Winter: the time when students pray for school cancellations and you have the opportunity to wear the turtleneck sweater your grandmother gave you. However, winter is also the time that Arrowmen across the nation begin to conduct elections as the first step for admission into our order. In the next few months, you may be asked by your chapter to join an election team. If asked, I urge you to answer the call and become an election team member. Your chapter Vice Chief of Administration should know most of the nuts and bolts of conducting an election, but here are some tips for you to make an impactful election.
- Explain what the Order of the Arrow is. Many Scouts only have a vague idea of what the OA is. They might have heard rumors of boys dressed as Native Americans or a not so perfect morning breakfast. The election is your chance to explain what the Order is really about; this may include the Order as an honor society, a service organization, and a load of fun. If there is time, briefly share the most appealing parts of the OA experience such as conclave, patch trading, etc.
- Paint a picture of what the ideal candidate should look like. An ideal candidate should follow the Scout Oath and Law, be a positive example to others, and improve the troop as a whole. Remember to be in full class A with your sash. Think of who you have admired at different points in your Scouting career. Remind the Scouts, however, that the election is not a popularity contest.
- Promote summer camp, especially Camp Durant. What, really? This might be a surprise, but promoting Camp Durant or camps in general does have a place in the election. While not an actual part of the election itself per se, camping promotion is something the Order can and should do. It will also get your chapter points for awards such as JTE.
Keep these tips in mind as you visit troops this year. Although it is not an exhaustive list of what should be covered, these pointers will help intensify the success of your team’s impression upon the Scouts. If you are not asked to be on a team, but would like to, communicate your interest to your chapter’s Vice Chief of Administration. Have a wonderful election season!