First off, congratulations! You were selected by your fellow Scouts in recognition of your commitment to living the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. Next, you underwent the four tests of the Ordeal: a night alone on your groundsheet, a day of arduous service, scant food, all spent in “thoughtful” silence. What does this all mean? How does this apply to me? Why did I complete the four tests?
The four tests are not simply something put together to test you or to simply be an experience among many in Scouting: they are, as they were for me, a powerful opportunity to examine not only what I had done so far leading up to rolling up a tarp in a heavy mist at Camp Meriwether, but where the road ahead would be. Throughout Saturday morning and afternoon, it became clearer what my future in Scouting would become. The four tests have that effect, and I ask that if you have not already, that you make that same consideration in light of your experience.
For me, the experience of the Ordeal led me to getting involved on multiple levels, starting with serving as an Elangomat at the Induction following mine, one of many times serving in that role, and continuing in leadership at the chapter level as membership vice chief. These are just two examples of opportunities available in the Order, and all of these are opportunities that I can guarantee you will learn something you can take back to your troop to improve the experiences of fellow Scouts in your unit — the very same ones who selected you.
Regardless of how you get involved, you will have an impact, you will improve skills as a Scout, and you will improve the experience of those around you. The opportunities to get involved in the Order of the Arrow and to continue in dedicating yourself to living by the Oath and Law are out there, whether assisting with fellowship planning, serving as an Elangomat or Ceremonialist, or getting involved with your chapter’s election team. Now comes the important part: what will you do to get involved?
Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge Membership Vice Chief