2019 OA Service Grant Recipents

Since 1999, the National OA Committee has annually selected lodges from each region to receive matching service grants.  For 2019, 15 Lodges in councils across the nation were chosen to receive a combined total of $34,500 in matching grants via the OA Service Grant program.

The Southern Region, had 6 lodges earn grants, receiving the most of any region.

Congratulations to our awardees:

Semialachee Lodge of the Suwannee River Area Council, headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, will receive $3,500 to repair damage to cabins caused by Hurricane Michael at Wallwood Scout Reservation.

Unali’Yi Lodge of the Coastal Carolina Council, headquartered in North Charleston, South Carolina, will receive $2,400 for the renovation of two dining hall bathrooms at Camp Ho Non Wah.

Muscogee Lodge of the Indian Waters Council, headquartered in Columbia, South
Carolina, will receive $2,400 to convert a dry storage room in Camp Barstow’s dining hall
to a female restroom for youth.

Talidandaganu Lodge of the Cherokee Area Council, headquartered in Chattanooga,
Tennessee, will receive $1,900 to construct an amphitheater and stage at Skymont Scout
Reservation.

Pellissippi Lodge of the Great Smoky Mountain Council, headquartered in Knoxville,
Tennessee, will receive $2,300 to create a mobile trail race course at Camp Buck Toms.

Wahissa Lodge of the Old Hickory Council, headquartered in Winston-Salem, North
Carolina, will receive $1,100 to construct a training shelter at Camp Raven Knob.

2019 Region Chief Sid Salazar

We are excited to announce that Sid Salazar will be serving as our 2019 Southern Region Chief.

Sid hails from Franklin, Tennessee. Sid is a Vigil Honor member and Eagle Scout from Wa-Hi-Nasa Lodge of the Middle Tennessee Council. He has served as the Sr-6 Section Chief, Section Vice Chief and the Wa-Hi-Nasa Lodge Chief, and Vice Chief. He is a sophomore at Georgia Tech studying Business Administration.

Inside look at the National Planning Meeting

The 2018 National Planning Meeting is coming up in just 5 days. Our website coordinator, Thomas Driscoll interviews Sean Alewine about what the National Planning Meeting is. Sean Alewine is the SR-7B Section Chief, this is his second term as Section Chief.

TD: What is the National Planning Meeting?
SA: The National Planning Meeting is an annual meeting for the leadership of the Order of the Arrow to meet and plan the next year’s program.

TD: When and where is the NPM?
SA: NPM is traditionally held from December 27-30 in Dallas, Texas. People will often refer to the event as “Dallas” because of where it is held.

TD: NPM is a packed event, but what would you say are the most important items?
SA: Every NPM is a little bit different, as the focus of the meeting is dependent on what the national focus is for the following year. There aren’t many people who get to attend more than one NPM so we have a nearly blank canvas to work with when planning. While the national officer elections are considered a highlight of the event, I truly enjoyed the ability to spend four days with the organization’s top youth leaders and lay the groundwork for the 2018 NOAC in just under four days. It was a fantastic experience where all of the section chiefs fell right into their roles. We were able to take committee positions that fit our strengths and apply those to organizing one of the largest Scouting events of 2018.

TD: How do the National Officer elections work? Is it similar to how we elect section chief?
SA: The national officer election is the main focal point of the first day. After section chiefs arrive on the 27th, they have dinner, are greeted by the national officers and chairman, then at 8 pm go into the election room. What’s really cool about this process is the tradition and gravity behind it. The election is conducted behind closed doors and section chiefs must stay in the room for the duration of the process.

It’s similar to electing a section chief in that there are speeches and questions but depending on the number of people running, there can be over four rounds before the chief or vice chief are elected. Because of this, the election can run into the early hours of the morning. Last year it was nearly 3 am before we had elected the vice chief. We then elect region chiefs in a similar process very early the next morning. I didn’t spend very much time sleeping at NPM.

TD: You plan the Program of emphasis, what is this year’s program?
SA: In 2019 we’re having a year of Focus. Section chiefs will work on innovating conclave and lodge program and host another Hackathon.

TD: What is a year of Focus?
SA: Without a NOAC to plan or Jamboree to support we are taking a year to work on growing and improving our organization’s program. Section chiefs will be broken up into committees where they will work on planning the Hackathon, revolutionizing Conclave, and finding ways to better engagement at the lodge level.

TD: You mentioned committees. What are the committees this year?
SA: There are a number of committees this year all targeted at our Focus objectives. There are two main committees with several sub-sections. The first is Conclave 2.0 with sub-committees targeting Conclave Content and Conclave Administration. The second is the Lodge Performance committee with sub-committees focusing on: Election Rate, Induction Rate, and Activation Rate. The last committee will plan the 2019 Hackathon. Each of these committees will have 4-5 chief’s that will lay the groundwork for the year.

TD: Do you get to pick what committee you are on?
SA: Section chiefs get a lot of preference on their committee. We provided our top choices to Anthony, the national chief and he will assign the section chiefs based upon that information. The process was really similar last year for NOAC.

TD: Anything else, you want us to know about NPM?
SA: While the year’s program and the election are big-ticket items for NPM, every national subcommittee that operates year-round is meeting at the same time. For example, OA High Adventure worked on promotion and other logistics for the summer. The National Communications, Training, Technology, and Trading Post teams, among others, also met to plan out their year. Over 100 people are working almost non-stop for four days to make the OA what it is at the national level. The four days are kind of a blur. Nearly all of my time in Dallas was spent in meetings gearing up for NOAC in 2018. We had a lot of work to do and had to think on our feet to create a memorable
conference.

TD: How can Arrowmen like myself follow along from home?

SA: You can follow the OA on Twitter @OABSA, and on Snapchat @OA-BSA. They will be live tweeting and snapping all the major news from NPM.

Our New LLD

2019 is the Year of the Lodge. We would like to take the opportunity to help support our Lodges as much as we can. One of the ways we are aiming to achieve this is through the new LLD program. This program is available on the national training website oa-bsa.org/training and is usable by anyone! We have a lot of new features that you may not know about. Firstly, we have a tool on the website that will generate LLD sessions that we recommend you teach at your Lodge’s LLD based on your JTE data from last year, and this will be updated on a yearly basis to ensure that you are receiving the most relevant suggestions possible. We also have a certificate that is available now and a patch coming soon. Both are customizable to incorporate specifics from your lodge!

The session syllabi and PowerPoints themselves have also been updated and categorized into two groups of sessions. There are now five Flagship Sessions and fifteen General Sessions. The flagship sessions are meant to be taught to as many people as possible – these sessions cover material such as membership retention, vision and goals, and building relationships. The general sessions are more specific, and we recommend they be taught to those who are interested and those who it pertains to, not the entire LLD. For example, it would be important for the Lodge officers and perhaps someone who is interested in finance to be taught about budgeting. However, the general membership does not need it, nor would they enjoy it. We also highly recommend bringing in more people to teach at your LLD than just Lodge officers, people such as Section officers and former Lodge officers, but we would like to emphasize that it is preferable that Lodge officers are also receiving training and learning.

This year is the year of the Lodge, so let’s make it one of improvement and progress. The Lodges are the backbone of this organization, and we wish to do everything in our power to give you the tools to succeed. Good luck as we begin this LLD season!

 

-Sid Salazar

Sid is the SR-6 Section Chief, a NLS crew guide, and served on the LLD rewrite team