Congratulations on your election to the Order of the Arrow. After you’ve been elected by your unit (or selected if you’re an adult), your next step on the path to becoming a member is to attend an Ordeal.
Ordeal is a weekend experience, centered around service and looking inward. Throughout the weekend you’ll learn about the traditions and customs of the Order of the Arrow but you’ll also learn more about yourself, leadership, and the Brotherhood of Scouting.
This guide will give you some specifics on what you need to do, gear you need to pack, and how to register for your Ordeal – but not specifics on what happens at Ordeal. Not because its some big secret or anything crazy happens, but because the experience loses it’s deeper meaning for new members if they have preconceived expectations of what’s going to happen.
Know this: the Ordeal weekend is an amazing experience. Knowing the details won’t help you and would in fact, negatively impact your experience and understanding of the Order of the Arrow.
You may be wondering why it’s called Ordeal. Well, it can be an ordeal or it can be an enjoyable experience of learning and growth, but that depends on you. We’ll do our best to make it a great experience and don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe and all BSA Safe Scouting rules are strictly followed. Ordeal candidates are treated as honorees, because that’s what you are. Your unit elected you because they feel you’re worthy to wear the OA sash.
Parents or guardians who are concerned about what happens at Ordeal can contact the lodge for details, but are asked to keep details about the experience to themselves so they don’t diminish it for other Scouts.
Register for your Ordeal
You must attend an Ordeal within two years of the date you were elected. You have three opportunities to attend Ordeal on the following weekends:
The best thing to do is Pre-Register for Ordeal using the OA Portal or you can find the link on our home page.
If your youth has not received an invite for the membership portal please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the youth's email address in this request.
Special Medical Needs
Please submit information about medications, dietary restrictions, or any other relevant medical conditions with your registration. Also let the folks know about it at check-in when you arrive on Friday evening.
The candidate fee to attend Ordeal is $45.00.
Ordeal is a full weekend of camping, running from Friday evening through Sunday morning. You should make arrangements to be picked up between 9:30am and 10:00 am on Sunday morning.
Friday Check In
Arrive between 6:00 and 7:00 pm on Friday. Check-in will be at the camp headquarters building. All meals will be provided starting with Saturday breakfast, so plan to eat before you arrive Friday night.
If you didn’t pre-register make sure you bring payment for the weekend.
After you check-in you’ll be able to go setup your tent for gear storage and your Saturday night camping. Your Ordeal starts Friday night and while we won’t reveal specifics, you’ll need to be prepared for camping on the trail Friday night.
Be sure to check the forecast before you come and arrive dressed in outdoor clothing appropriate for the weather.
You ‘ll need to bring some specific items for camping on Friday night.
Packing List for Friday Night
That’s all you’ll be allowed to take with you on Friday night. The rest of your gear will be stored in your tent. If you require medication at bedtime, you must bring it on the trail.
Suggested Packing List for the rest of the weekend
You may also want to bring some money for the lodge trading post that will be open Saturday night.
What NOT to bring:
MP3 players, handheld electronic games, or other electronic devices are NOT allowed. Ordeal is an outdoor experience, please do not bring these to camp.
After you complete your Ordeal, it’s time to get active in the lodge. Attend your Chapter meetings and lodge events. To have the most fun possible in the Order of the Arrow, join one of our teams or committees. Get active and you’ll learn the true meaning of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness and Service.
After 6 months of service as an Ordeal member and fulfilling certain requirements, you’ll be eligible for Brotherhood. Sealing your membership by becoming a Brotherhood member shows your commitment and furthers your experience with the Lodge.