Lodge Ledger: Best practices for the Centurion Award

By Michael Kipp

Every year, lodges recognize their members with distinctions such as the Founder’s Award and the Vigil Honor. However, in 2015, lodges have the opportunity to present an award that will only be bestowed once. In honor of the centennial anniversary, the National Order of the Arrow Committee has created a special award to commemorate the exemplary service of Arrowmen from each lodge around the country. This once in a lifetime recognition is none other than the Centurion Award. Since the process for lodges to select recipients for the Centurion Award is brand new, here are some best practices to ensure your lodge has the best selection experience possible:

  1. Form a committee. While the Lodge Key 3 ultimately decides who to nominate, multiple lodges have formed committees to help recommend potential nominees to the Key 3. The committee would work in a fashion similar to the Vigil Honor or Founder’s Award selection committees, so it would be something many lodges are already familiar with. Lodges have been putting this idea to good use in order to help recommend the best possible candidates and to reach out to the whole lodge for input
  2. Use your lodge history book. Each lodge should have put together a history book as part of the centennial celebrations. What could possibly be a better resource than that? Keep in mind, Centurions don’t have to be someone alive now, they can be people from the very beginning of a lodge’s history! A lodge history book is a great way to find possible nominees from years past. Odds are, if someone’s contributions to the lodge are significant enough to earn this unique award, they’re likely featured in the history book.
  3. Use the timeline. On the Centurion Award page, a timeline detailing the recommended dates for completing different aspects of the nomination process can be found. Remember, these dates are only recommendations meant to help lodges in succeeding with the process. If a lodge is behind according to the timeline, no worries. It isn’t too late to start now!

If you are looking to submit a nomination to your Lodge Key 3, check out the Centurion Award Petition on the award webpage. The most important part of the petition is the 500 word testimonial written on behalf of the nominee. Through this testimonial, a Lodge Key 3 should be able to understand the impact left on your lodge by this individual and be able to decide whether or not to nominate him or her. Here are a few tips you to keep in mind when writing the testimonial:

  1. Include ways that the Arrowman meaningfully impacted your lodge.
  2. Name specific times where the Arrowman showed his or her devotion to the service of others.
  3. Talk about ways the Arrowman has faithfully exemplified brotherhood, cheerfulness and service.
  4. Don’t just list awards they’ve received. Give insightful reasons supporting the Arrowman's nomination for the Centurion Award.
  5. Go above and beyond explaining why he or she should receive the award. Try and describe why this individual should be selected for one of the limited number of Centurion Awards your lodge can award. Tell your Lodge Key 3 what this person's legacy is, and why it is so important.

If your lodge hasn’t already begun deciding on its Centurions, there is still time! Don’t let your lodge miss out on this opportunity to thank those who have shaped its past and set a clear example to the Arrowmen who will form its future. Help make sure your lodge is on the right path and talk with your lodge leadership about the award!

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