Tonkawa 99 Letter to All Members, Candidates, & Parents

October 20, 2020


To all Tonkawa Lodge members, candidates and parents:


The watchwords of the Order become all the more important in these challenging times. WWW- Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, Service. The Lodge has adapted over the past several months by hosting virtual interactions with its members. These virtual meetings will continue to some extent but now, it is time to return to in-person events to be held in a manner that reasonably protects Lodge members, including those most at risk. We believe that membership in the Order of the Arrow is best accomplished by in person participation in the induction process.


The Capitol Area Council has recently approved a plan to re-open our Camp properties. In connection with that plan, the Lodge has prepared a plan for its second 2020 in-person assembly to be held on December 5 and 6. The theme of this assembly, once again, is “The Iron-Person Ordeal”.  Registration will open on October 22, 2020.


If this assembly is as successful as our October assembly, we plan on hosting additional assemblies after January 1, 2021.


Because of everyone’s concern for safety, we have published our plan for conducting the assembly on our website We hope the plan answers any questions you might have concerning the event. Candidates and parents should fully read the new candidate letter and attachments. It will be necessary for you to bring a few more forms with you to registration. Parents, be aware, that one of the forms requires you to commit to pick up your son or daughter if they become ill during the event.


While we will have traditional Elangomats for the candidates, it is the plan that all members will participate in Elangomat duties to the extent we will share the tests of the Ordeal with the candidates: Reflection on the purpose of the Order, spending the night alone, participating in a day of arduous toil, refraining from speaking, and eating scant food.


Added to these tests will be the additional responsibility for all members and candidates to make the event safe for one another. The watchwords for this process also begin with WWW:  Watch your distances, Wash your hands, Wear your mask.


Please review the plan posted on This assembly will be limited to 120 candidates and 60 members. Members should list their job activity on the registration form.


Candidates, please follow all instructions in the candidate letter.


WWW- Thank you.


Evan Hardt

Lodge Chief


Richard South

Lodge Adviser



This document requests permission from the Council to operate an in person Order of the Arrow Assembly Weekend on December 5-6 of 2020 at Scout Camp Green Dickson.


Lodge Leadership has reviewed the Council Plan for Re-opening Overnight Camps and agrees to abide by all of the health and safety requirements of that plan.


This event will be referred to as the “Iron-Person Ordeal”. Following is the tentative schedule:


December 5
10am to  11am Members arrive to set up camp
11am until it is finished Members clean the med lodge, all bathhouses and help Service Committee stage necessary equipment and tools for Sunday
12pm Sandwiches for members and professional staff
4pm to 5pm Candidates arrive and check in
6pm BBQ tacos for members and professional staff
9pm Pre-Ordeal Ceremony begins
December 6
7am Candidates return to parade field
7am-730am Breakfast
8am Work begins
12- 1230pm Lunch- served in work areas
300pm Work ends and candidates go by train to assigned bathhouse to clean up
4pm Candidates assemble on parade ground in trains
430pm Ordeal and closing ceremonies begin
600 pm Jumpstart and candidates receive packets


7-730pm Candidates get their packets at the pavillion and depart camp



The medical officer on site will be Jack Ward. Ward will recruit a staff of 3 additional persons (youth or adult) to assist in doing the required medical checks on arrival to camp and to staff the med lodge.


This event will be limited to 120 candidates and no more than 60  members.


The first 120 candidates that register and pay will be entitled to attend this event.


Of the members registering, you must indicate what your job at Assembly will be: ceremony, ceremony support, Elangomat, work crew leader, administrative support.


Note that any person 65 or older, or suffering from a “pre-existing medical condition” that makes the person more susceptible to a severe reaction to COVID-19,  should not attend.


The assembly will be shortened to a one night event.


With the exception of the Med Lodge, all activities for the weekend will be conducted outdoors. Initial medical check in will be at the gate, further check in is at the Drescher pavilion on the parade field, trains will wait on the parade field maintaining social distancing. Signs will be placed for trains and the LEC will appoint a team to help the candidates establish the proper distances.


All members will arrive on Saturday, Dec. 5 between  10am and 11am .  Jack Ward and his staff will be present during that time to check in.  A temperature log will be maintained by Jack Ward.  Jack will also collect the AHMRs, the Pre-Camp Screening and COVID -19 Risk Acknowledgement form and the  Commitment to Transport form from the members. (No commitment to transport form will be required if the member brought their own vehicle.)


Cleaning of the Med Lodge and the bath houses will occur Saturday afternoon in addition to preparation of the ceremony rings and food for the candidates morning and noon meals. The LEC will prepare a list of the members assigned to each task.


The Service Chairperson, working with P.J. Brown and Billy Mikesh, will have the cleaning supplies and work materials staged for the other members when they arrive.


No member or candidate may leave camp without express permission of the Lodge Adviser (medical or family emergency)  after being checked in.


Bring your tent.  One person per tent or under the stars. NO EXCEPTIONS. Ward and his med crew will sleep in in or near the Med Lodge. No other buildings will be utilized for activity or sleeping.


Candidates will arrive between 4 and 5pm and check in at the gate as per the Council Plan for Re-opening Overnight Camps. If the candidate is passed to attend, they will take their gear to the Drescher pavillion to be assigned to a train.


A temperature log will be maintained by Jack Ward. Jack will also collect the AHMRs, the Pre-Camp Screening and Covid-19 Risk Acknowledgement form and the  Commitment to Transport form from the candidates. (No commitment to transport form will be required if the candidate brought their own vehicle. )


No daily temperature log will be maintained since this is a 24-26 hour event. Any person exhibiting any signs of illness will be taken to the Med Lodge and treated in accordance with the Council Health Policy.


The only gear needed by candidates will be:


The clothes they wear: hat, work pants, work shirt, t shirt, socks and closed toed shoes or boots and a face mask (MANDATORY). Uniform shirts are optional and not necessary. Class B uniforms are acceptable.  In a small backpack candidates should carry weather appropriate gear (fleece or jacket) if necessary, heavy work gloves (MANDATORY) poncho, water bottle (MANDATORY), a small tarp or backpacking tent, sleeping bag and pad, sunscreen, flashlight, wet wipes, a pocketknife and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. If they need medications, those need to be packed as well.



A sandwich will be provided to members for lunch and bbq tacos will be provided for dinner at 6pm. Members may bring their own non-perishable food. No refrigeration will be available. Anything brought should be “ready to eat”. The Lodge will serve breakfast on Sunday and lunch on Sunday.


Subject to anything the members bring to eat, the candidates and members will eat the same thing on Sunday. Breakfast will be 2 hard boiled eggs, a nutrition bar and a piece of fruit. Lunch will consist of a sandwich, chips and a piece of fruit.


If a candidate or member has any special dietary requirements they will be directed to bring their own food for the weekend.



Candidates will be divided into 8 trains of 15 each. Each train will be assigned 2 Elangomats. Each train will stay together throughout the Ordeal maintaining social distancing as much as possible


Upon arrival from medical check in, the candidates will be placed in trains on the parade ground. (If too sunny, shade can be sought out recognizing social distance requirements).


At about 9 pm the trains will be led on a short hike and then rearranged into a semi circle (with social distancing) on the parade field for the pre-ordeal ceremony.



After the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony, the trains will be taken by their Elangomats to their overnight locations. These assignments will be given out in advance.  Only 2 trains will be camped in any one area. Social distancing will be enforced by the Elangomats.


In the case of severe inclement weather during the night alone, the Elangomats will take their trains to an assigned pavilion(s). These assignments will be given out in advance. Candidates need to bring a backpacking tent or tarp because rain is not severe inclement weather.


On Sunday morning at 7am- the Elangomats will bring their trains back to the parade ground and again form up respecting social distance.


Breakfast will be passed out by the LEC. Work crews will then be taken by their Elangomats to the work areas. Work begins at 8am and stops for lunch at noon. Lunch will be delivered to the work crew areas by the LEC. Work resumes at 12:30pm.


The LEC will have at least one vehicle rotating water jugs to the worksites and the parade field all day. The water person will carry hand sanitizer to leave with each water jug for the candidates.  The jugs should be cleaned inside and out between fillings. Attention should be paid to sanitizing the spigot with bleach water. Candidates will use hand sanitizer before and after filling water bottles.


Work stops at 3:00pm and Elangomats return their crews to the nearest bathhouse to clean themselves up. They will then be taken to the parade ground.


At 4:30 pm the trains will be formed and led on a short hike and then back to the parade field in a socially distanced semi-circle for the Ordeal Ceremony and Closing Ceremony.


Jumpstart will be conducted on the parade field after the Closing Ceremony is completed.


Once Jumpstart is complete candidates will be dismissed to the parade field pavillion to retrieve their packet. New members will proceed, adhering to social spacing, to the parking lot to wait for their ride to arrive. New members should be dismissed by 7pm.

See our plan for an In-Person Assembly we used in October!

Fall In-Person Ordeal Plan