Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Fellowship of the Moose


These are Spring Beauty Blossoms. I call them Bpah Oh Quaidt blossoms. Note they are white as snow with strips as red as blood. They will play a part in this story.

There is something magical about a fire in the forest at night. Perhaps it is primal, like our other passions. I remember reading of the elves dancing and singing in the depths of Mirkwood in Tolkien’s Hobbit and the scene filled my mind like a memory. I saw it for real in the forests of Camp Bartlett when, in the summer of 1967, I was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. I went through the ceremony with my troop mate, Brian Williams. I reveled in the honor of having been chosen by my friends. We slept alone under the stars, we worked all day with scant food and in silence. Each of us had carved an arrow to wear around our neck on a string. If we talked, a notch was hacked in our arrow. We were told that, “three notches and you’re out.” That night, deep in the forest gloom we stood before an altar. A fire burned in the night, and beautiful young men, dressed in fantastic Indian costumes, spoke words that cut to my heart and filled my soul. With symbols and signs I became one with those who, before, I could only admire from afar. We shared secrets and spoke words of friendship.


When I studied the great incantation of Scouting, Rulon Skinner, one of my great masters, taught that Scouting brings fun, adventure and romance into the lives of boys. He defined the terms: Fun is something one does again and again and enjoys each time. Adventure is something done for the first time, a something which teaches a boy about himself and the world. Romance is a life changing experience. Scouting is full of romance: lighting a fire in the rain, swimming a mile in a mountain lake, standing at the top of a mountain, or looking at the stars reflected on the mirror smooth surface of a mountain lake, the sound of the sea. The great romance is suffering in the service of others to feel the joy of love. Deep in the forest with fire and friends one finds fun, adventure, and romance.

Over the years I have attended many O. A. ceremonies. I often played Nutiket, the Guard, to my friends, Mohonri Lester’s Meteu, the Medicine Man and Kendall Allen’s Allowat Sakima, the Mighty Chief. Chucky Stoddard was usually the Guide, Kichkinet. I advanced to Brotherhood membership and was at last given the honor of the Vigil. In fact I was supposed to participate in my Vigil on the night my first son was born. I was at Tee Pee week at Camp Bartlett, when Kevin Hunt, Bartlett’s Camp Director, told me he had made a phone call while in Liberty, Idaho, and I needed to head home. I got to the hospital four minutes after Bryon was born. I even toyed with the idea of naming him Vigil. I was the Lodge Staff Advisor to the O. A. for several years, and served as the Lodge Advisor after my retirement from the profession. The Lodge Chief of the Order of the Arrow was often a member of my Camp Staff: Scott Hinrichs, Lynn Hinrichs, Brett Butler, Mark Danials, Paul Bates, Jody Orme, and just last year, Charles Bowker; I’m sure there have been more.

The story of the Order of the Arrow is told elsewhere. Suffice it to say, that when I became a Camp Director, I was keen on including O. A. Ceremonies in the Camp program.


The Spring of 1984, the year I returned to Bartlett, I saw a very impressive Tap-Out ceremony at a camp-o-ree in Cache Valley. The whole camp stood in a circle, the adult leaders of the various units would stand behind the boy who had been elected by his troop, and an Indian brave would suddenly grab the boy and run him off into the forest. It was magical and moving, if a little abrupt. We incorporated the ceremony into Camp Bartlett’s program. We would hold elections during the week and then snatch the boys out of line during a flag ceremony and take them off to a special “Tap-Out Ceremony”. We even incorporated Lenni Lanape words. The “grabber” would shout, “Twang Pillopoo” – “run boy”, as he pulled the scout into the forest. Dave Maughan was my favorite grabber. When we returned to Loll in 1986 we brought the Tap-Out Ceremony with us. For a couple of years things went well. We established a ceremony site and built a trail, lit by #10 cans holding burning rolls of toilet paper soaked in motor oil. However, in 1988 the O. A. Lodge decided that they wanted to hold Tap-Out Ceremonies at Camp-o-Ree’s only, and we were told that we could no longer hold O. A. Ceremonies at Camp. Leonard Hawkes, Loll’s assistant Camp Director, and I were concerned. The ceremonies had become an important part of camp, a great provider of the Romance we sought to offer the scouts. That spring, we arrived at Loll to find a dead moose lying a few feet from the door of the old trading post in the back of the office. The Fellowship of the Moose was born. I wrote the ceremonies, Leonard composed the Hymn, the moose provided bone shards to serve as totems, and Camp Loll provided the magic.

1979
Teepee Week at Bartlett
Left to right - Ellis Wood, Kevin Baggs, and Ralph Stitt at the Bartlett A frame.
Ellis Wood as the guard, Scott Hinrichs - high chief, at the pre-ordeal.
Pre-ordeal fire at the Explorer Campfire Bowl, Larry Gordan, Lorin Jeske, Ralph Stitt, and Kevin Baggs to the left with Scott Henrichs, Lynn Henrichs, and Tim Tanner are to the right.
At the Ordeal Ceremony - In the background are Paul Waite and Ken Reed, Bruce Liston is the medicineman speaking.


Tim Tanner, as the guide, brings the 1979 candidates to Lynn Henrichs, as Guard. Kevin Baggs leads the group, the first Scout is Steve Lowe.


The group before Scott Hinrichs. If you look between Tim and Kevin, you will see a young Dave Shupe.

Fall Conclave, 1979

Brian Bock leads a work crew at the Fall Conclave at Camp Kiesel. Brian was one of many Camp Loll Staff members who led the O. A. in our Council.



The Guide, leads the candidates before the Mighty Chief, in this case Lynn Hinrich. Lynn was also a Camp Loll Staffer. The beautiful ceremony site was located at the old campfire bowl, where the Browning Lodge stands today.



Part of the Ordeal is a day of hard labor. This work crew is lucky enough to be led by Jed Stringham himself.


Kevin Baggs and Lynn Hinrichs at the Wade Lodge at Camp Kiesel. Both were Loll Staffers too.


The cliff behind the altar provided a great place for "dignitaries" to stand. Just putting these guys on display greatly enhanced the magic.



So many symbols, so many great young men willing to cheerfully serve.


These are the candidates, their arrows about their necks. Each was chosen by his troop, team or post as exemplary of the values of scouting and as a great camper.


Bruce Liston often played the role of Meteu. It was especially fun because he could never say Lenni Lenape; he always said Leeping Lemhi.


Young guard on the rock.


Ken Reed and Jean Claire Basque above the WWW which represents the real name of the Order of the Arrow. Kids love "secrets".



As darkness falls, the wonder of the ceremony intensifies. Firelight holds the deep magic.



It is this type of visual image that ties the words to memory. The words of service and Scouting Values are as beautiful as the setting.


The ceremony team this night are Kevin Baggs (back to camera) Lynn Hinrichs at the Altar, and Tim Tanner as Meteu.

1980

We had a TeePee Week induction every spring at Camp Bartlett. Then in the Fall we went to Camp Kiesel to hold the Fall Ordeal. Loll was always too far away for O. A. events. But most of the offices and ceremony teams of the Lodge spent their summers at Loll.



Here Blain Reed gives the admonition while Ralph Stitt looks on.



Blain worked at Bartlett the two summers I was there in the 80's



This is Terry Allen as the guard challenging Ralph for entrance into the ceremony site.



Bret Butler as Meteu, with Brian Daems, Ken Reed, Lynn Hinrichs in the background. The flaring headdress to the far right is on Larry Gordon - From the Camp Loll Staff.


The candidates face the Great Chief.


Ken Reed was a great Lodge Advisor. He stands here behind "his" boys, as he always did.


Lynn greets new Brotherhood candidates. The blond boy in the center is Doug Hopper; to the far left is Dave Shupe, with Larry Gordon just in front. All of them are Camp Loll men.

After camp the summer of 1980, a bunch of us from the Lodge attended a Section Conclave at USU. We had a great time, one day we decided to go to the Library Special Collections and look at Old Ephraim's skull.



Loll Staffers in the picture include Larry Gordon, Loren Jeske, Lynn Hinrichs, Ralph Stitt, Bret Butler, Ellis Wood, Cory Walton, Kevin - Preacher - Nelsen, myself, and Brian Bock.



Here are some of the guys with Old Ephraim's skull.


Brian Bock with old Ephraim.


Later in the fall we held an Ordeal Ceremony at Camp Kiesel. It was at the Fall Conclave that Lodge Officers were elected.


Members and candidates pose for a group photo.


The Ceremony Team at the altar.



Camp Loll Staffers and friend in the Kiesel dining hall. Left to right - front to back. Some friend I do not know, then Brett Butler, Ralph Stitt, David Kirkham, Lynn Hinrichs, back row - Keith DeHart, Kevin Baggs, Loren Jeske, Bruch Liston, and Steve Kirkham.

1981

I was the Director at Camp Loll, but I spent the first week of the summer at Camp Bartlett with the O. A. Not only did the O. A. perform ceremonies, it set up the Camp for the summer.



Ralph Stitt was the best Eagle Dancer ever!



The Ceremony Team performs the pre-Ordeal. The boys will soon be sent out to sleep alone in the forest.


Loll Staffers on the team include a very young Brian Daems in white in front, Doug Hopper behind to the left, and Brian Bock in the center back.



The candidates, bed rolls in hand prepare for their adventure. The big kid, back to camara is Keith DeHart.

1983


The next night Brian Bock prepares to lead the final ceremony. There is a rain storm coming, but we will not be daunted.



Feather bonnets were stowed against the storm, but the beauty and wonder of our "Indians" was not diminished.


Wet but willing.



Doug Hopper is "The Man"!


That cold rainy night four great young men kept their Vigil. Lynn Hinrichs and Bruce Liston celebrate their accomplishment at first light.

Fall Ordeal at Kiesel once again. Anyone who serves on a Camp Staff is automatically eligible to be a memeber of the O. A. We had two Staff Members who were tapped out that summer, Shawn Oborn and Mike Elwell.


The whole crew celebrates their accomplishment the morning after their Ordeal Ceremony.


The spread antlers of the bull moose was the sign of Camp Loll, many of the crew join in, foreshadowing what was to come.



Shawn with his breakfast.



Dave Kirkham, in costume, watches over the work. Brian Bock, seated just below Dave is directing the project.



Shawn checks out his shovel, Mike, also in a Camp Loll Jacket, is doing his part.



By lunchtime biscuits cooked on a stick don't look all that substantial. Dave encourages his weary friends. Dinner will be a real feast!



Doug and Dave dress for the ceremony.




Kevin Baggs makes a great Indian Chief.



As does Brian Bock



This is Larry Gordon as part of the ceremony team. It's great guys like this that make every candidate proud and excited to be a member of the O. A. and determined to live by the values it proclaims.


Dave Kirkham in the buffalo head dress.



Dave and Doug at the Ceremony Bowl



Blain Reed stands as the Mighty Chief.



Shawn and Mike in line.

1983

In 1983 Janice and I moved to Jackson Hole and took over Camp Treasure Mountain. Many of our best guys came with us. It was also at Treasure Mountain, that summer, that we learned about the Honor Trail. We had found another use for all those wonderful Indian costumes and wonderful "Indians".


Brian Bock on the Honor Trail.



Dave Shupe stands by to teach the Scouts about the Scout Oath.



Larry Gordon kindles his campfire, in the magic of its light he will spark the desire to live by the values of Scouting in many young hearts.




Here the ceremony team prepares to inspire and instruct. From Left to right, Larry Gordon, Jerry Lainheart, Doug Hopper, Dave Shupe, Dave Kirkham, and kneeling in front, bare chested, Shawn Oborn. The drummer's name was also Shaun.


Scouts learn their duty below the cliffs of Big Medicine.

1985

It was in 1985 that we began holding Tap Out Ceremonies as part of our program at Bartlett. The troops loved it, it was a great boon to the camp and to the O. A, but mostly it was a blessing to boys who needed men to emulate. One week before the ceremony, Bartlett's O. A. contingent gathered in the Wade Lodge for photos.


Dave Kirkham, all grown up.



Dave Maughan



Scott Parson



Todd Wangsguard



Mike , and Mark Daniels fill out the front row, Paul Bates grins from behind.



Add in the Bartlett Jackets, Neil Lindeman (second from the left), then a grown up Brian Daems, a very young Trent Warner (second from the right); that 's Brent Chase kneeling to the far right and behind him is Alan Francis. All but Brent would be at Loll the next summer.

1986

In 86 the 85 Bartlett Staff became the Camp Loll Staff. We brought our Tap Out Ceremony with us to Lake of the Woods.



Mike Davies holds the torch, fire in the forest.



Mark Daniels, Lodge Chief that year, bring the O. A. to the Yellowstone wilderness.



Brian Daems was also on the Loll Tap Out Team.



Todd Wangsguard



Here is Loll's Tap Out Crew for 1986, left to right, Mike Davies, Mark Daniels, Todd Wangsguard, Allen Francis, Paul Bates, and Scott Parsons.



By the magic light of the flames of friendship.



The new candidates join hands to sing around the flames. I find it interesting that the tune to the O. A. hymn is God Save the Tzar.

1987

This was the last year we did O. A. Ceremonies at Loll.

Jan and Leonard Hawkes hold their son Morgan while Curtis Grow and Paul Bates prepare for the Tap Out.

1988

Paul Bates was actually the Lodge Chief when the prohibition was issued. Leonard and I sat down and came up with our own honor society. We knew from our time at Treasure Mountain that the O. A. was not the first or only such orginization. We decided that rather than ask the Troops to elect someone just for the ceremony we would use our Fellowship as a way to honor the unit youth leader they had already elected and to use the program as a way of giving him recognition and support. We had the troops meet at the flag pole on Monday night. In those days our troops arrived on Saturday, and we had two extra nights to fill with program. We had the camp friends lead the troops to the landing beach and there we would call out their SPL, Captain, or Post President. The Camp Friend would take them into the forest past the burning cans of oil to the fire in the forest. We chose three "points" to teach in the Fellowship. Friendship, Leadership, and Service. At each firepot the Camp Friend would talk to them about the point represented by the flame, then lead them to the fire and introduce them to the Guard and Chiefs within. It wasn't until the second year that Leonard wrote the hymn. The tune is "Drink to Me with Thine Eyes". Here is the original ceremony plus the hymn:

Camp Loll Fellowship of the Moose


BEACH FIRES


INTRODUCTION SPEECH:

Troops, Teams and Post of Camp Loll (year and week) - Welcome! Each of you stands behind your chosen leader. We recognize the importance of your Senior Patrol Leader, Team Captain or Post President and give him honor. We invite him into The Fellowship of the Moose
Will each Camp Friend bring his leader here beside me so that I may honor him before the camp.
ANNOUNCING THE FELLOWSHIP CANDIDATES:
(Ask name and unit number of each Youth leader and announce both over the lake.)
Dismissal Speech:
We know the greatness to be found in every unit here at Camp Loll this week and see it represented in the fine young men you have sent to us tonight. We hope to serve you by better preparing them to be their duty to each of you and your Troop, Team or Post. That their ceremony may be unmarred, we ask each of you to now return to your camps in silence.


CAMP FRIEND SPEECHES


FIRST FIRE:

(Name of Youth Leader) , I’m glad that I’ll be able to work with you as your friend this week at Loll. I know how hard it is to be a (Senior Patrol Leader, Team Captain, or post President) and I want you to know that you can come to me for help at any time.
SECOND FIRE:

I’m glad you chose to come to Loll this week. You have been chosen by your fellows to be their leader. Please try to understand how important this responsibility is!

THIRD FIRE:


The secret to success in leadership is service. Through service, true friendship grows. I hope you will remain long in our Fellowship, and through service, long in friendship to Camp Loll and to those you lead.


AT GATE TO CEREMONY AREA


GUARD:

(As the Camp Friend and Youth Leader approach, the Guard steps forward and gives the first-level sign of The Fellowship of the Moose.) (Camp Friend’s Name) , who is this?

CAMP FRIEND:

This is (Name of Youth Leader) , (Senior Patrol Leader, Team Captain, or Post President) of (Troop, Team or Post Number . I am his friend and he is mine.

GUARD:

Pass on, and may you both remain long in the Fellowship. (Guard steps aside. The Camp Friend and Youth Leader enter the ceremony area, forming a semi-circle around the ceremony fire with the other leaders of The Fellowship of the Moose)

THE INNER FIRE

LEADER OF THE FELLOWSHIP:


Stand here about our fire, standing in fellowship, bound in friendship are the leaders of Camp Loll. Lives will be touched and changed forever by your service here this week.

It is now my pleasure to teach to you the simple sign of The Fellowship of the Moose. Raise your hand with the palm turned inward, fingers curved forming a hollow. This symbolizes two things.

First, the great scoop of a bull moose antler. The bull moose is the symbol of Camp Loll , and is well suited to designate our Fellowship. For although it has the strength to crush any creature in the forest, it spends its life in noble peace. So we should fill our duty in peace and noble service.

Secondly, this is a hand raised in friendship and open, eager to give service.

Now will each Camp Friend bring forward his candidate and recognize him before the fire by placing around his neck the Fellowship Totem which he has prepared for him. (In turn (or all at once), each Camp Friend steps toward the fire with his Youth Leader, and there places the Totem around the Youth’s neck.)

This ceremony is only the first step of your journey with our Fellowship. Tomorrow we ask you to meet with your commissioner in your usual meeting place at 8:00 am. Please be prompt, for time is short. Further meetings throughout this week, this winter and next summer will be outlined in the future. Your future involvement is, of course, up to you. However, it is our hope that you would remain long in the Fellowship.

Let us make together the Sign of the Moose, and mark well by the firelight the faces of our fellows, that we might greet each other always in peace, friendship and service.

Listen now as your friends in the Fellowship join to sing our hymn.

Hymn of the Fellowship of the Moose


As the bright flames ascend to heav’n, Oh God of love and truth,

We would in thought with Thee commune in love and joy and youth.

The hills resound with our glad sound and echo back to Thee;

Our thanks receive for work and health and love and loyalty.

Now the bright flames have us inspired to service, love and joy.

Our Fellowship so deep has grown that nothing can alloy.

So now as friends, we work, we dream of stronger lives to live;

As friends we work, as friends we dream, and service strong we give.

Now your Camp Friend will return with you to your camp, our duties of tonight having been completed.

FINAL PART


CAMP FRIEND:

I really enjoyed getting to know you and working with your (Troop, Team or Post) this week at Camp Loll. I have really seen you grow as a leader this week and know you will continue to do your best to serve your fellow Scouts.

We will always be friends and before we part, I want to teach you the hand clasp of our Fellowship. It is the traditional boy Scout handshake – left handed with little fingers interlocking. Like the locking of the antlers of the great bull moose, so let this handshake bind us in friendship and service to our Fellowship.

1988


TeePee Week 1988, some of the Loll Staff visit the O. A. at Bartlett. Left to right - Trent Warner, Jody Orme, Curtis Weller, Scott Hinrichs, Mike Davies, Blaine Reed and Dan Reeder.
Now we needed to put together our own Ceremony Team and work out the kinks in our Fellowship. We decided to paint our Team to represent the sun, moon, and stars.


Curtis Smith was the first Chief of the inner Fire, note the sun blazing on his chest.



Curtis is the personification of what every mother wants her son to be.



Since every Camp Friend served as a Guide to his unit leader, at first we only had three members in the Ceremony Team. Curtis Weller was our first Guard. He has the moon over his heart.



Trent Warner was our first Beach Chief. There are stars in his eyes as well as on his chest.



Thus began the Fellowship of the Moose.

1989

Curtis left Loll for Military Service in 1989, but there were many fine young men to fill the part in the Fellowship.



Curt Weller at the Landing. For years we brought the entire Camp to the Landing for the beginning of the ceremony. It wasn't until 2001 that we started looking for a different plan.



Not so little White Indian Boy.



David Julien would be Chief of the Inner Fire.

I discovered long ago that no twelve year old boy wants to be me, no kid wants to be an old man - they want to be a seventeen year old young man, that all want to be David Julien.



Who could blame a boy for wanting to be this young man? This is the power of the Fellowship.



Mike Bronson was Guard of the Moon Gate.

In 1989 we added a fourth member to the team, to regulate the boys as they moved into the forest with their Camp Friend.



Trent Warner as the Guide of Guides, a bolt of lightening to show the way.



Here are Trent Warner and Eric McPherson setting the example to weeks full of youth leaders to follow.



Our Nature Director and Chaplin, James Coburn took his turn as Chief of the Fellowship.


Mike Bronson



Trent as Inner Chief in 1989.

I am sure we had ceremony teams in 1990 and 1991 - I just don't have any pictures of them. By 1992 we still had many of the same faces we had in 89.

1992



Mike Hansen was a new addition.



Eric McPherson still on station.



Mike Bronson in 1992.



Trent Warner was great in the role of our Chief because he is the great grandson of a great Indian Chief, Sagwitch of the Shoshone.



The Fellowship goes on, Sun, Moon, and rising Stars.

1993

Again, we had Fellowship ceremonies every week in 1993 - I just can't find any pictures. We did have an O. A. Ceremony in Camp that summer. Trent Warner had his Vigil. His Dad, Jon Warner was our Chief. Jon had been a section chief of the O. A. as a boy, and was one of several Vigil members who gathered to recognize Trent's accomplishment at sunrise. An interesting aside. Trent said he thought he had heard a bear that night, we laughed it off; the next night the camp was attacked by the bear of 93. The whole camp spent the week in the parking lot, and a lot of us were keeping vigil.



Jon and Trent Warner on the morning after Trent's Vigil.


All the Vigil Members at Loll joined Trent that morning. By the next morning we would be battling a bear. Jody, would even get to touch it on the nose.

1995

We spent the summer of 1994 at Camp Aspen Ridge. The Fellowship of the Moose joined us there. Although the camp mascot was the wolf, we kept the Moose as the core of the Fellowship. We were rewarded by the visit of several moose at Aspen Ridge that summer, including one very impressive bull that walked right down the middle of the meadow.

In 1995 Janice and I decided to take over Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island. Jody Orme, and his wife Julie agreed to go with us, as did many other members of the Aspen Ridge and Camp Loll Staffs. When we went out to visit the Island the resident Ranger, Bill Hartley was very concerned that we would carry on one important tradition - The Tribe of Torqua. I assured Bill that we would maintain any good traditions. I acquired the information about the Tribe of Torqua and realized that it fit very closely with the Fellowship of the Moose. It actually predated the Order of the Arrow and held many promising ideas.

During our first week in camp the Staff of 1995 were all inducted into the Tribe of Torqua. The ceremony was conducted by Morgan Morgan, the Chairman of the Cherry Valley Alumni Association. He was assisted by the few members of our staff that were already members of the Tribe and by some other representitives of the Alumni Association. I did kneel and recited the prayer, blindfolded on the top of Lion's head. I also decided that there coud be a synergy by conbining the Tribe of Torqua with the Fellowship of the Moose. Our main window into the Tribe of Torqua came from the Recollections of Phil Piet which I have written out below.
The legend of Torqua is of special interest.


RECOLLECTIONS

OF A


TORQUA TRIBESMAN

by Phil Piet

At the outset, let me say that my memory of Torqua is somewhat dated. (What do you expect after 25 years??) I’ve solicited input from Jim Raimey, Ron Wood, Tucker Cheadle, and Gary Kief. Jim and Ron have been most helpful.

My background at Camp Cherry Valley includes 5 years as a Scout (1960 – 1964): 2 years on full time staff (1965 – 1966); and 10 years as a Camp Scoutmaster and Commissioner (1967 – 1979 except 1971 & 1972), when I spent most of my summer weekends and many single week sessions helping out with the program. During those years, I participated in many work parties and other camp oriented council activities, as well as 4 years on the Camping Committee.

I am pleased to offer these recollections, and will continue to help in any way I can to preserve and improve the traditional programs at camp.

DEGREES IN THE TRIBE OF TORQUA


The Tribe of Torqua, as a camp honorary society, consisted of 5 degrees (ranks) during my years at CCV; Brave, Warrior, Medicineman, Chief, and Tribesman. The Tribesman degree was a special award for adult leaders, requiring nothing more (as if that weren’t enough) than leading their troop for the week. I have attached an excerpt from the 1974 Program Notebook which summarizes the tribe’s purpose and degree requirements. (Note the differences between degree requirements in 1974 and those in 1920’s – 1930’s)

Saff members achieved degrees the same as Scouts, but did not wear the arcs unless they were a Chief.

In the “good old days” (before my time) ribbons were used. Each year, even after a Scout had received the Chief degree, he was presented with a ribbon. Each successive Chief ribbon was a whiter shade than the one before.

SPECIAL TORQUA EVENTS DURING THE CAMP SESSION

Note: During my era, Camp ended AND started between 10:00 and 2:00 on Saturday. Camp-wide campfires were on Saturday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday’s events were hike day & Senior Scout war canoe overnight.

Saturday Night (Opening) Campfire)

At the end of the campfire, a back-lit (we used a flood light just behind the hill where the land ship used to be) warrior revealed the story of Torqua.

“Many moons ago, the Pima Indians lived on Catalina Island. They were a peaceful tribe and ventured near the water to hunt and fish, and then only in canoes.

“Their Chief, a very old and wise chief, knowing that he would soon die, summoned his medicinemen to a council. Their task was to choose a new chief.

“This task would be to climb to the top of _____ Point, near the Isthmus of Catalina Island, jump into the ocean below, then swim to the other side of the bay.

“Three braves stepped forward to accept the challenge. The first brave stepped to the edge of the cliff, stared into the water below and, after a moment, dropped his head in shame and walked slowly from the edge.

“The second brave likewise stepped to the edge of the cliff and stared into the churning water below. After a moment, he too dropped his head in shame and walked slowly from the edge.

“The third brave, Torqua by name, stepped slowly to the edge of the cliff and stared down at the raging sea. He raised his head to the sun god, CHIN-CHA-NUGA- to give him courage and strength.

Torqua took a step back from the edge and he too was thought to be a coward. But just then, he took a large step and jumped into the air. He flew like a soaring eagle and plunged into the churning brine below.

“He was not seen for many minutes, and was thought to be drowned. But just as hope was vanishing, his head came to the surface and, with powerful, long strokes swam to the other side of the bay where he was greeted and proclaimed as the new Chief.

“We in the Tribe of Torqua still talk of the days of this mighty chief. We follow the ways of the tribe. Each year you return to our tribe, you can advance in the Tribe of Torqua. Now listen to the braves of the fire as they tell you more of the Tribe of Torqua.”

This spiel was followed by 4 braves (all staff members) coming up the trail to Sea Breeze. Each, in turn, summoned the Scouts to follow him away from the campfire by degree: Chief candidates, then Medicineman, and Warrior candidates. The Brave candidates remained at the campfire state. The braves’ announcement went as follows:

“To be a Chief in the Tribe of Torqua, you must be a 4th year camper at the Camp Cherry Valley and have achieved the degree of Medicineman. Chief candidates! Rise! Take the sign of the tribe [arms folded “Indian style”] and follow me to the council fire.”

Chief candidates depart.


“To be a Medicineman in the Tribe of Torqua, you must be a 3rd year camper at Camp Cherry Valley and have achieved the degree of Warrior. Medicineman candidates, rise! Take the sign of the tribe and follow me from the fire.”

Medicineman candidates depart.

“Warrior candidates are second year campers at Camp Cherry Valley. You must already be a Brave in the Tribe of Torqua. Warrior candidates, rise! Take the sign of the tribe and follow me from the fire.”

Warrior candidates depart.

“To become a Brave in the Tribe of Torqua, you must be a first year camper at Camp Cherry Valley. You must also be at least a Tenderfoot Scout by the end of week; pass the swimmers test, OR participate in the activities of two skill areas and perform skills properly, go on a troop hike; do a one hour camp service project, and show cooperation and willingness to follow your troop leaders in camp.

“Your first task as Brave candidates is to leave the campfire and follow your troop leaders quietly back to your campsite. Goodnight, Scouts.

Each group (Warrior through Chief) met and was instructed on the requirements for earning their respective degrees. These instructions were given with a great deal of seriousness and drama. After this indoctrination, all were dismissed to return to their campsites.

Chief candidates met at a small campfire in front of the lighthouse. In addition to degrees requirements, they were informed that they would be assigned a staff advisor the next day after lunch. The objective of this meeting was to discuss the week’s activities and projects.


Sunday lunch

Chief candidates were dismissed first to meet with their assigned staff advisors who discussed their chief project and leadership responsibilities during the week. These staff advisors met at least 3 times during the week with their candidate (one candidate was assigned to each advisor).

Wednesday Night Campfire

Chief candidates were instructed to bring sleeping bag and a flashlight to the Wednesday campfire so they could sleep alone overnight.

Chief candidates were required to sleep overnight away from their troop on Wednesday night. I only participated in this encampment once when I was a candidate some 27 years ago. I remember that we were assigned to sleep separately in various widely scattered locations on the parade ground and Pirate’s Cove areas. We were instructed to use the time in silence to reflect on our leadership role in the troop and in Scouting.

Friday Night Campfire

Medicineman and Chief candidates were instructed at dinner to bring their flashlights to the campfire.

This campfire started with a ceremonial style lighting ceremony. (I’d be embarrassed to admit to some of the crazy tricks we used during that period for igniting the fire.) At the end of the campfire, the warriors came up again to lead the scouts along the “trail of scouting” (scout law signs lighting by torches) to a more secluded campfire. (From Sea Breeze to Moonlight campfire site behind the camp store.) The Camp Director held a “scoutmaster’s minute” and a quiet song was sung. Scoutmasters were honored with a mug and Tribesman rocker.

The Warriors then re-appeared. They summoned the Chief and Medicineman candidates. Since these ceremonies were highly individualized, and most impressive when conducted in the dark, they were performed on the night before departure. This also had the effect of freeing these senior boys to help with Brave and Warrior ceremonies the next morning.

Chief candidates were led to their assembly point on Lion’s Back (old Lion’s Back “campfire” site), where they awaited their guide. (See the attached ceremonies.)

Medicineman candidates were brought to an assembly area on the trail behind Sea Breeze. Their ceremony was conducted on the south side of the canyon on trails below the road.

Saturday Morning Ceremonies

New Chiefs and Medicinemen were dismissed first after breakfast with appropriate accolades and instructions to meet at the Cherry Grove kybo to assist with the Brave ceremony.

Warrior ceremonies were held immediately after breakfast, meeting at the Nature Yard (Panther Post in later years), followed closely by Brave ceremonies, meeting at the grove kybo. Both were held up canyon (Brave ceremony above the road).

TORQUA CEREMONIES

As an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow, I have to say that the Torqua Chief ceremony was an exceptional and impressive initiation. OA ceremonies were more extravagant, but the Torqua ceremony had a more lasting impression…at least on me. It was personal and conducted with a great deal of decorum. I’ll never forget opening my eyes after the prayer on Lion’s Head (I didn’t really know were I was) and looking out over the water to the mainland. What a way to end a prayer!

The ceremonies presented on the following pages are from Ron Wood’s files and bear the name of Tallman H. Trask as author. I am sure more recent editions are available, and I’ll try to locate some.

The Medicineman ceremony during my era was pretty close to that presented here. Each candidate was taken individually past the Tribesmen who recited the detail of the Scout Laws, followed by the prayer, etc.

The Chief ceremony during my era was different only to the extent that the word “ribbon” was changed to “rocker” when ribbons were no longer used and patches became the standard. Movement of the candidate on Lion’s Head by the emcee started in the center, proceeded to the southern most point; around the outline of the letter “C” to the northernmost point (the left edge of the “C” facing east); thence in a straight line to the easternmost edge of Lion’s Head where the kneeling and praying was done.

TRIBE OF TORQUA (1974 Camp Cherry Valley Program Notebook)

The Tribe of Torqua is a Camp Honor Society. The program was established shortly after Camp Cherry Valley was founded on Catalina Island. In the beginning, different colored ribbons were used to denote the scout’s position in the Tribe. Many of the early chiefs in the Tribe of Torqua now have sons attending Cherry Valley and working for these honors.

A Scout may work for one degree in the Tribe of Torqua each year. Each adult leader receives the: Tribesman” award for his first year in camp., This is the only adult award. Adults may attend any and all ceremonies.

The ceremonies now in use have changed very little since the original program.

DEGREES AND REQUIREMENTS

BRAVE:

1. Be a first year camper at Cherry Valley.

2. Be at least a Tenderfoot Scout by end of week.

3. Pass the swimmer test, OR participate in the activities of two skill areas and perform skills properly.

4. Go on a troop hike.

5. Do a one hour camp service project.

6. Show cooperation and willingness to follow his troop leader in camp.

WARRIOR:

1. Be a second year camper at Cherry Valley.

2. Hold the Brave degree.

3. Be at least a First Class Scout by end of week.

4. Pass the Mile Swim, OR participate proficiently in one field sport area.

5. Go on a troop hike.

6. Do a two hour camp service project.

7. Show leadership in his troop by example to others.

MEDICINEMAN:

1. Be a third year camper at Cherry Valley.

2. Hold the warrior degree.

3. Hold at least five merit badges by the end of the week.

4. Earn one aquatics merit badge OR one field sports merit badge during week of camp.

5. Do one of the following” a) Mile Swim, b) Silver Peak Hike.

6. Do a three hour camp service project.

7. Show leadership by assisting his troop leaders in carrying out the troop program in camp.

CHIEF:

1. Be a fourth year camper at Cherry Valley.

2. Hold the Medicineman degree.

3. Hold at least ten merit badges by the end of week.

4. Do one of the following a) Row for the Mile Swim. b) Silver Peak Hike.

5. Do an approved camp service project.

6. Show outstanding leadership in all phases of camp life.

Approval for Brave, Warrior and Medicineman degrees is the responsibility of the Camp Scoutmaster. He certifies that all requirements have been met by the Scout.


Approval for the Chief degree is the responsibility of the Camp Scoutmaster and present Chiefs in the ‘Tribe of Torqua". A meeting will be scheduled during the week to finalize approval of candidates.

INITIATION CEREMONY

“TRIBE OF TORQUA”

PasadenaSan Gabriel Valley Council

Boy Scouts of America

By

Tallman H. Trask

DEGREES:

1. Brave

To become a brave a Scout must be of at least the rank of Tenderfoot, must show good camp spirit, must show initiative, good table manners, obedience, and carry out in his daily life the principles of the Scout Oath and Law and the “Daily Good Turn.”

RITUAL.

Twelve members of the tribe will be seated as shown in the diagram. [Not shown.] Six on either side of the chief. These Scouts will each represent one of the Scout Laws; three additional Scouts will be seated as shown directly in front of the chief, each representing one section of the Scout Oath. The candidate [who is blindfolded] will be brought to the position of (A) accompanied by a “guide.” He will then be challenged by a “guard” at position (B).


GUARD: “Who comes here”?

GUIDE: “A Scout, (Scouts), who desires to become a member of the Tribe of Torqua.”

GUARD: “Is he (are they) a member of a troop under the jurisdiction of the Pasadena-San Gabriel Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America”?

GUIDE: “He is.” (They are).

GUARD: “Has he (Have they) been chosen by the “Council of Elders” as worthy to receive the honor of the title “A Brave of the Tribe of Torqua”?

GUIDE: “He has.” (They have.)

GUARD: “You will patiently wait until the chief has been informed of your presence, after which you will follow his instructions.”

Call.

GUARD: “Oh, Great Chief, there is a stranger (are strangers) without the gates of our village, who would enter and join us.”

CHIEF: “Has he (Have they) given proper answers to those questions which are asked of all of us, as we join the tribe”?

GUARD: “He has.” (They have).

CHIEF: Bid him (Bid them) advance and travel “The Trail of a Scout.”

Call.

The guard faces the candidate and guide.

GUARD; “The Chief bids you advance and travel :The Trail of a Scout.”

The Guide salutes the guard and immediately leads the candidate as shown in the diagram, halting before each of the twelve as indicated and each of the twelve is turn repeat the law corresponding with their number. The candidate is then led to a position in front of the three Scouts representing the Scout Oath, each of whom repeats his part of the oath, each one starting with the words “On my honor, I will do my best, etc. The candidate is then led in front of the chief, as indicated by (C).

GUARD: “Oh Chief, our candidate has completed his journey, and awaits your further instruction.”

CHIEF: “Brother Scout (Scouts), you will kneel, fold you arms, raise your head toward heaven, and repeat after me: “In the presence of God, and these tribesmen of the Tribe of Torqua, I solemnly promise to obey the Scout Oath and Law; I further promise at all times to the best of my ability to be an example worth of imitation by my fellow Scouts. I understand that all parts of this ceremony are secret, and I sincerely promise to keep all parts of my initiation as a secret and sacred trust. I will not discuss the secrets of this degree with any but members of the Tribe of Torqua. I further recognize that only with the help of God will I be able to live, as a true tribesman should live, and with ‘God’s help I will always, “Be Prepared” to meet any emergencies. I will say “NO” to those things that I should not do, and I will say “YES” to those things that I should do. I further promise to do at least one “Good Turn” for someone every day. I realize that from now on, the eyes of every Scout are on me, to see that I live as a Brave should live, and I promise so to conduct myself, that I may, by example, assist all Scouts to become members of the Tribe.”

CHIEF: “You will now be decorated as a brave. Arise!”

WARRIOR: “If you would be pure in body you must first be pure in mind and heart, therefore we place this emblem across your body, starting at a point above your heart, to indicate that purity starts first in the mind, crossing your heart to indicate its purity and thence across your body to indicate that you should be pure in all things.”

CHIEF: You will now kneel, raise your head and repeat after me – “Oh God, the Great Spirit of the Tribe of Torqua, I pray that thou wilt give me strength and power to live as only a true Tribesman should live. I pray for strength to live true to the Scout Oath and Law, and pray for thy help that I may be obedient, pure, and clean.” Amen!

*Blindfold is removed.

CHIEF: “Arise! And salute the members of the Tribe of Torqua.”

All members present, will shake hands with the candidate, using the Scout grip, after which the entire group will return to camp.


INITIATION CEREMONY



“TRIBE OF TORQUA”


PasadenaSan Gabriel Valley Council



Boy Scouts of America


by

Tallman H. Trask

DEGREES

2. Warrior.

To become a Warrior a Scout must be of at least the rank of Second Class, must have been initiated as a Brave, and must show evidence of leadership.

RITUAL.

The blindfolded candidate is marched, as indicated by the drawing. When all is quiet, the candidate accompanied by a guide approaches to position (A), where he is again challenged by a guard at (B).

GUARD: “Who goes there”?

GUIDE: “A Brave who desires to be advanced to the rank of Warrior.”

GUARD: “Oh Chief, a Brave is without the gates of your village who desires to be advanced to the rank of Warrior.”

CHIEF: “Conduct him around that which will impress upon him the importance of his own personality as he advances to this new degree.”

As soon as the candidate arrives at (C) the following conversation takes place.

CHIEF: “You have just been conducted around the outline of the letter, ‘U,’ which is to signify that as you advance to the rank of Warrior that is more than ever devolves upon you to make good. Yet`, do your best, you still need divine help, therefore, you will again knee and pray.

(Repeat after me.) ‘Oh God, Great Spirit of the Tribe of Torqua, I again pray for strength to live true to the added honors and responsibilities that now face me as a Warrior. Help me as a Warrior to fight impure speech, uncleanliness, envy, and those things that tend to keep me from living the life of a real Warrior, as exemplified in the lives of the Knights of Old, who fought for clean lives among men, protection of women, and a spirit of gratitude to God for His protection and united blessing. Amen.”

GUIDE; “You will now be decorated with the badge of your new honor, and as it is placed in the same position as your former badge, we again call to your attention that to be a real leader you must be pure in mind, heart, and body. Even as the immortal Washington led our first army and helped bring our nation into being, and as Lincoln with his calm leadership brought together the foes of the North and South and made them friends; and as the great Theodore Roosevelt with his leadership and determination brought forth new conditions for the betterment of our nation; so must you exert your leadership and with it make the Scout Oath and Law mean more in your own life and in the lives of your brother Scouts and Tribesmen.”

At this point the blindfold is removed by the Guard.

CHIEF; “You will lead the way to camp, which is to signify to you that from now on you must show evidence of real leadership.”


SAN GABRIEL VALLEY COUNCIL

Boy Scouts of America

3. Medicineman.

To become a Medicineman a Scout must be of at least the rank of First Class, must have been regularly initiated as a Brave and Warrior, and must show evidence of superior character.

RITUAL.

Blindfolded, the candidate is conducted by the guide as shown in the diagram. While all are seated in silence, the candidate is conducted as show by the guide; upon arriving at the position (A), the following conversation takes place:

CHIEF: “Warrior, you have just been conducted around the tribesmen who represent the twelve Scout Laws, which is to signify to you that you must more than ever form your life around those same laws, in order that you may depend upon their teachings for strength of character. Your fellow tribesmen are proud of your advancement, and believe that you will strive to obtain the highest possible rank.


“To be sure, next to the Chief you now have the highest rank in the tribe, yet you are hereby warned that the trail that you must follow to reach the high goal of Chief is the hardest of all, and only a few, by using the greatest self-control, will be able to go all the way. Because of the leadership you have shown as a Warrior, you may be at any time called upon to temporarily fill the office of the Chief, to further prove your ability to hold that high rank in your own right.


“The next part of this ceremony may take time. It is up to you. Remember that we are all brother Scouts and it is our desire to be of help to you, so use just as much or as little time as you desire.

“You will now kneel, bow your head, and pray out loud to God, the Great Spirit of the Tribe of Torqua, to guide you as a Medicineman of the tribe, that you may be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent; and when you have finished you prayer, say ‘Amen,’ and arise.

“You are now to be decorated with a gold badge of rank, In all the world, gold is the rarest and most precious of metals, and is therefore the most desired above all others by your fellow tribesmen.”

Blindfold is removed here.

GUIDE: As a Medicineman, you will again lead the way to the village.”



INITIATION CEREMONHY



“TRIBE OF TORQUA”



PasadenaSan Gabriel Valley Council



Boy Scouts of America

CHIEF DEGREE (Revised 1933).



Note: To become a Chief a Scout must be of at least merit badge rank, must have been regularly initiated as a Brave, Warrior, and Medicineman, and must show evidence of being one of the most outstanding Scouts in camp.

RITUAL;

Candidates, after being blindfolded, are addressed in a group by an adult member of the Tribal Council. (Review lessons of the previous degrees extemporaneously.) Announce to candidates that they will be called for by a guide who will conduct them individually to the place where the degree is to be given.

GUIDE; Comes up quietly, takes a candidate by the arm and leads him away. As they walk along, the Guide tells the candidate that he may be challenged as he travels along and that a pass may be demanded. The Guide tells the candidate that the pass is (O-M-H). [On My Honor]

OUTER GUARD: “Who Goes There”?


GUIDE: “A Medicineman traveling to a place where he may receive a higher degree in the Tribe of Torqua.”

GUARD: “Has this candidate received the three previous degrees in regular form”?

GUIDE: “He has served faithfully as a Brave, advanced to the rank of Warrior, was promoted to the rank of Medicineman, and now, on the recommendation of the Tribal Council seeks added honors.”

GUARD: “Has he the pass that is required by the Outer Guard”?

GUIDE: “He has been entrusted with those letters which stand for that which he must hold sacred through life.”

GUARD: “You will repeat the pass in a distinct whisper.”


CANDIDATE: “O-M-H.”

GUARD: “It is well. May you never fail in your endeavor to live true to this pass. Pass on.”

As the Guide continues on with the candidate, he congratulates him on passing the Outer Guard, but warns him that he may be again stopped, and if he is that the password is (D-M-B). [Do My Best]

MIDDLE GUARD: “Who goes there”?

GUIDE: “Medicineman traveling to a place where he may receive higher honors in the tribe of Torqua.”

GUARD: “Did he give satisfactory answers to the questions asked by the Outer Guard”?

GUIDE: “He not only satisfied the Outer Guard , but is prepared to give you the required pass.”

GUARD: “You will repeat the pass in a whisper.”

CANDIDATE: “D-M-B.”

GUARD: “If you but live true to this pass you are assured a successful life. Pass on.”

The Guide and candidate now approach the Inner Guard.

INNER GUARD: “Halt! Who approaches this spot which is sacred to the Chiefs of the Tribe of Torqua”?

GUIDE: “A Medicineman who seeks to find favor among the Chiefs.”

GUARD: “You will repeat the two passes you have been given on your way hither.”

CANDIDATE: “O-M-H, D-M-B.”

GUARD: “It is well. Master of Ceremonies, this candidate has completed his journey and is prepared to do your bidding.”

MASTER OF CEREMONIES: “I congratulate you. The letters which you have just repeated stand for the two most important things in Torqua, as well as in scouting, and in life. You will repeat the Scout Oath; and as you do you will recognize the two sets of words which these letters represent.”

CANDIDATE: Repeats the Scout Oath.

The candidate is conducted from (A) and back to (A) again as indicated in the diagram, blindfolded as in previous degrees.

EMCEE: (Chief, member of the Tribal Council, or past Chief.) “You have at last reached that high goal for which you have been striving. Even as a letter ‘C’ stands for Chief, so does it stand for character. So you have been conducted around the outline of the letter ‘C,’ and we, your Tribesmen, know and feel that you will do all in your power to be of exemplary character, and be a real Chief in every sense.

“You will now receive the white ribbon of purity. You will note that each successive ribbon has been of a lighter shade, which is to signify to you that you have now removed all doubt from our minds as to your ability to be Chief, even as each rank has removed a darker shade to a lighter.

“You will now kneel and pray in silence to God, the Great Spirit of the Tribe of Torqua. You will be left alone; and when you have finished your devotions, you will return to camp in silence, alone; and will not speak to anyone until the light of another day shall appear , and on the morrow you may be publicly recognized as a Chief.

Blindfold removed here.


Tribesmen slip quietly back to camp in silence, leaving candidate to himself.


This was our first Team for the Guides of the Tribe of Torqua: Spencer Rose, Chad Carlson, and Tyler Shaw.

Jody and I had several problems with the Tribe of Torqua Ceremonies. First, they required too much time out of our program. Unlike the CCV program in the past, we intended to open up the entire Camp to all of our Campers, and to add evening programs and re-instate the Hike Day, even though we had lost a day of camp, as our campers now arrived on Sunday rather than Saturday as they had during the time of Tallman Trask. Second, we wanted to incorporate the leadership responsibility of the "youth leader" in the troop in the way which the Fellowship of the Moose did. Third, while we liked the idea of a legend, neither Jody or I saw much point in Torqua's test. We had strictly forbidden any cliff diving for our Staff and Campers, nor did we see how a simple act of foolish bravado qualified Torqua to be the Chief of the tribe. We wanted to incorporate the three points of the Fellowship of the Moose - Friendship, Leadership, and Service into the Tribe of Torqua. To solve these three problems we took three decisive steps. First we rewrote the Legend of Torqua, second we shifted the responsibility of keeping track of the boy's qualification to the SPLs or other youth leaders of the various troops, teams and posts at camp, and finally we replaced all the night time ceremonies invoving the entire camp with a single "Guides" ceremony on Monday night, following the Scout Craft Skill Events. The Medicinemen and Chiefs were still recognized after closing campfire, they were asked to stay after, and were accompanied on their adventure by their Unit Guide as well as the Staff who were performing the ceremonies. Writing the new Legend allowed me to further incorporate an important program wish of my own. I have long been a fan of the American whaling era and Moby Dick, so I made the Sperm Whale the mascot of CCV and gave it an important role in the Legend. One other thing - I did not like the blindfolds, so they were "removed" from the ceremony. Here is the New Legend of Torqua:

The Legend of Torqua

Many years ago the only people to know and love this island were the Puma Indians. They were a particularly peaceful and yet courageous people. They wrestled with the sea and the stone to forge a living.

For as many years as any who lived could remember they had been guided by their aged Chief. The memories of their oldest men and women held only the vision of him as their wise grandfather and their friend.

They were much surprised when he told them that his time as their leader was ending and he was going to pass soon to another land, and from there to watch over them. He called all the people together to the narrowing of the island, where the channel all but meets the sea. This, he told them, represented the passage between this small life and the great sea of eternity.

Once all the people were gathered they feasted and gave thanks for the bounty of sea and land. As twilight fell the ancient chief told his people to climb to the high rocks over the deep pool of the sea toward the rising sun. They would know the spot by the great eagle nest, ancient and proud. There he bade them await the sign of who would be their new chief, their servant and guide.

The night passed, at first all were watchful, but as the chill, dark hours passed many dosed. However a few climbed the highest point above the dark sea, peering across the waves for the sign of leadership.

As, at long last, the rim of the sun rose out of the Eastern sea, those who were yet awake became aware of a great war canoe gliding on waves below them. All rose to gaze at it, in it they could see their ancient chief, arms extended, with the rays of the morning sun passing through his fingers in shafts.

All were amazed at the dignity and power he embodied. Then in an instant the image was destroyed. Out of the depth of the sea there rose a great whale who took the canoe in his jaws and, crushing it, passed beneath the waves.

The people cried out in terror and many fell to the earth. But high on the rock above, young Torqua stood like a wedge of polished cedar. He did not hesitate, but with the grace of the mighty eagle at his side he spread his arms and plunged toward the sea. He seemed to hang in the air, then vanished beneath the surface.

It is told that there, below the shadow of the whale, Torqua found the aged chief smiling and beckoning to him, and together they rose to the surface and swam to shore.

The people streamed down the hill to the cove beach and there they met the ancient one and young Torqua. They listened in as the Chief revealed the sign.

He who acts first in the welfare and service of another, who gives of himself with courage and decision, he is worthy to lead; truly the greatest of all must be the servant of all. Torqua shall be your chief, and let his example be an inspiration to all who would lead.

Troops, Teams, and Crews of Camp Cherry Valley – You have each chosen from amongst yourselves that leader who, with courage and sacrifice, serves you as Senior Patrol Leader, Team Captain, or Crew Leader.

We, of Camp Cherry Valley, in the shadow of the eagle’s nest, on the edge of the cove where once the great whale rose as a sign of leadership, seek to honor your chosen leader and set him as your guide into the Tribe of Torqua.

Will each camp friend please take his place with the Senior Patrol Leader, Team Captain, or Crew Leader, of his unit and in silence let the camp pass before the Warrior who awaits us on the shore.

The Legend has many attributes of the Story of the Sacred King, the oldest of all stories, it is the story of all Greek tragedy, and the story of Jesus. We also adapted the recognition ceremonies to shorten them and make them fit into the overall program without overwhelming it or taking too much time from it.

Tribe of Torqua Ceremonies

Monday Night:

The Brave will wait by the flagpole. Once the story of Torqua has been told he will begin playing a good beat on the drum. At which time he will escort all the troops to the beach campfire. He will stand beside the Warrior, and continue playing.

Warrior: “Troops, teams, ships, and crews of Camp Cherry Valley, (year), week __, welcome!” (drums sound three times and stop) “You stand tonight behind your chosen leader. That leader who serves you with courage and sacrifice. We would now ask that the troop friends escort their senior patrol leaders forward, so that we may honor them before the fire.” (troop friends bring SPL to fire beside Warrior and whisper the name and troop number in the Warriors ear. The Warrior will repeat the name and troop number) “We will now dismiss you back to your camp. We ask that you return in a silent and reverent manner. If there are any adults who wish to view the ceremonies, would you please remain here.”

The Brave and Warrior will then join the Medicine Man and Chief at Sea Breeze. The Brave and Warrior are in charge of keeping the fires burning so that the Medicine Man and Chief may fulfill their duties.

After the SPL has had his name honored before the fire, the troop friends will escort them to the tiki torches. It is important to keep a reverent manner throughout the entire ceremony. Speeches should last between 30-45 seconds at each torch. Make them personal, and mean what you say. The speeches at these torches do not need to be memorized, but should focus around these ideas:

First Tiki Torch: A welcome to the camp. Thank them for coming and let them know how grateful you are that they are here. Let them know that you look forward to working with them, but also let them know you look forward to being their friend. (It is nice to let them know you are grateful, because without them, you would not be here)

Second Tiki Torch: Focuses around Service and Leadership. Let them know of the service they will give this week. Remind them that they must live a great role here at camp. Scouts will look up to them in all things now. Counsel them to continue to give service. Encourage them to meet with their leaders so that they may better serve their troop. (Remember that scouting is a boy run program, it is the boys who decide, with the approval and consent of adults)

Third Tiki Torch: A chance for the troop friend to let their SPL know they are there for them. Make this personal, let them know you are here this week to assist them. Also remind them that they are here to have fun, however they do hold a role of leadership (I liked to tell them I was there for anything, anytime, anywhere. That I would do everything in my power to assist them. That I was completely fine with them waking me up at any hour to help.)

After the troop friends have finished their speeches, they will escort their SPL to the fourth tiki torch, the top of the north stairs at Sea Breeze. The Medicine Man will be guarding the way, giving the sign of the Tribe of Torqua. One troop friend will greet the Medicine Man, and give the sign of the Tribe of Torqua, he will stand to the side so that the SPL may see the Indian.

Medicine Man: “Brother, who is this with you?”

Troop Friend: “This is _______. He is my friend, and I am his.” (Remember “he” is first)

Medicine Man: “You may pass. And may you live long in our tribe.”

The Medicine Man will lower his hand, and allow the troop friend and SPL to pass. The troop friend will guide their SPL to stand around the fire, SPL in front, and troop friends lined up behind. Once all the Patrol Leaders are lined up, the Medicine Man will join in his place by the other Indians. They will all stand with fists clenched in front of their abdomens. All Indians will then open their fists and raise their arms in front of them, palms up. Their heads should follow their hands. Their hands will be pointing directly up, they will be looking up. Their hands will then fall to their chests, as they fall fists will be made. They will then drop their arms back down to their abdomens. The Chief will then step forward.

Chief: “Gathered about our fire, standing in friendship, bound by fellowship are the leaders of Camp Cherry Valley! Lives will be touched and changed forever by the service you provide in our camp! It is now my pleasure to teach to you the simple sign of the Fellowship of the Guides of the Tribe of Torqua. Raise your right hand with the palm turned inward, fingers curved forming a hollow.” (All will proceed to make the sign.) “This symbolizes two things. First the great scoop of the whales tale. The sperm whale, or cachalot, is the symbol of Camp Cherry Valley, and is well fit to designate our tribe. For although it has the strength to destroy any creature in the sea it chooses instead to live its life in peace and noble service. Second, it is a hand raised in friendship and fellowship, open, always eager to give service.” (Hands are lowered) “Now will each Camp Friend bring forward his candidate and recognize him before the fire by placing around his neck a friendship totem.” (Troop friends will one by one bring their SPL before the fire and place a necklace around their neck. The chief will stand back in line for this part of the ceremony.) “This ceremony is only the first step of your journey with our fellowship. Tomorrow we ask you to meet with your commissioner at your usual place. Please be prompt, for time is short. Further meetings will be outlined in the future. Your future involvement is, of course, up to you. However it is our hope that you would remain long in the fellowship. Will you once again make with me the sign of the Tribe of Torqua. And mark well by the firelight the faces of our brethren, that we might greet each other always in peace, friendship, and service.” (Sign is made. Indians will look at all members of the audience. Sign is then lowered) “Listen now as your friends in the Fellowship join to sing our hymn.” (Staff sings song, Chief leads) Your troop friends will now escort you back to your camps in a silent and reverent manner. Our duties having been completed for the night.” (The troop friends will then take the SPL back to camp. Indians will stay still until ALL the audience is gone. Indians will then do the hand symbol. And proceed with retiring the fire.)

The troop friends will take their Patrol Leader to the entrance of camp. Thank them for attending that night. He will then proceed to teach to them the handshake of the Tribe of Torqua. The handshake of the Tribe of Torqua is made with the left hand clasped with little pinkies interlocking. The troop friend will remind them that this handshake is to be kept secret. They will then proceed into camp. The troop friend will tuck in his troop, see if anything is needed, and retire.


Hymn of the Tribe of Torqua

As the bright flames ascend to heav’n, oh God of love and truth


We would in thought with Thee commune, in love and joy and youth.

The hills resound with our glad sound and echo back to Thee.

Our thanks received for work and health and love and loyalty.

Now the bright flames have us inspir’d to service love and joy

Our Fellowship so deep has grown that nothing can alloy.

So now as friends, we work, we dream, of stronger lives to live

As friends we work as friends we dream, and service strong we give.


Tribe of Torqua Ceremonies

Friday Night:

At the closing campfire the director will ask that all Medicine Men and Chief stay behind. Once the fire has ended, the Indians will be asked to come on stage and proceed with the ceremonies.

Medicine Man Ceremony:

Medicine Man: “If there are any Medicine Men present, third year campers at our camp, would they please rise and follow me. Also any adults who wish to view the ceremonies, would you please follow.”

The Medicine Man will then guide the candidates to the Eagle’s Nest. The Brave will follow behind the candidates. March them in silence. When you arrive at the Eagle’s nest have the scouts form a semicircle facing the mainland. The Brave will take his place by the Medicine Man, the Medicine Man will then give the hand symbol, while the Brave holds the torch. The torch is lit by the Brave, who hands it to the Medicine Man. The Medicine Man will then step forward.

Medicine Man: “You have been brought here tonight, to the great Eagle’s Nest. The exact spot where, in fact, young Torqua dove to the sea to save his Chief. This very place, was the beginning of a life of courage and sacrifice. A life you must live from now on.

In previous years you have been blindfolded. This symbolizes two things. First, your willingness to be led by others. And second your courage to lead. Both things are essential to living in our tribe.

Scouts I would now ask you to gaze at the lights across the ocean. This symbolizes your past. Your present, is here at Camp Cherry Valley, and your future, in the stars above. For you may go in any direction, and never reach the same place.

Warriors in our great tribe, I thank you for the service you have provided at our camp this week. For three years you have given us friendship. For three years you have given us Fellowship. And for three years you have given us noble service. I congratulate you on the accomplishments you have made this week.

Will you now make with me the sign of our Fellowship. (Give sign) Remember, that it is a hand raised in fellowship and friendship. Always eager to give service. (All will lower their hands now)

I would now ask that you join with me in the scout oath and law.”

A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

On my honor: I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country. To Obey the scout law. To help other people at all times. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

“If you feel that you have done your best in keeping the scout oath and law, and that you have given a service of friendship and fellowship, you may lower your hand. And you may extend your left hand, so that you may be recognized as Medicine Men in this our tribe.” (The Medicine Man will then proceed to give each scout an arc. Place the arc in your left hand, and give it to them as you embrace in the handshake of the Tribe of Torqua. Left hand clasped, with little fingers interlocking. Whisper in their ear that: ‘This is the handshake of the tribe of torque, and is to be kept secret.’ Leave the arc in their hand. Once all have been awarded, the Medicine Man will take his place by the Brave)

“This is but a step of your journey in our tribe. We ask that tomorrow you will be ready and willing to assist with the ceremonies for the Brave and Warrior.

Medicine Men, once again I thank you. We will now escort you back to camp, our duties having been completed for the night.” (Put out the torch and escort them back to camp. Stop at Sea Breeze and allow the Brave to stand by you. Embrace with each scout in the handshake of the Tribe of Torqua, and allow them to proceed back to their campsites.)

Chief Ceremony:

Chief: “If there are any Chiefs present, fourth year campers at our camp, would they please rise and follow me. Also any adults who wish to view the ceremonies, would you please follow.”

The Chief will then guide the candidates to Lion’s Head. The Warrior will follow behind the candidates. March them in silence. When you arrive at Lion’s Head have the scouts form a semicircle facing the mainland. The Warrior will take his place by the Chief, the Chief will then give the hand symbol, while the Warrior holds the torch. The torch is lit by the Warrior, who hands it to the Chief. The Chief will then step forward.

Chief: “You have been brought here tonight, to the Lion’s Head, sacred gathering place for the leaders and guides of the Tribe of Torqua. It is here that they discussed the things best for the tribe. It was here that young Torqua served with courage and sacrifice. A life you must live from now on.


In previous years you have been blindfolded. This symbolizes two things. First, your willingness to be led by others. And second your courage to lead. Both things are essential to living in our tribe.

Scouts, I would now ask that you gaze across the channel and take a good look at where you have come from. It has not been an easy journey to where you now stand.


Medicine Men in our great tribe, I thank you for the service you have provided at our camp this week. For four years you have given us friendship. For four years you have given us Fellowship. And for four years you have given us noble service. I congratulate you on the accomplishments you have made this week.

Will you now make with me the sign of our Fellowship. (Give sign) Remember, that it is a hand raised in fellowship and friendship. Always eager to give service. (All will lower their hands now)

I would now ask that you join with me in the scout oath:

On my honor: I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country. To Obey the scout law. To help other people at all times. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

We will now all join in reciting the scout law. We will pass around the torch, and take turns saying what each point of the scout law means to us.” (The torch will be passed around to every boy present and each will say what that specific point means. For example: ‘Trustworthy: to be trustworthy is to be honest in all doings. To have integrity, to do the right thing even when no one is looking. To be where you say you will, and do what you say you will. To do your best to fulfill every promise. Trustworthy.’ The Warrior will then continue with Loyal. Pass the torch until every point has been touched. If there are more chief than points, continue with: Duty to God, Country, and Self. And, physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. This is a time when you can step aside from being and Indian, and be a friend. Mean what you say. Make it deep and sincere.)

“If you feel that you have done your best in keeping the scout oath and law, and that you have given a service of friendship and fellowship, will you please extend your left hand, so that you may be recognized as Chief in this our tribe.” (The Chief will then proceed to give each scout an arc. Place the arc in your left hand, and give it to them as you embrace in the handshake of the Tribe of Torqua. Left hand clasped, with little fingers interlocking. Whisper in their ear that: ‘This is the handshake of the tribe of torque, and is to be kept secret.’ Leave the arc in their hand. Once all have been awarded, the Chief will take his place by the Warrior)

“This is but a step of your journey in our tribe. We ask that tomorrow you will be ready and willing to assist with the ceremonies for the Brave and Warrior.

Chief, once again I thank you. We will now escort you back to camp, our duties having been completed for the night.” (Put out the torch and escort them back to camp. Stop at the light house and allow the Warrior to stand by you. Embrace with each scout in the handshake of the Tribe of Torqua, and allow them to proceed back to their campsites.)

Tribe of Torqua Ceremonies

Saturday Morning:

Troops will meet at the parade grounds after breakfast. Troop friends make sure each scout has something to blindfold themselves with. The director will explain the process. Brave candidates will be led to Sea Breeze. Warrior candidates will go to the Chapel. The scouts will line up respectively to go where they need. Troop friends will instruct scouts to blindfold themselves and place their left hand on the person in front of them. Place the lead scout’s hands on the Medicine Men and Chief. Please allow them to do as much leading as possible. If needed the troop friends may assist in leading. Keep encouraging them to remain silent. Lead them to their respective place and help them sit down. Keep them silent. Encourage adults to sit or stand behind the scouts. Once all scouts have been seated, the Troop friends, Medicine Men, and Chief will stand to the side.

Brave Ceremony:

Chief: “Scouts and scouters of Camp Cherry Valley, (year), week _____. Welcome! You have been led here blindfolded. This symbolizes two things. First, your willingness to be led by others. And second your courage to lead. Both things are essential to living in our tribe.

First year campers at Cherry Valley, we thank you for the service you have provided this week. One year of friendship, one year of fellowship, and one year of noble service. We congratulate you on your accomplishments this week.

Will you now raise your right arm, and join with me in the scout oath and law.” (All raise hands and repeat)

A Scout is: Tustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

On my honor: I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country. To Obey the scout law. To help other people at all times. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

“If you feel that you have done your best in keeping the scout oath and law. And that you have given a service of friendship and fellowship, you may arise and remove your blindfolds.” (All rise, remove blindfolds. Wait until everyone is standing and silent to continue)

“It is now my pleasure to teach to you the simple sign of the Tribe of Torqua. Raise your right hand with the palm turned inward, fingers curved forming a hollow.” (All will proceed to make the sign.) “This symbolizes two things. First the great scoop of the whales tale. The sperm whale, or cachalot, is the symbol of Camp Cherry Valley, and is well fit to designate our tribe. For although it has the strength to destroy any creature in the sea it chooses instead to live its life in peace and noble service. Second, it is a hand raised in friendship and fellowship, open, always eager to give service.”

“Will the Medicine Men, Chief, and Troop friends now please recognize these scouts as Braves in this, our tribe.” (Medicine Men, Chief, Troop friends hand out arcs to all.)

“This ceremony is only the first step of your journey with our fellowship. Further meetings will be outlined in the future. Your future involvement is, of course, up to you. However it is our hope that you would remain long in the fellowship. Will you once again make with me the sign of the Tribe of Torqua. And mark well by the light the faces of our brethren, so that the next time we meet may be a joyous one.” (Sign is made. The Chief will overlook the audience. Sign is then lowered)

“The Medicine Men, Chief, and your Troop friends will now escort you back to the parade grounds. Our duties having been completed for the day.” (Scouts will be escorted back to the parade grounds. Quickly change clothes and get to the parade grounds in time for awards.)


Warrior Ceremony:

Medicine Man: “Scouts and scouters of Camp Cherry Valley, (year), week _____. Welcome! You have been led here blindfolded. This symbolizes two things. First, your willingness to be led by others. And second your courage to lead. Both things are essential to living in our tribe.

Braves in our tribe, we thank you for the service you have provided this week. Two years of friendship, ttwo years of fellowship, and two years of noble service. We congratulate you on your accomplishments this week.

Will you now raise your right arm, and join with me in the scout oath and law.” (All raise hands and repeat)

A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

On my honor: I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country. To Obey the scout law. To help other people at all times. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

“If you feel that you have done your best in keeping the scout oath and law, and that you have given a service of friendship and fellowship, you may arise and remove your blindfolds.” (All rise, remove blindfolds. Wait until everyone is standing and silent to continue)

“Will you now join with me in making the sign of the Tribe of Torqua. Raise your right hand with the palm turned inward, fingers curved forming a hollow.” (All will proceed to make the sign.) “If you recall from your first year, this symbolizes two things. First the great scoop of the whales tale. The sperm whale, or cachalot, is the symbol of Camp Cherry Valley and is well fit to designate our tribe. For although it has the strength to destroy any creature in the sea it chooses instead to live its life in peace and noble service. Second it is a hand raised in friendship and fellowship, open, always eager to give service. So must we live our lives in peace, and noble service”

“Will the Medicine Men, Chief, and Troop friends now please recognize these scouts as Warriors in this, our tribe.” (Medicine Men, Chief, Troop friends hand out arcs to all.)

“Warriors in our tribe, we congratulate you! We again thank you for all you have done this week. We encourage you to continue giving noble service after we depart today. For your journey is not over, this ceremony is but another step with our fellowship. We look forward to meeting with you as Medicine Men and Chief in the future. Your future involvement is, of course, up to you. However it is our hope that you would remain long in the fellowship. Will you once again make with me the sign of the Tribe of Torqua. And mark well by the light the faces of our brethren, so that the next time we meet may be a joyous one.” (Sign is made. The Medicine Man will overlook the audience. Sign is then lowered)

"The Medicine Men, Chief, and your Troop friends will now escort you back to the parade grounds. Our duties having been completed for the day.” (Scouts will be escorted back to the parade grounds. Quickly change clothes and get to the parade grounds in time for awards.)

1996



This is Bryon Conner dressed for the Torqua Ceremony our 2nd year at CCV. The head dress was left in camp by Ron Wood, a long time Director of the camp.

I actually met Ron Wood once. He had come to CCV to visit with Bill. Ron owned a yacht and had it moored in Cherry Cove. He looked at me and said, "so - you're the one."



Bryon Conner as the perfect Torqua.



It is the example set by those who honor the Tribe that best instructs the Scouts in the values the Tribe seeks to teach.

1997


Lafe Conner as the Guide.



Bryon Conner as the Guard.



Tim Moser was on the Beach.


Tyler Shaw the High Chief at the Campfire Bowl.



The sign of the Indian.



Friendship is the goal, true friends set the best example.

Many Camp Cherry Valley Staffer performed in the many ceremonies over the next few years. More importantly many fine young men inspired many more boys to emulate the values of Scouting and the Tribe of Torqua.

2000



By 2000, Shaun Conner was High Chief, note he wears the sign of the sun.



Other members of the team include, left to right, James Lewis, Shaun Conner, Gabe Conner, and Justin Hansen.

In 2001 we came back to Loll. There were many of the ideas of the Tribe of Torqua we decided to bring with us. We incorporated the patch system which rewarded each boy and adult who attended the camp if they fulfilled the requisite duties. I also decided to add a legend to the Fellowship ceremony. The legend of the hero of the Fellowship of the Moose is based on the story of the Sacred King who dies a sacrifice for his people. I had been reading about it in Robert Graves books and wanted to incorporate it into our tradition. To compare small things with great, my inspiration was simular to that of C. S. Lewis. I wanted to tie the story to our local tribes, the Shoshone, and so got Leonard's help in finding names for the characters in the story. The Song of Hiawatha is also the story of a sacred king, so it seemed reasonable to use some of the names found there. Shoshone names: Bpah oh Quaidt - Flowing Water (Water Flowing), I chose this name for our hero as the sacred king is the water of life, and it is out of the water that the Spring Beauty flower bloom. Muhah Baidtuh (Daughter of the Moon (Moon Daughter), for Longfellow and from one of the most ancient representations of the Mother Goddess. Qah saw Dtaynah - Mighty Hunter (Hunter with Special Powers to Find Game). Leonard also got us the Shoshone word for moose, Dtu bpa Deyheya - Black Water Animal - but we stuck with Moose.


The Legend of Bpah Oh Quaidt


Many moons ago – when the grandmothers lead the people; before the horses came, when no white man had ever seen the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes; a rumor of a strange sickness came to the People. No knowledge could end the fear. Muhah Baidtuh, Ancient Daughter of the Moon, saw the way. She told Qah saw Dtaynah, the Mighty Hunter, and Bpah Oh Quaidt, son of the Great Chief, and the prince of his people, that the band must go back to the high mountains, to the Lake of the Woods.


Qah saw Dtaynah was afraid, for the first snows had fallen, like duck down on the tops of the great mountains, and the people had not yet killed a buffalo. The dogs had no meat to carry! Still, the wisdom of Muhah Baidtuh was not to be questioned in this time of grave danger and the men took the families to the mountains.


Bitter cold met them, the lake was already sheathed in ice. On the rise above the tiny stream they pitched their lodge and the hunger began. At first Qah saw Dtaynah and Bpah Oh Quaidt searched the forest for food and Muhah Baidtuh and her granddaughters stripped the willow bark to feed the children, but each day the snow mounted until no one could walk beyond the camp. There was little hope for hunting. For Qah Saw Dtaynah knew that all the beasts but the great moose had left the high forest. All animals must flee the deep drifts or die, but the moose swims in the snow, and feeds on the fir, and fears nothing. The snow closed in everywhere and only the ice sheet of the lake was swept free of deep drifts by the bitter wind. The dogs were gone.


Men and women, old and young, huddled in the lodge for warmth and waited death. Bpah Oh Quaidt brought in the firewood, for his sisters were too weak, Bpah Oh Quaidt brought the water, for old Muhah Baidtuh sat ever in the ashes and sang her song to Mother Earth.


The shortest day of all the year was passing. Through the door of the lodge Bpah Oh Quaidt watched the icy lake turn gold in the last rays of the setting sun. He heard the little children crying because they had not eaten, he heard the women weeping for they could not feed their little ones, the young boys sat and did not move because they had no hope. On the cheeks of Qah saw Dtaynah tears sparkled in the fading light, and Muhah Baidtuh chanted. Then into the mind of Bpah Oh Quaidt came the voice of the Great Spirit. “Bpah Oh Quaidt, you must save the People.” The song stopped. Bpah Oh Quaidt stood and all eyes followed him. From its otter skin sheath the prince drew his father’s great bonnet of eagle feathers, white, black, and red. He placed on his head the feather crown of his father, the Great Chief, and gathered about his broad bare shoulders the black moose skin robe worked soft by the labor of his grandmother, Muhah Baidtuh, the Daughter of the Moon. In the robes of a king he left the lodge, and in their pain all the people followed him. In silence he led them to the lake shore. He stopped and turned to face the setting sun. He opened the great folds of the moose skin robe, and the light was upon him. He shown like a wedge of polished cedar, “I will come again,” he whispered, closed the huge hide about himself and stepped out onto the ice. He left them, and the darkness swallowed him before he reached the distant shore.


Qah saw Dtaynah brought the fire from the lodge; the sisters piled the wood; the boys brought out hides and weapons, and all the family began their vigil. Muhah Baidtuh, sang to Mother Earth, but Qah saw Dtaynah, prayed to the Great Spirit. All night they waited, the young ones slept, and the fire ate the wood. Only cold and hunger remained.


Gray light and then the first bright gold of the morning sun burned the eyes of the watchers – when suddenly a figure moved on the distant shore. Qah saw Dtaynah rose and walked to the ice edge, the women and children stirred and stared. In the distance they saw the dark moose robe and rising above it the great bonnet of eagle feathers. Towards them he came, then Qah saw Dtaynah’s wise eyes saw the truth and he reached for his hunting lance. Muhah Baidtuh saw the truth and motioned the band into the alder thicket like a clutch of grouse. Ah Saw Dtaynah slipped like a shadow behind a fir tree. It was not Bpah Oh Quaidt, prince of his people, in moose hide robe and feathered crown, but a huge black bull moose with a crown of antlers that walked the length of the lake to their hiding place. Straight on he came toward the ashes of the fire; off the ice he stepped and onto the narrow beach.


Qah saw Dtaynah leapt forward and drove his lance into the great beast’s neck. The young boys shot their arrows. The moose leaped once then foundered into the deep snow among the alder trees, and there he died and his blood striped the snow. The women came with their sharp flint knives and flayed off the beautiful hide of black moose fur. Then they cut up the sweet flesh and all ate and grew strong again.


The winter passed before hunger came again. In the dark of the nights they broke up the bones and drank the marrow, and from the shards each worked a totem in memory of Bpah Oh Quaidt, who’s magic had brought the moose.


At last the meat was gone, but the snow grew soft and wet and even at night the warm winds blew. Qah Saw Dtaynah gathered the people. Each had prepared a totem of friendship in memory of Bpah Oh Quaidt. They exchanged their gifts and Qah Saw Dtaynah strung the worked moose bones on a necklace of honor Muhah Baidtuh folded the moose hide and placed it where their lodge had stood. They tied the trees with feathers and quill-work and gave thanks for the gift of the moose. Then Qah Saw Dtaynah lay the totem of honor on the altar of the hide and led the people toward the summer.


For miles they crossed the rotting snow, but at last the drifts ended. As their tired feet first touched the wet earth, they raised a cry of joy, for through the forest toward them came Bpah Oh Quaidt in his black moose skin robe and crown of eagle feathers. He stood before them and spread the great robe, and when they saw about his neck hanging the totem necklace of moose bones which they had made in memory of Bpah Oh Quaidt they put their faces to the ground and wept. When they lifted their eyes their prince was gone, but all through the forest, where the flowing waters came from the edge of the melting snow, grew tiny white flowers with stripes as red as blood. And the people gathered the blossoms and the bulbs from which they sprang and found them good to eat – and they grew strong.


And Muhah Baidtuh taught the people the truth and Qah Saw Dtaynah made the song – that the true leader of the People is he who will, with courage and decision, give himself in the service of his friends.


Troops, Teams, Crews, and Ships of Camp Loll: each of you stand behind . . .


2003


There were so many pressures in the first few years at Loll that I hardly took any pictures. In those pre-electronic camera days it was hard to get pictures in the night, and I have none of Fellowship Ceremonies for those first few years back at Loll


Ben Mortensen prepares for the Fellowship Ceremony.



Jon Taylor will lead the candidates to the beach, by now we were having the troops line up on the parade ground and having only the boys to be inducted go down to the beach to wait.

2004



Gabe Conner and John Taylor, my two nephews, prepare for the Fellowship Ceremony.



Justin Hansen and Paxton Jensen join Gabe and Jonny.



Another week, another team. This one includes (left to right) Justin Hansen, Ben Prall, Kem Elbrader, and Seth.

2005


Some Staffers brought costumes to camp just so they could be in the ceremony. That was OK, the more the better.



This team from 2005 included (left to right) Chad McCombs, Joey Langford, Gabe Conner, and Mike Mason.



This weeks crew were Joey Langford, Gabe Conner, Mike Mason, and Shad Burnham.



Same crew, different order, in the camp office.

2006



2006. Sun, Moon, and Stars are (left to right) Shad Burnham, Gabe Conner, Chad McCombs, and Russell Stevens.



Same Crew on a different week on the porch of the lodge.



They are as handsome as they think they are.

2007


Shaun Conner and Shad Burnham ready to be painted.

2008



The Chief by the fire.



The 2008 Ceremony Team at the Inner Site.

2009

Wes Mathis prepares to Guard the Fellowship.


The team in 2009, (left to right) Mitch Sutherland, Jason Bott, Trevor Billings, and Wes Mathis.

For a long time we have been inducting the girls on Staff into the Fellowship, although early on they came up with some activites to amuse themselves while the rest of the camp was out in the woods. In the summer of 2009 some of them dressed up like their favorite Indians. It just goes to show that everyone wants to be like our guys.



Rachel Wiley, Deanna Mauchley, and Lauren Hansen.



Stephanie Dansie



Ashlin Pulotu


Deanna Mauchley



Neoma Williams

2010

In 2010 we once more put together a ceremony team worthy of emulation. It takes a long time to prepare to perform. Most often our team is made up of our Rangers who have many other assignments, but on Tuesday night, as the Scout Craft Skill events wind down, they head into the Lodge to get ready.



Mitch applies the War Paint.


Not only the paint has to be just right. the muscles need to be primed too. This is Matt Bredthauer and Mitch getting ready to make a big impression.



Jacob Mortensen makes a great Guard. The coyote hide was a gift to the Camp from Justin Hansen.



Ceremony Team, 2010, Mitch Sutherland, Justin Hansen, Wes Mathis, and Jacob Mortensen.



Having a little fun for the camera.



The fire is at the heart of the ceremony, one of many symbols.



Wes by the fire.

After the Camp Friends have taken their "youth leader" to the landing to await their journy into the forest I meet with the Adult leaders. I explain to them that there are three main ideas at the heart of the Fellowship of the Moose. which are: friendship, leadership, and service. As the Ceremony progresses there was a steady slow beating of a drum. The drum we use at Loll was built by Tim Moser out of the base of a big spruce tree. The tree, which was hollow, stood by the edge of the parking lot. It became obvious that it could break off and fall at any time. We called the Forest Service for help. Upon their arrival the sawers were not very pleased at having to bring down such a beautiful tree for the convenience of a few Boy Scouts. However, once I showed them the giant cracks, which opened and closed like hungry mouths every time the tree swayed in the breeze they agreed it had to come down. Once they had it down the Forester cut the hollow base off for the building of the drum, and then we counted the rings above the hollow. The tree was over 350 years old. I point out to the leaders, that if they and the youth leaders they are training do their part, the impact of their service to Scouting may will be felt long past 350 years. I remind them that the fruits of leadership through service will be the blessings of peace.

I then lead them to the beach. They watch the boys go off down the trail of lights, and then we follow. After the last boy has left I talk to the leaders about symbols. I talk about the power of ceremony, and tell them what will happen and how to interact with the program. I then talk to them about one more symbol of service. I point out that as we pass from the lively noise of the Camp into the quiet solitude of the wilderness, the place where the elected leaders of their units have been symbolically set apart, they will hear a noisy rattle coming from the far hill. It is the sound of Jody dragging the garbage trailer to the bin at the top of the road. What a great example of service he sets, while we enjoy the beauty of the night, Jody keeps us safe by tramping the trash into the bear safe dumpster. That is the way leadership works.

At each torch I tell the leaders what has been said to their boy at this place. The first torch is the flame of Friendship. Here the Camp Friend told their youth leader how happy he is that the unit chose to come to Camp Loll this week and how glad he is that they will get to be friends. The second fire is the flame of Leadership. Here the Camp Friend explains he understands how hard it is to be a leader, especially a leader chosen by ones peers, and promises that if the boy ever needs help, all he need do is ask. At the last flame, the flame of service, I explain that here the Staff Member reveals a great secret and tells the boy a great truth. We know that it is true because the first time we hear it we know we have always know it. It is that the secret of success in Friendship and Leadership is Service. We then proceed on to the inner fire. We are challenged, and I announce them as my friends and we are admitted into the circle for the ceremony. Once the boys are dismissed I follow the Leaders back to Camp. I must admit that I do not know what goes on as the fire closes down for the night.



Another symbol of the ceremony, is that it is always the job of the High Chief to tend the fire. It is the service of the leader that keeps the Spirit of Scouting alive.



Justin breaths life into the coals.



He stands a mighty symbol of friendship, Leadership, and Service.

2 comments:

Reach Upward said...

As a young scout, I wanted badly to be a member of the Order of the Arrow like two of my friends. It was mystique, adventure, and exclusiveness all rolled into one.

My ordeal was at Camp Bartlett in June 1974. It was lots of hard work. The food was scant. There were lots of mosquitoes. Some of my companions didn't take their oaths of silence very seriously, but I did, because it meant something to me.

The evening ceremony was impressive. But it was windy and the chief didn't speak very loudly. I really didn't know what was said in the ceremony until I attended fall conclave at Camp Kiesel and heard the ceremony again.

The O.A. stuck with me. Lysis became my chapter staff advisor when I was the chapter chief. Under his tutelage, our chapter grew. I became the chief of the lodge and then of the section. As an adult, I served as the chapter advisor twice.

Over the years, I have seen many young men experience the same kind of mystical draw to the O.A. that I felt as a youth. Over the years I have seen boys and men give thousands of hours of service through the O.A.

I like the Fellowship of the Moose. It fills a role that was originally filled by the O.A. in the dim ages. Moreover, it is relatively simple.

This past summer, we had two older boys come with our troop to Loll. Each of them had previously served as SPL when the troop had been at Loll, so each was a member of the fellowship. Accordingly, they attended the ceremony along with the boy that was our SPL. These older boys returned from the ceremony with a much more profound sense of honor than when they first attended in past years. It was obvious that they feel a connection that will long remain.

MattW said...

I happened across this blog entry while searching for a Camp Friend I came to admire when I visited Camp Loll--I believe in 1991 (Mark Daniels). He was a remarkable leader, counselor, and friend. I was the SPL of my troop, and a new OA member, and his influence is something I've remembered ever since.
I found two delightful coincidences while reading your post--I also studied with the inimitable Rulon Skinner. I took a couple of his RMYL courses and was changed forever. Finally, I was surprised to find a photo of a very young Eric McPherson here--he and I studied in the same MBA program and even worked at the same company for a couple of years.
Thanks for an excellent blog and for the chance to re-live some memories (I believe I participated in the Fellowship of the Moose myself at Loll--you were running the program around 1991 there?)