Inside Momentum Launch, the Order of the Arrow’s largest-ever virtual event

The Momentum Launch logo with three W’s and the arrow logo

It has become the most overused word of the pandemic: pivot.

As in: “When Synergy 2.0: The Business Jargon Conference was canceled, organizers pivoted to a digital-first experience.”

But as Scouts, we’ve been pivoting since long before that was a buzzword. When Scouts run into problems, we pivot. We find a bold and innovative workaround made possible because we remembered to “Be Prepared” for the unexpected.

So when the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society, announced in May that its biggest event was canceled because of the pandemic, there wasn’t a question of whether the OA would pivot to something else.

The only question was just how awesome that something else would be. Well, we now have our answer: incredibly, extremely, history-makingly awesome.

Get ready for Momentum Launch, a fully interactive experience designed to launch the momentum the OA needs to continue fulfilling its purpose during the new normal.

“We may be physically distant, but we aren’t alone,” says Zach Schonfeld, who leads the OA as National Chief. “Each participant will leave with a renewed sense of purpose to ensure the Order of the Arrow’s life-changing mission thrives for years to come.”

What, when, who

What: Organizers say Momentum Launch will be the OA’s largest virtual event in history. It will include the fun stuff — games, competitions, activities — but also helpful training sessions designed to spotlight ways to continue the OA’s commitment to cheerful service throughout the pandemic and beyond. And as you’d expect at an OA event, it will include some incredible shows.

When: Momentum Launch will be held Aug. 4 to 6, 2020.

Who: Momentum Launch is open to anyone — whether they’re members of the OA or not.

Two ways to join

Free: Anyone can watch for free with no registration required. You’ll be able to view any of the Momentum Launch events live. While some sessions are most applicable to Scouts and adult volunteers who are part of the OA, the stream can be viewed by anyone live. (Insider’s tip: You won’t want to miss the opening show on Aug. 4.)

Registered delegate ($30): For the full experience, you’ll want the premium tier, which includes a mailed patch, access to all live events, access to recorded versions of all events, access to a community platform to communicate with Arrowmen from across the country, and a chance to win the eventwide game.

Register here.

What to expect

Momentum Launch will include:

  • Opening and closing shows, which will let the OA showcase its signature ability to inspire and entertain
  • Q&A sessions with astronaut Doug Wheelock, BSA CEO Roger Mosby, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates
  • More than 35 hours of original content
  • 13 training sessions about interesting topics both in and out of the OA
  • Game shows and trivia competitions
  • Campfire chats
  • Other can’t-miss surprises

See the schedule, which will be updated regularly, at this link.

How they did it

Rather than simply trying to teleport the plan for the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference into the virtual world, organizers built Momentum Launch from the ground up.

A team of 60 people — a 50-50 mix of youth and adults — helped plan Momentum Launch. These Scouts and volunteers worked tirelessly to create more than 35 hours of content, devoting countless hours despite other obligations like families, jobs, internships and summer college programs.

”Our team has been hard at work,” Schonfeld says. “Moving our national program of emphasis to a virtual setting will allow us to bring our programs directly to Scouts across the country, and even the world. It’s sure to make a lasting impact on all who attend.”

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.