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Ceremonial Committee

Still a tradition despite being ruined hundreds of times since 1977

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Winter Camp / Unconventional / Ceremonies / Ceremonial Committee

Ceremonial Committee

It is not an exageration to say that the Downriver Chapter Ceremonial Committee is the parent of Winter Camp. It was a powerful organization with a dedicated following and most of the early Winter Campers were members and leaders of that committee.

Highlights (incomplete)

Ceremonial Committee History
This is a history of the committee from about 1967-1976. Most of the highlights below are drawn from this document.
May 1970
Jeff Rand is among 16 candidates inducted at Jack Lord Nature Center at D-bar-A.
November 1971
Doug Wilson is among 4 candidates inducted at the Stone Arrow near Cow Camp at D-bar-A.
January 1973
Pre-Ordeal held at two sites (this was correct at that time). A candidate (Peter Czopek) was famoulsy dagged through a stream at CHR during the transition between the two sites.
April 1974
This is probably the watershed ceremony that led to the creation of the Ceremonial Committee as a powerhouse. It also featured several elements that later became traditions in South Parks (then Downriver, Mahican, and Migisi Opawgan Chapters). The ceremony was held in an arrow made of 120 candles, there was an electric fire and fire sign, and sashes of poor candidates were burned.
November 1974
Similar to the spring ordeal, but the shape of the arrow was refined and ground flames were used for the first time.
Jeff Rand becomes Ceremonial Chairman. He creates 8 subcommittees with appropriate chairmen including Mike Osvath and Jerry McGrath. The subcommittees were Dance, Special Effects, Indian Lore, Equipment & Set-up, Tap-Out Team, Ordeal Team, Brotherhood Team, and Drummers.
May 1975
The ceremony is at D-bar-A for the first time. A scouting trip in April found the new site at the Snow Sports area in Beaver Creek. The arrow is 300' long and viewd from the top of the hill. A second arrow is lit electrically on the Face as candidates approach the back of the Arrow. Nike Osvath is inducted at this ceremony.
October 1975
The three W's repleace the second arrow on the face. Other new effects include furious storms (explosives), the rising sun (flaming ball thrower) and self-extinguishing candles.
May 1976
The Ordeal is at CHR. The arrow exists but theres no place to view it. The other effects, less the W's are in effect. Mark Bollman, Tom Conroy, and Steve Donohue are inducted.
October 1976
The Last Ceremony is performed for the first time. It includes disappearing bushes and a team member being shot in the head.
October 1976
The Ordeal is performed with all effects at D-bar-A.
April 1977
The Ordeal is held at Cole Canoe Base. Downriver chapter performs their pre-ordeal around midnight and performs a second one for the rest of the group at 6:00 am. It features disappearing bushes and a fire in the middle of a stream. Fire danger is high but we are given special permission to use candles. When police arrive to investigate, Jeffy McGrath meets them in his role as the guard. Rnn Donohue, Joe McEachren, and Rob Stone are inducted.
After several years without the W's, it was decided to do the full ceremony once again.
After several years of inactivity, Brian Mann returns to the chapter and reignites passion for the Arrow.
In 2018, the team with the guidance of Brian Mann, added bars to the arrow for a Brotherhood Ceremony.
(Sept 2018)