Boy Scouts Troop 22 Attend Pow Wow
SgtMaj Jim Poe
Boy Scouts Troop 22 members attended the 15th annual Pow Wow conducted by the local chapter of Scouting’s Order of the Arrow (honor society of Scouting). Nearly 1,000 people attended the weekend event.
The word powwow derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning “spiritual leader”. A modern pow-wow is a specific type of event where both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize, and honor American Indian culture.
Boy Scouts Learn Indian Lore
Attending Boy Scouts are provided a rare opportunity to earn the Indian Lore merit badge over the weekend. This merit badge requires focus, attention to detail, and demonstrated hands-on skill levels over many hours. It even includes completion of a college-style research paper. Several Boy Scouts Troop 22 members applied due diligence and successfully completed all requirements.
Photos show load-up, and the Scouts receiving a departing word from Colonel Hill, the MMA Superintendant, where boys asked about a rumor among the Cadet Corps that Col Hill may be part Indian….while staunchly denying Indian relations, Col Hill then uttered, in perfect Lakota (Lakhota) dialect, IYAYA KICI OKOBLAYA CANTE (go with peaceful heart). It remains uncertain as to whether he successfully quashed the rumor.
Arrival at Camp Perry finds darkness quickly descending upon the visible landscape. Troop 22 rapidly set-up a Scout style camp. An evening meeting for Scoutmasters and Senior Patrol Leaders was convened to discuss weekend events, rules, and procedures. Optional costs included messhall meals prepared by camp staff. Camp meals are very basic; our Boy Scouts quickly came to appreciate and commented on the high qualify of vittles available on our regular cook-it-yourself campouts.
Mornings find the first official event is a flag raising ceremony. Our Cadet-Scouts were asked, and gladly accepted the responsibility of conducting this event both mornings. It was followed by breakfast, then Indian craft and skill activities in the temporary Indian Village, to include:
make a blow or spoon / make a grass mat / make a medicine necklace / flintknapping – make an arrowhead / cordage – rope making / hide skinning and tanning / native pit cooking / shelter construction / archery / trap making / handicraft / knife sharpening / black powder shooting / and on and on….
Attendees also learned about Mountain Men, Native American dancing, drumming, and singing, and native storytelling. A couple of ladies showed the guys the expert skill of how to properly skin a large hog and deer. It was a very interesting process!
Camp Perry is scenically located next to the Arroyo Colorado waterway, which handles barge traffic per the photo.
Robert Walter and Spencer Pascal were first to earn the Indian Lore Merit Badge. They then cheerfully volunteered to assist primary counselor Heather Blakemore in the huge administrative duties required to accurately process dozens of successful badge earning Boy Scouts. Ms. Blakemore and husband Mark bring along their extensive library on North American Indians for use by the Scouts to prepare the required research paper as part of earning the badge. The Blakemore’s are totally devoted to Scouting. They volunteer and devote many, many hours to benefit the youth of the Rio Grande Valley annually. The Blakemore’s epitomize the meaning of unselfish service to others. Hat’s off in honor of these two Platinum-Plated volunteers!
An authentic pow-wow was conducted Saturday evening as a wrap-up to events. Participants conducted a VERY impressive ceremony. Troop 22’s Nathan Logan and Henry Frost donned Indian clothing and participated in the dancing. Frost discovered he was a natural Indian dancer. Some of the many children attending sought photos with him.
Sunday morning, the troop breakfasts, participates in camp clean-up, campsite breakdown, then departure to campus. Comments from other Scoutmasters and adult attendees towards Troop 22 Boy Scouts were most complementary! Our boys conducted themselves with pride and professionalism. They dazzled everyone with their polite manners, willingness to serve, and leadership. For this they were treated to a well-deserved Ice Cream treat at the local McDonalds. Does it get any better than this?
Learn More about Marine Military Academy and Boy Scouts Troop 22
Check out the Marine Military Academy website or click on the image below to request information about enrollment.