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Inductions for Every Scout

  Frank Schaefer             Officer Outlook

Inductions for Every Scout

Located in New York City, Kintecoying Lodge reflects the uniqueness of one of America’s biggest cities. The Scouting community is one that strives to include everyone regardless of race, background, culture, or religion. However, there are some obstacles that may arise due to Scouts’ varying backgrounds, and they may not be able to participate in activities or even join the OA.

In 2017, Kintecoying Lodge Chief Kerwin Seager recognized the diversity within his Scouting community, and the particularly underrepresented Jewish community. Through some discussion with unit and lodge leaders in the area, he identified the induction as the biggest obstacle to these Scouts joining the OA. This was because of the induction scheduling and requirements.

The typical Kintecoying Lodge Ordeal begins on Friday evening and ends on Sunday morning. This was not something that catered to the Jewish community as Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) is a religiously observed period of rest and prayer that occurs every week at sunset on Friday evening and lasts until Saturday at sundown. This was a barrier to inducting Jewish Scouts. The other main obstacle was the food served at induction weekends, because the food being served was non-kosher (Kosher, meaning no pork, shellfish, or meat and dairy cooked together), which made it so any person of the Jewish faith would need special meals, or would need to cater for themselves for the weekend. 


Thus, Kerwin met with lodge advisers, leadership, and leaders of these units to figure out how to create an inclusive induction experience. After, in the fall of 2017 Kintecoying Lodge had their very first “kosher ordeal”.

At its core, this Ordeal has no significant changes from a traditional Ordeal as candidates go through the induction process the same as any other Scout does. The differences that were made may be subtle for some, but it helped go a long way in making an inclusive and diverse environment in Kintecoying Lodge. The first change was that the Ordeal would start after dark on Saturday evening with the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony being at approximately 11 p.m. Then, throughout the day on Sunday, the Ordeal would proceed like any other Ordeal in Kintecoying. With meals being fully kosher, the experience was possible for these new Arrowmen. The event would then conclude late Sunday night following the Ordeal Ceremony with a banquet dinner, fellowship, and mini chapter meetings. 


This event was well attended by both members from the Jewish Scouting community and non-Jewish Scouts. Other Arrowmen also found this event accessible if they had scheduling conflicts with sports, work, or other events. These slight changes truly allowed for a special induction experience that had a lasting positive impact on Kintecoying Lodge.

A group of Arrowmen linking hands
Arrowmen singing the OA song at the 2023 Kintecoying Lodge Fall Ordeal at Camp Alpine. 


The current Kintecoying Lodge Chief Jake H. spoke on his experience in Kintecoying and what he has seen in the diversity of the lodge.

“I’m very proud of how inclusive our lodge has become. We strive to accommodate everyone, to make everyone feel welcome. I think that this has allowed our lodge to come together and to become a stronger community.”

Lodge Adviser Mike O’Brien also mentioned that this line of thinking of inclusivity and diversity has led them to implement different types of events in their lodge and council. They now host a multicultural hike through New York City and service days and activation events that fall on both Saturday and Sunday. He also spoke about menu planning and how they now have meals that are of varied cuisines.

“It is an opportunity for us to celebrate our differences and learn about our diverse community in a respectful way through cuisine and fellowship.”

This event has made a positive impact on the culture in Kintecoying Lodge. It has allowed the lodge to continue to positively impact the community and promote the Scouting movement . This way of thinking about our communities and the Order of the Arrow allows us to better ourselves and our organization.