Lodge Ledger: Understanding the ceremony, fostering the brotherhood

By Gabriel Martinez

Many Arrowmen are first introduced to the Order of the Arrow through ceremonies. With that in mind, Arrowmen from Shunkah Mahneetu Lodge hosted a lodge ceremonies workshop where they went past the outfit and into the philosophy: the meaning as to why we are the brotherhood of cheerful service and why we do what we do. The workshop was open to anyone, but focused primarily on the Pre-Ordeal and Ordeal ceremonialists.

The weekend started with the Arrow of Light Award and explaining its significance in the Order. The brothers learned about Cub Scouts and how this first introduction to the Order is crucial in an Arrowman’s induction. The workshop then turned to the call-out ceremony.

The workshops were followed by break-out sessions on a range of topics. These sessions allowed different principles to group together to individually break down their lines. Lodge adviser Nolan Bybee said the individual sessions allowed ceremonialists to focus on the actual words of their ceremonies. “We went through the script and highlighted how the words used tie into the Scout Law and Oath," Bybee explained. The key to a great ceremony is in knowing what you are saying and why.

The sessions were developed and carried out by the youth, instead of having adult presenters like in years past. Bybee said that having youth lead training “makes the material easier to relate to and understand," which was the focal point of the weekend.

The greater understanding of the induction principles, the ceremonies themselves as well as the philosophy of the Order was better explained and instilled throughout the weekend. With better-educated teams, the ceremonies ought to be more meaningful both for the new brothers and for the ceremonialists.

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