinators and section officers down the line, if they choose to follow that route.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">To divide the responsibility, there are a variety of committees formed to plan the New England Fellowship. This includes program, trainings, shows, communication, American Indian Activities, and more. Each committee is comprised of four to five Arrowmen to help execute the responsibilities. While separate and distinct, the areas of emphasis to overlap in some cases. For example, while one component of the communications committee is promotions and marketing the event, communications trainings are also held in the morning during the training sessions, indicating a degree of interaction. On the contrary, while many aspects like shows and training would fall in line with the program, those roles are divided to allow greater detail in carrying them out. This is supported schedule-wise as well, with training held on Saturday morning and additional program elements - ranging from program activities offered at the host camp to inter-lodge competitions - taking place primarily in the afternoon. Along the lines of program, it is typically a member of the host lodge who serves as the program coordinator. This is because an Arrowman from the host lodge would have a greater knowledge of the camp where the event is held, thus proving useful in developing a program most suitable for the location. The host lodge also handles much of the logistics for the location, facilities, and all else associated, while the section oversees the overall program development. The section officers specifically manage the various coordinators, with the vice-chief and secretary responsible for about half each.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">It is evident that the manner in which Section NE-1 develops, plans, and executes its New England Fellowship has grown overtime, with each new year bringing new improvements to how it operates. Appointments of various positions is done so in a fashion that not only encourages Arrowmen from the lodges to participate in the planning, but also enables a standard of excellence from those involved, with Arrowmen advancing through positions of responsibility that promotes both their own growth as well as that of the section.&nbsp;</p>

Aug 29, 2019   Section Sentinel
Section SR-1B Hurricane Michael Relief

<p dir="ltr">On October 10th, 2018, Hurricane Michael landed within Section SR-1B, which covers lodges in Southern Alabama, Northeast Florida, and Central and Southern Mississippi. That day, Section Adviser Wade Hartley contacted lodge advisers to collect damage reports and announced a way to combat the disaster. Along with the section leadership, he designed a patch to help Scouts and units that were affected. Wade said, “I initially had the idea literally while the storm raged, and within less than a day after, each lodge had committed its full support. Within just a few days afterwards a design was completed and advertising began.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Lodges and online memorabilia groups ordered over 750 hurricane relief patches to then sell and distribute to their members. Amidst the chaos, this strategy not only minimized transactions, but also saved money in postage that could be donated. The proceeds benefited two councils affected by the storm, coming to a combined total of $3,500, $1,000 of which Section SR-1B donated. Distribution of funds were based on the number of scouts and units which were affected, and were spent directly on hurricane related expenses such as uniform replacements, handbooks, and trailers. Wade believes the project was extremely beneficial to both councils and also brought their section together for a good deed.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to the hurricane relief patches, the section has a long history of service. Since 2009, it has hosted food drive at conclaves, as well as awarded annual $1,000 and $2,000 service grants modeled after the OA Service Grant. Funds are acquired from patch auctions and created patches to build the fund, which has successfully provided a total of $24,000 to local council camps since its inception. The section has also created comfort and sanitation kits at conclave to donate to local charities for the last three years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Section SR-1B has continuously gone out of its way both in the past, and most recently to charitable causes to benefit the greater good. Wade said, “The hurricane patches were just another element in our commitment to service to our councils and communities.” This shows their dedication to providing our common purpose while making sure scouting is preserved under hardship.</p>

Aug 29, 2019   Section Sentinel
C-5A & C-5B High Performing Lodge Seminar

<p dir="ltr">There are always a lot of questions to be had when it comes to the challenge of taking a lodge to High Performing status: What can be done to keep new members coming back? How can lodges reach all units during election season? In pursuit of answers, the Arrowmen of sections C-5A and C-5B joined forces in January for a High Performing Lodge Seminar at Naish Scout Reservation.</p> <p dir="ltr">These two sections cover most of Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri, as well as the entire state of Kansas. Given the states these sections serve, the seminar’s staff were faced with a unique challenge: catering to lodges that differ vastly in size and the type of area they serve.&nbsp; The seminar’s content had to appeal to lodges ranging in size from a few hundred to a few thousand Arrowmen. Best practices shared from trainers also had to work for lodges serving rural areas, mid-sized cities like Des Moines, or sprawling metropolises like Kansas City.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">During his term as section chief of C-5B, Garret Schmidt coordinated with then-C-5A chief Scout Perryman to plan and conduct the seminar. At the seminar, all lodges were shown their Journey to Excellence scores to give them a clear picture of what specific areas they could improve upon.&nbsp; Throughout the seminar, lodges seeking to make progress in certain Journey to Excellence criteria learned from lodges who excelled in these areas. Every lodge brought different strengths to the table, and discussions were facilitated on how to turn each area of the High Performing scorecard into something each lodge could excel at. Thirteen different training sessions, ranging from “The Art of Delegation” to a session on LINK, gave Arrowmen in attendance the tools to take what they learned home and implement new ideas.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite only a few months having passed since the High Performing Lodge Seminar, the wheels of change have already been turning in the lodges that attended.&nbsp; Plans of action have been formed in these lodges by motivated Arrowmen with a vision of High Performing status. Still active on the COC, Schmidt has heard positive news that the lodges who came to the seminar are due for large strides towards becoming High Performing. Given the seminar’s success, Schmidt remarked, “it was an amazing event where our brothers got to meet others from their neighboring section to take away an inspiring message about how to ignite change in the Order’s Midwest”.</p>

Aug 29, 2019   Section Sentinel
Section SR-7A Works Towards Unit Election Evaluations

<p dir="ltr">Unit elections can be the first interaction a unit or Scout may have with their local lodge, so they are an important facet of becoming a High Performing Lodge. Immediate past SR-7A Section Chief and 2018 National Chief Anthony Peluso suggested that lodges in the section compete on their ability to host and facilitate a unit election. In 2018, at Section SR-7A’s Conclave, section leadership assembled a committee that would tackle this new lodge competition event. All lodges would be asked to compete in the event, and to add some incentive, the competition was added to the scoring system for the section’s annual ‘Lodge of the Year’ award.</p> <p dir="ltr">The evaluations are judged by a panel composed of youth and adults, who will make suggestions the unit election teams based on their strengths and weaknesses. The section leadership were very satisfied with the program’s success. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was great to see that a majority of the audience were new Arrowmen who were eager to learn more about the unit election process, how they could help in the process and have the chance to better grasp the idea of why the unit election plays such an important role on the path to membership.”</p> <p dir="ltr">They are also encouraging other sections to bring this to their conclaves this coming year.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Your lodges will have the chance to learn from one another and bring an excellent experience to a unit as well as an excellent first interaction with a unit member’s first encounter with the OA.”</p>

Dec 16, 2018   Section Sentinel
Section C-7 Gemini Project

<p dir="ltr">Before NASA’s Apollo missions, the Gemini Project helped prepare for the big mission, a trip to the moon. In a way, this is what Section C-7 is doing for their eleven lodges. In an interview with Joey S., the Section C-7 Vice Chief, we explored what the Gemini Project is and how it can be beneficial for a section and its lodges.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Gemini Project, formerly known as the Sister Lodge Program, is an opportunity for lodges in Section C-7 to pair up to share best practices in order to strengthen weaker parts of their programs. According to Joey, “The lodges choose what other lodge they want to pair with, the section just encourages and motivates all lodges to participate.” Last year only 3 lodges participated, which showed the section that more in-person meetings with all lodge chiefs is needed. As of now, every lodge is planning to participate and announce who they will be pairing with at their winter council of chiefs meeting.</p> <p dir="ltr">When it came down to what the weaknesses in the program were, Joey said that it all boiled down to lodge chief participation. This year the section officers talked to all the lodge chiefs and explained how this can help improve their lodge and why it’s so beneficial to them if they participate. All the lodge chiefs came together for an in-person meeting, which allowed them to create relationships and get to know each other, making it easier for them to work together as a team and not strangers. Joey said, “the program not only creates friendships between lodges, but also encourages a friendly rivalry to improve JTE results and participation within the lodges.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Section C-7’s Gemini Project is preparing each lodge for their big mission of making big changes to impact their program. Why should your chapter, lodge or section follow Section C-7 and create a program like this? To Joey, the value of coming together to work on the program has the potential to create a major impact on the lodges.</p>

Dec 16, 2018   Section Sentinel
Letter from the National Chief and Vice Chief

<p dir="ltr">Chiefs,</p> <p dir="ltr">It is hard to believe that only a few short days stand between us and the beginning of a new year. When we arrive in Dallas for the National Order of the Arrow Planning Meeting, we will lay the groundwork for our 2019 program of emphasis: Focus 2019. The three different components of Focus 2019 will be Hackathon, Lodge Performance, and Conclave 2.0. Lodge Performance will be made up of three committees: election, induction, and activation rate. Conclave 2.0 will consist of both a program and administration committee. Each of you will play a key role in planning this program, and will make decisions that will impact the future of the OA. &nbsp;We are excited to see the unique skills and ideas that you’ll bring to the table! As many of you have not attended a national planning meeting before, below is a brief overview of what to expect and a few key reminders from the call we had last month.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect when you touchdown at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (remember, don’t fly into Love Field!):</p> <p dir="ltr">When you land, grab your bags and head to Terminal C, baggage claim C-31, and check-in with the uniformed BSA representative who will coordinate transportation for you to the hotel. Once you arrive at the Marriott Solana, you may check in to your room and participate in afternoon recreation. Find some time to get to know the other chiefs, committee members, and key volunteers as they arrive! We will also be holding the traditional national officers vs. national committee basketball game. Feel free to stop by and watch; you know which team you should be rooting for…</p> <p dir="ltr">On the night of December 27th, there will be a reception, dinner and a presentation on the basics of the 2019 program of emphasis. Following this general session, you will go straight into the national chief and national vice chief elections. The elections are known to end late at night, so make sure you are well rested when you get to the hotel. After the elections, you’ll want to head to bed as breakfast and region chief elections are first thing in the morning on December 28th. Each region will meet in a separate room and elect their region chief.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the region chief elections, professional photos of each planning meeting guest and a group photo will be taken. In the afternoon, the new national officers will be installed, your committee assignments issued and the program planning will commence! After going through some initial, big picture discussions on your committee’s vision and involvement, you will elect a focus vice chief (FVC) to lead your committee.</p> <p dir="ltr">The rest of the meeting will be spent compiling your plan to deliver on your respective committee’s responsibilities in 2019. Of course, the planning meeting is not strictly business. You will have the chance to enjoy fellowship with other attendees, as well as see the exciting things happening in the Order of the Arrow first-hand.</p> <p dir="ltr">On December 30th, continental breakfast will be served and we will depart, ready to put on amazing program for our fellow Arrowmen.</p> <p dir="ltr">Please be sure all of your paperwork has been taken care of, and you have reviewed all of the event information that was sent to you several weeks ago. Additionally, make sure to download the 2018 National Planning Meeting App on your smartphone or tablet to access schedules and other important information you’ll need on-site.</p> <p dir="ltr">We look forward to joining you soon, and if we may be of service, please do not hesitate to ask.</p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Yours in Service,</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p dir="ltr">Anthony Peluso</p> <p dir="ltr">2018 National Chief</p> </td> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td> <p dir="ltr">Michael Kipp</p> <p dir="ltr">2018 National Vice Chief</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

Dec 16, 2018   Section Sentinel
NOAC Insights: NOAC Leadership Banquet

<p dir="ltr">With the 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference less than a few months away, Arrowmen across the country are finalizing flight plans, bus tickets, and making other last-minute preparations before they arrive at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. NOAC is full of amazing special events throughout the week - among the special recognitions and gatherings, the Leadership Banquet is one such event intended to recognize all section leadership throughout the country.</p> <p dir="ltr">All three youth officers and the adviser from each section are invited. The banquet will take place on Wednesday, August 1st at this year’s conference. “We invite them to come and enjoy fellowship with fellow sections officers and we encourage them to continue their work within their sections and the lodges they help,” said Special Events Conference Vice Chief Jorge Salazar. “Sections serve as the link between our national program and local lodges. Their jobs are extremely important, and this is our way of saying thank you for the unselfish service.”</p> <p dir="ltr">With so much to look forward to at this year’s conference, be sure to Decide Your Destiny and join in on all the brotherhood, cheerfulness and fun. Talk to your lodge chief and adviser about attending with your lodge contingent, or sign up for staff through the <a href="https://registration.oa-bsa.org/">online registration site</a>.</p>

Jun 07, 2018   NOAC 2018, Section Sentinel
NOAC Insights: Region Gatherings

<p dir="ltr">We all take pride in where we come from. At the 2018 NOAC, Arrowmen will have a chance to celebrate their roots during the Region Gatherings. Each of the four regions will have a separate gathering - designed to celebrate what makes them unique.</p> <p dir="ltr">Arrowmen will have the opportunity to meet their region chief, fellow Arrowmen, and enjoy various fun activities, including a talent show!</p> <p dir="ltr">Sections should encourage all Arrowmen to bring their region pride: chants, swag and anything else that makes them a proud member of their region.</p> <p dir="ltr">Region Gatherings will transition partway through the event into Section Gatherings. This will serve as a great opportunity for Arrowmen to meet members from their own section and learn more about their local programs.</p> <p dir="ltr">We cannot change where we came from - but we can change where we go. Are you ready to celebrate your roots - and your future - &nbsp;at NOAC?</p>

Jun 07, 2018   NOAC 2018, Section Sentinel
Join NOAC Staff!

<p dir="ltr"><span>Every few years, the National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) rolls around. Thousands of Arrowmen come together to celebrate our brotherhood of cheerful service for fun activities and fellowship opportunities; but NOAC wouldn’t come to life without the dedicated service of those Arrowmen who serve on staff. </span></p> <p><span>Conference staff members will enjoy a unique experience serving the roughly 7,000+ Arrowmen expected at the 2018 conference. While serving as part of the NOAC staff, staff members are encouraged to experience the conference and enjoy the many activities and special events at NOAC. Staff members have the opportunity to meet and work with Arrowmen from all across the country. Staff members will find the bond of brotherhood will grow stronger between them as they serve together throughout the conference.</span></p> <p><span>There are multiple committees staff members can serve on, from leading innovative training sessions,to &nbsp;inspiring Arrowmen through world class shows, to supporting exciting activities and recreation, or joining the NOAC Service Corps. NOAC staff has a place for every Arrowmen looking to experience NOAC in a fun new way. </span></p> <p><span>Members of the NOAC staff pay their own way to the conference, sometimes traveling with their own council contingent. At the conference, they are housed with the conference staff and work in an assigned support role to help make the national conference a successful and enjoyable event. Many staff positions are still open for the 2018 NOAC, but they’re filling up quickly! If you’re interested in joining NOAC staff, register </span><a href="https://registration.oa-bsa.org/"><u>here</u></a><span>. </span></p>

May 20, 2018   NOAC 2018, OA Today, Section Sentinel
National Planning Meeting App Gives Attendees 21st Century Experience

<p dir="ltr">Just like any other year, sections chiefs will converge in Dallas this winter for the National Planning Meeting (NPM) and everything it entails. From electing national officers and conference vice chiefs to planning the program of emphasis, a lot of things remain constant. This year, however, there is a new part of the experience that will help NPM attendees be better prepared for the event.</p> <p dir="ltr">Section chiefs who have attended a NPM before are familiar with the binder that each participant receives on arrival. It contains their schedule, national officer candidacy petitions and everything else they need to navigate the planning meeting. This year, however, instead of having to lug around a binder, participants will have all the documents at their fingertips. The Order of the Arrow (OA) technology committee has developed a NPM app to replace the binder that participants usually receive. Not only is this more convenient to use, but it also helps “move us toward a paperless, more sustainable experience” at the meeting, according to National Chief Forrest Gertin. The change plays into the OA’s commitment as an outdoor organization to be more environmentally conscious.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another upside is that many of these documents will be made available to section chiefs before the planning meeting. The app is planning to launch early enough that section chiefs will be able to read the candidacy petitions for national office prior to arrival. Also, other documents related to the meeting should be available in advance to ensure that participants can hit the ground running once NPM starts.</p> <p dir="ltr">The development of this application is a major step forward for the National Planning Meeting. It will help participants come more prepared and simplify their experience all while helping the organization uphold its commitment to sustainability.</p>

Dec 23, 2017   NPM 2017, Section Sentinel