How AIA programs benefit lodges

What makes the induction experience memorable? 

Picture yourself as an Ordeal candidate approaching the lodge’s ceremony circle on a Saturday evening. It is the weekend of your Ordeal and you’ve worked hard to get to this moment. You’ve spent the night outside near one of your favorite program areas of your council camp and have gone through at least four water bottle refills to keep the service you are providing to the camp going. You are now being led into the ring to become a member of the Order of the Arrow and aside from a rumbling in your stomach, you are feeling great. There is a firm beat coming from a pounding drum somewhere inside. The beat is coursing through you, rumbling into echoes across camp. You get closer and you start to hear it - you hear singing coming from the trees. It’s a low whisper right now, but you can make out the voices of a handful of Arrowmen beating the drum and singing the song. Anticipation for this moment runs wild inside of you, the sounds around getting louder and louder as you slowly make your approach. You are winding along the path that seems never-ending, through an area of camp you have always wanted to see. Step after step, you walk along in line with all the soon-to-be-brothers around you, stepping to the rhythm. You hear the voices clearly now; they seem to be ramping up, getting more and more intense the closer to this circle you get. When at last you are convinced the beat cannot get any deeper into your heart, you head through the trees into a clearing.

What have we just metaphorically experienced? It was the work of the lodge’s sing team to enhance the induction experience. A successful event has many people and different teams to thank for that success, because a lot of pieces come together to make program outstanding. This is an example of one of the many American Indian Activities, or AIA, a lodge can integrate into its inductions. A ceremonies team, sing team, or dance team are all great tools to have to increase membership retention and to provide better program.

There are also many other ways a lodge could use AIA to their benefit. A dance team could perform at a council encampment, a lodge function or a community event to name a few. The sing team could certainly join them in this to make the experience even richer. At a lodge event, the ceremonies team could use the help of the sing and dance teams to add to the impression of the ceremony. Take advantage of these opportunities today by starting a team up for your lodge!

A great resource available can be found here.

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