Session Length: 50 Minutes

Learning objectives:

  • Become familiar with the capabilities of the OA LodgeMaster system. 
  • Learn how to use the system through a introductory demonstration.
  • Learn about the migration process to OA LodgeMaster.

Required Materials:

  • Computer running OA LodgeMaster Desktop.
  • Internet access to access OA LodgeMaster Online.
  • LCD projector.


Trainer preparation
 

The trainer for this course must be very comfortable with using OA LodgeMaster Desktop and OA LodgeMaster Online and be capable of conducting a live demonstration of its capabilities. The trainer should review the session and all related areas of the desktop program and online portal.


Session narrative
 

Introduction: 5 Minutes

We would like to start by learning about the group and your usage of OA LodgeMaster currently. First some information about you and your lodge. Using a show of hands:

  • What position or role do you have in your lodge? (Membership Chairman, Membership Adviser, Key-3, Other, …)
  • How big is your lodge? ( Small < 500, Medium 500–1000, Large >1000)
  • [Add any additional questions…]

Now about your usage of OA LodgeMaster. Again, using a show of hands:

  • How many of your lodges are using OA LodgeMaster currently?
  • How many are not currently using OA LodgeMaster?
  • Of those not using OA LodgeMaster, who would like to be migrated and start using it?

Overview Of OA LodgeMaster: 5 Minutes

OA LodgeMaster is a solution for managing lodge membership, which is designed, built, and supported by volunteers for the free use of all Order of the Arrow lodges.

The project began in 2004, when the national committee designed a tool to allow lodges to verify BSA membership status for their members. As part of this work, a survey was conducted of the methods lodges used to track their membership. The widely varying responses made it clear that a unified application which could provide membership management support for all lodges would be a great asset. After reviewing a number of options, it was decided that the best approach would be to allow members of the OA to develop the software as they had the most familiarity and knowledge to develop such software.

The project was first announced at NOAC in 2006, and version 1.0 was released 6 months later on January 1, 2007. Since then, there have been 8 additional releases. This NOAC marks the release of a major upgrade to OA LodgeMaster, version 2.0.

There is currently a team of 5 volunteers which handle the development, migration, and day to day operations of the system. [Introduce all team members that are present and their role in the project.]

Currently 230 of 302 lodges are using OA LodgeMaster, with more and more being migrated every day.

More Than Just Record Keeping: 5 Minutes

Good membership management software does more than just keep records, it aides lodges in running better and completing the requirements for quality lodge.

What are some reasons lodges track membership?

[Look for basic responses first from the audience, like communicating with members, tracking who is dues paid, tracking members through the induction process, etc. Steer the audience towards more specific responses, like:]

  • Track trends in chapter membership over a period of years and set membership goals for each chapter.
  • Track trends in ordeal induction and brotherhood induction over a period of years and find problem areas.
  • Track unit communications are see which units haven’t been contacted or visited in a while.
  • Track lodge finances and provide simple reports for youth to use during meeting.
  • Gather all the yearly numbers of a lodge in one place and aid in filling out the quality lodge petition.

All of these things help in tracking the many different areas of lodge operations and help to simplify day-to-day operations. Effective membership management can also aid in making quality lodge far more attainable.

The Components Of OA LodgeMaster: 10 Minutes

How that you understand some of the many way which OA LodgeMaster can help your lodge, let’s discuss how the system works.

The OA LodgeMaster system is comprised of 3 different parts:

  • OA LodgeMaster Desktop – The core software of the OA LodgeMaster system, which runs on a user’s desktop computer just like any other program. All functionality and data can be access through the desktop program.
  • OA LodgeMaster Online – The companion website which currently allows users to query membership data and run related reports. OALM Online functionality will continue to be expanded upon going forward, making it a great resource for leaders and advisers who don’t need to be able to update data.
  • OA LodgeMaster Servers – The OA LodgeMaster servers are owned by the OA and allow the desktop programs and online portal to synchronize with each other so that all points of access always contain identical data. The servers are managed by the OA LodgeMaster staff and are setup automatically for lodges using OALM.

[Display OA LodgeMaster architecture diagram and explain the different components of the system.]

Are there any questions about the different components of OA LodgeMaster, or with how the synchronization process works?

Why Use OA LodgeMaster?: 10 Minutes

Some of you may be using your own home-grown membership management system or maybe just an excel spreadsheet. You may be asking yourself, why use OA LodgeMaster? We’ve come up with the top eight reasons why OA LodgeMaster will be a great addition to the tools you lodge already uses:

  • It’s a good membership management tool.

Membership management is the core function of the OA LodgeMaster system and it excels in that capacity. The system can track a multitude of data, has over 100 available reports, and can easily import and export data.

  • It’s the best lodge management software available.

While many other options exist, OA LodgeMaster is by far the most comprehensive option available; it is capable of management all aspects of lodge data.

  • It allows users to stay in sync.

OA LodgeMaster allows an unlimited numbers of users and installations and allows all users to stay synchronized with all other users automatically. The desktop program can be run offline, for example at camp, then synchronized later when internet is available.

  • It makes life easier.

Certain aspects of the day-to-day operations of a lodge as far simpler with OA LodgeMaster, for example printing membership cards on the national stock paper, printing one per household labels, or even automatically calculating numbers for and printing the quality lodge petition.

  • It manages much more than membership.

The system can manage service hours, lodge assets, events, trading post inventory, finances, the lodge calendar, unit contacts, and even lodge auctions.

  • It helps you sleep at night.

Since all of your data automatically synchronizes with the OA LodgeMaster servers, your data is automatically backed up. The servers are also backed up nightly to an offsite location so there is never any chance of data loss. No longer do lodges need to worry about losing their lodge database.

  • It’s free.

The desktop program, the online portal, the server, the automatic backups, even data migration, it is all available free to all lodges.

  • The more people use it the better it gets.

As users provide feedback and suggestions, we are constantly working on improving the system. Bugs are fixed as soon as possible, and we are constantly implementing user-suggested enhancements.

Getting Started With OA LodgeMaster: 5 Minutes

It is easy to get started with OA LodgeMaster if your lodge isn’t already using the system. The steps to getting your lodge migrated and up and running are simple:

  • Appoint an OA LodgeMaster administrator.

Submit an “Appointment of OA LodgeMaster Lodge Administrator” letter to the national office after having the form signed by your Scout executive. The authorized administrator is responsible for managing user accounts, setting permissions, completing the initial setup, and serving as the point of contact for the OA LodgeMaster staff.

  • Wait for the OA LodgeMaster staff to contact you.

When we are ready to migrate your lodge, our migration team leader will contact your lodge administrator to discuss the lodge’s needs and learn what data needs to be migrated. You’ll be asked to submit your database to us online.

  • Migrate your data to OA LodgeMaster.

The staff will convert your data to the OA LodgeMaster format and load your database onto the system. If you would like to load the data yourself, you can request a blank database and then import your lodge’s data yourself.

  • Download a copy of OA LodgeMaster desktop.

Once your lodge’s database is ready, we’ll contact the lodge administrator with their login information and instructions for installing the desktop program.

  • Install OA LodgeMaster desktop.

The installer is just like that of any other program. You’ll need your login information and the access code available on the download page to install the program. Once you install the program, open it up from your startup menu, select your council number and enter your access code, the program will finish its installation. You’re now ready to use OA LodgeMaster!

  • Setup user accounts.

Open the user account tool and setup accounts for all your users. Contact the users and provide them their username and password. Users will be able to download the program and install it themselves now.

  • Join the mailing lists.

Lodge administrators are automatically added to the two mailing lists and other users can add themselves to the announcements list through the website.

  • Get help if you need it.

Go to http://support.oalodgemaster.org or email support@oalodgemaster.org for help.

[Review system requirements briefly, then ask if there are any questions before continuing.]

Hands-On Demonstration: 15 Minutes

We are going to demonstrate some basic functionality of OA LodgeMaster now. If you have any questions as we go through the different areas of the program, please stop us and we’ll be happy to answer them.

[Review some of the basic areas of the program: launch pad, membership manager, adding a new member, viewing an event and managing member attendance, exporting members, synchronizing, changing password, adding users and setting permissions, etc.]

Getting Help: 5 Minutes

You can learn more about the OA LodgeMaster system online at http://www.oalodgemaster.org. For questions or problems, there is staff available to help.

To view documents, get troubleshooting help, talk to other users in the forums, and to submit support requests or enhancement ideas, please go to the support center: http://support.oalodgemaster.org.

Just to note: the staff is comprised fully of volunteers, who all work or are in school. We do our best to respond as quickly as possible, usually within a day or two, but please be patient, we get back to everyone as soon as possible.

Questions And Answers: 15 Minutes

We’d like to open up the floor to general questions. If you have a specific lodge related migration, installation, or other issue, please come see the staff after the session. If you have questions about how the program works, how to do something that we didn’t demonstrate, etc. please ask away.

[Take questions from the group for the remainder of the session.]

Thanks to everyone for coming today, feel free to stay and talk with any one of the staff members if you would like, otherwise everyone is dismissed.


Appendix: Frequently Asked Questions
 

For extensive up-to-date answers to most frequently asked questions, please refer to the OA LodgeMaster support website: http://support.oalodgemaster.org/?linkact=kb&c=C10&i=21.

Additional questions can be submitted through the OA LodgeMaster support center, http://support.oalodgemaster.org or via email to support@oalodgemaster.org.


 

Appendix: Source materials and resouces
 

OA LodgeMaster Website

http://www.oalodgemaster.org/

OA LodgeMaster Support Website

http://support.oalodgemaster.org/

OA LodgeMaster Appointment Letter

http://www.lodgemaster.org/files/OALMAdminAppointment.pdf