Egwa Tawa Dee COVID-19 Updates
Last Updated: 1/3/2021
Egwa Tawa Dee Lodge of the Order of the Arrow (OA) wants you to be aware of certain changes that have been implemented by your lodge and the OA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been no changes to the eligibility requirements for election as a youth candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow.
NOTE: If a Scout was elected as a candidate in 2019 or 2020 but did not complete their induction, they are ineligible to be a candidate for election in 2021 because they have 24 months from the date of their election to be inducted.
Until further notice, Troops, Crews and Ships will have the options of holding an in-person election, a virtual election, or a composite election. While the method of conducting the election may vary, the process and forms are the same.
Learn how to schedule your unit election.
Units and Chapters are authorized to conduct in-person elections under the following conditions:
Elections must follow any restrictions concerning meetings, sanitation and social distancing set by the unit and the chartered organization.
The election must be conducted so that it conforms to the guidelines set forth in the Governor’s Executive Orders concerning “gatherings” and “social distancing.” During an in-person election, the maximum number of persons (Scouts, Scouters, parents, election team members) who may be physically present in a single enclosed location during the presentation and balloting must not exceed the number of persons who constitute a “gathering.” Chapter Advisers must follow the guidance issued by the public health authority(ies) guidance for their district and any rules set by the head of the chartered organization for the unit.
In large units, it may be necessary to split the unit into two sections and do the presentations and elections in different locations within the same building or out of doors in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
During the election, individuals present must maintain social distancing, which means they must stand or be seated at least 6 feet apart.
Youth election team members must have parental consent to participate in a unit election, other than at their own unit.
For in-person elections or presentations, an adult OA member must conduct the pre-event health screening for signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 found in the BSA Restart Scouting Checklist on each member of the elections team prior to arrival at the unit meeting. Any team member who answers yes to any of the questions, cannot participate in the election.
The National Director of the OA has authorized Lodges to conduct virtual Unit elections if they are conducted in accordance with specific guidance issued by the National Director and are approved, in advance, by the Council Executive. The unit leader must agree, in writing, to holding a virtual election and that it will be in lieu of holding an in-person election. A virtual election must follow the procedures established by Egwa Tawa Dee for virtual elections that are designed to insure the secrecy of the election. Unit leaders may request a copy of those procedures from their Chapter Adviser.
A composite election is one in which involves both a in-person component and a virtual component. Each component must comply with the guidelines set forth above for both types of elections.
Eligibility based on camping nights
To be eligible for election as a candidate for membership in the OA, a Scout must meet certain minimum rank requirements and have "have experienced 15 nights of Scout camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election."
Short Term Camping
In addition to regular camping nights, some “virtual camping” events conducted after March 1, 2020, will qualify as short-term camping, if they meet all of the following requirements:
All virtual camping nights should be a direct result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and be part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event (i.e., multiple members of the unit are involved and camping simultaneously at remote locations).
- Some form of unit-organized communications should occur either during or immediately following the event.
- All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines should be followed.
- No more than 3 nights of virtual camping are to be credited in any month in which government- or council-imposed COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
Long Term Camping
Virtual long-term camping of five (5) days is authorized to be counted toward the long-term camping requirements for OA eligibility consistent with the above guidelines and the following additional guidelines:
A long-term camp plan must be developed and approved by the unit leader prior to the commencement of the long-term camp. This plan is to be individualized to each Scout’s capabilities and situation and should strive to include:
- Progress toward advancement for each Scout Outdoor relevant experience consistent with local conditions and restrictions,
- Unit-organized communications should occur on a daily basis during the camping experience and include discussion of progress made on summer camp goals.
- An end-of-camp assessment must be conducted with the unit leader to report on progress made during the experience itself and discuss how future virtual long-term camping experiences can be enhanced. During this assessment, the unit leader will make the determination if the Scout’s participation warrants granting credit for a completed virtual long-term camping experience in terms of OA eligibility.
Time Limit for Inductions
Normally a Scout has 12 months from the date of their election in which complete induction. However, the National Director of the Order of the Arrow notified lodges that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, "Candidates that were elected after February 1, 2019 will have 24 months from the date of election to complete their ordeal." This change will also apply to adults who were selected in 2019 or 2020 but not inducted. For 2020 candidates, this means that they will have until the second anniversary of their election (sometime in 2022) to be inducted. For 2019 candidates, they will have until November of 2021 to complete induction.
Spring Induction Weekend - April 30 – May 2, 2021 at Woodruff Scout Camp
August Induction Weekend - August 27 – 29, 2021 at Bert Adams Scout Camp
Fall Induction Weekend, November 5 – 7, 2021 at Bert Adams Scout Camp
There are no changes to the adult nomination requirements but there is a new form. Unit adults must meet the same camping requirements as youth candidates. Adult nominations will be accepted until March 31, 2021. Adults who are selected as candidates will be notified by their Chapter Adviser.
Lodge & Chapter Activities
The Lodge leadership and many of our Chapters continue to function by holding both virtual and in-person meetings and events. Starting in August of 2020, Egwa Tawa Dee safely conducted two inductions and several outdoor in person events by following public health, BSA and Council guidelines. It is our intention to continue to do that in 2021. Please encourage your OA members and candidates to participate.
Please share this information with the OA members and candidates in your units and their parents. While we are making every effort to keep them informed, we would appreciate your help in getting the word out.
Have Questions or Need Additional Information.
Please check with your Chapter Adviser using the email address for unit elections shown on https://www.aacegwa.org/chapters. Copies of email sent to those addresses are also seen by Lodge leaders.
Yours in Scouting,
|Elliot Paisner||Ryan Girard||Matt Rendahl|
|Lodge Chief||Lodge Adviser||Lodge Staff Adviser|