Congratulations on being nominated to the Order of the Arrow. You have been recognized as someone who values others above themselves and has devoted themselves to the service and well being of others in your unit. This is what the “honor society” of the Boy Scouts of America is all about … we are those who strive to be “unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others” as well as provide “cheerful service” to our council, our districts and most especially our units.
Below you should find information to help you prepare for your first step in joining the Order of the Arrow. If you have any questions, please email us.
The Induction Process
To be inducted in to the Order of the Arrow you must be elected by your peers and under go the Ordeal process. This is a time of self-reflection on how one came to be chosen to join the Order.
You must complete the Ordeal in the lodge associated with the council where you are registered unless special permission is granted to do otherwise.
Your induction into the Order must be completed within one year of being elected.
How should you prepare?
Make sure you register for one of the Ordeals. We call them Gatherings and hold 2 or 3 every year depending on how many candidates are elected. You should have received an email or letter with dates for the Gathering weekends. If you have not received this information, please email us and we will send you the informaiton.
The Gathering weekends held at McGimsey and Mays are capped due to capacity and projects available. There is no cap on the Bear Creek gathering.
Come with a great attitude and a willingness participate and experience the Ordeal to the best of your ability. This is your Ordeal and you will get out of it what you put into it.
Plan on staying for the entire weekend.
Listen carefully to the words of the ceremonies you will experience. Reflect upon what is spoken by our ancesters. They will give you hints as to why you were chosen, what will be expected of you and how you will become a stronger leader if you continue the path of cheerful service to others.
What should you expect?
You are about to begin the hardest part of becoming a member of the Order of the Arrow … the Ordeal. We are pretty sure you have heard a lot of stories about the Ordeal … about how you will be starved, not allowed to speak and have to perform manual labor all day. This is partially true but do not be fearful of the process. Safety is of utmost importance. You will be given enough food to be safe and all the water you need. The work is beneficial to all the Scouts that come after us and is appropriate for all age levels and physical capabilities of those participating in the Ordeal.
The scant food, silence, and hard work are part of the challenges of the Ordeal. As you progress through this part of your journey you will gain a fuller understanding of their purpose in becoming a member of the Order. For now, you should think of these and the other challenges as leadership training for those times when leadership isn’t fun.
Check-in is between 7pm and 9pm
Arrive on Friday night in your work clothes with solid work shoes. Do not arrive in your Scout uniform. Your uniform should be packed in your second bag for Saturday’s and Sunday’s events.
Check-in locations may change but are usually located in the following areas:
- McGimsey Scout Park – Soules Lodge Building
- Bear Creek Scout Reservation – Check in Cottage
- Mays Scout Ranch – Welcome Center
If check-in locations have changed, a sign will be posted indicating where check-in has been moved
At check-in you will need the following items:
- A copy of your BSA Physical (Physicals will be destroyed at the end of the event)
- Proof of current YPT training if age 18 or older.
- Medications packed in a seal-able bag with your name on it
Management of Personal Health Information (PHI)
Your physical will be reviewed by and in the possession of a staff member qualified to handle personal health information (PHI). He/She may ask to speak with you privately to clarify items from your physical.
Once you have cleared check-in you will be assigned to a clan (think patrol) for the weekend. Take your personal gear to your clan area and your elangomat (think Troop Guide) will help you get organized and ready for the evening’s events.
Once check-in closes and all the clans have been formed, the lodge leadership will present an Orientation. During this presentation, you will be introduced to the lodge leadership and gain a better understanding of what you are going to experience for the weekend.
Following the presentation, your clan will be directed to prepare themselves for the investing ceremony and you will begin your journey into becoming a full member of the Order of the Arrow.
You will need to organize your personal items in the following manner. You may chose to pack two separate bags but it is not required.
Friday Night Bag
Pack the following:
- Water Bottle
- Ground sheet
- Sleeping Bag or Blanket
- Rain Gear
- Personal Toiletries
- Work Gloves
- Pocket Knife
- Pocket Flashlight or Head Lamp
- Bug Repellent
- Any medications, e.g. inhalers, epipen, etc., that must be kept on your person.
- Small notebook and pencil/pen
- Personal first aid kit
Saturday & Sunday Bag
Pack the following:
- Scout Uniform (Leave your merit badge sash and neckerchief at home.)
- Clean clothes
- Shower Items
- Spending Money for Trading Post (Recommend $20 – $30)