Inductions Ceremony Resources Published!

The NOAC 2018 Exemplar ceremony videos have been posted to the Induction and Ceremony Events Portal: https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions

Arromen, please direct your brothers to these great resources so that ceremonialists around the country can learn, grow, and improve their presentation of the ceremony for our candidates.

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The Exemplar Program

The national Exemplar Recognition program challenges Arrowmen to develop role model skills in ceremonial service. Selected teams must consistently demonstrate near-perfect memorization and excellence in five additional skills, both in advance (on video) and in person (at a National Order of the Arrow Conference).

The 2018 finalists conducted their ceremonies and received evaluations at NOAC in front of large audiences of Arrowmen. Their cheerful service inspired and trained the many attendees who saw both their ceremonies and the feedback from expert evaluators. Now, ceremonialists throughout the Order can also view these Exemplar ceremonies along with the ceremonialists’ candid commentary.

Please note that the ceremonial texts these Exemplar ceremonialists used in their demonstrations are a now-outdated edition; the latest edition of the ceremonial texts can be found here on the Inductions Portal. Please keep this in mind as you view these videos and prepare for your own ceremonial work.

The Exemplar Ceremonies

The Exemplar teams agreed to allow their NOAC ceremonies to be posted online here on the Inductions Portal, to benefit any ceremonialist or adviser seeking good examples, new ideas, or simply inspiration.

No ceremony is ever perfect, and these teams will tell you theirs isn’t, either. But their devotion to candidates shines through even under the stress of an audience, multiple cameras, and a sleepless week of packed NOAC activity. Further, as you view these, remember that there is often more than one way to gesture effectively or to speak expressively in order to personify a principal. What you will see here is just how these ceremonialists chose to do express the words of the ceremonies—in harmony with their own strengths and personalities, but always mindful to personify the Order’s virtues through their principals.

After viewing these Exemplar models, you can—and should!—make your own choices on how to best exemplify your principal and convey the ceremony’s message to your candidates.

These resources are password-protected using Ordeal and Brotherhood level safeguarding. Please keep them safeguarded.

American Indian Clothing

Background

The recent change in OA membership requirements authorizing the election of female youth to the Order of the Arrow, together with questions that have arisen relative to the proper use of American Indian clothing and symbols in Order of the Arrow ceremonies and activities, make it advisable to issue guidance to lodges on this subject.

Basic Policy

The use of American Indian clothing and symbols have been a component of Order of the Arrow programming since its inception. While not stated explicitly, the underlying policy in the use of such clothing and symbols remains: “American Indian clothing and other regalia used in OA ceremonies and programs must be respectful of the American Indian cultures we are emulating.”

Discussion

The following additional guidance is provided to assist lodges in adhering to the above policy:

Determining What Is Respectful

It is the lodge’s responsibility to ensure the proper application of the above policy. In many cases lodges have resources within the lodge and or relationships with local tribes that enable them to satisfy themselves they are in compliance with this policy. In other cases, lodges may need to refer to available published resources or seek out a new local contact to assist in making their determination.

In cases where lodges find themselves unable to determine their compliance with the above policy, the National OA Committee has identified resources within each region to aid lodges in making this determination. The following individuals are available for that purpose (contact with any of these individuals is restricted to adult members only):

Central Region:

Female Youth in OA Ceremonies

Ceremonial principals. Female youth are eligible for all principal positions in OA ceremonies, including that of the chief of the fire. The names of the principals used in OA ceremonies need not be changed because a female is personifying any particular principal.

Ceremonial clothing: Female clothing is to follow the basic policy stated above. In many tribes females may wear much the same clothing as their male counterparts. In other cases it would be inappropriate. The lodge must make the determination as to which is the case. In cases where female clothing differs from that of males, appropriate female clothing consistent with the policy stated earlier should be worn. Doing so does not change the principal being portrayed in the ceremony.

Optional Ceremonial Clothing

The use of American Indian clothing in OA ceremonies is discretionary on the part of each lodge. While understanding American Indian cultures will remain an important component of the OA’s programs and activities, individual lodges may elect to use alternative clothing in the conduct of their OA ceremonies. The following option is the only currently authorized alternative clothing for the conduct of OA ceremonies:

Complete field uniform: The complete field uniform of the Scout portraying the principal in the ceremony. Common uniforming is not required (i.e., having a Scouts BSA, Venturer, and Sea Scout in their respective field uniforms portraying separate characters is acceptable). An additional alternative clothing option for use in OA ceremonies is being explored. If approved, it will be communicated to lodges through the new membership policy transition site on the OA web site.

Each character and the team as a whole must be dressed consistent with the option chosen. The mixing of American Indian clothing with an alternative, either on an individual basis (e.g., Scout field uniform and Indian bonnet) or on a team basis (one character portrayed in American Indian clothing and another in Scout field uniform), is not authorized.

Dance Competition Clothing

Four female dance styles are being added to the list of dance styles currently in use for OA dance competitions. Once finalized, guidance on these dance styles will be communicated through the new membership policy transition site on the OA web site.

For lodges that are interested in doing advance research, the four styles being explored are:

  • Women’s Northern Traditional
  • Women’s Southern Traditional
  • Women’s Jingle Dance
  • Women’s Fancy Shawl