These have been confusing times and like all of you, lodge leadership has been working to stay up to date with National OA policy changes, and other changes happening rapidly and without warning. With that being said, the lodge would like to offer our interpretations of the National policy changes and detail how it affects all of the members of our lodge.
For ease of access, you can find some of the policy changes below, with additional detail and the exact wording of the National changes here, https://oa-bsa.org/coronavirus.
Due to the continued inability for some parts of the country to meet in person the cutoff date for lodges to conduct virtual unit elections is being changed to September 1, 2020, to correspond with the virtual camping effective period as well as to include the entire traditional summer camp period.
While the National OA has allowed Virtual Elections through September 1st, due to our event schedule, and plans for inductions; it is the Shawnee Lodge policy that all elections must be completed by August 1st.
Short Term Camping
Virtual camping will be allowed with certain regulations
To be counted, 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 three (3) nights of virtual camping are to be credited in any month in which government- or council-imposed COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
In summary, short term Virtual Camping will be counted for Ordeal eligibility for three nights per month, that Units are unable to camp together in person - based on Council or local/state/national restrictions. The camping must be organized by the unit beforehand, and some form of communication ought to occur during or immediately after the event.
Long Term Camping
In summary, Long-term Virtual Camping of five consecutive nights may be counted toward Ordeal Eligibility AND Brotherhood and Beyond Brotherhood requirements. Long-term Virtual Camping must be planned, developed, and approved by the unit leader before the commencement of the camp. After the camp, a meeting with the unit leader must happen, where the Unit leader decides if the camping warrants granting credit for Ordeal Eligibility.
I understand that it can be difficult to plan when information continues to change and I appreciate all of your patience during these times. Continue to keep the OA in your life and live the principles which it embodies.