I was elected into the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is an elite class of Boy scouts who have proven themselves and believe in cheerful service among other things. I went to the Order of the Arrow Ordeal ceremony camp-out, which all candidates of the Order of the Arrow, meaning all the people who were elected, had to attend if they had to be officially accepted into the Order of the Arrow.
There was one main thing that I learned from the Ordeal and that was how to focus. When we went to ordeal, the camp directors starved us, made us do service for 6 hours, and while we were doing that, they prohibited us from talking. Starvation taught us that we can use the pain as another source of motivation to get a job done. If we are starving, then we will want food, and if we know that to get food, we have to complete a service project, it will encourage us to work faster.
The service showed us that even as we struggle, we are capable of helping others. It also conveyed that if there is a job that needs to be done that no one likes, if you can focus on the job, you can work faster and harder allowing you to complete the job quicker and to move on to things that you want to do. We were separated into groups at Ordeal. My group actually did extra service because our group finished our assigned service extremely early. We did a total of four service projects. For our first project, we had to dig out some mud that had hardened up in front of the camp’s dining hall. On our next project, we opened up a bike trail that the camp had closed down a couple years ago. Then, we had to pull some weeds out of a really long ditch and lastly, we were pulling cattails out the camp’s lake.
Not being allowed to talk did two things for us. It motivated us to do stuff faster and it also stopped outside distractions. This allows you to focus. Quiet reflection, as it is sometimes called gives us nothing to think about, so we just decide to do work faster. These are the three things that taught me how to really focus.
It may have been a pain to do all the work and to go through all the challenges but it was worth it. After we had our Ordeal ceremony, which was where we all got our Order of the Arrow sashes, we got to eat a feast and watch a movie. The feast consisted of a make your own sub bar, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, chips of all fashion, and cookies. The movie was pretty long. We watched Spectre. After it was over, we all went to our designated Adirondacks and slept there for the night. It was much better than the first night were we all had to sleep on tarps. Every time I turned over, there was a rock poking into my back so I got zero sleep the first night. Overall it was a great experience. One that I wish that all boy scouts who are elected into the OA should attend.