The weekend of May 20th was Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge Order of the Arrow’s first Ordeal of 2016. Our Troop elections had six Scouts elected to be “tapped out” during the Skyloo District Camporee. Myself and a Troop parent were able to transport five of the six Scouts. The latter had LaCross games all weekend.
I attended last year at Camp Cooper to go through the Ordeal and this year was to seal my membership in the Order of the Arrow for by Brotherhood. As luck would have it, several Adult Leaders I know were also going through with their Brotherhood. Rocky (pictured with me) was one of them. He and I have been showing up to Council events since 2011 since I walked him into Wood Badge. Very fun to see people all the time! My other friend was Ray and his son. Also several others that I kinda knew from afar, but we are all afflicted with being Scouters. So, it works out.
Obviously without giving much away about the OA Ceremonies and traditions, we all had a great time. There is a service project for both the Ordeal and Brotherhood. I was able to choose to work in the kitchen for the weekend. It was a lot of fun. Again, I met new people. One person was one of Skyloo’s 2016 District Award of Merit recipient. Lots of fun to get to know these great people. You can always use another cook in the kitchen. It makes everything go easier. I also helped with other odd jobs within the Dining Hall of Camp Meriwether. There was a total of 23 Brotherhood members and about 107 Ordeal candidates for the whole weekend. If you figure about 6 hours on average, that is about 780 hours for all those going through. That does not include the current OA members, staff and Ceremony Teams from three Districts that help put on the whole weekend. According to the Lodge email after the fact, the Camp Meriwether Ranger was very happy with all the projects at Meriwether and Clark to help them open for Summer Camp season very soon. The projects included rebuilding tent platforms and building water stations in campsites. As well as moving a lot of wood.
Overall, this was a great weekend. I was able to peer into a program that I really know nothing about. The Order of the Arrow is a great unknown to me. I know what the Order of the Arrow is and what it does. But, that was just from looking in from the outside. Now, that I am in and by IN I mean Brotherhood, I can start getting a deeper understanding about why I am in the OA.
Granted, there is a whole set of new patches that I can start to buy and collect. But it goes a lot deeper than that. I have an obligation to my Troop, the Scouts within the Troop and to the Chapter and Lodge.
In that order. In an upcoming post, I will explain more about the OA Troop operations as it pertains to my Troop. I am excited for it all.