March 20, 2020
Being fully committed to the health and safety of all lodge members, the Lodge Executive Committee has been deliberate and thorough in its planning in response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus disease) pandemic. All operations of Tonkawa Lodge are governed by the policies of both the Capitol Area Council and National Committee of the Order of the Arrow. As such, Tonkawa Lodge policy will reflect decisions made on these levels. Updates to the Lodge response will be available online at the Lodge website and communicated through email and social media.
Status of Spring Assembly
Many recently-elected candidates, experienced Arrowmen, and even lodge leaders have, understandably, begun to question the status of our annual Spring Assembly and Spring Business Meeting. At this time, there has been no decision to cancel or postpone Spring Assembly. The April Lodge Executive Committee meeting, scheduled for April 5 at 2:00 pm via Zoom teleconference, will make the final determination on plans to proceed with Spring Assembly. In the instance of a postponement or cancellation, the framework for adjustments to the program calendar and any arising administrative issues will be outlined at this meeting.
The Tonkawa Guarantee
Throughout this planning process in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, one overarching principle has guided the decision-making process: every candidate will be guaranteed a fair chance to complete their induction. As a result of this commitment, all options are on the table in the instance of a cancellation or postponement of Spring Assembly. It is critical that chapter- and unit-level leadership remain up-to-date on any changes in the annual program calendar and are able to effectively communicate these alterations.
An Arrowman’s Duty
Winston Churchill is often attributed as saying “never waste a good crisis.” Now, more than ever, the values of the Order of the Arrow are needed throughout the country. Despite the inconveniences we might suffer, it is the responsibility and obligation of every Arrowman to model responsible and upstanding behavior. There are countless ways to make a difference: washing our hands and practicing safe social distancing, maintaining a positive presence as we spend more time online, and seeking out opportunities to help others through this time. As model Scouts, it is important we live every day exemplifying the Scout Oath and Law, as well as our Obligation. By valuing brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service, Scouting can only be strengthened through this period of hardship.
Information from the BSA and OA
Over the past week, the Capitol Area Council and national leadership of the Order of the Arrow have released a number of statements regarding Scouting’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as resources to help in the facilitation of the Scouting program given current conditions. Perhaps most impressive is the personal and informative statement from National Chief of the Order of the Arrow Zach Schonfeld, which offers inspiration to all Scouts in this time. We encourage you to consult the following resources, many of which receive daily
- Capitol Area Council’s COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Update
- Boy Scouts of America National Statement on COVID-19
- Order of the Arrow’s Response to COVID-19
- Chiefly Speaking: From the National Chief Regarding COVID-19
Furthermore, the most current information from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) can be found online and should be checked frequently.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with these 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 with soap frequently and thoroughly.
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.