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Can an ordeal member become a Chapter Chief

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My son just passed his ordeal and was talking to me about there is no chapter chief for his chapter because no one wants the job. He was asking "Could I become chapter chief?" I have found nothing in the lodge rules saying that he could not.


So what do you think?

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Absolutely - there is no issue with an Ordeal member being a Chapter Chief - and the fact that the chapter doesn't have one goes quite a ways, I think, in helping to put your other question into focus.


Since this is a bit new, and you don't have the book yet, I'll fill you in on something basic about the OA that sometimes get's lost or is misunderstood.


Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honor are not ranks. In the OA, an Ordeal member has the same rights and privileges as a Vigil Honor member. Ordeal is the first step - and one can remain an Ordeal member throughout their OA career (and OA follows one into adulthood - if your son joins with his son as an adult, he just has to pay Lodge dues to the Lodge of his council, after proving his membership, and he's a member - no having to do the Ordeal again.) In fact, the first duty of an Arrowman is to his unit, and so if he only serves his unit, and never gets active in the chapter, he is still a member in good standing!


Brotherhood is a re-affirmation of the bonds of the...well, brotherhood of the Order. After 10-months, if your son decides that he wants to take that next step, it's a pretty simple process. In a way, he'd be saying that he is taking the message of the Order and affirming his standing.


A Vigil Honor member is chosen from amongst the members of the OA - he does have to have been a Brotherhood member for at least 2 years, but it's not something one applies for, or campaigns to get. It's a recognition by one's peers that one is living to the high ideals of the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service. The number of Vigil Honor members a Lodge can induct every year is limited by Lodge size, and the number of adults inducted each year is further limited by the number of youth inducted (generally 1 to 1, and if you can iduct an odd number, say 15, the extra must go to a youth) and it is a very humbling honor.


The Order is about service. Here is the way I see it. An Ordeal member helps when asked, a Brotherhood member asks if they can help, a Vigil Honor member just picks up the broom and starts helping.


To reiterate though, they aren't positions of rank or privilege. There's no separate red carpet entrance for Vigil Honor members, and most of the Vigil Honor members I've ever met will be the first ones to let a hungry Ordeal member get in front of them at the food line.


If your son is interested, you should find out who the Chapter Advisor is. Inexperience and being new to the Order shouldn't make a difference to any Chapter Advisor worth their salt - and if it takes that fresh blood, and that kind of can do enthusiasm to help jump start the Chapter, then I say best of luck!

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  • 2 months later...

He can as far as we're concerned. My chapter personally has a system set up to rank activity levels and leadership ability's of all candidates for chapter chief. A typical ordeal, with little experience in the OA world, typically receives a pointage of 5 or less. That is very little compared to a brotherhood or vigil member with about 120 points. With that in mind, have your son evaluate if he is capable of running the chapter. What may seem like such a good idea now may result in him being overwhelmed with paperwork, phone calls, and assignments and generally disliking the OA. Would he be willing to stand tall in his decisions even though his fellow chapter members rather loath him/it?


My best advice? Have him try to take a vice-chief position for now. That will give him time to decide if he really wants to take on such a responsibility. As a current youth in the Order, I can genuinely say that if you were to ask the scouts in the chapter if they would be willing to rise to the honor of chapter chief, someone would.




Chapter Chief-Lodge Vice Chief of Activities-Tetonwana Lodge #105



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Not only can an Ordeal member be Chapter Chief, He can serve in ANY chief role he is elected to: Lodge, Section, Regional, National.


Unless some lodge has restrictions in their by-laws, which I doubt.


As mentioned, Ordeal Members ARE full members of the OA. They can vote and hold office.


The only "restrictions" I know of is that they cannot go to Brotherhood and Vigil ceremonies.


I've known of Ordeal lodge officers.

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I cannot believe I missed this quote from Calico


"The Order is about service. Here is the way I see it. An Ordeal member helps when asked, a Brotherhood member asks if they can help, a Vigil Honor member just picks up the broom and starts helping."


THAT IS 110% ON THE MONEY! ( caps for both screaming and emphsis ;) )


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This is a volunteer organization. Everybody "signs themselves in" to the asylum. And signs themself out.

Your son will continue serving others (I daresay it won't matter if it be Scouts or some other entity), no matter what.At least until something really drastic happens.


"The work is done by whoever shows up"


I'd say "where do you have to be, son?" and then get him there.

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To also touch on this. I was chapter chief for my chapter when I was 15 and a few months after ordeal. My first ever chapter meeting after ordeal I was asked to be Chapter 2nd Vice Chief because they didn't have one and asked for the next year would I want to run for Chapter Chief. I jumped right on that and served two years as Chapter Chief than stepped down for others to have a chance and filled in as 1st Vice to help the new Chief. So, if this example helps you tell your son if he is willing to take on the task to go for it. During my first year I was so motivated and go other youths motivated we were award most improved chapter in our lodge.

So, if their is a will their is a way.

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