Ajapeu Lodge Delivers at May Ordeal
The weather was unexpectedly damp and chilly on Saturday after a summer-like start on Friday night but the Arrowmen in Ajapeu Lodge 2 don't let a little thing like weather stop them.
Nearly 200 Ordeal candidates, guests and Lodge members gathered on Friday night for the traditional kick-off dinner and Lodge call-out ceremony that mark the beginning of our Ordeal weekends. After an inspiring opening ceremony, the Elangomats and candidates prepared for a good night's sleep under clear skies and balmy summer-like temperature. Their peaceful rest was interrupted by an unexpected rain squall at about 4am that sent them scurrying for cover. Fortunately, the shower was brief and everyone settled back down, undaunted, for a few more hours of rest.
While the candidates were sleeping and dodging rain drops, the Vigil Committee and select Lodge members were hard at work with the process of inducting new Vigil members. 11 Ajapeu brothers kept their Vigil and were recognized with the Vigil Honor at a sunrise ceremony and enjoyed an outstanding breakfast after a long night. Congratulations to these brothers who exemplify the spirit of the Order and serve as great role models for the rest of the Lodge.
The weather turned chilly with sporadic rain throughout Saturday morning but the 73 Ordeal candidates, lead by a small but determined team of Elangomats managed to put up all of the tents and cots across the camp. This is a major accomplishment as the Lodge had never assembled all of the tents and cots for summer camp in one day before and could only be possible through careful planning, excellent teamwork and a cheerful spirit of service.
This simply wasn't enough for Ajapeu Lodge. After completing the tents and cots, the team pitched in to finish the new Gaga pit which was donated and constructed by the Lodge. Approximately 25 tons of modified crushed stone was moved and graded to form the base of the pit. The Gaga pit, a gift to all campers at OSR, is now useable in time for the busy summer camp period. The Ajapeu guys did get first rights to use the new pit improvising a spirited game despite not actually having a Gaga ball.
But wait, there's more! In a side project organized by Ajapeu Lodge, a few adult members and helpers tackled a project to install new roofs on the staff lounge outside of the dining hall and one Adirondack shelter in Ottawa campsite. Despite the cold and rainy conditions, both structures were completed before dinner. Special thanks to Daryl Dearolf, Bob Sellers, Sammy Getty, Scott Simmons, Jim Cole, Gordon Kingsley, Jay Ottinger and everyone else who tackled this project.
Our Hospitality team kept us well fed all weekend with excellent food in great quantities including home baked muffins and pies. After an excellent full turkey dinner on Saturday night, 73 new Ordeal members completed their journey and received their sashes at 2 outstanding ceremonies at our impressive Ordeal ceremony site. In addition to these 73 new brothers, 10 other members sealed their bond in the Order though their Brotherhood conversion at the Brotherhood ceremony earlier in the day. Overall Ajapeu celebrated new honors - Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil - for 94 brothers in total!
As usual, the Ceremonies team did an excellent job and added full depth and meaning to the Ordeal and Brotherhood with crisp, clean ceremony performances. It should be noted that they too were working with a small crew and accomplished the often unseen preparation work through great teamwork and dedication. Thanks Ceremonies Team!
Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful and we wrapped up a tiring but fun weekend with our usual Lodge meeting. There is still time to register for Conclave (June 9-11) and for the August Ordeal weekend. We encourage our new Ordeal brothers to attend these events along with all of the other members of the Lodge. Thanks to everyone who attended the May Ordeal and for making it a successful and fun weekend.