I hope this email finds you well. Below, I have outlined several key updates for our section as we move forward into the summer and an exciting year ahead.
NEXT: A New Century
Not long from now, we’ll gather with Order of the Arrow leaders from all across the country at Indiana University. From July 30th to August 3rd at NEXT, our lodge contingents will gain inspiration on where the Order of the Arrow is heading in this next century.
If you have yet to register your lodge’s contingent, please do so ASAP. More information is available through this link:
Also included in the above link is information about NEXT Factor. This is a national competition that will be showcased at NEXT. The purpose is to find the most innovative and unique “best practices” from all of the lodges throughout the nation. Here in SR-5, we have plenty of unique traditions and I’m sure we can have a shot to be on the national stage!
The deadline for both NEXT and NEXT Factor (deadline pushed back) is May 31st so please take action quickly. Please also consider reaching out to your neighboring lodges in the section to see if carpool travel is an option.
Throughout the summer, Arrowmen from SR-5 will heading to SBR for the adventure of a lifetime at Prism. At this event, our brothers will get to see first-hand the new Summit Circle as well as experience the high adventure activities SBR is famous for. If you can, please encourage your contingent members who are attending to send their photos and videos to our Section Secretary, Stuart Park. We would love to share the latest updates with the section!
To get a sneak peek into what the Summit Circle looks like, check out this video:
Slack and the Lodge Leader Forum
Last year, our Lodge Leader Forum premiered and it was an overwhelming success. Several practices were shared, many youth officers visited other lodge events, and even more important, friendships were ignited prior to the November COC meeting and Dixie Fellowship.
Looking back, the notifications on Facebook Messenger were extremely ineffective with a group of that size. To fix this, we have introduced the section to Slack. Slack is a website and mobile app that transforms the way teams communicate. If you are not yet on Slack, please send Section Secretary Stuart Park an email.
ALL COC COMMUNICATION WILL REMAIN THROUGH EMAIL.
Please mark your calendars! On November 12th, the Section Seminar, Council of Chiefs Dixie Planning Meeting, and Dixie Preview will be held at Camp Barstow. There is also an NLS in Alabama this weekend but we ask that you wait to attend one later in the spring.
And of course, please go ahead and begin spreading the word for Dixie by pushing it heavily throughout the year (hosted April 28th-30th, 2017 at Camp Barstow). If we promote it more than any year previously, this Dixie can become the largest in history!
I am happy to say that the 2016-2017 Section Coordinators have been appointed! I have attached a document to this email featuring each of them.
If you haven’t seen it yet, our website has a new look! You can find it here: http://www.sr5.org/
Please excuse some of the missing content on the pages. We are still in the transition process of setting it up.
Update from Section Vice Chief Nick Zanzot
I would first off like to say I am very excited for this next year ahead! I know with all of us working together, we can continue to make this section one of the best in the nation.
When I was elected, I spoke of two things; creating a Section Operations Guide and also of working together across the section to make each of our lodge programs better by communicating with each other. I am proud to say that the Section Operations Guide is complete and should be released soon! This will hopefully help our section operate even more smoothly than before. I will soon start to work with each of the Section Coordinators to figure out how we as a section can best help one another and improve our own programs. Each lodge does things differently and with a little communication and teamwork, we can share some great ideas that can help all of us.
The first 100 years of the Order of the Arrow are behind us and we have had a long and honorable past. It is up to us now to continue the mission of the Order of the Arrow and I look forward to serving with you all throughout this next year as your SR-5 Vice Chief.”
You can contact Nick through email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update from Section Secretary Stuart Park
It has been a month since Dixie and we are already in full swing for Dixie 2017! Lots of lodge events have been happening and we are excited to see what you are all doing in your lodges. The section has been very busy lately. One of the things I would like to highlight is our communications. Joe Neely has stepped up to serve as our Communications Coordinator and we have established many different committees on our Section Communications Team. From our social media and the website to our Five Feathers newsletter, this team will assist me in making SR-5’s communications the best in the nation. This year, we will be sending out monthly Five Feathers via email to the Lodge Chiefs as well as blasting it through our social media and website. If you would like to be featured in the Five Feathers, you can contact me directly (email@example.com).
We have also established a new blog on the SR-5 website (check it out here: http://www.sr5.org/category/blog/)! This will most likely be updated bi-weekly. It will be a great place to look for news of things happening in our section. We need your help here. Anytime your lodge hosts an event, please have someone take pictures and send those and a single paragraph event summary to me. We’ll get our best writers on it and feature your event on the SR-5 website!
The final thing I would like to mention is that we need your updated contact information for all of your lodge leaders ASAP. Please send their name, position, and email to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have not done so already, it is also important to make sure that you send them anytime your lodge will hold elections. We would also like to know who from your lodge is going to NEXT and Prism this summer. You can reply to this email or email me directly with that information. Thank you for all that you have done and are continuing to do within the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow!”
Final Words from the Chief
Over the past few weeks since our Dixie Fellowship at Knox Scout Reservation concluded, we have accomplished an incredible amount of goals. Our Coordinators have been appointed well in advance, we have a new website that looks sharp and is completely user-friendly, our Section Communications Team has been assembled and is mobilized, the Lodge Leader Forum has transitioned to Slack, SR-5 is now on Snapchat, a Section Operations Guide has been created, and so, so much more.
This past weekend, I had the exciting privilege to attend Skyuka’s Spring Fellowship on Friday and then travel down to Muscogee’s Spring Fellowship for the remainder of the weekend. I would like to congratulate our newest Chiefs and welcome them to our Council of Chiefs: Ethan Spence (Unali’yi), Cole Taylor (Skyuka), and Riley Dabbs (Muscogee).
One of the highlights of the weekend was sitting down and having the chance to spend time with the Muscogee Service Lodge team that will be preparing to host Dixie 2017. Without a doubt, I’m confident Muscogee will do a phenomenal job!
Brothers, we need your help. Starting today, you can make the difference and begin promoting the Dixie Fellowship in your lodges. This Dixie Fellowship has the potential to be the largest we’ve ever held with its central location in the section. If we all work together to get the word out to our brothers, it can happen!
Until we meet again, keep the Arrow aimed high! Please do not ever hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together throughout 2016. WWW
In the Spirit,
Matthew Watson | SR-5 Section Chief