Here’s the challenge offered to the 15,000 Order of the Arrow members at the National Order of the Arrow Conference in Michigan.
Don’t keep your daily Good Turns to yourself; share them using #DareToDo
Come on, I dare you.
At the National Order of the Arrow Conference’s Wednesday night show, in a moment worthy of goose bumps, National Chief Alex Call issued a challenge. He asked all of the 15,000 Arrowmen in attendance and 165,000 more at home to do one act of service, every day, for the next 100 days.
(I’m sensing a theme here. The OA turns 100 this year. NOAC 2015 lasts just 100 hours. And now Good Turns for 100 days straight.)
But there’s a twist.
Rather than keeping their Good Turn to themselves, the Arrowmen were asked to post about them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the #DareToDo hashtag.
“I’ll be daring all of my friends,” Alex said, “whether or not they’re members of the Order of the Arrow, or even Scouting, to start an extraordinary movement based on ordinary acts of service.”
You see, these simple acts of service will add up. Alex dropped the pebble into the ocean, and now he’s standing back to watch the ripple grow. Imagine all 180,000 Arrowmen posting about #DareToDo and inspiring hundreds of thousands of other Scouts and ordinary Americans to follow their example.
You don’t need to have attended NOAC to participate. Beginning Friday [that was 8/7/15] and continuing for 100 days, simply share your #DareToDo Good Turn with your friends and followers on social media.
But wait, shouldn’t service be anonymous? Isn’t there something inherently wrong with bragging about an unselfish act?
That mentality has to change. These days we brag plenty online. We post a photo of a great meal on Instagram. We tweet about a new gadget. We share Facebook photos from our exotic vacations.
#DareToDo turns social media, that sometimes narcissistic platform, into a powerful force for good. Maybe a non-Scouting friend reads about your #DareToDo Good Turn and is inspired to pay it forward. And so on as the ripples grow.
So what counts
as something worthy of #DareToDo?
You don’t need to build a Habitat for Humanity house every day for 100 days. This is about doing what you’re supposed to do anyway as Scouts: a daily Good Turn.
In his speech tonight, Alex mentioned several moments in life just waiting for someone to intervene with a selfless gesture.
“A classmate who sits alone on the school bus, hoping that someone will strike up a conversation. A co-worker who stays late every night, wishing they could make their daughter’s soccer game instead of an extra shift. A homeless teenager who stands at the street corner during your daily commute, looking for a warm meal — or even just a warm smile,” Alex said. “With just a few words and a few minutes of our time, we can live out the admonition of the OA through everyday acts of service.”
And then, almost as important as the unselfish act itself, you need to tell the world what you just did.
Ed Lynes is on the NOAC Thematics team. He sees #DareToDo as the OA’s dare to Scouting and dare to the country to do the right thing.
“You’re not bragging,” he said. “You’re inspiring, and you’re encouraging. We want people to see your example and say, ‘I want to do that, too.’”
There’s something strange about this #DareToDo project. Nobody seems to want to take credit for this phenomenal idea. The OA is about cheerful service, not recognition, so I’m not surprised.
Lynes was hesitant even to let me use his name in this post, but I insisted.
#DareToDo, he told me, is about more than any one of us. It’s about more than the Order of the Arrow, and it’s about more than the Boy Scouts of America. That’s why when you visit the#DareToDo website, you don’t see the OA or BSA patting themselves on the back.
In fact, you have to scroll all the way down on the home page to see, in tiny letters, the note that “DareToDo is a service initiative of the Order of the Arrow and the Boy Scouts of America.”
Though these guys would surely try to deflect the credit, I want to share their names anyway. This #DareToDo project was initiated by youth leaders Alex Call, Nathan Jenkins and Dylan Law, as well as adult leaders Donald Cunningham, Tony Fiori and Ed Lynes.
They may have come up with the idea, but, to paraphrase the NOAC 2015 theme, #DareToDo really starts with you.
Get on the #DareToDo website right now, and get ready to join the #DareToDo revolution.
Friday #DareToDo kickoff at NOAC
The first big hurrah for #DareToDo will be during Friday morning’s service project at Spartan Stadium, the home of the Michigan State football team.
The first 10,000 people to attend will receive a special #DareToDo patch. If all 10,000 (and more) Tweet, Facebook or Instagram about this massive act of service, Friday’s #DareToDo project has the potential to reach thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people on its first day.
That’s lots of big ripples, and it all started with a single dare.
Animation Merit Badge Released
Pick up your pencils, Scouts, because the Animation merit badge is finally here.
Drawing from the wisdom of animators who have worked at Disney, Dreamworks and EA Sports, the BSA has created a merit badge sure to please any young man with an interest in making art come to life.
Requirements were released this week, officially making the Animation MB the BSA’s 136th current merit badge. (That count doesn’t include the Computers merit badge, which was retired at the end of 2014. See the full list here.)
Boy Scouts who earn this one will plan and create animation using two different techniques. They’ll tour an animation studio or business where animation is used. They’ll explore careers in animation.
Along the way, a spark will be ignited within Scouts that could lead some to pursue a career in animation. Will a recipient of the Animation MB some day work on the next Pixar hit or videogame phenomenon?
The odds are pretty good.
In writing the Animation MB pamphlet — available at Scout shops and ScoutStuff.org — the BSA turned to experts including the dean of the School of Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design, an award-winning director/writer best known for his comedic animated shorts, and an art director for EA Sports who worked on the Madden series of videogames. Meet these and other pamphlet writers below.
One other fun fact about the pamphlet: If you turn it on its side and flip the pages, you see a cool, flipbook-style animation. Check it out!
What’s the patch design?
The patch design shows an animator’s disk — a light table used to create hand-drawn two-dimensional animations. On it is a bouncing blue ball that conveys motion — a key part of animation. Drawing a bouncing ball is typically among the first projects a student must master when learning to become an animator.
Scout Alex and Assistant Scoutmaster George Charleston, over the weekend both completed their Ordeal and are now Arrowman and full members of the Order of the Arrow. Mr. Edscorn was awarded the Vigil Honor. (Click picture to enlarge)
Cool New Merit Badge. Check it out at