Jumpstart Your Lodge Inductions

By Riley Berg, 2002 National Vice Chief

One of the most important, yet commonly neglected, parts of the induction sequence is orienting our new members to the Order of the Arrow. After a weekend-long experience, how likely is it that Arrowmen will become active and seal their membership in Brotherhood if they have little or no idea what our organization stands for beyond scant food, hard work, and silence?

With the realization that the lack of an effective new member orientation might be a cause of low membership retention and Brotherhood conversion rates across the nation, it was decided to offer a resource that would 

On January 1, 2003, the "Jumpstart for New Arrowmen" area of the National Order of the Arrow Web Site was launched, and later that month the brand new Lodge Orientation Guide was distributed to councils around the nation and posted on the National Order of the Arrow Web Site.

At the National Planning Meeting in December 2002, National Order of the Arrow Chairman Brad Haddock asserted that a lodge's use of the Lodge Orientation Guide, and a new member's use of the interactive web site were among the National OA Committee's top priorities.

"The introduction and use of the Jumpstart Resource is a critical priority for 2003 because we want to assure each new member appreciates the importance of service to others and provide assistance to the lodge in achieving a high Brotherhood conversion rate as a result," said Haddock.

The Jumpstart Resource comes in two parts: the orientation guide for lodges and the interactive website for new Arrowmen.

The Lodge Orientation Guide, which is available on this web site, provides everything youth leaders need to perform a meaningful orientation. The orientation is split into 6 parts, and takes approximately one hour to complete. The newly inducted members will then leave their Ordeal having all of the information they will need to be successful in our organization. The guide also provides bookmarks for lodges to place in each handbook, directing new Arrowmen to continue their orientation at home on the web.

"The Lodge Orientation Guide is an important step for us, because it helps lodges focus on the sixth point of the induction sequence, the 'New Member Orientation'," said Rich Moore, the 2003 National Vice Chief. "Lodges need to put as much effort into having an effective new member orientation as they would a Pre-Ordeal or Ordeal Ceremony."

Perhaps the most exciting part of Jumpstart is the new interactive JumpStart area of the National Order of the Arrow Website. Here, new members can get a taste of the Order's rich history, learn of the opportunities available to them, and study the requirements for sealing their membership.

"It's an innovative, technology-based way to explain the purpose and high ideals of the Order of the Arrow, and to assist the new Arrowman in understanding and meeting the challenges of Brotherhood," said Haddock. "I wish something like this had been available when I was inducted."

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