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Texas Hills has strong representation at OA Ordeal

Eleven members of the Order of the Arrow attended the OA Ordeal weekend and Banquet.  Three candidates participated in the ordea1, one member achieved brotherhood, and all members participated in service projects throughout the weekend.

On Friday, January 23, braving the cold weather, arrowmen from the Texas Hills headed to San Antonio's McGimsey Scout Park to participate in the delayed OA Ordeal.  The Ordeal weekend in December was postponed due to icy weather, and a repeat threatened; however, the event was on and eleven Scouts and Scouters headed to San Antonio for the weekend.

Three candidates were there to participate in the ordeal.  After all were checked in, arrowmen set up their tents and then we all waited at the Sports Pavilion for further directions.  Finally it was time to move.  The candidates were admonished to keep the strictest silence through their ordeal.  After a moving pre-ordeal ceremony, the candidates were separated from the other members.  Arrowmen met in the dining hall for a warm cracker barrel and fellowship.

Four of the Texas Hills arrowmen worked in the kitchen the whole weekend preparing food for candidates and members, but different meals.  There was always hot chocolate and coffee available for the cold workers.  Several of the arrowmen participated as elangomats leading the ordeal candidates. Several of the arrowmen participated service activities including cleaning up around one of the Castle Hills municipal facilities.

After lunch the candidates and arrowmen were brought together for the ordeal ceremony.  The candidates no longer, but now ordeal members, were able to set up their tents for Saturday night.  The Texas Hills Chapter met after the ceremony and discussed possible activities for the new ordeal members to carry on the traditions of the Order. Chapter meetings were followed by an informative orientation and Lodge meeting.

Then everyone got ready to go to the OA Winter Banquet.  It was at the Castle Hills Baptist Church, just down the street from McGimsey.  The Scouts walked in an orderly fashion to the church and celebrated the accomplishments of the lodge through 2013.  Many awards were won at Section Conclave last summer.  Texas Hills members voiced that they wanted to be the ones recognized at the next banquet.

After a late brotherhood ceremony Saturday night, everyone fell asleep quickly.  Sunday morning brought tasty pancake and sausage on a stick for breakfast followed by a Scout's Own Church Service.  Everyone helped clean up the dining hall and put everything away.  Scouts packed their bags and headed for home with many wonderful memories of new friendships and dreams of things to come.