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Chiefly Speaking: From the National Chief Regarding COVID-19

Zach Schonfeld     March 18, 2020     Announcements, Chiefly Thoughts

Brothers,

Our world has experienced a lot of change in recent days, and I want to take a moment to address the current situation. While the change caused by the spread of COVID-19 may seem disconcerting, we cannot lose sight of the bigger picture and our overall mission. The values that Scouting and the Order of the Arrow bring to communities are needed now more than ever before, and as we go through the uncertain days ahead, I implore you to always keep those principles at the forefront of your mind.

To any Arrowman who has a family member or friend affected by the virus, my thoughts are with you.

Earlier this week, we announced the suspension of all in-person national, region, and section events until May 2. We encourage you to work with your local council regarding lodge and chapter events. You can find our updates related to COVID-19 at oa-bsa.org/coronavirus. With the spread of the virus postponing many Scouting and OA events in the coming weeks, I know that many of you feel disheartened. I’m disappointed too, but I am not discouraged.

To every Arrowman who planned to attend a Scouting event that has been affected by the virus—I am sorry. I cannot wait to see the exciting programs that still lie ahead, even if they may be delayed.

To every unit elections chair, ordealmaster, conclave coordinator, and Arrowman involved in planning an event that has been postponed or cancelled—I am sorry. I appreciate all that you have done to deliver our Order’s program to our members, and your talent is still needed as we move forward.

To every Arrowman who feels discouraged right now—I want you to reflect for a moment on how you feel. If the pause until your next Scouting event is saddening, I challenge you: channel these emotions into something positive. When we return to normal, whenever that may be, Scouting and the Order of the Arrow will need your help. Let’s work together as one united brotherhood to deliver this program to every Arrowman and the future generations of Scouts who will come after us.

While some of our lives and Scouting plans may temporarily change, our core values of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service remain unaltered. These principles that bind us together are far stronger than any change or setback we encounter and will persist through the uncertain days ahead.

Maintain our bonds of brotherhood. Keep planning engaging and innovative events that will help the future of our Order. Above all, never lose sight of the values we cherish.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

If I can ever be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out. Stay healthy, and I’ll see you along the Scouting trail soon.

In brotherhood,
Zach Schonfeld
2020 National Chief
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