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Informal unscientific survey


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I just received a somewhat desperate request for help from a neighboring chapter  in my lodge.  Chapters actually.  It seems that three of them have teamed up to hold a joint Ordeal but can only find enough ceremonialists for 6 of the 12 speaking parts.    Now assuming no one is performing multiple roles, that is only two per chapter!  And here I thought we were horribly low at 5. Half our preCovid numbers.  I am wondering if this decline is widespread or just a local thing?  How are the numbers in your neck of the woods?

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6 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

I just received a somewhat desperate request for help from a neighboring chapter  in my lodge.  Chapters actually.  It seems that three of them have teamed up to hold a joint Ordeal but can only find enough ceremonialists for 6 of the 12 speaking parts.    Now assuming no one is performing multiple roles, that is only two per chapter!  And here I thought we were horribly low at 5. Half our preCovid numbers.  I am wondering if this decline is widespread or just a local thing?  How are the numbers in your neck of the woods?

I'm going to say it is not just you, and probably a good number of us in the same boat. In years past, we typically have one team that handles Pre-O, and that same team handles one Ordeal ceremony, then another team that handles up to 2 other Ordeal ceremonies, as necessary, and then one team that handles just Brotherhood. Pre-pandemic, we struggled to field out 2 full teams, with maybe one "alternate" that could sub in for a ceremony. Our two Ordeals this fall, we struggled to even get 4 ceremonialists for the first (and we ended up not offering Brotherhood at that one, to not over-burden them), and the second we had only 6 ceremonialists that had to do Pre-O, 2 Ordeal, and 1 Brotherhood ceremonies.  We had reached out to neighboring Lodges to try and gauge if we could get two ceremonialists from their teams to come just to fill out the Brotherhood ceremony, and they all expressed that they have struggled to get enough youth to fill two teams.

The pandemic really left an all around struggle on keeping our youth active. A number of them went away to college this fall, or off to the military, etc. and we had few step up to take their place (lack of opportunity for anything other than Zoom engagement certainly didn't help). We've not had a Chief for 2 of the 5 Chapters for two years, and at least a few of the others for the past two years have been "on paper" only.  We've struggled to fill out the Lodge officer positions as well, and at our election this fall it was a slate election, as no positions had more than one youth running for it. Thankfully, induction was good, and I'm encouraged we'll see things at least revive to an extent this spring. However, some of our adults seem hell-bent on just increasing the number of Ordeal weekends or monthly activities, thinking "if we build it, they will come"- except it is burning out the few youth we have that are active, they only can take on so much. 

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I wish we had 2 per chapter.  At our Fall Fellowship, we were lucky to assemble 3 pre-Ordeal teams and 2 Ordeal teams.  One was chapter pure, the other was a mix of 3.  They each did three Ordeal ceremonies that night.  We were all exhausted by the third one, and the quality suffered.  At this point, I have one ceremonialist who shows up at chapter meetings, but he's a senior.  I'm recruiting hard, but no one is biting.  They don't seem to understand that if there are no ceremonialists, there are no ceremonies, and thus, no inductions.  

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