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
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. 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.
You don’t need to build a Habitat for Humanity house every day. 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.
Photos by Robbie Rogers