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Oldscout448

Ordeal in 31 days, oh my

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So here we are yet again, after the last ordeal we had 12 people on the ceremonies team. One left because they made him senior patrol leader another because he had to finish this Eagle before he turned 18, and two just stopped coming for reasons unknown.  

Now we can do it with just eight guys we've done it before but it's a tremendous amount of work for that number of people. It's just not much fun for them with all the work and pressure involved. It also affects the ceremonies themselves when the team is spending hours Friday afternoon clearing Trails setting out blazes, etc.they dont have much time for rehearsing and the performance suffers.

We seem to be caught in a circular pattern here.  Too few people leads to overwork, leads to burnout, leads back to not enough people. 

Also kids just want to have fun.  If the ceremonies aren't impressive and the " Come and join us you'll enjoy it" pitch is given by an exhausted , stressed out, disheveled ceremonies vice-chief, their probably not going to be signing up anytime soon.

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Why would you stop because you became SPL? I’ve been SPL for 2 years and yes at times it’s stressful and difficult, but it’s not that bad.

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I agree with @ItsBrian, being SPL takes time and work, but nothing prohibitively overwhelming. As for taking time off to focus on your Eagle, that at least makes a little more sense. In any case I'm sorry about your struggles; it's hard to break out of those cycles once they become habitual.

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If it was scheduled just a few days later, you might be shouting, "May Day! May Day!"

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2 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

I agree with @ItsBrian, being SPL takes time and work, but nothing prohibitively overwhelming. As for taking time off to focus on your Eagle, that at least makes a little more sense. In any case I'm sorry about your struggles; it's hard to break out of those cycles once they become habitual.

I don’t understand Eagle either. That scout probably waited until he was 17 1/2. I started planning mine in April, but decided to get a last minute summer job, so I pushed it until September. No big deal.

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3 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

Why would you stop because you became SPL? I’ve been SPL for 2 years and yes at times it’s stressful and difficult, but it’s not that bad.

It really depends on the culture of the Troop and the demands on the SPL's time as a result.  It may very well be that the person who became SPL realized that it would be a full-time job and spending time with the OA ceremonies team was just not going to be possible - and for that I applaud him.  After all, when it comes to the Order of the Arrow, the OA itself states quite plainly that one's obligations to one's unit comes first - always.

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4 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

So here we are yet again, after the last ordeal we had 12 people on the ceremonies team.

Also kids just want to have fun.  If the ceremonies aren't impressive and the " Come and join us you'll enjoy it" pitch is given by an exhausted , stressed out, disheveled ceremonies vice-chief, their probably not going to be signing up anytime soon.

I don't know the actual numbers, but I don't think our Lodge has as many as eight people on our ceremonies team.

My suggestion would be to refocus on what is most important and cut back on the rest.  If you only have time to practice the ceremony just practice the ceremony, leave trail clearing, etc. either to others or undone.  The quality of the trail is irrelevant compared to quality of the ceremony itself.

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21 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

 It also affects the ceremonies themselves when the team is spending hours Friday afternoon clearing Trails setting out blazes, etc.they dont have much time for rehearsing and the performance suffers.

We seem to be caught in a circular pattern here.  Too few people leads to overwork, leads to burnout, leads back to not enough people. 

Also kids just want to have fun.  If the ceremonies aren't impressive and the " Come and join us you'll enjoy it" pitch is given by an exhausted , stressed out, disheveled ceremonies vice-chief, their probably not going to be signing up anytime soon.

The above could be done by other lodge members that are not part of the ceremonies team.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, ValleyBoy said:

The above could be done by other lodge members that are not part of the ceremonies team.

Oh I agree,  but We usually have about 24 youth members.  So 8 on the team, 6 elongomats (who need to be with their clans), 4? on the cook crew,  2 or 3 doing registration, 1 chief, 1 ordeal master.  Not many left to draft. 

But 'tis a good idea, we will see if we can't Shanghai somebody.

I was wondering why I didn't think of that before.  I guess it's because we are always off in the woods getting things set up, and not hanging out at the lodge looking for idle hands.

Edited by Oldscout448

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17 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I don't know the actual numbers, but I don't think our Lodge has as many as eight people on our ceremonies team.

My suggestion would be to refocus on what is most important and cut back on the rest.  If you only have time to practice the ceremony just practice the ceremony, leave trail clearing, etc. either to others or undone.  The quality of the trail is irrelevant compared to quality of the ceremony itself.

This is my thought too.

My other suggestion is to focus on making the ceremony as fun and rewarding for the ceremonies team you've still got.  Challenge them, but don't stress them.  If it's a smaller ceremony - that's fine.  Use them as your core while you rebuild.

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17 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I don't know the actual numbers, but I don't think our Lodge has as many as eight people on our ceremonies team.

My suggestion would be to refocus on what is most important and cut back on the rest.  If you only have time to practice the ceremony just practice the ceremony, leave trail clearing, etc. either to others or undone.  The quality of the trail is irrelevant compared to quality of the ceremony itself.

It's more a question of safety than esthetics.  The 400 yard long trail  to the pre ceremony site and the area where the candidates are taken afterwards is used only by us. So it has a whole year of deadfalls, branches, and assorted trip and fall hazards.   The first half is lighted by the 15 blazes,but the other half is left dark.  The candidates are not allowed to use lights and we try to avoid injuries. The candidates need to be in shape for the work after all. 

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Actually I may be stressing unnecessarily here.  I'm sitting at home today with a screwed up right hand and my mind has lots of time to worry and fret.  It does bother me that I may not be able to help out much with the physical aspects of the Ordeal.  Right now it's hard to hold a pen, much less an ax. It's also amazing how hard it is to type with only your left hand.

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I feel that a lot sometimes too.  The weight of the expectations of my Scouting role.  I like to do things to a high standard so that the boys have the best experience possible.  It can only be harder when you just can't physically help the way you normally would.

My suggestion - look at this as an opportunity.  What you know about Scouting and how this should work is way more important than what you can physically do.  Here's the time when you're forced to rely on others.  Devise the best ceremony you can with what you've got.  Look at what you can't do this year and be creative. 

With that in mind, think about what you could do next year if you could recruit a few more hands.  Start building back up for next year.

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Aaaaand, We planned a work session/  on site practice for Saturday.    The forecast calls for 3-5  inches of wet snow mixed with sleet. 

 Did i ever mention the Ordeal site is on the top of mountain ?  ( although you westerners would call it a steep little hill. )  With narrow twisty roads. 

The next weekend is Conclave,, the next is the district Camporee.

I think I should ask them to double my pay!

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