NEXT National Event
Lodge leaders from across the nation gathered this summer at Indiana University to share ideas and lay the groundwork for our second century as an Order. Over thirteen hundred Arrowmen were in attendance, including representation from nine SR-9 lodges.
A unique element for this national event was the use of crews, much like at National Leadership Seminar. Lodges were broken up upon arrival and experienced the conference with one of sixty-three crews. Each crew included fourteen to sixteen delegates, all from different lodges, and one crew guide. The crew guide was a key component of the NEXT program delivering the training sessions and crew discussions every day. Section SR-9 had six brothers hand selected for this important role, and we want to thank Craig Barnwell, Ken Barton, Chris Brightwell, Clayton Carte, Frank Harper, and Tyler Stepanek for their hard work throughout NEXT.
Each day had a theme that the training and activities centered around. Day one was brotherhood day where the members of each crew bonded and began to know each other. Innovation day was second where all delegates were introduced to a new form of problem solving called LeaderX. This model may be used by attendees in any problem they face within or outside of Scouting. Next was membership day where delegates examined the problems we face across the nation in membership retention and brotherhood conversation. New ideas to address these problems were brainstormed and written down to be adopted on a national scale. Finally, delegates had program day showcasing leadership development, service, and ceremonies which give the OA our purpose. The closing program element was a massive bonfire in the center of campus.
Section SR-9 Chief Patrick Mapp was the experience conference vice chief for the event in charge of the overall schedule, crew guides and crew activities. He described serving in this role as “an opportunity I will never forget” having the chance to “impact Arrowmen across the nation on such a large scale.” Patrick worked long days throughout the event to ensure every delegate had a wealth of new ideas and knowledge to share back home.
NEXT created friendships and connections that will last for years, and the ideas shared will be implemented in lodges across the nation in the coming months and years.
Nine SR-9 Lodges were represented at NEXT. The lodges were Alibamu, Chattahoochee, Coosa, Echeconnee, Egwa Tawa Dee, I-Tsu-La, Ini-To, Mowogo, and Withlacoochee.