Ordeal FAQ

Once elected and tapped out, am I member?

No. All those who are elected must first successfully participate in the Ordeal experience. The Ordeal is a protected rite that you must complete to gain status as a member. In Tonkawa Lodge, the Ordeal involves a weekend at Lost Pines Scout Reservation. It is sanctioned by National BSA and if any legitimately interested adult has questions regarding the processes of the Ordeal, their questions will be answered fully.

IMPORTANT NATIONAL RULE: As of January 1, 2023, from the day you are elected (not the day you are tapped out), you have 18 months to complete the Ordeal. After that time, you will lose your elected status and are required to be re-elected by your unit. Note that there is no guarantee you will be chosen again, so please try to attend one of the Ordeal weekends offered within that period. This applies to youth and adults. Candidates elected prior to January 1, 2013 have 24 months to complete the Ordeal.

When and where can I take this Ordeal?

The Ordeal is administrated by the Lodge at Lost Pines Scout Reservation in Bastrop or at Camp Green Dickson near Gonzales. Ordeals take place the first weekend in May, the last weekend of LPSR Summer Camp in July, the first weekend in October, and the first weekend of December of each year. You will need to register for Ordeal weekend online, where you can verify the dates on the registration page.

Registration is through the council’s BlackPug registration system and usually opens up about a month before the Ordeal weekend.

Is there a fee to participate in Ordeal weekend?

Yes. The current fee will be listed on your Candidate Information Packet (which will be emailed to you prior to the Ordeal weekend). It is also clearly listed on the registration page. The fee includes all your food, accommodations, OA sash, handbook, flap, your first year dues, and other materials. The Tonkawa Trading Post will also be open (only when Ordeals are at Lost Pines), oftentimes offering special deals for new members. It’s a good idea to bring a little extra money.

What about adults?

Adults nominees have the same eligibility and participation requirements as youth. The only difference is that adults are nominated by their Troop or Team Committee — there is no voting process for adults.

Adults may be nominated according to the following ratio:

1 or 2 youth scouts elected from their unit (actually elected, not just eligible) = 1 adult

3 youth elected = 2 adults

4 or 5 youth elected = 3 adults

6 youth elected = 4 adults

7 or 8 youth elected = 5 adults

…and so forth…

If the Scoutmaster is not already an OA member, and they have been in that position for at least one calendar year, they can be nominated and it doesn’t count against the number of eligible adults as noted above.