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Oldscout448

Service weekend? Not Ordeal?

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In the previous thread a scouter whom I respect very much, made reference to the fact that in his lodge Ordeals are no longer called ordeals but rather " service weekends". Apparently in an effort to make them sound less hazing or ominous to the new generation of snowflakes

If I recall correctly his new lodge advisor managed to somehow ram that past the LEC.


Given the current PC lunacy, I can only assume that this " water everything down stupidity " will soon be at our door as well.

I know the scouts pretty well and I'll bet a steak dinner that their response will be short and thoroughly unscoutlike.

But it is a rare chief indeed who has the sheer nerve to tell someone 20 years his elder " No, we are not doing that. Shut up and sit down"

Ok maybe not in those words, but you get the idea

So I figure "my boys" are going to need support.

Any ideas?

Oldscout448

Ps. Do we need to change the word ordeal to service weekend wherever it occurs in the ceremonies now?

Lets see... " bringing tokens of a struggle, a service weekend swiftly approching...

Doesn't have the same ring to it somehow

Edited by NJCubScouter
Merging 2 almost identical threads; making the edited post the first post

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I'm not so sure that it matters what you call the weekend, and indeed, I think I find calling them Ordeal Weekends more objectionable, but not because of any PC thing, but because that phrase can be self-limiting.

 

When I was elected to the OA and joined my lodge in the 1970's, the weekends were called the Spring Work Weekend and the Fall Fellowship (and for a time, the Fall Fun-ellowship).  When I was Chapter Chief and sitting on the Lodge Executive Committee (which in our Lodge was the Lodge Officers and the Chapter Chiefs), it was prposed to rename the Spring Work Weekend to the Spring Ordeal Weekend, since that is when the buk of our Ordeal candidates became members.  We decided against it because that was also our main Brotherhood weekend and Vigil Honor induction weekend - plus, we wanted folks who were already members but not being inducted as Brotherhood or Vigil Honor members to understand that this weekend was open to them as well and it was important for them to come.

 

No matter tha name, though, it doesn't really change the fact that there will be an Ordeal happening, as well as other activities.  Go ahead and call it a "service weekend" (really just another way to say work weekend), just as long as the Ordeal itself isn't renamed.

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When I was a chapter advisor with one lodge, there was a push to change the name from Ordeal to Fellowship. Rationale was that there were rumours galore about hazing and abuse about the OA and Ordeal weekends. And unfortunately some of those rumours may be true.

 

 

My current lodge won't call them Workdays anytime soon. We have one scheduled non-Ordeal day at one of the camps to work each year, and like this year with Hurricane Matthew, we are having additional workdays to get the camps up and running.

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An Eagle project requires the candidate to do a project that benefits someone other than the BSA.  Generally speaking I think most of the service project around my neck of the woods are for more public causes, like cleaning up roadsides, raking leaves for the elderly, sorting food at a food pantry, etc.  Cleaning up one's own back yard never seems to make the list, but it does for OA.  Volunteers come in an clean up the spring and "put it to bed" for the winter and get no credit for it..... except the OA participants,

 

If OA is a service arm of the BSA, it seems to spend a lot of time with that arm tucked in their own pocket. 

 

Sign on the door of the local food pantry..."Shelves will be stocked today by Ordeal candidates of the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America.  They are to work in silence as part of their Ordeal.  If you have a question, please ask those who are not in Boy Scout uniform.  Thank you."

 

BAM!  Two birds with one stone!  The scout fulfills his ordeal obligation and the BSA get great publicity.

 

If the local council camp needs all hands on deck to prepare and clean up camp, OA should be there just like any other volunteer.  Ordeal should be something special like a real service project similar to an Eagle Project in nature.

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Any ideas?

 

Yes, my idea is that it would be better if everybody stops calling Scouts derogatory names, like "snowflakes".

 

As for "ordeal", I don't really care one way or the other, I have no involvement with OA since my own ordeal 40+ years ago, but maybe it is time to stop using words that are likely to create misunderstandings.

  • Upvote 1

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I would miss the loss of the term 'Ordeal' to 'Service Weekend' would scare some other boys who were nominated away as well. 

 

The vast, vast majority of OA service projects I have seen have been for the Council, either cleaning up the various camps or the main Summer Camp as cheap labor. And the OA members are tapped a lot to work Camporees and other events. In return our Lodge gets to use the camps fee free so it does not always seem like true 'service'.  I see little service that does not benefit the world of Scouting...

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Let's not forget that until it became the "honor society of the BSA" it was the "honor society of campers" and one of the OA's biggest responsibilities within a Council is (was?) to promote camping to the units, including (and perhaps especially) to the Council's short-term and long-term camps.  In that role, it makes sense that the OA would do their Ordeal/Brotherhood ceremonies, along with the attendant service, at Council camps.

 

Saying that, Stosh raises a good point about the OA not doing much service beyond the boundaries of service work for the Council.  Back in 2008, OA National put together a program to provide service projects to 5 National Forest - Arrow Corps Five.  There is a lodge in the Pacific Northwest that continues the tradition with annual Arrowcorps projects for National Forest sites.  It's a shame that other Lodges didn't pick up that ball and run with it too - maybe their excuse is that they aren't near any national forests, and my response would be why limit yourself to the national forests -- surely there are other national, state or local lands in a lodges area that could use some help.

 

What about including a service component to Winter Banquet?  Maybe spend a few hours at local food pantries that afternoon before gathering for the meal. 

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We still maintain Ordeals, and I have not heard any grumblings (YET) Spring and Fall ordeal but we also have Fall Fellowship which also includes Brotherhood and Vigil.

Edited by JasonG172

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If OA is a service arm of the BSA, it seems to spend a lot of time with that arm tucked in their own pocket. 

 

I couldn't agree with you more! and Wish more arrowmen would wake to the cause.

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We used to call it a tap out (cause it was) but that's just an argument not worth having.

 

Rather than talk about what it was how about what it could be? Let's assume the OA really is a group of really good scouts. The idea is they go off and further their skills among like minded scouts and bring that back to their troops. Kind of like top gun for scouts. Leadership, outdoor skills, or just taking on a challenge. Not so much dance ceremonies as being just a great patrol. Teamwork should be developed in a troop but it's hard when there are one or two pessimistic or lazy scouts that will just bring an entire patrol down. In the OA it might be easier for the scouts to form good patrols and see how it should be. I'd really like that because I do have scouts that would benefit from that.

 

This is what nylt should be but it would be cheaper, ongoing, and would help get some things done.

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I admit the OP was more of a yell that a thought, If I may clarify

 

I have no problem with the idea of a service day or weekend. We should do more service to the community than we do. I should perhaps point out however that none of our chapters ordeals have been at a scout camp lo these last 40 years. We have been serving at a national park.

 

We simply maintain that an Ordeal should be called an ordeal. As for the hazing about which rumours abound but it seems few witnesses can be found. It is upon us the scouters to watch for and nip in the bud, is it not?

 

Oldscout

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We simply maintain that an Ordeal should be called an ordeal. As for the hazing about which rumours abound but it seems few witnesses can be found. It is upon us the scouters to watch for and nip in the bud, is it not?

 

 

 

For the benefit of this transatlantic brother scout, what is an Ordeal? What happens at an Ordeal? Is it actually an ordeal? 

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Ordeal...without spoiling any surprises...more of a temporary inconvenience...requiring one to reflect on what once is doing with a positive attitude. 

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