Over these past months, the lodge leadership has discussed and is proposing a significant schedule change for future events. Specifically, the change would be to adjust the time of Ordeal ceremony to immediately after candidates finish their service projects. This means that ceremonies would take place in the afternoon, before dinner. We believe this change would be in the best interest of the lodge as well as improving the overall experience for candidates. In particular, we believe that this change will help by enhancing the event experiences of both candidates and current members. This email presents a summary of these advantages.
We want your feedback and input as well. What comments do you have? What potential impacts do you see coming from this change? We want to garner as much information before making any final decisions. Please share your thoughts with us through the survey below.
Currently, our Induction weekends only show new members the service aspect of our brotherhood. Candidates arrive at camp, eat scant food, get little sleep, and serve under the hot sun for a good portion of the day on Saturday. After this, they remain under their vow of silence during dinner and go through their ordeal ceremonies late into the evening. In this situation, there is very little opportunity to connect with their chapters, to experience what life as an Arrowmen is really like, or to experience the brotherhood and cheerfulness that bind our Order together. The central purpose of the Ordeal is to “challenge the candidate to undertake challenges symbolic of the virtues of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service; and in so doing, make them believe that they can and should apply these principles to their everyday lives.” (from the Guide to Inductions) The current event schedule challenges them in the virtues of service and cheerfulness, but does not provide a strong connection to our brotherhood. While it challenges them in these virtues, it does not help them to live them out and apply them in their everyday lives.
In contrast, moving ceremonies to the afternoon could provide a better experience. For one thing, new members can interact with and connect with their new brothers during and after dinner. Those networking connections will help entice more brothers to return after their Ordeal. Moreover, the transition between the different aspects of the Ordeal process will be seamless from the candidates’ perspective. The service and ceremony components of the Ordeal will smoothly transition without silent dinner in the middle. Additionally, changing the schedule allows us as current lodge members to celebrate and welcome our new brothers by eating a meal in fellowship with them. This could inspire them to live out the three virtues of our Order in their everyday lives, more wholly fulfilling the purpose of the Ordeal.
From the perspective of our current members, the current schedule presents several major challenges. In particular, after candidates finish their campwide service projects, we must run two different simultaneous schedules – one for candidates and one for current brothers. These divided schedules have a few logistical challenges. Some of these logistical challenges include brothers wishing to view ceremonies must eat dinner quickly and hurry to the ceremony rings to arrive in time. Second, brothers serving on our ceremony teams, or in our AIA demonstration Pow-Wows must eat separately from the rest of their lodge brothers in order to serve. Their positive experiences for each event is significantly impacted due to their commitment to service.. Finally, many of our ceremonialists and new members do not finish in the ceremony rings until after 10:30 at night, by which time Thunderfest is ending or already over. These individuals do not get to experience this lodge-wide celebration like their fellow brothers.
By changing the schedule, all members share the same schedule and eliminates many of these logistical problems.. Everyone can eat and celebrate together at dinner. All members can relax and enjoy dinner and Thunderfest together. Those who serve in our AIA programs enjoy the same program elements as all their fellow brothers. All lodge members, new and old, can enjoy the cheerful brotherhood or our Order after serving throughout Saturday.
In summary, the lodge officers and I feel that this change can make a positive impact on the overall event experience and keep our new brothers engaged. We’re seeking your feedback on this new proposed idea in hopes of seeing challenges and impacts we haven’t already thought about. Big changes like this are always hard but with your help, we can move forward with this idea.
Please share your thoughts with us as we consider this proposed change through this survey. We value your opinions and want to represent your interests to the best our ability.
Survey closes Wednesday, August 15th at noon eastern standard time.
2018 Lodge Chief