What happens when a long-time lodge adviser is suddenly unable to continue serving the lodge? Not only does it cause problems for the lodge due to the lost knowledge and institutionalized efficiencies developed over time, but the person who replaces that leader must quickly play catch-up. Developing leader succession policies are an important method to ensuring that the continuity of a lodge is smooth and gradually builds toward a more successful accomplishment of the Order’s purposes. A leader succession policy will help avoid the difficulties associated with adviser turnover and may also alleviate the commonly experienced adviser “burn out.”
Siwinis Lodge, from Los Angeles, California, uses a lodge adviser rotation system. Because the Supreme Chief of the Fire appoints lodge advisers, the lodge works closely with the Scout Executive to monitor the program for its continued success. The lodge uses a system similar to the one described below:
An adult adviser spends four years in an adviser rotation. The first and fourth years the adviser serves as associate lodge adviser. The second and third years the adviser serves as the lodge adviser. During the first term as lodge adviser, the previous lodge adviser serves as his associate. The following year, year three, the lodge adviser has a new associate lodge adviser who will expect to be “promoted” to lodge adviser the following year. To visualize this rotation, here is the four-year term served by adviser Goodman:
Year One: Lodge Adviser Yoder and Associate Lodge Adviser Goodman
Year Two: Lodge Adviser Goodman and Associate Lodge Adviser Yoder
Year Three: Lodge Adviser Goodman and Associate Adviser Edson
Year Four: Lodge Adviser Edson and Associate Lodge Adviser Goodman
Siwinis Lodge reports that its rotation provides for orderly succession, continuity, training, support, and a clear expectation of limited service. How does your lodge do it? Let us know at @email.