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NOAC 2020 Cancelled – Next NOAC will be in 2022

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NOAC Delegates,

It is with deep sadness we inform you that the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference has been cancelled out of concern for the safety of all attending Arrowmen, as well as the Michigan State University and East Lansing communities.

Many factors were considered in making this difficult decision. We worked closely with both the local health department and Michigan State University, and determined that it was impossible under current and anticipated conditions to hold a safe and exciting NOAC. We also took into account the economic toll COVID-19 has taken on Arrowmen and their families, and came to realize that we may not be able to offer a NOAC experience consistent with our high standards for national conferences. Like you, we are disappointed that we will not be gathering in person this summer, but we are not discouraged and fully believe this is the right decision.

Contingent members and staff will receive a full refund of all conference fees paid to-date to the national Order of the Arrow office, including the non-refundable deposit. These refunds will be issued as credits to your local council. Specific instructions on how to handle these refunds will be available in the next several days. Contingent members should also check with their contingent leaders for information about refunds for funds collected by the lodge beyond the conference fee, including travel.

The spirit of our brotherhood remains true whether we meet in-person or not. We see it every time we witness a virtual lodge meeting, visit an online section conclave, and hear about a virtual unit election. With that in mind, we also will be hosting a virtual event during the first week of August. Top of mind for this virtual event is how Arrowmen and the Order of the Arrow can quickly adapt to society’s new reality while maintaining our core values and purpose. More information about this virtual event will be released in the coming weeks.

We sincerely thank the 2020 National Conference Committee, our lodges’ contingent leadership teams, and our conference host Michigan State University, for all of the incredible work done in preparation for the conference.

NOACs are always an exciting opportunity for our organization, but our programs and mission extend far beyond the reach of a college campus every few years. When we started our terms, we spent some time thinking about how we wanted this year to be remembered. Here is what we said:

“This year will be remembered as more than just a moment. It’s not enough to say that NOAC will be the greatest thing we do this year. Will it be the most amazing conference we’ve ever held? Yes, but NOAC will not define 2020. This year, we are going to move our organization forward. We will personally hold ourselves accountable for ensuring every leader has the tools needed to support lodges, and our team will be there every step of the way. 2020 will be remembered for each day that we take the opportunity to advance our organization. That lasts 366 days, not just six.”

We know there are some Arrowmen who still would like to attend a national Order of the Arrow event this summer. To meet this need, we are offering a new event called Momentum that will be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve from August 3-8, 2020. This event will focus on the many programmatic opportunities that exist at the Summit. Momentum will have limited space and we are asking those who meet the CDC’s higher risk group to not attend. This event will be a contingent-only event, and the cost is $545 per participant. More information about Momentum can be found here.

Lodges will be able to transfer fees already paid for NOAC to Momentum for as few or as many individuals that are interested in attending, as long as all youth protection requirements are fulfilled. In the coming days, contingent leaders will receive information on how to request a refund of their NOAC fees, or transfer their NOAC fees to Momentum. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can not guarantee that the Momentum event will not also be cancelled. However, due to the decreased size of this event and the physical layout of the Summit Bechtel Reserve compared to Michigan State University, we are hopeful Momentum can take place.  We will make a final decision if this event will occur no later than June 17, 2020.

The Order of the Arrow and Scouting remain as strong as ever. You have the power to make a positive impact on the Order of the Arrow when you “Step up and Step forward,” no matter where you are. While we hoped NOAC would be a part of that vision, we know each of you will still take the conference’s message to heart and channel your energy into making a lasting impact on your lodge.  After you have reviewed the FAQ section on the NOAC website if you still have questions you may email them to concierge@oa-bsa.org.

We all must preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of weighty responsibilities, because those who chose you need you, now more than ever.

In Brotherhood,

Zach SchonfeldNoah Smith
2020 National Chief2020 National Vice Chief
Clint TakeshitaMichael HoffmanMatt Dukeman
Conference ChairmanNational ChairmanNational Director
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