Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Hoggirl

Scout parents - Order of the Arrow "Ordeal"?

Recommended Posts

My understanding is that this is somewhat shrouded in secrecy so as to enhance the experience for the Scout, and I am not asking for any huge divulging of information. But, as I parent, I just don't like this word "ordeal." Can someone just proverbially pat me on the hand and tell me it will be okay and enjoyable by my son? It just makes me think of fraternity hazing. :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our region, I understand that it involves a 24ish hour period of silence while the boys are working on service projects (trail clearing, etc) and a 'surprise' solo overnight campout exactly where they are, with no extra 'stuff' from their packed gear (they are there for a 1-2 night campout at our nearby BS Camp). If it were me, I'd make sure my kid wore layers of clothes at least somewhat protective against nighttime temps, but I wouldn't worry about it much more than that.

 

I'm sure there's more to the 'ordeal' but the suprise survival campout (solo and silent) is the only thing I've really heard about.

 

(FWIW, I am not a BS leader, my kid didn't divulge this info to me, and I am not a fan of surprise hazing type cr@p and so feel no duty to keep anything I learn along these lines secret -- I didn't learn it through any official BS involvement; just mom-chat. My kid does love BS and I think it's great for him, but I don't see value in surprise scary stuff.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here, the ordeal is no longer done immediately after tap-out. They have an ordeal weekend, where from the time they check in on Friday night, until campfire after supper on Sat., they are not supposed to talk w/out permission. This is supposed to be a time of reflection. They spend Sat. doing some kind of service project w/ a group of other newly tapped out OA boys/ leaders. Once all of that is completed, then they become an official member of OA. It isn't about hazing, it's about them finding out a little about themselves, and what they are made of, and what kind of person they are/want to be. Your boy will be fine! Oh, and Congrats to your son!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Safe and not too difficult. Above info is accurate, so I won't repeat. My husband even went through it as an adult leader. They had storms during his so ended up doing less, as they had to go indoors to the lodge for safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what this is, but no way would my kids be involved in anything that was "shrouded in secrecy". If you (organization) are taking MY child(ren) off to do something, I expect to be informed as to the what, where, who, and whatever else. No information provided? No kids handed over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The *ordeal* is meant to simulate being lost in the wild. The boys are supposed to use the survival items in their day pack, which should include a space blanket. They are taught how to curl up in the blanket to save body warmth, and to find/make a warm, dry and safe survival shelter. The adult leaders should be with them, so if you're comfortable with the adult leaders' judgment, your son should be fine.

 

You really would do him a disservice to forewarn him. It is an uncomfortable night of sleep, but should he ever have the misfortune of getting lost on a campout or hike, the memory of what to do (and what he successfully did) on that infamous surprise campout will help him survive.

 

Edited to add: some groups take this in a more *new age*, Native American religious track, others don't. Our group was a church sponsored one, and the parents/leaders stayed away from that, and concentrated on the survival aspect. I would encourage you to talk to the leaders in order to understand their plans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So do they do this to the 5th graders who complete OA as Webelos? Or is it only for kids who weren't cubs and become OA later?

 

It is different from the Arrow of Light that they do as Webelos in cubs. OA is for the boy scouts (older ones here). Both my boys went thru it as did DH as an adult leader. Nothing horrible - they spend the weekend being quiet and doing service projects. Both my boys really enjoyed it and enjoyed being part of OA. Conclave is being held here in a couple of weeks and DS15 is up to his eyebrows in preparations with the OA group. It's been a really good leadership experience for him!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not really secret anymore. If you call you council they will tell you step by step what is going to happen. They will probably ask you not to speak to the boy about it. It is suppose to be a growing experience. DS went through it. From about 8 pm on Friday night to 6 pm on Saturday he didn't speak, camped by himself, did a service project (he had to remover brush from trails at the camp) and ate lean rations (more than adequate food but to a teenage boy he was starving). That evening they had a huge feast and all of the official members welcomed them in. In our council there is no hazing, nothing negative. It is suppose to be a secret but there are enough adults around that we trusted to oversee that we felt comfortable. Overall I think it is a good experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They is no hazing and you can read what the ceremony will consist of. Never fear--there will be someone very close by at all times, though the boy won't be aware of that. It's pretty funny to see the adults wandering into walls the next day, as they'll be up all night, checking on the boys. There is nothing secret in Scouts, though we tell the boys that there are mysteries. The boys really get into it, being special, that not every Scout can do. Scouts do not even do "tap-out" any more, as no one will touch them. It's now called "call-out", which is too bad--tap-out was much cooler!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is not really secret anymore. If you call you council they will tell you step by step what is going to happen. They will probably ask you not to speak to the boy about it. It is suppose to be a growing experience. DS went through it. From about 8 pm on Friday night to 6 pm on Saturday he didn't speak, camped by himself, did a service project (he had to remover brush from trails at the camp) and ate lean rations (more than adequate food but to a teenage boy he was starving). That evening they had a huge feast and all of the official members welcomed them in. In our council there is no hazing, nothing negative. It is suppose to be a secret but there are enough adults around that we trusted to oversee that we felt comfortable. Overall I think it is a good experience.

 

This matches what happens in our council -- though I never realized that parents could call the council office and just ask for more information. That's a good idea, especially since there seems to be a bit of variation from council to council.

 

For our son, not talking for 24 hours was a HUGE ORDEAL:001_smile:. I guess they were allowed to answer questions, but I don't think they were asked much and they had a long time where they sat alone and were supposed to reflect. My son was glad he did it. He was 16 or 17 at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry, it's nothing bad and no hazing takes place. Order of the Arrow is not for Cub Scouts and generally involves older Boy Scouts (Someone was thinking of the Arrow of Light badge that Webelos can earn. That is *very* different.). OA is an honor society and boys are picked because they give cheerful service to others. There is nothing secret in Scouting and Council or the Scout leader will tell you what it involves if you ask. They do like to keep it as something special and mysterious for the boys.

 

The OA "ordeal" involves things like 24 hours of silence during which time the Scouts complete a service project. My dh was an OA member.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ds and dh went through the Ordeal and it was all fine. They had to work in silence, camp out under the stars and have a lighter meal for breakfast and lunch. The lighter meal was what they normally eat anyway so it wasn't so light to them. At the end was a big feast and bonfire. They had a blast!

 

It's really not such an ordeal. The OA is fun.

 

Denise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate your insights. There is just something about that word, "ordeal," that is a little disconcerting! :D

 

It'll be hard for my ds to be quiet for 24 hours, too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son was nominated by his troop a few years ago for Order of the Arrow. As I started reading on internet, all I met was secrecy. I finally e-mailed someone and they responded. More secrecy. A phone number was attached to e-mail. I called it. Finally reached someone. Still met with secrecy. I told person on phone with bad publicity in past about wrong choices some have made, that I wasn't about to send my son out to the camp. That Boy Scouts is not about secrecy. Finally, the person told me on the phone about the induction,, but not to tell my son. I told the person, it was too late for my son. The fact that I met with secrecy initially, was wrong and I had already decided "no". But I thanked the person for sharing with me. Periodically I would check back on internet, and slowly they have opened up more and more about it. I believe they are opening up more about lodge activities. So, I am happy to see that someone posted above with similar beliefs- if no answer to who, what, where, when, and reasons, then no boy is handed over.

 

I know someone else above posted that a council will tell you about the induction and what goes on. I am glad to hear that now. Again, a few years ago, it was completely opposite. A parent would be met with secrecy. I hope as a result of some of us parents in the past telling the ones directly involved with the Order of the Arrow (planning/ running it) that we felt it was a secrecy and our sons don't participate in secret functions, that they OA realized they needed to be open about what goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our troop, they make a point of saying that nothing is secret from parents, and that parents can go along on any campout or event, including OA. I'm guessing that this is in accordance with national policy, although perhaps some troops are not that open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our son's Boy Scout Troop has always been open about troop events and wants parent participation. However, the Order of the Arrow is run by a subgroup of Boy Scout Council or some other entity (I think). So troop values/beliefs would have no impact on how the Order of the Arrow induction runs (I believe). I was trying to communicate with people I had never met, and still haven't met. The communication I had that was meaningful was by phone because I searched and was attentive to information I received on e-mails.

 

I am just glad that now parents are apparently having a more pleasant experience related to the Order of the Arrow induction process.

 

After all, Scouting (Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) is meant to be open about it activities to the whole public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×