Ceremony Challanges

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Ceremony Challanges

Postby Mantowagan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:35 am

Without revealing anything "restricted" I hope to start a discussion on the various challenges. In recent years I have been the Ceremony Chairman for the Lodge I serve. This year I stepped down to allow a younger guy to serve, as I age out in 71 days (currently I'm awaiting approval to be a Advisor).

My claim to fame in the local Lodge is I have made a big push to make sure our Brothers remember the various challenges given to them in the Ceremonies. I do this because I will never forget one summer a new Ordeal member challenging a Vigil member with the Sign and the Vigil member was unable to answer it properly.

With the backing of the current Advisors, I sent to remind my Brothers what these challanges are. Usually we have 10-15 standing members observing our ceremonies, but unfortantly many of them have forgotten much of their own experiences. Last year we challenged all general members coming to watch the Ordeal or Brotherhood Ceremonies with the respective challenges, and if they were unable to answer them then they were reminded and allowed to remain. This year nobody is allowed into the site without properly answering the challenges.

Do any other Lodge's do this on a regular basis, or has had similar difficulty? Is there any official policy I am enforcing or possibly breaking with this practice?
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:10 pm

We have ceremonies at each Lodge weekend that is 4 per year and everyone attends the ceremonies that they are permitted. Our average attendance at a weekend is around 250 but AUgust is usually around 300 as school has not started yet.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby scoutaholic » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:44 pm

Mantowagan wrote:... Usually we have 10-15 standing members observing our ceremonies, but unfortantly many of them have forgotten much of their own experiences. Last year we challenged all general members coming to watch the Ordeal or Brotherhood Ceremonies with the respective challenges, and if they were unable to answer them then they were reminded and allowed to remain. This year nobody is allowed into the site without properly answering the challenges.

Do any other Lodge's do this on a regular basis, or has had similar difficulty? Is there any official policy I am enforcing or possibly breaking with this practice?


Back in the olden days when I was a youth on the ceremony teams, the challenges as you mention were written into the ceremony script. The first thing done when the ceremony started is Alowat would send Kitchkinet to 'satisfy yourself that all present are entitled to remain.'
There were members there whos membership status we knew, but we challenged the Lodge Advisor and Lodge Chief just like everyone else. If they didn't know the admonition and sign, they were not supposed to be there. I don't remember ever asking anyone to leave, but the challenges are appropriate and were regularly done.

I don't know if this is still in the ceremony scripts. I don't have the current edition, and haven't done a ceremony myself in about 20 years.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:46 pm

They are still in the script!
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby Mantowagan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:53 pm

Thanks for the rapid responses, I see I need to check back more often :mrgreen:

Yes its still scripted, but the problem we used to run to is if a Brother answered incorrectly and asked to leave, usually they just stepped back several feet and remained. Now at the meals prior to the Ceremonies I make a announcement reminding everyone to be ready to answer the challenges, and we challenge everyone at the site. Also usually I stay at the entrance to the trail leading to our ceremony site and challenge everyone there as well to be doubly sure.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:04 pm

Our Lodge Circle is rather secluded and has a rather twisted rail to get there. About 100 yards from the circle is a gate which is manned at all ceremonies and the appropriate challenge is asked there. We do Brotherhood first follwed by Ordeal and then Vigil. Everyone see our vigil calling out. Then all Vigils take those New Vigil Brothers and Leave the circle. We hold our own ceremony at 5:00 am after the Vigil.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby Mantowagan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:09 pm

Our Lodge has a separate Vigil Weekend for the Vigil Honor, and only on a case by case instance does a Vigil during the normal Lodge Conclaves.

Just before I joined Ceremonies our Lodge Ceremony team self destructed from personal rivalries and many members moving for college. Its been a long slippery climb back, but I think we are getting there.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:14 pm

If the Lodge is functioning correctly there shold be constant change in all committees. Over a 3 year period everyone should change in the comittee including the adv. If you do not have this constant transition the Lodge will become stagnant and die a slow death.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby Mantowagan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:22 pm

I understand the need for a somewhat steady changeover in committees, but that wasn't our problem. Our problem is the whole Lodge Ceremony team left and a whole bunch of new guys (myself included) started, we had no carry over whatsoever.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:26 pm

That is never a good thing But nothing I have not seen before. And nothting that cannot be overcome
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby jr56 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:46 pm

In the past my lodge has issued the appropriate challanges. Members who didn't know were informed if they couldn't get it right.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:02 pm

We also ask for someone to vouch for the individual if they do not remember but in our lodge if you attend weekends as you should you will know the challenges.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby Bill Pitcher » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:56 am

Stiring up the original thread . . . then who do you have challenging the Vigils entering the ceremony ring? Can't be an Ordeal or Brotherhood member! Do you use an adult Vigil? Most of our Vigil youth are off at college! I think the challenges should be enforced at ALL Lodge functions. But then everyone around may SEE the responses. Suggestions?
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:15 am

Vigilas are only challenged at the Vigil Ceremony which is held at 5:00am after the actual Vigil. Challenges at Ceremonies are for the APpropriate ceremony.
We do our BH ceremony first so the Challenge is the Brotherhood challenge
We then do the Ordeal so only Ordeal or other brothers would be entering the Circle then so the Ordeal Challenge is used.
AT our SUnday Business meeting the Ordeal Challenge is used.
We had the NE-4B conclave this past summer and you would not believe how many broythers from other lodges just give you the Doe in headlight look when you challenge they have no clue.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby Bill Pitcher » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:13 pm

Good point(s). We've been challenged based on the sash we wore, not the ceremony we attended. I'll have to bring this up at a lodge mtg. Thanks!
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:19 pm

WE do the Brotherhood Ceremony First The New Ordeal ar4e in a meeting with all the committee chairs at this time.
Ordeal members must stay outside the circle (about 200 yds) during the Brotherhood Ceremony
The Ordeal members are then allowed to enter
Then we do the Ordeal Ceremony

We do the Vigil Calling Out if need be after the Brotherhood ceremony.

For The Brotherhood ceremony you are challenged by the Brotherhod Challenge
For the Ordeal ceremony you are challenged by the Ordeal Challenge

The Vigil, Ceremony is held at 5am and everyone entering is challenged twice.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby cballman » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:29 pm

Well I hate to say but in all my years being in the OA I have never been Challenged. I have no clue as to what the challenge or challenges are.
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:53 pm

Another word for Challenge is Admonition
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby Bill Pitcher » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:01 pm

At the Ordeal ceremony, the admonition is asked for SOMETIMES, but parents are allowed in, too. Do other lodges allow parents to watch ceremonies?
We also find that new Ordeal Brothers were so in awe of the ceremony that when Allowat gave the admonition, they couldn't hear it and if they did, soon forgot it!!!
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Re: Ceremony Challanges

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:15 am

Our Ceremonies are Only done at Lodge weekends and WE have only had one time a parent asked to watch the "Vigil Calling out" as her son was being pulled. He never was aware that mom was there as I had her in the woods behind the circle. Now as fas as remembering the admonition. We require all new Ordeals attend the Sunday Business meeting to get their Packet.( this is immediately after Sunday Breakfast) Included in that is their Lodge Flap. A CD with the Lodge Manual on it and their membership card. Everyione is asked the admonition as they enter the business meeting and the new Ordeal are given it there if they have forgotten it.
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