There will be several conference-wide changes this year:
Medical Form Submissions: Unlike 2015, there will not be a pre-submission system for medical forms. Instead, participants and staff will bring physical copies.
Region Gatherings: Replacing the Hodag, four region gatherings will be held Thursday night at the conference, the only night that does not have a show. The 2018 region chiefs will collaborate with the Activities & Recreation Committee to provide vision, content and program ideas for the events.
Relaxed Uniform Policy: This year, field uniforms will be required only at the opening, recognition and theme shows.
Sustainability Committee: New this year, the sustainability committee will sit underneath Logistics with its respective region chief acting as its youth lead. The committee is aiming to reduce the environmental impact of the national event and promote sustainability in its programs.
Engagement: First implemented at NEXT: A New Century, the Engagement Committee is new to NOAC and will be responsible for all that impacts the delegate and staff experience. Under this committee, there will be an introduction of an online orientation completed via video and not during the check in process.
The conference management team is made up of the conference chairman, the deputy conference chairmen, the national director, the associate national director, the national officers and the region chiefs. 2018 National Chief Anthony Peluso and National Vice Chief Michael Kipp will oversee scheduling and facilities, while the region chiefs have been assigned conference deputy positions. Northeast Region Chief Justin St. Louis will oversee messaging, Southern Region Chief Zach Callicutt will oversee program, Central Region Chief Will Coots will oversee logistics and and Western Region Chief Jorden Jefferis will oversee finance.
Section chiefs were assigned to program and messaging committees. They include Activities & Recreation (ARC), Adventure Central, American Indian Activities (AIA), Communications, Conference Festival, Engagement, Inductions & Ceremonial Events (ICE), Shows, Special Events and Training. Each committee elected a conference vice chief (CVC) to lead their planning.
There are additional committees for Administrative Services, Financial Services, Legacy Center, National OA Endowment, Medical, Security, Service Corps, Sustainability, Technology and Trading Post. None of these have youth assigned to them.
All in all, with these exciting changes and more, NOAC 2018 is shaping up to be one of the best national programs ever implemented by the OA. 2018 National Chief Anthony Peluso is excited to see the conference come to fruition. “We could not have asked for a more productive planning meeting. As we move into 2018 and continue our preparations for NOAC, we will continue to be innovative in our approach as we strive to reimagine the conference, and the experience of each of our delegates. On behalf of the entire conference committee, we can’t wait to share the experience with each and every participant!”