Jump to content
Oldscout448

But I thought ceremonies were performed after dark...

Recommended Posts

Lodge growing up had ceremonies after dark.  "Dinner" for everyone was crackers and cheese.  After the Ordeal Ceremony, all Ordeal members left and had a true dinner.  Brotherhood and Vigils stayed until after the Brotherhood Ceremony was completed before we had a true dinner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ceremonies were held at night, after dark.  Supper started at 5:30 and ran until 6:45 pm.  ALL are invited to supper.  The tests ended or were suspended at 5:30 (only the test of silence was reinstated after dinner until the ceremony takes place - for further reflection after supper).  At supper, full meals were served to all - candidates usually sat at the same table as members of their units, or with mixed tables of candidates and members of other units.  Arrowmen were encouraged to engage the candidates and get their impressions of the day, as well as to talk about their own experiences - at supper's end, the Lodge Chief would reinstate silent reflection for Ordeal candidates and would impose silent reflection of Brotherhood candidates with the instruction to reflect on their discussions at supper.  Active arrowmen not on the ceremonies team were encouraged to help the kitchen folks close up shop - it usually took less than 1/2 hour to get everything squared away.

 

Was it strictly by the book?  Depends on when you consider the end of the day - we always interpreted it to mean the end of the work day, which ended with the start of supper.  The feedback received during this time was invaluable to the lodge, and many folks, both candidates and arrowmen, always mentioned how that was one of the most meaningful things done all day.

 

We did receive pressure to hold the ceremonies earlier in the day, before supper, when the Spring Ordeal Weekend was held in our Wisconsin (5 hours away) camp, mostly from our LDS brothers so they could hit the road and be home before midnight, which would then be Sunday, though most of our LDS members completed Ordeal at our Fall Fellowship at the local (45 minutes away) camp.  That pressure went away when the local Stake carved out an exception for our Ordeal Weekends by clarifying that the OA was also a calling and not just something nice to do.  Not sure if other stakes throughout the country came up with the same elegant solution. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Interesting to see this topic back again,  scoutson #4 is on the ceremonies team for our little chapter ( has about a dozen active members) and we have managed to get the brotherhood ceremony moved to 7:30pm.   None of the under 21 members have ever seen an after dark ceremony. I hope its the start of a trend. 

  For what it is worth, my Ordeal ceremony started about 8:30 on October 4, 1974.  and I can state for a fact that I was cold, tired, and hungry. 

 

but it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen.   the team ( there hadto be about 20 of them) practiced year round just for these two weekends, and man did they put on a show!

 

The beadwork was amazing, the parts done from memory, the movements were smooth,

 

and that was the biggest fire I had ever seen!

 

In short I was so caught up, I plain forgot I was hungry untill it was all over

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remeber thd old time ceremonies, where the scouts actually knew their lines, had impressive props, and recited their lines with enthusiasm.   My lodge still conducts the ceremonies after dark, but they are pretty lame for the most part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think people in general take pride in their work as they once did.  "Git 'er done!" seems to be the standard today.  I don't think the BSA program is any different in their approach. 

 

Mystery

Magic

Adventure

 

all seem to have disappeared into a world of skepticism and cynicism. 

 

Early scouting used to talk about knights in shinning armor, heroics, and adventure.  Now we have Pop Tarts and KoolAid.for breakfast while discussing cyber-bullying amongst the scouts.

 

I guess I am willing to settle for lame, over what we have.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remeber thd old time ceremonies, where the scouts actually knew their lines, had impressive props, and recited their lines with enthusiasm.   My lodge still conducts the ceremonies after dark, but they are pretty lame for the most part.

 

Please dont' tell me they use a podium with the script on it?  The last logde I was in prior to my current one did just that. Very sad state of affairs.

 

I admit when I did ceremonies I used props to help me out with the lines.  I borrowed a beaded sash with a legend once to help me with that part.

 

I also admit we used and earpiece and a radio once. District level AOL ceremony and we had so many names at the last minute, we decided to go the earpiece and radio route for the names.

 

Now for the standard ceremonies, Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, Brotherhood, etc,  memorization is VITAL ( emphasis) to the success of the ceremony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think people in general take pride in their work as they once did.  "Git 'er done!" seems to be the standard today.  I don't think the BSA program is any different in their approach. 

 

Mystery

Magic

Adventure

 

all seem to have disappeared into a world of skepticism and cynicism. 

 

Early scouting used to talk about knights in shinning armor, heroics, and adventure.  Now we have Pop Tarts and KoolAid.for breakfast while discussing cyber-bullying amongst the scouts.

 

I guess I am willing to settle for lame, over what we have.  

 

Yes, this is true in many aspects of life.  

 

As for Pop Tarts and Kool-Aid for breakfast, I almost spit my coffee out all over the screen!   :D   Some of my Scouts have been known to say something along the lines of, "it's a Troop tradition that we have cereal for breakfast on Sunday so we can get leave ASAP."  So what's the dog-gone hurry?  

 

Planning, pride, forward-thinking?  Those are rare things today.  Not a lot of magic and mystery to an Ordeal ceremony performed 100 yards form a country highway with cars whizzing past at 4:00pm on an Saturday...The kitchen staff wants to clean up before dark so they can get back home and play World of Warcraft!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all had to have our lines perfectly memorized, or those waiting to challenge us for our positions on the ceremonial team would quick send us off.

 

"even to the giving of their blood."

 

Awareness of blood-born pathogens took care of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remeber thd old time ceremonies, where the scouts actually knew their lines, had impressive props, and recited their lines with enthusiasm.   My lodge still conducts the ceremonies after dark, but they are pretty lame for the most part.

How much of that is that time blurs memories, and everything in the past seems rosy and awesome in comparison to the present? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit to some possible bias due to the blurring of memories with the passing of time.  But, no, I have witnessed the reading of scripts from the table holding the candles.   Can't shoot the arrow between the feet anymore (never saw anybody get shot in the foot).

The boys have to spend the night all together (youth protection).  All of the special effects are gone (too risky).   In general, a whole bunch of bland.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the dark ages, 1967, when all OA Stuff was done as part of Summer Camp, the "Tap-Out" and there was physical contact, was done at the Wednesday night Campfire, which was Parents Night.   The selected scouts/scouters when back to their campsites and got their blanket and reported to the gathering point where the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony was conducted, then they were placed in their spot to spend the night.   The next day was the Ordeal until late afternoon when they were released and allowed to go back to their campsite and be campers again.   The Ordeal Ceremonly was later that evening after dark, either before or after the Brotherhood Ceremony, which in our council actually involved really becoming blood brothers.  Afterwards all got together in the dinning hall for a cracker barrell.     Political Correctness, safety concerns, etc. have changed the OA from the mysterious and unique group it was.     I guess I was lucky in that my council had a great ceremonial team all the years with very nice costumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all had to have our lines perfectly memorized, or those waiting to challenge us for our positions on the ceremonial team would quick send us off.

 

"even to the giving of their blood."

 

Awareness of blood-born pathogens took care of that.

Thanks Tahawk,  You made me smile,

 

  After my Ordeal I joined the team, I wanted to be the " Mighty Chief "  when  I asked if I could have the part the older guys just smiled a little and said  " Sure thing kid, all ya gotta do is do it better than Roger does." 

 

 Roger was about 6'-3" , 220 lbs. and had a booming voice.   The kind that rattled windows. He just loved being Allowat. He had also practiced for years. He was good, he was very very good.

 

I accepted a smaller part in the Friday night ceremony,  without another word.

 

I also watched Roger every Tuesday night.  How he moved, what words he gave more "punch", where he paused.....

 

Everyone knew what I was doing and no one minded at all.  Even Roger!   The mindset was " We are here to do the best ceremony possible for the scouts, if you can do it better, the job is yours."

 

I got better, did most of the other parts but, I was never good enough to beat Roger out for the job, but when he turned 21, I got the role

 

After the ceremony some of the new members come up to tell me how "awesome" I looked.  I thanked 'em but couldn't help but think " Kid, you have no idea what awesome is. I do and it's not me"

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally, I do not think we do ceremonies as well as we once did.

 

Wood Badge does not even have a closing ceremony.

 

Losing the mystery of firelight is sad.

 

OA%20ceremony%201_zpsezx1pi3b.png

Edited by TAHAWK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

After the ceremony some of the new members come up to tell me how "awesome" I looked.  I thanked 'em but couldn't help but think " Kid, you have no idea what awesome is. I do and it's not me"

 

Thats an awesome sorry, Thanks for sharing it! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×