Ordeal Weekend is a three-day weekend event that takes place at Horseshoe. Over the course of these days, OA candidates that had recently been tapped out are tested before being inducted into the Order. During the ordeal candidates must prove their self discipline through a vow of silence, fasting, physical labor, and individual survival skills. Candidates are broken down into separate lines the size of a patrol with a line leader and assistant line leader overseeing the candidates.
Vow of SilenceEdit
Scouts (and adult candidates) are not permitted to utter a single word from the time the ordeal begins until the moment they are inducted, a period of approximately 24 hours. Candidates must listen instead of talking themselves. If directly asked a question they should do their best to use hand and arm signals or failing those to use a notepad and pencil to write their response. Sometimes the vow will be lifted temporarily for the candidate to reply. Each candidate wears a totem which experienced OA members will "notch" if they catch the candidate speaking. Candidates are not permitted to have more than three notches.
During the ordeal, candidates are fed a very basic diet. The quality and quantity of food allowed on the ordeal has increased in past decade but it is still of very low quality. A candidate's breakfast includes one piece of white bread, an egg, an orange, and one match. Lunch is the infamous "Candidate Soup" which is luckily supplemented with saltine crackers and apples. The final dinner before they are formally inducted is a normal Horseshoe meal (but that still means it's not great).
In addition to making due with the meager rations, candidates must also prove their outdoors skills. They must sleep alone in the woods with just a tarp and small blanket to protect them from the elements. It almost always rains or even snows on the Ordeal Weekend. They must also collect wood, build a fire, and somehow cook their breakfast.
When not freezing to death at night, gagging on awful food, and trying to communicate without words, the candidates participate in projects all around camp. Each line is sent to a basic physical labor job such as hauling brush or carrying supplies around. Candidates work steady all day until finally being dismissed before dinner.