As technology continues evolving, the Order of the Arrow is able to deliver our program in revolutionary ways. The past few years have proven to be no exception, showcased by the integration of a mobile application at our national conference, vast improvements to our website and the inaugural Order of the Arrow Hackathon held in October 2017. Innovation doesn’t end there! On June 26-30, 2019, the Order of the Arrow will be hosting the first ever full-length OA Hackathon at the University of Illinois on the Urbana-Champaign campus, and All Arrowmen are invited to attend, technology experience not required. By working with a team of other Arrowmen, you will learn new skills while tackling organizational technology challenges at the event.

The 2019 OA Hackathon is focused around one thing: problem solving. There will be three separate program tracks; Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced. “Novice” delegates will focus on experiences and learning new skills, both in technical and in leadership aspects. They will compete in an innovative display and have the opportunity to earn merit badges and possible requirements for Supernova awards. This “Novice” track is a no experience necessary program, All Arrowmen are invited to attend. “Intermediate” delegates will spend half of the program gaining similar technical and leadership skills and then will compete against each other in a typical hackathon. They will be given 24 hours to solve a problem through technological efforts to mitigate a real-world issue within our Order. “Advanced” delegates will have the option to work together in teams with varying technical knowledge to brainstorm and develop solutions to prompts. This will be the more typical hackathon program, spending the entirety of the program creating these solutions. The specific prompts will be chosen based on results collected from nationwide surveys provided to lodge leadership.

One full day of the 2019 OA Hackathon will contain the Tech Expo, an inclusive college fair style event which will bring in multiple exhibitors which specialize in various technology fields. This will be synonymous to OAX found at the Section SR-7B Conclave, except with computers and new-age technology. We are looking forward to these tech experts and executives to deliver keynotes throughout the weekend and inspire each delegate in attendance. Finally, this will give all Arrowmen the ability to have hands-on experiences with brand new tech, drones, and other various “toys.”

The priority for the event is delegate experience. We want to ensure that throughout the event, every delegate in attendance is having a great time, learning as much as they can and applying their skills to key challenges faced by lodges across the nation. Each delegate at the event will be able to connect with like-minded individuals, increase technical knowledge, and promote engagement and participation in the OA. Following this event, the hackathon team will help Arrowmen find positions where they can put their technical knowledge to use at the lodge, section, region and national level.

The event plays a major part in securing the future of the Order of the Arrow in the ever-changing digital age. By hosting our 2017 OA Hackathon, we made groundbreaking progress toward our goal of becoming a more technologically-inclined organization. After laying groundwork for various projects in 2017, it is time for us to take it to the next level at the 2019 OA Hackathon. Register today to strengthen future technology programs, recruit technical membership, cultivate a culture of problem solving and be empowered to take on new responsibilities.

After the 2019 OA Hackathon, our organization will be on its way to the next step of technological evolution. Since this year’s event will tackle many different technology challenges we face, All Arrowmen are encouraged to register and attend the Hackathon. Stay on the lookout—more details will be released soon.

Christian Blackburn News