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Congratulations, your son has been elected to be a candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow (OA), Scouting's National Honor Society.   Upon completition of his Ordeal ceremony, he will have all the rights and priviledges of all arrowmen.

The Ordeal

Now that your son has been elected by his troop, he must attend the Ordeal of the Order.  A list of things to bring to the Ordeal can be found in this "What to bring for the Ordeal" file.  The responsibilities of the candidate at the Ordeal is:

  • The Candidate spends a night alone as a sign of courage and self reliance.  It is also a time for self reflection and to consider the events taking place.

  • The Candidate keeps complete silence.  This gives him the opportunity to pay stricter attention to unspoken thoughts, searching out past deficiencies and resolving on a life of uller service in the future.

  • The Candidate spends the daylight hours of the Ordeal in meaningful labor.  This proves the candidates willingness to serve others cheerfully.

  • The Candidate also eats sparingly, thus proving the ability to subordinate the appetites of the body to the high purpose of the spirit.

Taken together, the four elements of the Ordeal are a meaningful and inspiring experience for the candidate.  They provide a total participation of the mind and spirit.  The Ordeal is not soon forgotten by the new member.