Jump to content
MikeS

Ordeal Ceremony Sequence

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

 

A quick question on the Ordeal Ceremony or perhaps I should say Ordeal “Sequenceâ€.

 

I’ve heard of some Lodges doing the Ceremony after the banquet – wondering if your Lodge does this and how it’s done.

 

The reason I ask is that I’m a huge fan of having the Ceremonies at night when it’s dark out rather than during the day. To me a daylight Ceremony is rather anticlimactic – it’s just not the same, nor is it nearly as impressive.

 

One way to sort of “get around†this is to have the banquet first then after wards do the Ceremony later on when it’s dark out.

 

I live in northern New England so “dark†in the September time frame (when we have our Fall Ordeal) it’s generally dark around 7:30-ish. Our Spring Ordeal is done in May, so it’s quite a bit later before it gets dark enough.

 

Are there Lodges out there that do this – have the Ceremonies after the banquet so they can be done at night??

 

What are the logistics behind it?? How do you do it???

 

I realize that (I think) National policy as far the sequence of events dictate the ceremony is first then the banquet, but I’ve heard a lot of Lodges do it in reverse. Is National more or less a “guideline�??

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If by banquet you mean a chance to eat, by all means have the meal before the ceremony. My guess is most ordeal candidates would not be in a ceremonial mood if they were hungry. That's what my lodge did.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If by banquet you mean a chance to eat, by all means have the meal before the ceremony. My guess is most ordeal candidates would not be in a ceremonial mood if they were hungry. That's what my lodge did.

Same with my lodge.   Shower, change into full uniform, dine, relax for a bit.   Mind, body, and spirit thus restored, it was the latter part of dusk when we lined up.   Upon arrival at the ceremony site, it was officially night.   I'll never forget it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of mine, for ordeal then for brotherhood, wrapped up with heavy snowfall. Food was a great thing to look forward to but shelter was more important at that point. I honestly don't remember a lot of the ceremony other than it was after getting a bite to eat and before a treacherous trip back out of the Utah mountains in late October. Both ordeals involved digging the truck out of the snow on the way back down because the same ASM took the same corner too fast. Twice.

 

I believe there is value is a darker ceremony than in broad daylight, it really adds to the mood and hence the memories the Arrowmen retain.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've always done the banquet before the ceremony - just for that reason - the ceremony is best in the dark - and no one wants to have the banquet after the ceremonies (yes, plural - we do the Brotherhood Ceremony before the Ordeal Ceremony).  Once the day of cheerful service is done, our candidates are candidates in name only at that point - the no speaking rule is rescinded during the banquet (and restored after the  banquet - we've heard a lot of comments from the adults and some of the more mature youth candidates that the period of silence after the banquet is much more meaningful - folks are reflecting on the day - we also ask our Brotherhood candidates to remain silent and reflect on the day and their experience in the OA).

 

By the end of the ceremonies, folks are exhausted and ready for bed.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments - very interesting! Obviously it's something that IS done.

 

I'm curious if any of you know how your Lodge sort of, I hesitate to use the phrase, "gets around" National's (I don't know if it's actual policy, so I'll call it "concept") concept of maintaining the "official sequencing" of the Ordeal weekend such that the Ceremony should be done then the banquet??

 

Has there ever been any opposition in your Lodge from the adult Ceremonies Advisor ?? One of the reasons I ask is that we have a Ceremonies Advisor who is sort of the "Ceremony Police" (I'll be nice) who is VERY insistent on following National's policy/guidelines (are they just guidelines??) so it would be convincing him that this is a viable option and many lodges do actually do it (despite what National policy may be).  

 

I'm totally on board with the rescinding the pledge of silence for a few hours a little before and during the banquet then all meeting in one place and going back to silence until the Ceremony. Just trying to come up with the logistics and ideas various Lodges do regarding this and to see if any Lodges DO do it this way.  

 

Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should have added - yes, we also do Brother hood Ceremony before the Ordeal one. Oftentimes, there are multiple B-hood and multiple Ordeal Ceremonies done.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I recall it, my sequence went like this:

1) Elected to OA from Troop.

2) Received  (US MAIL!)  details of "ordeal"  (?? an "Ordeal"???)

3)  Signed up for the weekend (I had a choice), at Camp Roosevelt (no longer exists),on the Chesapeake Bay where I had already gone to summer camp some times before.  I was familiar with the ground.

4)   Arrived the Friday evening, fully back-packed  for a "hike into the campsite".  Led to the dining hall, where we had a scrambled egg sandwich and orange juice, and were told what we needed to do and would be doing.  Expected to be silent once we left the dining hall, must only eat and drink what we are given.

5)  Starting to rain. Led by groups, on a rope lead, blind folded, to our camp sites.  Camp fires burning in midst.   Set up in tent platforms,  around the campfire.  I was led to believe this was "plan B", because it was starting to rain. Hard.

6)  Saturday Morning, sun is out,  out of bed, dressed, (no breakfast!)   led to work sites and did trail clearing, brush collection, til about noon.  Led to dining hall, simple lunch (sliced meat, bread, water, milk, juice).   Allowed to speak in Dining hall.  Led back to new work sites.   

7)  Led back to dining hall for dinner.  Bowl of stew, water , milk.   Wash up, led back to campsite,  dress in uni, led to fire circle,  

8)  Ceremony, given the Admonition,  more ceremony.   Led back to campsite. It is dark by now.

9)  Told to find a solo campsite, alone, near to campsite.  Told to make our way in the morning back to the Dining hall, ready to depart.  Clear that night, I remember the stars were very bright, not so around here any more with all the urban buildup around the bay.

10)  Sunday morn, met at the Dining Hall.   Held a "Scout's Own",  then a Oatmeal and juice breakfast.  Awarded the sash,  a patch and wished a good trip home.  Out by noon. 

 

I do not remember any thing resembling a "banquet"  until I was Brotherhood and attending  special events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a subject of much debate among the ceremonies bunch for years. All agree that the ceremony is much more impressive in the dark. I can assure you in my (and SSS. Scouts) lodge from 1965 at old Roooosevelt untill 1982 at Hollowood it was always dusk when the ceremonies started. At least in the five chapters of our lodge I worked with. I think we had 24 back then. Somewhere between 82 and 97 all that changed. The emphasis seemed to shift to quantity rather than quality. So to entice more participation the weekend was shortened. That's my guess anyway.I have been trying for the last few years to move them back, but it's tough. The biggest objection strangely comes from the scouts who want to read the ceremony rather that memorize it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The banquet was a big deal (May '76).  After a day of hard work, silence, and scant rations, it was awesome!   

 

First class meal (steamship round, real mashed potatoes, homemade pies, etc.).    Prepared to perfection.   Even the old camp mess hall had been scrubbed and decorated for the occasion.   All the more surreal because normal summer camp chow was never in the same galaxy as this meal, at least in this mess hall.   Typically it was average fare, at best.   But not that day. 

 

I haven't been to an ordeal in decades.   But it sounds like some parts of the Order are cutting corners.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not a policy - it's a guideline - while the ceremonies themselves are the ones that should be used, the timing is completely up to the individual lodges. 

 

On another note, the Adult Ceremony Advisor doesn't get a vote - he can advise, but it's up to the leadership of the Lodge to make those decisions - and the leadership of the Lodge is the Lodge Chief, Lodge Vice Chief'(s), Secretary, Treasurer and Chapter Chiefs - once they make the decision, it's done - the only person who can over-rule them is the Scout Executive (though in practice, the Lodge advisor and Lodge Professional Advisor have some pull as well). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Calico Penn - that's kind of what I suspected, i.e. not policy, but rather guideline only.

 

Hope we can get it changed in our Lodge. The issue would be logistics I suspect and I'm sure we'll get flack from someone, but at least it's something that is not etched in stone and can't be changed - really good to know.

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

×