Land of the Sky

Honor Challenges

The Honor Challenges provide students of unusual drive and determination a chance to push themselves and test their limits.

The Honor Challenge Circle is based on the Turtle Island system designed by former director Nathan Roarke. Each challenge continues the native american tradition of warriorship, perseverence, and serves as a rite of passage. Very few people in Turtle Island history have completed all four challenges.

The Circle is based on the four directions and a corresponding element of skill, knowledge, strength, and patience.

To complete an Honor Challenge a student must first choose a staff mentor who will guide and prepare them for the event. Staff or mentors may counsel a student that they are not yet ready and will help them to prepare for a following year.

Each challenge is named for one of the four directions and are as follows;


ONE - Challenge of the East; Plants

The challenge of the East involves an intimite knowledge of our area plants and trees. A scout must identify 20 plants and 15 trees from bark, leaf, or flower. In addition the scout must explain uses for 15 plants and 10 trees, and then go on to demonstrate the uses for 7 plants and 7 trees.

TWO - Challenge of the South; Fire

The fire challenge is simple. Walk into the woods after daybreak with nothing but a knife, come out of the forest before sundown with a burning torch.

THREE - Challenge of the West; Body

A scout initiate must arise at daybreak and report to the base of a mountain chosen by a mentor Scout who has completed the challenge or will run the challenge with you. The student fills his or her mouth with water and runs to the top of the mountain without ever stopping for one step or losing the water. Pinnacle must be reached before 12 noon. Staff will greet runner at mountain top. Running naked (not recommended) does not earn extra time!

FOUR - Challenge of the North; Spirit

Often misunderstood or assumed to be the 'easier' of the challenges, the Vigil Challenge proves to be one of the toughest and deserves respect from would-be Honor Scouts. The short of it is a student is taken to a mountain location and is left for two days. The scout may not eat or sleep, or leave a small circle drawn into the Earth except to use the bathroom. They may take with them only a blanket and water. The Vigil is preceded by time with a mentor who prepares the scout and encourages facing one's fears. The mentor keeps watch over the Vigil Keeper by occasionally stalking in, not to 'catch' someone sleeping or eating - that's never a question, but to ensure safety and make sure the scout is grounded and doing ok.



Becoming a Honor Scout will earn you a ribbon for an Honor Scout Shirt, a slash for your LOTSMA Do Bok, and more important, the respect of former Honor Scouts and fellow campers. Do you have what it takes ?


information on Scout Camp 'minor' Challenges HERE

*cold water test

*swim test

*rope climb

*rafter climb

*trip trap


*and more . . . .


Follow the Links below for additional Information

Scout Camp Main Page


Spencer 'Two Dogs' and highly qualified guests are experts in these fields of study. Find out what others say!

Required equipment

registration forms

* Picture Gallery from last year's camp *



Land of the Sky martial Arts


Yamabushi Home Page