Ordeal Candidate Instructions

This page contains instructions for candidates for Order of the Arrow membership from Tidewater Council.  Youth candidates for membership are chosen by elections in their unit and adult candidates for membership are nominated by the troop at the time of that election.  If you are a unit leader and need to schedule an election for your troop, please use the contact link and let us know.

If you are a candidate and have misplaced or did not receive your registration form, DO NOT USE THE MEMBER EVENT REGISTRATION FORM! Please email the Lodge Adviser, Mr. Erich Roetz, at eroetz@cox.net to request a replacement form.


You have been elected as a candidate for induction into the Order of the Arrow, but you must complete the Ordeal to become a full member of Blue Heron Lodge and the Order of the Arrow. The two purposes of an Ordeal are to induct new members like you into the Order of the Arrow and to provide service at our council’s camp. Blue Heron Lodge is holding three Ordeals during 2016. All ordeals will be held at Pipsico Scout Reservation located in Surry County, 57 Pipsico Road, Spring Grove VA. To participate in the Ordeal, you need to complete the attached Ordeal registration form and Parts A and B Personal Health and Medical History and return them to the Council Service Center so that they are received by the deadline dates below:

Ordeal You Want to Attend Date the Registration Form and Medical Form (Parts A & B) Must Be Received at the Council Office
March 16-18, 2018 Not later than 2 PM, Saturday, March 3, 2018
May 18-20, 2018 Not later than 2 PM, Saturday, May 5, 2018
August 24-28, 2018 Not later than 2 PM, Saturday, August 11, 2018

Important Information

You will need to bring with you the following minimum gear. Please be sure all equipment you bring is marked with your name.

  • A pocket knife
  • A water bottle (mark name with permanent marker)
  • A tent. You can share with somebody in your troop, if you like.
  • Work gloves (canvas or leather)
  • Work clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty
  • A complete Boy Scout field uniform (Class A), including troop neckerchief, etc.
  • Outerwear according to the predicted weather (rain gear, warm jacket, etc.)
  • A pack or duffel that can hold all of your clothing and equipment
  • A sleeping bag and a ground cloth you can use with your sleeping bag
  • An extra large garbage bag
  • Other personal camping items (refer to the Boy Scout Handbook for a list)

No radios, MP3 players, cell phones, or similar electronic devices allowed.

The cost for the weekend is $65.00. This includes all meals, insurance, 2018 dues, and new member supplies (for example: sash, handbook, and other Order of the Arrow lodge materials).

You must arrive at camp before 8:00 PM on Friday night.


VERY IMPORTANT: In order to complete your Ordeal, you must remain in camp until 11:00 AM Sunday morning to attend the lodge orientation and OA chapter meetings, unless your leader has made arrangements with me or the Order of the Arrow Lodge Adviser, Mr. Erich Roetz ahead of time. Your Scoutmaster should contact the Lodge Adviser to request permission before you arrive to make arrangements. (LDS candidates are allowed to leave Saturday evening after the cracker barrel, but you must contact the Ordeal Chairman or Adviser at camp to inform them when you will be leaving).

I want to make sure you have a great time at the Ordeal and have many good memories. So, if you have any questions about the Ordeal, you can discuss it with your Scoutmaster (if he or she is a member of the Order of the Arrow), or with another Arrowman.

Please complete the registration forms (use a separate form for each person registering) and submit with your payment to:

Tidewater Council, BSA
1032 Heather Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Information for Parents

A note to the candidate’s parent or guardian

The Blue Heron Lodge of the Order of the Arrow is an official scouting program under the guidance and policies of the Tidewater Council, BSA and all of our activities must follow the National Boy Scouts of America policies established for camping in the council Boy Scout camp. I have attached a copy of the applicable provisions of BSA’s Guide to Safe Scouting below:

Travel to and from camp is the responsibility of your Troop or Team and should be coordinated through your unit’s Committee or Scoutmaster. However, when in camp, your son’s safety, well-being and protection is the responsibility of the Order of the Arrow adult leaders at camp that have been appointed by the Council. Therefore, we must be assured that you and the candidates will follow our procedures and rules while in camp.

Departure after the Ordeal. Completion of the Ordeal requires that your son remain in camp until the Lodge meeting and new member orientation session on Sunday morning. Also, as new members of the Order of the Arrow, and good Scouts, we are proud of our camp and we always leave our camp better than we found it. Everybody pitches in on Sunday to cleanup – before anybody is allowed to leave. For planning purposes, everybody should be ready to leave at about 11:00 AM. I ask your cooperation in this matter. There will be a non-denominational “Scouts’ Own” worship service Sunday morning that any Scout can feel comfortable attending. However, if your son must depart early to meet religious duties or responsibilities or there are other extenuating circumstances, then you should have your Scoutmaster contact me ahead of time to make sure that the leaders in camp are aware of when they will leave and, most importantly, with whom. Alternatively, you may contact me directly to make appropriate arrangements. If your son is a member of the Latter Day Saints church, then you may simply inform the adult at check-in as to when your son will be leaving camp, as national BSA policy accommodates this request.

Questions about the Ordeal and the Order of the Arrow. Contrary to what you may have heard, there are no “secrets” in the Order of the Arrow. My goal is to make sure that you are completely comfortable with having your son attend the Ordeal and to be assured that he will have a safe, secure, and great experience with warm memories. So, if you have any question whatsoever about what your son will be doing, how he will be treated, what he may need during the weekend or about the Order of the Arrow in general, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at any time. My contact information is below.

Mr. Erich Roetz
Blue Heron Lodge Adviser
Email: eroetz@cox.net