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Guardians at the Ordeal

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I have a problem. My son has his Ordeal this weekend. The form mentioned the name of a guardian. We assumed that was me although I am not OA. I would prefer that he go without me. What is the purpose of the guardian? Can someone else take that role? It said that another Scout can do it but we have been unable to reach the Scoutmaster.


Any ideas?

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Here is the part of the form:



_______Parent/legal guardian will participate in this event.

_______The following Scouter(adult) has agreed to act as temporary guardian for my son to, from, and during this event


It's a little ambiguous about the role. I may be able to sign it over at the event.

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Well in that context, I have heard of it for Cub camping. But not for Boy Scouts. OA is not a unit activity. At least in my Lodge, Arrowmen and Candidates do not need an adult "guardian"...it is assumed their behavior and skills are beyond that. When he arrives and checks in, he will be assigned to a group who will have an Arrowman "guide" to stay with them for the weekend. Beyond that, I don't know what they want. Adults who are not Arrowmen or Candidates are generally not invited, however any parent who wants to "observe" may do so.


One reason may be to ensure that the Scout departs the event with an approved adult, and not an estranged spouse or other adult who does not have custody. Just guessing.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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During an Ordeal, some type of strenuous work is performed. In the event of an accident, our Lodge requests emergency contact information as well as some basic medical information like limitations and medications. I assume that your Lodge likes to either have a parent/guardian present in case there is a need or that a temporary guardian is assigned. That is just a guess on my part. But a "guardian" is not part of the Ordeal process.

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I recently went through the Ordeal with my son and had to fill out that information as well. In my experience, some parents went with their son, as they were either going through the Ordeal or were working as staff (in some capacity) during the weekend. Other Scouts, depending on the troop they belonged to, were brought up to the Ordeal weekend by someone in their troop leadership - no parents allowed (that particular troop's way of doing business)for the initial registration and susequent events. The parents were more than welcome at the closing ceremonies on Saturday night. So in my experience, the "guardian" is to answer "what adult do we need to go to if there is an issue with this particular Scout?" The issue could be medical, emotional, or anything else that would require someone who knows something about the Scout to assist. Anyway that was my experience with the Ordeal paperwork as well as the experience from the weekend itself. Hope this helps!

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I just looked at my current year Lodge induction weekend form.


We require:

- Current Class II/III health form (age appropriate).

- Two deep leadership for each unit sending youth (exception, as always is parent/child)


There's nothing about designated guardianship. That's the good idea fairy showing up, as far as I can see...

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Our lodge requires troops to send adults with the Scouts. I don't really understand the requirement. In my day the lodge and chapter advisors were the adults at OA functions. I can't say that I ever saw an adult from my troop at a OA functions. If fact, my old SM used OA as a way of getting us out of the nest, so to speak.


Frankly, this is a problem for my troop. I am really trying to get OA re-established among our Scouts. Years ago our troop produced a string of Lodge and Chapter Chiefs, but we've not had any active boys until this past year.. Finally, with this and last years' classes of Ordeal Brothers, I'm finally seeing some interest beyond flap envy. But I am the only active adult OA member and it's really a burden to add monthly chapter meetings and quarterly fellowships to my Scouting calendar. I had one ASM agree to go through Ordeal this year, but he had a conflict at the last minute. That really hurt as we are limited to one new adult OA member per troop per year.


I have several dads who were OA as youth and could easily step in, but anytime I mention it the look at me like I have something dripping from my nose. None have Scouts active in OA and I suppose the idea of simply serving the troop is not high on their list.


At an earlier Ordeal this summer, I sent the dads of the two candidates. As they are not OA members, the couldn't participate in any part of the program. One guy had a book, the other said he just wandered camp and napped.

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As Arrowmen in our troop, we try to support our boys and adults going thru Ordeal by providing transportation and simply by being at Ordeal for/with them. So, we basically have two deep leadership even though I don't recall that being a requirement by our Lodge.

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Beyond searching scouting.org, Most of the OA publicized manuals are available on www.oa-bsa.org. There are OA publications for general viewing, but the purpose is help Arrowman and Advisors to do their job.


I don't see anything about guardians that would currently be a national standard, or OA wide standard. It seems like it would just be policies of the local lodge(s), in keeping with a safe program.


A few forum members mention attending an OA event is usually an individual event. I agree.


Our Chapter Election Teams explain this to parents and leaders each year. That Ordeal Weekend is not a troop event, that the Scouts (OA Candidates) and their parents will have to arrange for transportation. That other leaders in the district may see the Scouts within a district working, and may look for a thumbs up (that they are doing okay), but otherwise the adult Arrowmen attending the weekend are not watching over the chapter candidates or running their program. I agree with our fellow forum members, and scoutldr pretty much summed it up.


Usually Lodge OA Ordeals are done before and after the Summer Camp season. There usually is not a full time medic, there usually is not a camp director. But in attendance is usually a Lodge Key Three, a district executive (staff advisor), the Lodge Advisor (senior volunteer) and the Lodge Chief (youth program director). On an ordeal weekend, those OA Key three job responsibilities will normally end at the parking lot and afterward filing a sick/injury report, if a guardian is at the parking lot to assume custody of the child or adult.


So, for the chances that something unexpected may occur. If an Arrowman candidate becomes sick or injured. If an Arrowman candidate becomes irritable and is ready to quit. And also, if you have an physically exhausted and sleepy 16 y/o candidate with a drivers license. I expect a guardian would be able to obtain safe transportation from the parking lot to their hometown.


Regarding your second questions and comment from the form. Can someone else take that role? Yes. That is fairly much the definition of a guardian, "someone else" that will act on behalf of the parent in the best interest of the Scout.


But it is surprising that the form your lodge uses, states that another Scout can do it (guardian). In your second post, you demonstrated that a Scouter(adult)could be a guardian, but you stated in your first post that another Scout could be the guardian. For some basic common Scouting jargon; a Scout is under 18, and a Scouter is 18 and over. Some camps use the buddy program, from safe swim defense, to be sure that another Scout does not get lost or is not left alone. But I would not expect another 12 y/o Brotherhood Arrowman to be a guardian of a 12 y/o Ordeal candidate.


Finally. Elections are usually done months in advance of Ordeal weekend. Instructions and registration sheets are normally issued during call out ceremonies (routinely during a Spring camporee). The information gets out early, so Scouts and parents can review the application and register their Ordeal Candidate early. (unfortunately, if you are looking at the application two days before an event, someone (Between the Lodge or all the way to you and your son) is not fulfilling their part of the job of communicating)


Unfortunately, As I said before, the Ordeal weekend is an individual event. Normally, the applications will not be filed thru the Scoutmaster or your troop committee, but directly between you(your son) and the OA Lodge. So your Scoutmaster may or may not know who is attending. If I did not know who in the troop was attending, I would contact the OA registrar or the Point of Contact on the registration sheet. Ask whom (adults) are attending from your troop or neighborhood Chapter. If you personally know any of the adults, ask them personally if they would serve as guardian. That is the best you can do, to identify a guardian at 24-48 hours away from an event.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

(This message has been edited by Crew21_Adv)

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Seems to me that "helicopter parents" have infiltrated your Lodge, and they think everyone else should be a helicopter, too.


I have never heard of this requirement. At OA functions, such as Ordeals and Fellowships, the Arrowman shows up and checks in...no adult supervision required, other than those who are there also participating as Arrowmen. Yes, if we have scouts "Ordealing", and it was convenient for us, we would show up and support him...but it wasn't considered "required". As I have said many times before, OA is not considered a "Unit" activity, but an individual activity...like earning Merit Badges...(no, wait..bad example).


That's one of the things I thought was cool about the OA...we were treated like mature Scouts (until proven otherwise) ..."just go find a place to set up your tent...the waterfront is off limits...dinner is at 6 pm and campfire is at 8. Have fun!"


Second thought: Are sure that "guardian" is not being used as a synonym for "Buddy" (as in "buddy system")?(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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I received some clarification. The clarification was "Yes, you might need to stay if you can't find an adult that knows your son to be the guardian". I will pack in case I have to stay but I would be surprised if there are a ton of adults just hanging about. It's going to be a nice weekend for camping but I hate the helicopter parent idea. That's not a good way to raise kids to leave the nest. I would spend much of my time reading and hiding.


I talked to several OA member and they never heard of such a thing.


I have these three books from the library to read if I stay

The Blue Ridge Parkway by foot : a park ranger's memoir / Tim Pegram(Scout)

Legacy of honor : the values and influence of America's Eagle Scouts / Alvin Townley.

Spirit of adventure : Eagle Scouts and the making of America's future / Alvin Townley.

So it makes up for missing my Hokies playing football.

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