Order of the Arrow

OA NEWS: Temporary Camping Night Policy Due to COVID-19

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More information about the Order of the Arrow’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found ​here.OA star

In light of the extended period of camping restrictions attributable to COVID-19, the following temporary modification is being made to the camping requirements for OA eligibility:

Virtual camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility if all the following stipulations are met:

  • 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.

This change is in effect until September 1, 2020.

Units which have already held an election between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are authorized to hold one additional election for any individuals who were ineligible at the time of the election due to the camping requirement, but would have been considered eligible at the time if this temporary policy had then been in effect. This second election must be completed no later than July 1, 2020. Those who were previously considered for election in the first election may not be reconsidered on this second ballot (i.e., no one can be considered for election more than once in a year).

Given that virtually all councils have either cancelled or reduced their summer camp programs this year, creating a situation where a high proportion of Scouts will not have the opportunity to attend an in-camp summer camp in 2020, a temporary provision to allow for “virtual” long term camping credit for OA eligibility is necessary.

Virtual Long-Term Camping Authorization

Two situations have developed associated with the current pandemic that may prevent Scouts from having an opportunity to qualify for OA eligibility due to not having attended a long-term camp this summer.

  • The local council camp is closed and not offering a traditional summer camp experience.
  • Scout parents are unwilling to allow their child to attend traditional summer camp programs due to health concerns.

In order to address these circumstances, virtual long-term camping of five (5) consecutive nights is authorized to be counted toward the long-term camping requirements for OA eligibility consistent with the above guidance 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.

This virtual long-term camping authority is not meant to substitute for attendance at traditional council summer camp programs, but rather to provide an alternative for Scouts who fit in one of the two categories mentioned above.

If you have any questions, please reach out to membership@oa-bsa.org.


Congratulations to new OA Brotherhood members!

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Order of the Arrow – Lowaneu Allanque Chapter congratulates the following ten Scouts and Adults that earned the OA Brotherhood status at the 2018 Spring Camporee:2018SpringCamporeeBrotherhood

David Bradley, Troop 804

Michael (Alex) Bricker, Troop 358

Griffin Burke, Troop 358

Billy Busse, Troop 358

Bobby (Robert) Corridan, Troop 804

Jared Dennemann, Troop 804

David Gusman, Troop 358

Jack Keller, Troop 358

Ivan Miller, Troop 514

Peter Shrote, Troop 804

District SPRING CAMPOREE Leader’s Guide and prep meeting 3/25!

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To all North Star Units –  please see the 2018 Spring Camporee Leaders Guide v2  (<== linked here!) for our Spring Camporee this year.  Rick Aker (North Star District Camporee Chair) is planning on having another Camporee meeting this Sunday, March 25; email and/or blog post to follow with more information.WILLIE'S SIRENS

If you have any questions, Rick’s contact information is in the leader guide.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at our Spring Camporee!!


Reminder: OA Election Results / Vigil Nomination Forms due March 15, 2018

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As mentioned last week:

Order of the Arrow Election results and Vigil nomination Forms are due on or before March 15, 2018.  Please email election results as well as the forms: OA Vigil Petition Form 2018 (linked here) to Mark Pishon, email loaadviser@jaccostownelodge.org.

If you are having difficulty opening the Petition form using the link above, try this:


Order of the Arrow Updates

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Updates as provided by Lowaneu Allanque Chapter of OA Advisor Mark Pishon:

Time to Pay 2018 Dues – The Link is https://scoutingevent.com/160-oadues.

Jaccos Towne Lodge Update – The Lodge has asked chapters develop Brotherhood programs and ceremonies for District Camporees.  This will make it very convenient for those going for Brotherhood

OA Unit Elections – All units will be conducting OA Elections before March 15th.  Please email election results to Mark Pishon at LOAAdviser@jaccostownelodge.org. The candidate cost to attend an OA Ordeal should not be a reason anymore for not joint Order of the Arrow.  Our lodge has established a scholarship committee for candidates to confidentially petition for financial help.  Please ask your unit Scoutmaster if there are concerns with candidates that might need assistance.

The lodge has designed a brand new lodge website so check it out at:  jaccostownelodge.org.


Please welcome new Arrowmen.  New brothers check this link out: http://www.jumpstart.oa-bsa.org/


Jaccos Towne Lodge Spring Fellowship – March 16 to 18, 2018.
Our annual Lodge Spring Fellowship will take place March 16 to 18 at Camp Krietenstein.  This is a really fun weekend for all units to attend.  You do NOT need to be in OA and your unit will receive service hours.   The theme is TV Game Shows. Bring your best “A Game” and card skills.  Here is the link for registration: https://scoutingevent.com/160-2018OASpringFellowship

Order of the Arrow Troop Elections

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From OA Chapter Advisor Mark Pishon:oa_seal_fullcolor

Dear North Star Unit Key 3:

The Jaccos Towne Lodge expects units to hold OA Elections prior to March 15, 2018.  Remember to have elections for youth and adults; they have different forms (see links at bottom).  We would like you to use the new forms which now include email addresses are fillable PDF documents.  My past experience tells me that a fair number of the Candidate Letters never get delivered because we can’t read your handwriting.  Please fill in the form using a computer so it is legible.

I have also attached the National Order of the Arrow Guide to Unit Elections for your ready reference.

The results should be emailed to both your LOA Chapter Adviser (LOAAdviser@jaccostownelodge.org) and the lodge (Elections@jaccostownelodge.org).  All election results must be turned in by March 15, 2018.

1458We would appreciate it if you get them turned in early so we can see where we are.

Please let the OA Adviser Mark Pishon know when they are on the calendar.  LOA would like to send a representative if you do not have an OA Representative who is participating in OA Monthly meetings.

The Spring Camporee has not been fully scheduled out as of today but the dates are April 20-22, 2018.  I suspect it will be at Camp Kikthawendund..  I will let you know once we know for the Candidate Call Outs.

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

  • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

Through Unit Elections, worthy Scouts are recognized and elected as Ordeal candidates. Arrowmen are needed to serve on Unit Election teams in their Chapter. Contact your Chapter Chief and volunteer! Most units do their elections in the first months of the year, so contact your Chapter Chief as soon as possible. Forms are available on the Lodge’s website under Resources. Please make sure copies of Unit Elections and Adult Nominations are turned into the Lodge.

It is an Arrowman’s responsibility to help promote camping through his unit, district, and council. This may be done through camp promotions to Cub Scout and Boy Scout units. Information and resources are available from the Council to help you make presentations on camping opportunities in the Crossroads of America Council. Doing a unit election and camp promotion at the same time for Boy Scout units is an efficient way of offering cheerful service and helping both the BSA and the OA!

Yours in Brotherhood,

Mark Pishon
LOA Chapter Adviser
Cell 317.374.2262

Download his attachments here:

  1. 2018 and 2019 OA and Firecrafter Calendar v2
  2. GuideToUnitElections2017
  3. OA Elections 2018
  4. OA-Inductions-AdultCandidateForm
  5. OA-Inductions-Unit ElectionForm2018-fillable

Cheap College Spring Break

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For college-aged Arrowmen, there is a great opportunity to provide service to scouting in the warm weather of Florida Keys and Puerto Rico. For all Arrowmen that register and can pay the costs of transportation to Miami International Airport or San Juan Airport, you can have a free week stay at Sea Base or the Puerto Rico summer camp reservation.

Both of these locations were hit by Hurricaine Irma and they have clean up remaining. The National Scout Office and the Northeast Region (home to Puerto Rico’s council) have arranged to cover the cost of ground transportation from the airports, room, and board.

The schedule is difficult for Indiana high schoolers, being early in March 2018. For college aged Arrowmen, this could be perfect.

Please help North Star serve these camps!


Clarifications from Lodge Chief on Out-of-Council Ordeals

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Lodge Chief James Colter emailed today to emphasize that going out of council is only an option if specific, “extenuating circumstances” cause the need to go out-of-council — to another lodge’s ordeal. He uses the example of a religious obligation. While we have tried to emphasize this point, we never used the phrase “extenuating circumstances.” If you do seek to go out of council, know that your letter requesting to go out-of-council must describe the nature of this extenuating circumstance. Inadequate explanation of the extenuating circumstance or an inadequate basis are both good cause for the request to be denied. Reading between the lines,

I sense that a conflicting extracurricular activity may not meet the extenuating circumstances test. In that case, you can write the letter and try to get it approved, but start with a pessimistic expectation. A religious prohibition or conflicting date is likely to be accepted with no questions asked. For example, my son had his confirmation Sunday on the day of his first opportunity to attend chapter ordeal, although he made Lodge Ordeal. Remember, just because the scout cannot make chapter ordeal, he will still have September’s Lodge Ordeal. Letters describing extenuating circumstances should deal with scheduling conflicts for both offered ordeals in order to be complete.

In our previous post, we told leaders to gather information about the scheduling conflict. This information just clarifies that this same information about extenuating circumstances needs to be in the letter requesting an out-of-council ordeal in order for permission to be granted by either lodge.

Order of the Arrow Unit Award of Excellence

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Do you ever tire of recognition for your adults or streamers for your troop flag? If not, I have some additional opportunities for you.

In an effort to promote the Order of the Arrow, the National Boy Scout Honorary Society, the National Council has created the OA Unit Award of Excellence. Related to the unit award are separate recognitions for the youth OA Troop Representative (or Crew Representative), the scoutmaster, and the Assistant Scoutmaster tasked woa_seal_fullcolorith OA liaison responsibilities. (Both the troop rep and ASM have special position of responsibility patches.)

To learn more about these awards, take a look at the record sheet on the OA website.

OA Lodge Chief Interview UPDATED

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UPDATE 4/26/17: Lodge Chief James Colter emailed today to emphasize that going out of council is only an option if specific, extenuating circumstances cause the need to go out-of-council. While we have tried to emphasize this point, we never used the phrase “extenuating circumstances.” If you do seek to go out of council, know that your letter requesting to go out-of-council must describe the nature of this extenuating circumstance. Inadequate explanation of the extenuating circumstance or an inadequate basis are both good cause for the request to be denied.

Due to the confusion over the Order of the Arrow Ordeals in 2017, I spoke with Jaccos Towne Lodge Chief James Colter. We wanted to make sure that some of the confusion could be laid to rest in advance of this weekend’s Tap-Out Ceremony at the Spring Camporee at Camp Ransburg.

First things first: there will be a Fall Lodge Ordeal in 2017. More on that in a minute.

James Colter
2017 Lodge Chief James Colter

James is the current chief of Jaccos Towne Lodge, that covers all of the Crossroads of America Council. James comes from Troop 335 in North East District.  He is currently a student at Ball State University. As such, he also serves a troop in Golden Eagle District while at school.

Each Council has one and only one Lodge. A lodge can then be divided into chapters. North Star District has its own chapter.

James also shared with me that he was elected secretary of Section C6A for Order of the Arrow. This is Area 6 of the Central Region of the BSA, of which A is a subdivision.

James explained to me that the Ldoge is trying to redesign its programs so that stronger chapters can help support struggling chapters. Part of this plan is to have chapters carry out more of their efforts together. While Council’s overall restructing into three section, Lodge is following a completely different alignment of chapters based on the characteristics of the chapters, not their georgraphy.

From May 19 to 21, 2017, the Lowaneu Allanque (LOA) Chapter of North Star will be joining with the Kickapoo (KPO) of Wabash Valley District (Terre Haute area), the Tatankaskah (TAK) Chapter of Sugar Creek District (Crawfordsville area), and the Wundchenneu (WUN) Chapter of Hou Koda District (Plainfield area). This will be held at Camp Krietenstein a/k/a Camp K West.

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