Lodges experience changes in leadership nearly every year: New lodge chiefs are elected, new chapter chiefs take their positions, and various committees rotate through chairmen. A less frequent occurrence is a change in the lodge adviser. Lodge advisers are appointed by the supreme chief of the fire (the council Scout executive) for one- year terms. This is one of the few times a volunteer is personally appointed by the Scout executive and the volunteer is directly responsible to the Scout executive. When the supreme chief of the fire is considering new lodge adviser candidates, the supreme chief of the fire will consider the duties of the lodge adviser, which are located in the Guide for Officers and Advisers. What should the lodge adviser candidate consider when deciding whether to take the job? It’s a big responsibility, into which one should not enter lightly.
The lodge adviser candidate should think through this role and the relationship that they have with the supreme chief of the fire and develop thoughtful questions. The two should meet and discuss the role of the lodge adviser, the direction of the lodge, and the expectations of the council. Here is a sample of questions the lodge adviser candidate may consider asking the supreme chief of the fire:
- Why did you ask me, instead of someone else, to be lodge adviser?
- What is your vision for the lodge one year down the road? Three years? Five years?
- What are your baseline expectations for the lodge next year?
- How much change in the lodge are you willing to tolerate?
- Do I need your approval to remove advisers?
- Are you a vigil member?
- Are any Arrowmen on the council board?
- Will the lodge chief serve on the council board?
- Will you regularly attend events?
- Can I expect sufficient support from the staff adviser?
- How can you help me drive Arrowmen to serve on our camp staff?
The lodge adviser candidate should also engage in a frank discussion with the supreme chief of the fire about the lodge adviser candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, focus for the lodge, and expectations of the council. If selected as lodge adviser, this kind of conversation will make similar conversations easier in the future. It will also manage the expectations of the lodge and council.
The above resource was submitted by former National Chief Scott Beckett, a member of Tahosa Lodge, Denver Area Council, Denver, Colorado. Scott was recently selected to serve as the 2011 lodge adviser for Tahosa Lodge. Do you have an idea to share with the rest of the Order of the Arrow? Email @email.