Ever since the inception of the Order of the Arrow in 1915, it was intended that all members should be equal in rank. Brotherhood membership does not provide a special degree of rank, status, or special honor like that of the Vigil Honor.
Instead, the Brotherhood is an opportunity for members to evaluate their past service to Scouting and to their lodge, and to reaffirm their belief in the high purposes of the Order. The ceremony is intended as a source of inspiration that motivates brothers to give even greater service to Scouting.
An Ordeal member may become a Brotherhood member when he has completed the five Challenges of Brotherhood Membership listed in this handbook.
1. Memorize the signs of OA membership
A. Obligation: I do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, Wimachatendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui. I will always regard the ties of the Brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.
B. OA Song: Firm bound in brotherhood, gather the clan that cheerful service brings to fellow man. Circle our council fire, weld tightly every link that binds us in brotherhood, Wimachtendienk.
C. Admonition: Never said above a whisper. If you need your memory refreshed, check with the Ceremonial Team (C-Team).
D. Sign of Drawing of an arrow from a quiver.
E. OA Handclasp: Ordeal membership handclasp: Done with left hand, lower two fingers interlocked.
2. Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal.
A. The four principles of the Ordeal ceremony are: Kitchkinet, the guide, representing helpfulness and friendliness; Nutiket, the guard, representing cheerfulness; Meteu, the medicine man, representing brotherhood and our need to love one another; and Allowat Sakima, the 16 mighty chief, representing service, and the one from whom you accepted the obligation.
B. The four tests of the Ordeal and their meanings are:
1. The night alone - to teach you self-reliance and to show that you are set apart from your fellow Scouts for something higher. 2. Twenty-four hours of silence - to turn your thoughts inward to the things of the spirit. 3. Scant food - to teach you the virtues of self-denial. 4. A day of arduous toil - to indicate your willingness to serve others all through your life.
C. The arrow, as used in the Ordeal ceremony, is a symbol of leadership. Arrowmen wear an arrow pointed high over their right shoulder as an outward symbol that they possess the qualities of leadership that the arrow represents.
D. The true name of the Order of the Arrow is “Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui”, which means “The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service”.
3. Serve your unit:
Retain your registration in Scouting. During a period of at least ten months, strive to fulfill your obligation by continuing and expanding your service to your own troop or crew.
4. Plan for service in your lodge:
Retain your registration in Tamegonit Lodge and keep your dues paid. Be aware that acceptance of Brotherhood membership involves a pledge of service to the lodge. Develop a concrete idea of how you plan to fulfill this pledge.
5. Review your progress:
When you feel that you have met the four challenges above, write a letter to the lodge secretary:
A. Explaining what you think the obligation means.
B. Describing how you have been fulfilling this obligation in your unit and in your daily life.
C. Describing your specific plans for continuing this service in the future.
D. Telling what the Order of the Arrow means to you, and why you are seeking Brotherhood membership.
When the five challenges have been completed, the Ordeal member should present himself at the appropriate time as a candidate for Brotherhood membership. This may be done at the three Tamegonit Lodge Induction weekends or at any summer camp session at Camp Naish.
All Brotherhood candidates are asked to help with the Ordeal’s workday as Elangomats, crew leaders, or on-work crews.
The Brotherhood candidate should arrive at the Brotherhood hike in Class “A” Scout uniform or appropriate Indian regalia. At this time, he should bring his letter to the lodge secretary, described in Challenge 5. The hike is a review of the Arrowman’s progress, and a time to ask questions about the Brotherhood ceremony.
Following the hike, the Brotherhood ceremony will take place. All Ordeal members who have successfully fulfilled the five challenges will be inducted as Brotherhood members of the Order of the Arrow.