Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Fw: Order of the Arrow Ordeal (or initiation/hazing?)
Fw: Order of the Arrow Ordeal (or initiation/hazing?)
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 22:04:15 -0500
You are obviously a dedicated Scouter who has been around for a long time.
I wonder at your willingness to believe the worst about the program,
as much as you should about Scouting after so many years of association.
Have you taken training in your current position? I recommend that you
Scoutmastership Fundamentals, if you have not, and Wood Badge if you have,
soon as you can. Have you talked to your OA Chapter Advisor (District
level) or your OA Lodge Advisor (Council level)? They can help you
understand OA better.
The mystique around OA and the ordeal is maintained to make it more
important, more challenging and more fun for the youth. You might consider
asking your Troop Committee to submit your name for induction to OA and get
involved yourself, you will be impressed with the OA program and the youth
involved in it.
Assistant Scoutmaster (former Scoutmaster), Troop 113, Salem Lutheran
Church, Tomball, TX
Advisor, Venturing Crew 1131, Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, TX
> -----Original Message-----
> > From: Cole, Mick <Mick.Cole@WESTGROUP.COM>
> > To: SCOUTS-L@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU
> > Subject: Order of the Arrow Ordeal (or initiation/hazing?)
> > Date: Friday, June 18, 1999 2:54 PM
> > I am the scoutmaster of Troop 62 in Rochester, NY
> (Otetiana Council).
> > This is my third year as scoutmaster. I was also an ASM
> for two years,
> > a Webelos Den Leader for two years and a Den Leader for
> two years.
> > For the first three years, I have allowed OA elections,
> but have become
> > increasingly uncomfortable about the shroud of secrecy,
> and wall of
> > around the "Ordeal," which prevents me from properly
> advising OA
> > candidates and their parents about what to expect.
> > The few scraps of information that I have obtained make me
> wonder how the
> > Ordeal serves the stated purpose of the OA, which I
> understand to be:
> > 1. To recognize those campers who best exemplify
> the scout
> > oath and law at all times when possible
> > 2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and
> > 3. To promote scout camping
> > 4. To crystallize the habit of helpfulness into a
> > of
> > service to others
> > For example, I have been told, but have no way to verify
> that, during a
> > of hard
> > physical labor (service project?), meals consist of: one
> boiled egg
> > (breakfast); two
> > slices of bread (dry), 1 slice of cheese (lunch); and one
> apple (dinner).
> > have
> > also heard that candidates are required to spend a night
> with no
> > from elements
> > or insects. I am hard pressed to see how either practice
> promotes good
> > camping, or
> > can be considered anything other than a form of hazing,
> that would seem
> > be
> > in violation of both child protection laws and BSA policy.
> > I hope that I am wrong, but in the absence of real
> information cannot
> > but wonder. . . .
> > Any real information that anyone can provide, whether
> public or private,
> > would be greatly
> > appreciated.
> > YIS
> > Mick Cole
> > Scoutmaster
> > Troop 62