Former Lodge Chief Sam P. Douglas, Jr. in a 2008 interview described the tap out and Ordeal in 1952. “There were never more than 2 tap outs and they were always at scout camp. There were no troop tap outs. The votes were done in individual troops and you were elected, I guess, much the same way you are now. We did not tell the results, you never knew who was going to be tapped out until you got to scout camp. That left an aura about the tap out which was, to me, very significant because there was a lot of humbleness involved in it. I will describe the ordeal tap out in a minute. There was no pushing, fussing, talking, loud movement. Everybody who went to the tap out which was always held at the campfire circle, not the OA circle but the camp fire. Everybody who went down there carried a blanket and a rain coat and that was it. No lights, just a blanket and raincoat. Everybody in camp, who was eligible to be tapped out, brought that to the camp fire circle. It was always on a Wednesday night, which was the night parents and guests where at camp. The only ones who knew who was going to be tapped out was the OA.
Picture this, it was totally black, the parents were at the back of the camp fire circle with all the boys in the whole camp lined up by the seats which were sort of u shaped as I remember but many more in the middle. The camp fire was laid but was not burning. Smug pots as we called them, they were #10 tin cans about 1/3 filled with sand. They might have had a little smug pot in them, I can’t remember what was in them but any way there was no light. There was a little bit of stumbling but never any noise. They stopped up at the mess hall and got everybody in the whole camp in lines. Everybody filed in in single file. Once you left the mess hall there was not one word spoken.
Contributed by Lodge Editor Bob Walton
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