NEXT Factor Preview
By: Kyle Hoffmann
Each of the eight ideas chosen for the NEXT Factor competition have brought forth unique concepts – ideas that embody the spirit of innovation that we are fostering at this conference. These eight ideas will be presented to delegates at separate events on Sunday and Monday, with four lodges presenting each day. Each crew will attend one of these events and have the opportunity to vote there for which idea is the most impactful. Whichever lodge receives the most votes at each of the two events will be selected as the NEXT Factor champion and they will receive a $500 grant from the National Order of the Arrow Committee to assist in putting their idea into motion.
The following lodges will present on Sunday:
Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge is conducting a ceremonialist certification program that will improve many facets of the lodge. Candidates will receive a top-notch induction and ceremonialists will be better equipped to perform. The program will also have members become more engaged in understanding ceremonies and therefore will help with member retention.
Wapashuwi Lodge is creating digital membership cards for the members of their lodge. This allows Arrowmen to not have to worry about keeping track of their paper membership card and will also help check-in at events to run much smoother.
Blue Heron Lodge is rolling out a program known as “Details and Desserts.” This will be a meeting conducted between chapter and lodge leadership with parents of Ordeal candidates that will help to ease their concerns about the ordeal experience. This will improve membership retention because it allows whole families to start to understand what the Order of the Arrow is about before the candidate completes his ordeal.
Bob White Lodge is bringing Cub Scouts to Order of the Arrow events as an investment in future membership growth and retention. Cub Scouts will be brought to fun events such as section conclaves and fall fellowships in order to introduce them to facets of the Order that are the most enjoyable. This will help them have a positive impression of the Order of the Arrow from a young age and will increase active membership in years to come.
The following lodges will present on Monday:
Ajapeu Lodge (Washington Crossing Council) is having members, Ordeal candidates and their parents eat meals together before they then begin their ordeal. This is being done in order to introduce candidates and their families to the spirit of brotherhood found at lodge events so that, when they complete their ordeal, they will want to stick around and experience more.
Tschitani Lodge is changing their camping promotions strategy by advertising to Cub Scouts. These promotions help introduce young Scouts to the Order of the Arrow and help them to realize that it truly is a brotherhood of cheerful service.
Wapashuwi Lodge is keeping in contact with candidates from the time they are elected to the time they complete their ordeal. This will increase membership retention because it allows candidates to feel more welcome when they come to their ordeal, rather than the confusion that past candidates experienced. By feeling more welcome as they arrive for their ordeal, candidates will be more likely to remain active members once it is completed.
Occoneechee Lodge hosts an event called Thunderfest in between the completion of ordeals and departure of all members. It is a huge party filled with games, inflatables, and all-around great fellowship. In showing new members that the Order of the Arrow is a blast, the new members will be more likely to stick around in the lodge.
Finally, two lodges who submit ideas to the Innovation Center during the conference will be selected to make presentations on Tuesday night. If you have an innovative idea on how to improve your lodge’s program, make sure you stop by the Innovation Center this week.
Make sure you check out these lodges at the NEXT Factor gatherings during NEXT!