When I was in High School, I belonged to Troop 2 in our town. Troop 2 was our Boy Scout Post. I later joined our Explorer Post. About a year before I joined our Explorer Post, I was taken by my father to a Scout Camp
not too far away. I was told to dress up because I was going to attend a special dinner that evening. I was never told what the dinner was about.
When I arrived at the camp, I was taken into a large field. In the middle was a large fire with many people standing around it. My father said see you later and disappeared. I quickly took a seat on one of the nearby logs thinking that I would soon be lead to the indoor restaurant. I was wrong. Myself and 14 other boys were lead off into the woods by two older boys dressed up as native Americans. I was given a sleeping bag and told to make my own camp site by a large pile of brush. I was left alone and everyone soon was gone. I started asking myself what is going on here? Soon darkness started to come. Before it got too dark, I decided to scout out the area. There was nobody around. I went back and figured that I better prepare for the night ahead. That was one long night.
The next day, the two older boys came by and picked me up and told me to follow them. I was not allowed to talk. They took me to an area filled with brush. I was ordered to clear that area that day by myself. They then left me with no food or water. As the sun soon got higher in the sky, I could feel dehydration in my body. I could go without food but, water was another issue. After about 45 minutes, I located a water pump at a nearby well and drank my fill. I returned to my spot and started to work. The day was as long as the night before. I went all day without food. Late that evening I was gathered up and taken back to the original place of the night before.
When I got there, I went through a ceremony called the "Order of the Arrow." Paint was placed on my face and I was given a feather of an American Eagle. Today that would be against the law. I participated in a ceremony that only a few are chosen to receive.
Founded in 1915, the Order of the Arrow is the Scouts National Honor Society. It uses Native American traditions in it's ceremony. It has four purposes.