At the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference, Arrowmen accepted a challenge to perform daily acts of service and share them on social media. Will you join them?
A MOVEMENT OF UNSELFISH ACTS that started at the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference could grow into a global phenomenon, extending well beyond the members of the Order of the Arrow and well beyond Scouting.
That is, if you and your Scouts dare to join the cause.
At the conference, known simply as “NOAC,” 15,000 Arrowmen (members of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor society) stayed in dorms at Michigan State University as they attended training courses, participated in sports competitions and met people from across the country.
NOAC is where National OA Chief Alex Call, above, announced #DareToDo, a movement of selflessness with a social media-ready name. The OA’s top youth member challenged the Arrowmen inside Michigan State’s basketball arena — and the 165,000 more Arrowmen at home — to complete one act of service every day.
“I’ll be daring all of my friends,” Call told the crowd, “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.”
Easy, right? “Do a Good Turn Daily” is the Scout slogan. But Call took it a step further.
Rather than keeping these Good Turns to themselves, the Arrowmen were asked to post about them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the #DareToDo hashtag (shown below). But this isn’t just for Arrowmen. #DareToDo is for everyone in the Scouting movement and beyond. Imagine seeing inspiring acts of service on your social media feed — a refreshing break from the stream of political rants, vacation photos and posts about brunch.
The Order of the Arrow celebrates its 100th birthday in 2015, and there’s plenty of history to be proud of. But you won’t catch Arrowmen looking over their shoulders for too long. #DareToDo is cheerful service for this century.
Some might call #DareToDo bragging or asking for recognition, but Call pointed to one key difference between this effort and the look-at-me mentality that pervades social media: #DareToDo posts will inspire others to be better humans. Just check the website, dareto.do, to see these posts for yourself.
What if reading about your Good Turn inspires another Good Turn? And another? And so on, until now there are dozens and then hundreds and then thousands? That’s certainly better than if you had kept silent.
So what counts as a #DareToDo act? It can be anything from a grand Eagle Scout project to a random act of kindness. The opportunities are all around you, Call said.
“A classmate who sits alone on the school bus, hoping that someone will strike up a conversation. A coworker 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,” he 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.”
What are the stakes? A night before Call issued the #DareToDo challenge, BSA President and former Defense Secretary Dr. Robert M. Gates set the scene.
“The future of the world itself will depend on the kind of people we 21st century Americans prove to be,” he said. “And that depends on the kind of leaders you Arrowmen become. Because it starts with you.”