Clarifications from Lodge Chief on Out-of-Council Ordeals

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Lodge Chief James Colter emailed today to emphasize that going out of council is only an option if specific, “extenuating circumstances” cause the need to go out-of-council — to another lodge’s ordeal. He uses the example of a religious obligation. While we have tried to emphasize this point, we never used the phrase “extenuating circumstances.” If you do seek to go out of council, know that your letter requesting to go out-of-council must describe the nature of this extenuating circumstance. Inadequate explanation of the extenuating circumstance or an inadequate basis are both good cause for the request to be denied. Reading between the lines,

I sense that a conflicting extracurricular activity may not meet the extenuating circumstances test. In that case, you can write the letter and try to get it approved, but start with a pessimistic expectation. A religious prohibition or conflicting date is likely to be accepted with no questions asked. For example, my son had his confirmation Sunday on the day of his first opportunity to attend chapter ordeal, although he made Lodge Ordeal. Remember, just because the scout cannot make chapter ordeal, he will still have September’s Lodge Ordeal. Letters describing extenuating circumstances should deal with scheduling conflicts for both offered ordeals in order to be complete.

In our previous post, we told leaders to gather information about the scheduling conflict. This information just clarifies that this same information about extenuating circumstances needs to be in the letter requesting an out-of-council ordeal in order for permission to be granted by either lodge.