In recent years, youth membership in the Order of the Arrow has declined significantly — down 18 percent since 2015. These changes have impacted lodges, and their ability to support councils and deliver program.
The Order must grow, alongside the Scouting movement, to achieve its purpose. The best way to do this is through supporting a “High Performing Lodge” in each council. To help achieve this aim, the national OA committee approved several, significant policy changes at today’s meeting:
Brotherhood Requirements: Effective immediately, the waiting period between induction and eligibility for Brotherhood membership has been reduced to six (6) months. All other requirements are unchanged.
Journey to Excellence (JTE): The lodge program is being discontinued and immediately replaced with the new Performance Measurement Program. There are a small number of requirements and clear benchmarks for lodge achievement. The requirements are consistent with the former JTE to align with your lodge planning.
Purpose of the Section: Effectively immediately, the role of the Section has been expanded beyond hosting an annual Conclave. Sections share in the responsibility of empowering, supporting, and helping lodges become high performing.
The Lodge Ledger will have more detailed information on these changes and other new programs and policies approved at the meeting. They will also be covered extensively during Thrive, the national OA webinar, on October 19.
If there are questions on these changes, or feedback on how to better support your lodge, please contact either Vice Chairman of Unit, Lodge, and Chapter Support Dan McCarthy or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all you do to make our Brotherhood stronger each day.
Vice Chairman of Strategic Performance
National Order of the Arrow Committee email@example.com
Are you excited about going to NOAC 2020, but unsure how your lodge can raise enough money? Hopefully your lodge leadership is already thinking about fundraising and may have even started already. The more money you raise, the more Arrowmen can attend this outstanding event August 3-8, 2020 at Michigan State University!!
Here are some ideas that have been collected from lodges all across the country. Some are simple, and some are more complex. They all require some work and time to make them successful. You can choose one or several, but the key is to get started now! Please be sure to follow the BSA rules for unit fundraising and be sure to run your ideas through your local council or lodge staff adviser for approval before you begin.
Car Wash: picking a high traffic area where most cars are travelling at city pace. Most people do not want to give up more than 15 minutes to get their car wash, so staff it appropriately.
Spaghetti Dinner: a time-tested favorite! For the general public, using a church or sponsoring institution hall works well. For a “Friends of (name) Lodge” event, consider an evening at your summer camp dining hall.
Golf Tournament: a complex fundraiser. Suggestion is that you find a local charity tournament and see if they need help staffing the event. Also, if you have someone who has managed a golf tournament before (or can find one!), you may be able to handle it on your own. Big earning potential, but approach with caution! Get experience help.
Haunted Hayrides/Haunted House: Location, Location, Location! Most of these do well by word-of-mouth, so in your first year, being on the “beaten path” is a plus. Advertise with a large sign in front of the location, or in a local news outlet. Staff heavy, as this takes more work than it appears. Set dates and keep them!
Parking Attendants: Seek out local fairs, craft shows, renaissance fairs and ask if they need help parking cars. With some adult adviser support, perhaps you can manage the lot for them. Over-staff the event to assure rest breaks.
Sporting Events: If you are fortunate enough to have a sports team in your area, there are several opportunities. Parking attendant, manning a concession stand or cleaning up the arena after the game are a few. Be clear on how many times and when you are expected to be there. No second chances on a miscommunication!
Selling Christmas Trees: a high earner but complex. Can be pre-order, spot selling or both. Get a mix of 6 ft and 8 ft trees. Best if you partner with a local fire department. Set up a tree lot next to the fire company (or any 24/7 manned organization) consisting of rebar hammered into the ground and a fence if you can erect temporary posts and chain-link. The three weeks approaching the holidays works best with the Arrowmen manning the event in the evenings and during the weekends, and the fire company manning it during the school days. Contact tree makers via internet or local growers. Sell out! Manage your inventory to run out before Dec. 25th!
Holiday wreaths: Simpler and works well with a pre-order approach. Lots of knocking on doors! Vermont Center Wreaths (www.vermontcenterwreaths.com) advertise in SCOUTING Magazine, along with several other companies, on wreath sales. Also try Mickman Brothers.
Mulch sales: need access to a stake bed or other such vehicle. Visit upscale neighborhoods and take orders for bags of mulch. Work out a deal with a local garden shop to buy the mulch. If you have proper manpower and know in advance, you can spread the mulch for a donation.
Pancake Breakfast: can be done at your sponsoring institutions hall or you can partner locally. Applebee’s allows Scouting groups to host events where the Scouts sell tickets to the breakfast and serve the customers. Applebee’s charges a small fee (about $1), and you sell the tickets at a price you think will work. Everyone likes pancakes!
Memorabilia auction: key is to collect the stuff early! Hit the big collectors and get donations. Pull the older, rarer pieces from the lodge patch box and sprinkle them in. Having a real Auctioneer call the bidding helps as well. These work well at banquets, conclaves, Trade-o-Ree’s and other meetings where large numbers of people are interested in the material. Pure profit!
Chocolate Bars: “World’s Finest” is a company that works with Scouting and the bars sell for $1. Easy to sell if Scouts have parents who work in offices! Check out Boys Life as there are usually ads in there also.
Yard work/snow removal: Select an area of your community and offer yard cleanup. After a snowstorm, visit the homes and offer to shovel driveways and walks for a donation.
Concession at larger Scouting events: stock and man a concession stand at events such as Pinewood Derbies, University of Scouting or Trade-o-Ree’s.
Walk-a-Thon: Gather “pledges” for a period of time, and then all participating Arrowmen gather on a specific date and walk through a neighborhood or around a track. Large sports arenas are excellent for this also.
“$$ off card”: work with local merchants and sporting goods stores to arrange % or dollars off. Create a card detailing the sales and sell the cards in the area. Some stores allow you to stand in front of the store to make the sales.
Krispy Kreme Donuts: works well with taking pre-orders. This can be repeated a number of times. If you don’t have a Krispy Kreme, check with your local donut shop and see if you can work a deal.
Patch sales: Design and sell patches locally or nationally to raise funds.
Donations from adult Lodge members: Works well with adults who have attended a NOAC and know how much it can mean to a youth. Asking for a set donation, say $20, on a Vigil weekend or breakfast can work well. Often, a personal letter sent to members who rarely participate in lodge events asking for their financial help can pay off!
Day of Community Service: Contact local agencies explaining that lodge members would be willing to do a day of service (cleaning, planting, etc). Once you have selected the event, collect sponsorships from local citizens or businesses in the form of committed money. Ask your local TV station or newspaper to visit the event.
Sports Tournament: Organize a tournament such as 3-on-3 basketball and charge teams to compete. Award the winner with a trophy. This also works for tennis, volleyball, badminton and mini-golf).
Sub Sandwich Sale: Work with a local sub shop where you receive a portion of the sale of each sub. Then ask other parents or scouters who work in large offices or factories to advertise the sale on a certain day at lunch. Place the orders with the sub shop and deliver the sandwiches. This could be done several times at the same office or at a different location. Another way to distribute is to take orders from members of the churches your Arrowmen attend and distribute them in the church parking lot immediately after services (and just in time for football!)
Karaoke Party: Find a donated venue (school gym, Sports arena, large hall, etc.), and pass out flyers advertising a Karaoke party. Borrow a machine and the screens and projectors and ask for donations at the door. Your food service committee can make sandwiches to sell for donations as well.
Cake Walk: ask parents and Scouters to make baked goods and sell them for donations at a large event such as a dance or ballgame.
Pump it up: coordinate with a local gas station and have Arrowmen serve as gas station attendants for donations.
Popcorn Sales: This must be closely coordinated with your Council. Use the Trails End Popcorn Sale and have Arrowmen sell popcorn with their share going to the lodge to support NOAC 2020. PLEASE: check with your council BEFORE conducting this fundraiser to assure no other conflicts.
Yard Sale/Flea Market: Ask the Arrowmen to collect things of no further use from their families, charter organizations or other institutions in their area. Store these until you have a substantial amount, and then blitz advertise (being sure to mention the sale revenue is being used to send scouts to a BSA event) the sale. Conduct it at a highly travelled location and be sure to sell out! Your Chairman of the Finance Committee can play a key role as a negotiator.
Council Executive Board: Make a sharp, crisp and upbeat presentation on NOAC 2020 to your CEB. Ask that they set up a scholarship fund to send Arrowmen to MSU. Be sure to invite the members that are Arrowmen to attend with your lodge!
Bike Rally: Coordinate with a local bunch of motorcycle or antique car enthusiasts and arrange a rally where the Arrowmen can collect pledges at a dime or quarter a mile, then on a given day, have the group travel a certain route, and the pledges can then be collected.
Christmas Tree disposal: Most townships require Christmas Trees to be recycled. If you are in an area where the city does not pick up the tree, you can advertise and coordinate picking up trees and recycling them for a donation. Select 2-3 pick-up days after Christmas, line up customers and Arrowmen with pick-up trucks, and make some money!
Nuts for Scouting: Sell cans of nuts door-to-door or at a parent’s workplace. Virginia Diner (www.nutsforscouting.com) offers a 50% profit on sales.
First Aid kits: Who knows more about First Aid than the Scouts? A company that caters to first aid kit sales is Responsible Fundraising. You can make about 30% profit on a sale, and more info can be found at http://www.responsiblefundraising.org.
Conclave dunk tank: Set a goal (one NOAC fee, for instance) and have Conclave attendees donate towards the fee to toss balls. A “pie in the face” contest can be done similarly where people contribute to the fee, and then a name is chosen to toss the pie.
Happy Holiday lights: Canvas more affluent neighborhoods and offer to put up Christmas lights for a donation. Size up the job, select a date, and return with Arrowmen and ladders. Safety first!
Pine needle removal: In some parts of the country, cleaning roofs and gutters on homes is an annual task. Visiting homes and offering to clean roofs and gutters for donations can save a homeowner a lot of work! Bring ladders, hoses and brooms.
Sustainability: Collect specific wastes and turn them into cash. Terracycle (www.terracycle.com) has a program where you collect a specific type of waste (chip bags, water bottles, etc.) and send it to them (they pay postage) for cash. When you sign up, you select the “non-profit” of your choice to receive the rewards, and the Lodge collects the money! This may also work towards Sustainability Merit Badge.
Ripley Rendezvous 2019 will be held the Camp Ripley Army National Guard Training Facility, Camp Ripley, Little Falls, MN. This spring time event is truly a unique opportunity to utilize the training facility’s ranges and buildings in presenting three distinct levels of involvement.
We are looking for 10 staff members to be a part of the First Class Adventure staff. Join other arrowmen in serving at the area-wide conference!
Sign-up as staff for the discounted rate which includes housing and food for the event.
The use of American Indian clothing and symbols have been a component of Order of the Arrow programming since its inception. While not stated explicitly, the underlying policy in the use of such clothing and symbols remains: “American Indian clothing and other regalia used in OA ceremonies and programs must be respectful of the American Indian cultures we are emulating.”
The following additional guidance is provided to assist lodges in adhering to the above policy:
Determining What Is Respectful
It is the lodge’s responsibility to ensure the proper application of the above policy. In many cases lodges have resources within the lodge and or relationships with local tribes that enable them to satisfy themselves they are in compliance with this policy. In other cases, lodges may need to refer to available published resources or seek out a new local contact to assist in making their determination.
In cases where lodges find themselves unable to determine their compliance with the above policy, the National OA Committee has identified resources within each region to aid lodges in making this determination. The following individuals are available for that purpose (contact with any of these individuals is restricted to adult members only):
Ceremonial principals. Female youth are eligible for all principal positions in OA ceremonies, including that of the chief of the fire. The names of the principals used in OA ceremonies need not be changed because a female is personifying any particular principal.
Ceremonial clothing: Female clothing is to follow the basic policy stated above. In many tribes females may wear much the same clothing as their male counterparts. In other cases it would be inappropriate. The lodge must make the determination as to which is the case. In cases where female clothing differs from that of males, appropriate female clothing consistent with the policy stated earlier should be worn. Doing so does not change the principal being portrayed in the ceremony.
Optional Ceremonial Clothing
The use of American Indian clothing in OA ceremonies is discretionary on the part of each lodge. While understanding American Indian cultures will remain an important component of the OA’s programs and activities, individual lodges may elect to use alternative clothing in the conduct of their OA ceremonies. The following option is the only currently authorized alternative clothing for the conduct of OA ceremonies:
Complete field uniform: The complete field uniform of the Scout portraying the principal in the ceremony. Common uniforming is not required (i.e., having a Scouts BSA, Venturer, and Sea Scout in their respective field uniforms portraying separate characters is acceptable). An additional alternative clothing option for use in OA ceremonies is being explored. If approved, it will be communicated to lodges through the new membership policy transition site on the OA web site.
Each character and the team as a whole must be dressed consistent with the option chosen. The mixing of American Indian clothing with an alternative, either on an individual basis (e.g., Scout field uniform and Indian bonnet) or on a team basis (one character portrayed in American Indian clothing and another in Scout field uniform), is not authorized.
Dance Competition Clothing
Four female dance styles are being added to the list of dance styles currently in use for OA dance competitions. Once finalized, guidance on these dance styles will be communicated through the new membership policy transition site on the OA web site.
For lodges that are interested in doing advance research, the four styles being explored are: