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Order of the Arrow’s Response to COVID-19

As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect upcoming Order of the Arrow events. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both nationally and locally with the BSA Health and Safety Department and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

Recent Updates

Date Content
January 10 The OA Temporary Camping Requirements have been updated.
January 8 Guidance for conducting virtual Brotherhood inductions is now available.
2020 Updates
October 24 Recordings of the Pre-Ordeal and Ordeal ceremonies are available to aid lodges in conducting inductions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
October 20 The National Order of the Arrow Committee released guidance for lodges conducting virtual inductions on the administration of the four tests of the Ordeal. View the guidance here.
October 16 The National Committee has developed a three-tiered incentive program to assist lodges in maximizing membership retention for the remainder of 2020. View the incentives here.
October 10 A recording of the Key 3 webinar on October 1 is now available discussing Momentum: Spark and several other new national initiatives.
August 21 New guidelines have been released for conducting virtual lodge officer elections when local restrictions preclude in-person gatherings.
August 5 At the National Council of Chiefs during Momentum Launch, new updates were announced regarding in-person and virtual induction procedures.
July 17 It is with deep disappointment we announce the cancellation of the in-person Momentum event scheduled for next month at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Please view the full announcement for more details and FAQs. Momentum: Launch, a fully virtual event, will still occur as planned.
June 30 The Order of the Arrow has released a plan for supporting our Lodges while emerging from Shelter in Place. The full plan can be found here. That page will updated continuously as new resources become available.
June 9 The virtual long-term camping authorization policy has been updated.
June 4 Philmont Scout Ranch announced the cancellation of all remaining programs for the 2020 summer season. All affected OAHA participants have received communication about their treks and what options they may have.
June 3 The temporary camping night policy has been updated.
The virtual unit election policy has been updated.
May 1 Information about the cancellation of NOAC can be found here.
OAHA Programs have been delayed. More information can be found here.
All national and regional events through June 15, 2020 have been postponed.
April 29 The temporary camping night policy can be found here.
March 25 Information about virtual unit elections and an induction date extension can be found here.
March 18 Read the update from the 2020 National Chief Zach Schonfeld here.

Status of Lodge, Section, and Region Events

We encourage all lodges to work with and follow guidance from your local BSA council and county/state health departments to address any concerns about upcoming events in your area.

Region and Section leadership will provide updates to changes in event status based on guidance from the relevant health authorities in the event area.

Regions are assessing all options including rescheduling NLS and DYLC to later dates. Sections are doing the same regarding conclaves.

BSA Policies to Prevent the Spread of Illness

The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at a large Scouting event. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.

Everyday Preventive Measures

Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.