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Jeanne

Hi

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My husband is an Eagle, my two boys are in Scouts, but I came from a girl family and know nada about Scouts. My older son just got elected to Order of the Arrow, and other than "it is the honor society of Scouts" what does it mean, what does it entail, is there a uniform arrow or something I need to get at the Scout shop, what is the OA campout, etc you get the idea.

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I would think your husband should be able to provide a basic overview. If not, visit with some scouts/families in your son's troop that might already be members. Otherwise, contact your local scout office and they'll hook you up with a lodge or chapter advisor.

 

Sounds like he has yet to seal his membership by participating in the "ordeal". He'll get more detail as that date approaches.

 

Congratulations to your son.

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You know I've been working in Scouts longer than I haven't... I've learned something, kids don't talk to parents at this age, and sometimes husbands aren't much better.

 

You may pick up on the fact that there's some secrecy about the Order. let me help you...

 

While all the details of the ordeal are not for youth knowledge, there is NOTHING not for parent knowledge. Therefore there is no secret group in Scouts.

 

The order exists to be of service, specifically service to other units to help them with camping. This doesn't mean anything other than in the perfect council, your OA folks might make a camping/hiking guide. They might help prepare summer camp for campers. They might get roped into things like this.

 

You ask about a "special arrow". There might be some sort of fee for this first camp out (mom that's the ordeal, honest) And when you see the bill, you're reaction will be "Hold on guys this is ALOT more than most campouts." OK, yes it is, however, when was the last time he went on a campout, and came back with a new patch, a new sash, and a new book? Gee I wonder why this camp out costs more?

 

Now if he looses ANYTHING he can replace it, or if he needs two shirts for camp or whatever, you can buy more patches, or whatever. One of the great traditions in OA is patch trading, these cool patches are almost always much more colorful than most others. This would also mean he's going to tell you he needs more "pocket flaps." You'll understand when you see where the patch goes.

 

Any other questions? Just ask either here or locally, as a mom you'll get answers, if you ask the right person.

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LPC mentioned the "O" word -- I mean ordeal, so stop smirking.

 

Actually, his ordeal isn't a real ordeal (or heavy burden) so as a Mom, don't worry. It's not a fraternity "hell" week. He'll eat less than usual (for breakfast and lunch) and will be more quiet than you can possibly imagine, and then go through a feast and a ceremony and come home with a shiny white sash with a red arrow on it. That's what lpc was referring to that you're paying for in the cost of the weekend.

 

There is available, and perhaps provided as part of his registration fee, a small arrow suspeneded by a white and red ribbon that will hang from his right pocket.

 

You posted that your husband is an Eagle Scout, but that does not mean that he was in the order of the arrow. I've met other Eagle Scouts who were never elected by their peers to the OA or chose not to get involved if they were.

 

My congratulations to your son. It's pretty cool that he was elected to one of the few organizations where a member is elected by his peers -- including non-members. It truly is an honor that he's a candidate (until he completes the Ordeal.)

 

 

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Thanks for the new info, y'all. I'm glad to know more about the OA and also the fact that there are no secret groups in Scouts is reassuring. This sounds like another great opportunity for Scouts. I feel more confident and at ease about it now.

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Hello Jeanne,

 

Here are some more sources for information:

 

1) The Fact Sheet on the Boy Scouts national web site

 

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?c=xds&terms=order+of+the+arrow

 

2) The OA National Web Site

 

http://www.oa-bsa.org

 

As mentioned, the Order of the Arrow is an honor society of Boy Scout campers. Being elected is a very nice honor for a Scout. As a parent, you are entitled to know anything that you wish, so if you have further questions, please feel free to post them or to contact your local Scout office. We often try to keep OA information private so as not to spoil the experience for the Scouts, but any Scout leader or parent or religious leader is entitled to know anything that they choose.

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Jeanne,

Your son should have received a letter from the OA lodge giving details about his ordeal.Each Lodge(council)has it's own way of setting theses ordeals up.My council has quite a few camps and we have 6 ordeal dates and locations.The service

part of the ordeal involves getting the camps prepared for the Summer camp season.

I noticed one of the replies you got spoke of exspense.The ordeal charge in our

Lodge is $35 this covers the OA sash(which costs us $14),the OA handbook and the lodge pocket patch also 3 meals saturday and Sunday breakfast.

If you have not received this information.You should call the Council offices and

find out who to contact for specific information.The only thing you can exspect from a site with this broad a group of participants is general OA information or

missinformation from someone who assumes that every Lodge has the same procedure.

There are guidlines that we need to follow and this can be found on the national web sites.The actual details of how these guidlines are used is different

for each local organization.I hope this is helpfull.

 

Yours in Service,

Regi,OA chapter Advisor Sunset Trail chapter(District) Wauna La Mon'tay Lodge#442

 

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