Frequently Asked Questions


Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about our lodge events.

What happens at a lodge conclave?

There are two primary components to the lodge conclaves: inductions (Ordeal, Brotherhood) and service projects.

What’s the difference between a conclave and a fix-it?

A lodge conclave is a weekend OA event for OA members only and includes Ordeal and Brotherhood inductions. A fix-it is a day of service that is organized by the OA, but is open to all. No inductions take place at a fix-it.

So what is this “section conclave” and how is it different from a lodge conclave?

The section conclave is organized at the section level, which is an organizational level comprised of many lodges. We belong to Section C-7, which includes 11 lodges spanning southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and northwest Indiana. The section conclave is held in April each year and consists of training, sharing of best practices, recreational activities, and evening shows. No inductions are held at the section conclave. For more information regarding the section and the section conclave, check out
All references to the term “conclave” in this FAQ refer specifically to our lodge conclaves.

The last conclave I attended was when I did my Ordeal.  How is it different for regular members?

A typical conclave includes service projects around the camp. There are Arrowmen from all across the council there, and there is a good chance you will make new friends and/or run into other Scouts that you've encountered at other various Scouting events. The fall conclave is slightly different than the spring conclave in that while the spring conclave includes work projects on Saturday morning and afternoon, when we do the fall conclave, we wrap up the work projects at lunch time, and then take time for fun, fellowship, and games in the afternoon.
When you check in on Friday evening, the various work projects will be explained to you and you will be asked to sign up for one of the work crews.

Who can attend a conclave?

In general, conclaves are for Order of the Arrow members only. Family members who are concerned about what goes on during a conclave weekend should contact the lodge adviser for more information.

When are the conclaves?

Refer to the lodge calendar for the exact dates, but in general, the spring conclave is typically the second weekend of May and the fall conclave is typically the weekend after Labor Day in September.

Where are the conclaves?

The spring conclave is held at Indian Mound Scout Reservation, near Oconomowoc. The fall conclave is held at Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta near Burlington.

What time should I plan on arriving?

Ordeal candidates should plan on arriving between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday. All other members should plan on arriving between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Friday. The check-in area is the reservation office for Indian Mound conclaves and the welcome pavilion for Oh-Da-Ko-Ta conclaves. If you arrive after the designated check-in times, please check in at the dining hall at either camp.

When do we finish up on Sunday?

The conclave typically finishes around 9:30 a.m. Depending on the schedule of lodge officer elections, the fall conclave may run about an hour longer and typically goes until about. All youth members in attendance vote for the next year’s lodge chief and vice chiefs. The elections are very important to the lodge and we ask all to remain for the duration of the election process.
If you are completing your Ordeal or Brotherhood during the weekend and need to leave on Saturday evening or earlier on Sunday morning, please be sure to let the inductions advisers know so that you can pick up your certificates before you leave. Note, however, that you must plan on remaining until the conclusion of the events, which is usually around 10:00 p.m. Saturday evening.

What about meals?

All meals are provided, starting with a cracker barrel on Friday evening and ending with breakfast on Sunday. You should plan on eating before arriving on Friday. Ordeal candidates will not have a chance to eat until Saturday morning.

What about tents?

When the conclaves are at Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta, you must bring your own tent (or make arrangements to share). On the other hand, when the conclaves are at Indian Mound Scout Reservation, everybody sleeps in cabins, so you only need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Ordeal candidates will receive special instructions regarding sleeping arrangements.

What should I bring?

You should bring a BSA health form, work clothes, work gloves, water bottle, uniform and OA sash, sleeping bag, pillow. Showers are available. Be sure to watch the forecast a couple of days ahead of time to see what the weather will be like and pack accordingly (rain jacket? heavier jacket if it is cooler?, etc). In any case, at least a light jacket is always a good idea, as it can get cool during the evening outdoor activities.
You don't need to bring anything for cooking or any food, unless you want some of your own snacks. However, a water bottle is always a good thing to have.
Ordeal candidates will receive special instructions regarding what to bring and what not to bring.

Is a BSA health form required?

YES!! Health forms are required at check-in for all Kanwa tho Lodge conclaves and fix-its. Only Parts A and B are required. Part C (which requires the physical and physician signature) is not required. For the safety of all, it is important for us to be aware of any allergies, medications, and serious medical conditions, and also to have emergency contact information.
If you don’t already have a current heath form prepared, it can be downloaded from  
Health forms will NOT be returned at the end of the weekend because state laws require that we keep them on file.

What is the agenda for the non-Ordeal candidates?

We encourage all to attend the events on Friday and Saturday evenings. Most everybody is involved in some sort of work project on Saturday. When you check in on Friday evening, you will be asked to sign up for a work crew. You can pick whatever looks interesting to you, or if you have any particular skills, one that seems best suited for your skills. For the fall conclave only, we take the afternoon off and enjoy an “Arrow Fair,” which consists of fun and games, and usually also a performance by the OA dance team.

Should I bring any special materials or tools for work projects?

Unless you’ve been contacted in advance for a specific project, nothing else is really necessary beyond work clothes and work gloves.

I’m an adult OA member with special skills (maintenance, construction, painting, landscaping, electrical) and am willing to offer my services.  Who should I contact?

Please contact the Service Adviser Rich Rognsvoog ( to see how your skills can be best utilized.

Are religious services available?

Yes. A Scout is reverent. We generally offer a Catholic service and an interfaith service on Saturday evening. We have been fortunate to be able to make arrangements with local Catholic priests to offer the Catholic service. The interfaith service is usually a “Scouts’ Own” service. If you are interested in helping to facilitate or run the Scouts’ Own or interfaith service, please contact in advance of the conclave weekend.

Nobody else from my troop is going.  Is that a problem?  Can my son still go?

That largely depends on the maturity and confidence of your son. It is certainly ok for him to come on his own if you and he feel comfortable with it.
For newly-elected Ordeal candidates, there is plenty of adult supervision. The Ordeal candidates are kept separate from all other attendees from the time they arrive on Friday evening until about 10:00 p.m. Saturday evening, so even if an adult came with, they likely wouldn't see each other for most of that time anyway. After completion of the activities on Saturday evening, he will retire for the evening and come for breakfast on Sunday morning before heading home.
If your son is already an OA member, he will have quite a bit more independence. When he checks in on Friday evening, he will be given a schedule for the weekend and will also be asked to sign up for a work project (always under the leadership of a capable adult), and it is up to him to show up for the meals and work crews. For the Indian Mound conclaves, he will be in a cabin with others from his district and he may or may not see other familiar faces. At any rate, being in the cabin, he can just go with the flow as people head out. A certain level of maturity is expected to be at the right places at the right times.
We always have designated health officers, and emergency contact info should be supplied on the BSA health form (which is required).

I was elected to the OA but cannot attend either the spring or fall conclaves.  What are my options?

OA national rules require candidates to complete their Ordeal within one year of their election. If they are not able to do so, they must again meet the eligibility requirements and be re-elected the next year.

I have another question that was not answered here.  Who can I contact?

Contact the lodge adviser at

FAQ Updated January 10, 2018