Ceremonial Recognition Program Guidelines

This document provides an explanation of the NOAC 2022 recognition programs; guidelines and deadlines for Exemplar video submissions; detail on the Exemplar evaluation process; and a summary of the categories. It also provides contact emails for any questions.

1.0 Introduction

The NOAC 2022 Inductions and Ceremonial Events (ICE) Recognition program continues the tradition of recognizing high achievement against national standards. Two categories will be offered:

  • Evaluations: focused on developing consistent, quality ceremony teams wanting to refine their skills.
  • Exemplar: designed for high-performing teams. The focus is on recognition of exemplary service, consistency, and skills.

The process will be managed by the ICE Committee, led by Joey Fletcher (CVC) and Chamberlain Bauder (Deputy CVC, Evaluations), with the help of their adviser teams. This document explains in detail the Evaluations and Exemplar programs, along with specific guidelines for Exemplar video submission done prior to NOAC.

2.0 Evaluations Program

All lodges are encouraged to sponsor ceremony teams for evaluation and potential recognition as “National Quality” and “National Honor” teams at NOAC 2022. Participation in the Ceremony Evaluation Program requires a full team whose members are registered in the same lodge and will be attending NOAC 2022. Lodges may also register one or more teams for evaluation in the pre-Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Pre-Vigil ceremonies.

All teams who participate will be evaluated by experienced evaluators using the national standard ceremonies rubric.

To participate in the Evaluations Program, contingent leaders must preregister on the NOAERS website, attend NOAC 2022, and receive an evaluation of the Pre-Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Pre-Vigil ceremonies. Ceremonialists will have the opportunity to earn recognition as a “National Quality” and “National Honor” team, as defined in the evaluation rubric. Each lodge may send multiple teams for a given ceremony; however, one ceremonialist is not permitted to be evaluated in multiples of a single ceremony (e.g., one ceremonialist cannot be on two pre-Ordeal teams for evaluation). However, a single ceremonialist may serve in the pre-Ordeal, Brotherhood, and pre-Vigil ceremonies.

NOTE: “All Star” or “Competition” Teams are HIGHLY discouraged. Evaluations should be for active teams that regularly work together in the service of candidates. The goal of evaluations is to validate ceremonialists’ service and give them guidance for further improvement for the good of candidates. Teams assembled solely for recognition do not meet the spirit or intent of the Evaluations program.

2.1 CEREMONY VERSION: Teams will have the option to use either the 2019 or the 2022 ceremonial texts, found at https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions/ceremony-texts for the Evaluations Program at NOAC 2022.

2.2 ATTIRE (CLOTHING): The onsite evaluation must be presented using either American Indian attire, the Scout Field Uniform with ceremonial medallion, or the Alternative Ceremonial Clothing with ceremonial medallion. Additional information regarding ceremonial clothing may be found at https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions/approved-attire.

2.3 INVESTING AND CLOSING: For Pre-Ordeal, the investment will be included in the evaluation. For Brotherhood, the closing will be included in the evaluation.

3.0 Exemplar Program

Exemplar recognition requires that lodge teams demonstrate excellence and consistency by enrolling in a process that begins months before NOAC and concludes at NOAC. To enroll, lodge teams must submit a video of their pre-Ordeal OR Brotherhood ceremony beginning on May 1, 2022, with a deadline of midnight (EDT) June 15, 2022.

The best of the teams who demonstrate that they meet the highest standards in their video will be invited to an in-person Exemplar demonstration and evaluation during NOAC. The detailed guidelines for the Exemplar evaluation are included in this document and must be strictly adhered to by all Exemplar candidate teams.

  1. A lodge may enroll only ONE team for Exemplar evaluation. As noted in Section 2, a lodge may register multiple teams for Honor evaluation at NOAC, but ONLY ONE TEAM may enroll in the Exemplar process. Teams who opt to participate in the Exemplar program will submit a video of either the pre-Ordeal ceremony OR the Brotherhood ceremony. (The Ordeal and Vigil ceremonies are not included in the 2022 Exemplar category.)
  2. All teams (including those who submit videos) are also encouraged to preregister for a ceremony evaluation on the NOAC registration portal to seek Honor Team recognition. If selected as Exemplar finalists, their Exemplar demo will serve as their Honor evaluation. Otherwise, this pre-registration will ensure teams a slot and the ability to earn Honor recognition at NOAC.
  3. A National Exemplar Team is one that meets the highest standards on BOTH their submitted video AND, if invited, their live demonstration and evaluation at NOAC. Excellence and Consistency are key attributes of Exemplar teams.
  4. Following the video submission period, all videos will be evaluated using the same rubric and guidelines used for Honor Team evaluation at NOAC; however, the bar is set higher for the Exemplars. Qualifying teams will be notified of their finalist status in advance of the conference and will be invited to appear in person (with the exact same ceremonialists) for a live “National Exemplar” demonstration and evaluation to be scheduled for their presentation on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday morning at NOAC.
  5. Each finalist team will conduct their chosen ceremony in front of a panel of experienced NOAC evaluators as well as any spectators who wish to attend. Exemplar teams earn this prestigious title, in the final part, for the Service as role models for other ceremonialists. Exemplar demonstrations and evaluations will be promoted to the whole Order so that all Arrowmen can benefit from the hard work and the service that Exemplars have rendered for their candidates.
  6. The team and any youth or adult supporters, as well as any spectators, must arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the team’s assigned time. A staging room will be made available for ceremonialists to privately don their ceremonial attire and finish their preparations. Spectators must be eligible to view the ceremony being conducted (i.e. spectators for the Brotherhood ceremony must be Brotherhood members), and no Exemplar finalist team members may be spectators until after their own demonstration and evaluation has been conducted. Late-arriving spectators will not be permitted. Audio or video recording by spectators is prohibited in the venue. However, the ICE team, for future training use, will record the demonstrations.
  7. Each finalist team will receive an evaluation to highlight the team’s exemplary attributes and, if appropriate, present helpful ways to improve so as to benefit both the team and other interested Arrowmen who are striving to improve their candidate’s Induction experience. This evaluation will also be open to the spectators so they may learn more about the techniques used by the finalist team to meet the high national standards.
  8. Teams whose video submission met the Exemplar standard but whose live demonstration did not will be awarded Honor Team recognition provided that standard was met, as determined by the evaluator panel.
  9. Those teams whose video submission AND live demonstration BOTH meet Exemplar standards will be recognized at NOAC as a “National Exemplar Team” and videos of them may be made available on the Inductions Portal on the National OA website after NOAC.

4.0 Guidelines for Video Submissions

Ceremonial teams who believe they can present at the Exemplar level (See 5.0 Evaluation Process below) should submit a video of their pre-Ordeal or Brotherhood Ceremony. Submission data (lodge name, principals, etc.) should be entered at the following site: https://forms.gle/yhGTzsEqwoBWytNC8, including a link to an UNLISTED upload of the video to YouTube. To ensure privacy of the video, the upload must be unlisted—see instructions at https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/57407 Other tutorials for additional assistance are available online if needed. Ensure that you are indeed uploading a compatible file type to YouTube—more information can be found at https://support.google.com/youtube/troubleshooter/2888402?hl=en. The window for submissions opens May 1st and closes at midnight (EDT) on June 15th, 2022.

  1. Submissions are limited to one per Lodge. If multiple videos are received from the same Lodge, only the first submission will be considered. Once uploaded, a video cannot be changed or resubmitted.
  2. Videos must begin with an easily readable sign (using video titles, or even a simple handmade sign) clearly showing the team’s Lodge, Council, and Council number, to ensure Evaluators can associate the video with the submission data requested above.
  3. Video submissions for the pre-Ordeal Ceremony: The pre-Ordeal ceremony can and should be recorded from the south—that is, at a point where the speaker at the south end of the circle can be seen clearly. The camera must be positioned as such that all four ceremonialists can be seen at all times. The recording of the pre-Ordeal ceremony should begin with the line of ceremonialists outside the circle, as indicated in Diagram 1 on page 3 of “Ceremony for the Ordeal”, and end with the principals arranged as indicated in current revision of the ceremonial text: with Allowat Sakima, Meteu, and Nutiket in their initial positions and Kichkinet outside the circle.. The camera must remain fixed at all times. The “candidates” should not obstruct the view of the camera. No zooming or panning of the camera is allowed.
  4. Video submissions for the Brotherhood Ceremony: Unlike the pre-Ordeal ceremony, a camera in a singular position isn’t feasible. The recording should be a continuous shot, but at times, the camera must be moved or may pan to best capture the speakers. Any video that shows evidence of editing, stopping & restarting, or other questionable techniques may be disqualified per a ruling by the ICE Exemplar subcommittee. The quality of the video or issues caused by repositioning of the camera will not be considered in the video evaluation; the evaluation will be based wholly and completely on the items identified in the rubric, found on the Inductions Portal located within the Inductions Portal https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions The recording should begin with the Nimat’s line on page 2 of “Ceremony for the Brotherhood”, and conclude with Meteu’s final words on page 14. The exact camera positions and movement are up to the discretion of the individual ceremony team, but great care should be taken to provide adequate footage of the speakers, their movements and gestures, and interactions with candidates in conducting the three seals. It is recommended that the camera be positioned throughout as the “second” candidate in line, so as to best capture the speakers and gestures.
  5. No alterations or special effects are permitted. The ICE Committee reserves the right to disqualify any video suspected of editing or modification.
  6. As in live ceremonies, vocal projection and clear speech are crucial. Teams are encouraged to use stage, boom, or personal microphones to improve audio quality if needed. Teams will not be penalized for having microphones or other gear visible on screen. Similarly, using a ceremony ring is encouraged, but not required. Teams will not be penalized for recording indoors, provided that the team maintains correct positioning throughout. The ceremonialists are being evaluated, not the technical elements of the video.
  7. The video must display the full ceremony per the currently published text. As noted above, the pre-Ordeal Ceremony must begin with the investing and in the positions mentioned in Section 4.3. The Brotherhood must begin with the Nimat’s line and end at the conclusion of the Closing.
  8. Regarding video usage: The ICE Committee, at its sole discretion, will select from the NOAC Exemplar ceremonies (both initial submission and recorded onsite demos), or any portion thereof, to be potentially used as examples which the ICE Committee believes should be made available to other lodges as a training resource either at NOAC or after. All team submissions are assumed by default to include parental and participant approval that indemnifies the BSA for usage of video and associated data for training purposes for national distribution. Videos uploaded to YouTube by lodges (remember to post as “unlisted”) should be deleted from YouTube no earlier than August 31st and no later than September 30th. Lodges are responsible to remove the videos from YouTube between the indicated dates.

5.0 Exemplar Evaluation Process 

Exemplar evaluations are based on in-person demonstration evaluations against the national standard at NOAC and are only awarded if a team shows their consistent ability to meet the national standards at the highest levels in both the pre-NOAC recorded video and the live demonstration. Teams exceeding the standard to the highest level will be designated Exemplar.

  1. Following submission, the videos will be evaluated against the national standard criteria. NOTE: The current March 2022 ceremonial texts will be used for evaluating the video submissions as well as the evaluations conducted onsite at NOAC 2022.
  2. A limited number of the highest evaluated teams will be selected as finalists for live demonstration and evaluation, and thus potential Exemplar recognition.
  3. All teams that submit a video for review will be notified of both their video evaluation and potential Exemplar finalist status prior to NOAC.
  4. Elimination Warning: those lodges not included in the limited number of finalists will be eliminated from continuing in the 2022 National Exemplar category. For details, please see the “National Standards” rubric (provided separately).
  5. Only finalists may conduct a live presentation and evaluation for the selection of “National Exemplars.” To be eligible for the live Exemplar evaluation onsite, an Exemplar finalist team must present themselves at NOAC for the live final evaluation with the exact same ceremonialists who appeared in their video. Invited finalist teams who cannot meet this requirement may still pursue Honor Team recognition but may not continue in the National Exemplar process.
  6. All decisions regarding all phases of this National Exemplar process, including the evaluation of the submitted videos, the status of the qualified teams, and the awarding of appropriate Exemplar recognition are done by the NOAC ICE Exemplar sub-committee, and are final.
  7. The onsite NOAC Exemplar evaluation must be presented using either the Scout Field Uniform with ceremonial medallion or the Alternative Ceremonial Clothing with ceremonial medallion. If needed, ceremonial medallions will be made available for those teams needing them during their Exemplar evaluation. Information regarding ceremonial clothing may be found at https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions/approved-attire

NOTE: Only the 2022 ceremonial texts, found at https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions/ceremony-texts, will be used for the Exemplar evaluations at NOAC 2022.

6.0 Summary of Recognition Opportunities 

In summary, the two major recognition categories for NOAC 2022 are “Honor” and “Exemplar.”

Submit video in advance
Receive feedback on video*
Evaluation at NOAC
Exemplar Demo/Evaluation at NOAC
Receive feedback at NOAC
Serve as an inspiration to future Exemplars

         6.1 Evaluation Program: Seek improvement; develop consistent, quality ceremonies

    • Available to any ceremony team attending NOAC
    • Receive live feedback from a trained, experienced evaluator at NOAC
    • Receive NOAC recognition as “National Quality Team” or “National Honor Team,” if standard is met as defined in the national standard ceremonies rubric.

        6.2 Exemplar Program: Demonstrate consistent excellence AND willingness to serve, while seeking continued improvement

      • Demonstrate “Exemplar” level on video
      • Get video feedback
      • Demonstrate “Exemplar” level at NOAC with same members as on video
      • Receive live feedback from experienced evaluators
      • Earn NOAC recognition and “Exemplar” title
      • Nationally recognized both at NOAC and via Inductions Portal https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions as a “National Exemplar Team” (video possibly featured on the Inductions Portal and recognition as presented at NOAC)

7.0 Questions 

  • Any questions regarding the Evaluation Program evaluations should be directed to ICE Deputy CVC Chamberlain Bauder, and Evaluations Adviser Shawn Barnes, at ceremonyevals@oa-bsa.org. 
  • Any questions regarding the Exemplar Team Program (including video submissions and Exemplar evaluations) should be directed to ICE Deputy CVC Chamberlain Bauder and Exemplar Adviser Barry Ekle, at ceremonyexemplars@oa-bsa.org. 
  • A list of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) will be posted on the Inductions Portal and updated as necessary.