Taking Your Ordeal?

Candidates to the Order:

Congratulations on being nominated to the Order of the Arrow. You have been recognized as someone who was chosen not only for what they have done, but also for what they are expected to do in serving the welfare of others This is what the “honor society” of the Boy Scouts of America is all about … we are those who strive to be “unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others” as well as provide “cheerful service” to our council, our districts, our camps, and most especially our units.

Below you should find information to help you prepare for your first step in joining the Order of the Arrow.

If you have any, questions, please email us at heronman@ahcoa165.org - Subject "Ordeal".

The Induction Process:

As you know from your Unit Election, to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow (OA for short) you must be elected by your peers in your unit. This is now a time of self-reflection on how one came to be chosen to join the Order.

The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and sleep apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values.

Scouts who were elected into the Order of the Arrow by their unit must complete this Ordeal weekend, within one year in order to become a member of Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge. If a candidate does not attend an Ordeal within one year, then the candidate must be re-elected by their unit. You must complete the Ordeal in the lodge associated with the council where you are registered, meaning that only Candidates from Allegheny Highlands Council can only complete their Ordeal in Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge.

**Please Note Due to Covid-19, Depending on when you were elected your time to complete an Ordeal may have been extended to two years instead of one, to find out please email us at oalodgemaster@ahcoa165.org.

How should you prepare?

Make sure you register for one of the Ordeals. Our Lodge holds Two Ordeals Weekends each year. Check our Lodge Events page for exact dates, locations, and registration information. You should also have received an email or letter welcoming you as a Candidate and dates for our Ordeal weekends. If you have not received this information, please email us and we will send you the information.

Come with a great attitude and a willingness to participate and experience the Ordeal to the best of your ability. This is your Ordeal and you will get out of it what you put into it.

Plan on staying for the entire weekend.

What should you expect?

You are about to begin the hardest part of becoming a member of the Order of the Arrow … the Ordeal. We are pretty sure you have heard a lot of stories about the Ordeal … some may be partially true but do not be fearful of the process. Safety is of utmost importance and "events" are appropriate for all age levels and physical capabilities of those participating in the Ordeal. As you progress through this part of your journey you will gain a fuller understanding of their purpose in becoming a member of the Order. For now, you should reflect on why your unit voted you to become a member of our great Order.


Class A Uniform (You can leave your merit badge sash and neckerchief at home)

Required Forms!

Face Mask/Covering

Any medications, e.g. inhalers, EpiPen, etc... packed in a sealable bag with your name on it.

(Note: Any and all medications, Must be listed on your BSA Medical Form for the health officer to check and go over with you and any that must be kept on you will be given back)

Hiking Backpack

A backpack or Duffel bag - Ordeal Candidates

Sleeping Bag (suitable for the weather conditions of the weekend)

Small Pillow

Ground Cloth/Tarps

Sleeping Pad

Tent or Hammock (Required for youth)

Rain Gear

Water Bottle

Seasonal Work Clothes, Gloves, Shoes or Boots

Extra Clothes, Shoes or Boots


Pocket Flashlight or Head Lamp

Personal Toiletries / Shower Items and Hand Sanitizer

Bug Repellent (Pump Spray, No Aerosol spray)


Pocket Knife

Personal first aid kit

Small notebook and pencil/pen

Spending Money for Trading Post (Recommend $20 – $40)


Check-in is Friday Night is between 6:30 - 7:30 pm if you are going to be late please contact the event Administrator. Also, Any Members Attending Please Eat Dinner Before Arrival.

Check-in locations may change but are usually located in the following areas:

Camp Merz - Dawson Training Center, or Dining Hall | Elk Lick- Orlos Lodge or Dining Hall

If check-in locations have changed, a sign will be posted indicating where check-in has been moved.

At check-in, if you are under the age of 18 your Parent(s) or Legal Guardian(s) MUST COME with you.

All Members Attending are Required to Bring the Following Forms:

If under the age of 18- Your Event Permission Form is filled out and signed.

All members Attending -

Covid-19 Risk Acknowledgment Form filled out

A copy of your BSA Annual Health & Medical Record - Only Parts A and B1 & B2 are needed as the event is less than 72 hours in duration. (Part B of the form only needs to be signed by a Parent or Legal Guardian)

(Records will be given back if requested or destroyed at the end of the event)

Medications are to be packed in a sealable bag with your name on it.

Any Medications, that must be kept on your person will be given back after Health Check.