Miami Lodge 495

Order of the Arrow

What is the Ordeal?

Perhaps you are a scout who has heard older scouts talking about the Order of the Arrow. Or perhaps you are a parent of a son who will soon be participating in the "Ordeal". (Parents, we have a separate page, just for you, to try and answer some common questions you may have). Either way, this article discusses what the Ordeal is all about.

The Order of the Arrow is simply a fraternal service organization dedicated to four purposes:

  1. Recognition of Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law.
  2. Development of camping traditions and spirit.
  3. To promote the camping program.
  4. To develop habits of helpfulness and leadership in Scouts.

Membership in the Order of the Arrow consists of three levels: Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil.

In order to be a candidate for the Ordeal, Scouts must be elected by the members of their troop. Scouters are nominated for membership by their unit's adult leadership. The Order of the Arrow is very unique in that it is one of very few organizations where its membership is selected by both its members and non-members as well.

Once scouts are selected as Ordeal candidates, they must seal their membership by taking part in an event known as "the Ordeal". This event starts on a Friday night and continues until Sunday morning.

Part of what makes the Order of the Arrow such an exciting organization to be a part of is its special ceremonies. We don't keep "secrets" in the OA, however part of the excitement of taking your Ordeal comes from the suprise of all of the events that take place. It's a wonderful feeling to be a part of something brand new and to know that your fellow Scouts have selected you to be a part of that. We ask that you be considerate of your fellow Scouts by not sharing with them the events of your Ordeal. That way, their own experiences will not be diminished.

Scouts, of course, are encouraged to discuss their experiences with their parents. Likewise, any parents with concerns about the Ordeal are encouraged to contact the Lodge Adviser before or after the ordeal so that they may discuss their concerns.

Often, members of the Order of the Arrow might make up stories about what happens during the ordeal to frighten young Scouts or to make the experience sound more magnificent. As a division of the Boy Scouts of America, the Order of the Arrow follows all youth protection guidelines including anti-hazing rules. The Ordeal is a program that is administered using standardized guidelines that were developed on a national level with the approval of all major religious organizations.

That is not to say that taking the Ordeal is easy. The Ordeal is designed to challenge Scouts and Scouters, mentally. Will you work hard to make the camp as good as possible, or will you do the least amount possible? Will you deny yourself and put others ahead of your own desires? Will you show your true honor by keeping promises that you have made? These are all questions you will need to answer to yourself during the Ordeal.

2017 Ordeal Registration

The cost for candidates is $65 which covers food for the weekend, sash, Lodge pocket flap, OA Handbook, membership dues for 2017 & 2018, and the candidate's Brotherhood coversion the year after their Ordeal ( 2018 or 2019 ) .

Online registration for our 2017 Ordeals is now available.  Click on the link below for the Ordeal you would like to register for.

Spring Ordeal:
May 5 - 7 | Woodland Trails Scout Reservation
Click here to registor
Summer Ordeal:
August 18 - 20 | Woodland Trails Scout Reservation
Click here to register.

Fall Ordeal:
October 6 - 8 | Cricket Holler Scout Camp
Click here to register.

What Should I Bring to the Ordeal?

Scouts and Scouters won't need to bring all that much to their Ordeal.  Be sure that you do bring everything on the list below, and also be mindful of the items you should not bring and leave those at home. All food, mess kits, and sleeping arrangements for the weekend will be provided by the Lodge. If you have any questions please contact the Inductions team.

What to Bring:

  • Class A Uniform
  • Sleeping bag / sleeping pad
  • Tarp / Ground cloth
  • Work clothes / gloves
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Rain gear
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight
  • BSA Annual Health Records Parts A & B - See Info Below

What NOT to Bring:

  • Food / Mess kit (please inform us of any special needs)
  • Electronics of any kind (watches, phones, iPods, etc.)
  • Tents
  • Matches / Lighters

BSA Health Records

Starting with our Spring 2012 Ordeal we will begin requiring all participants (candidates and staff) to bring a current copy of their BSA Annual Health Record, Parts A & B.  This form can be obtained here

What's Next After My Ordeal?

Attend our events and have a good time - learn the true meaning of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness and Service.

After being in the Order for 10 months and staying active in your unit, you are eligible for Brotherhood membership in the Order. To learn more about Brotherhood membership, head over to our Brotherhood section.

All new Arrowmen are encouraged to visit the JumpStart website.  This website will explain more about the OA and the Ordeal; it will also help to prepare you for Brotherhood.

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Miami Lodge 495 is part of the Miami Valley Council, BSA in Dayton, OH.