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Are Scouting Fraternities Too Dominant At Camps?

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At Camp H. Roe. Bartle, and especially at camp Lone Star they have Micosay and I have to say, Micosay is pretty dominant. Easily 19-20 staff members are Micosay and Micosay dominates the activities like they run the major events, at mealtimes they call out the various ranks and such, Micosay also has their lodge there.

 

Also white rocks set aside areas only Micosay members can enter.

 

While I dont have any problem with Micosay in general and I definitely see the need for such a group to keep older scouts in the system, I really think they can overwhelm things. I can see that part of the reason our group camps at Bartle is because of its Micosay focus (all of our leaders are in it). They seem less enthused about staying at non-Micosay camps.

 

Now I knoiw Micosay is just Heart of America council and isnt national like OA is but other councils have their own versions. Do you all see the scouting fraternities taking up too much attention from regular scouts?

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How does an organization like this exist? I didn't think you could make your own awards or societies.

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At Camp H. Roe. Bartle, and especially at camp Lone Star they have Micosay and I have to say, Micosay is pretty dominant. Easily 19-20 staff members are Micosay and Micosay dominates the activities like they run the major events, at mealtimes they call out the various ranks and such, Micosay also has their lodge there.

 

Also white rocks set aside areas only Micosay members can enter.

 

While I dont have any problem with Micosay in general and I definitely see the need for such a group to keep older scouts in the system, I really think they can overwhelm things. I can see that part of the reason our group camps at Bartle is because of its Micosay focus (all of our leaders are in it). They seem less enthused about staying at non-Micosay camps.

 

Now I knoiw Micosay is just Heart of America council and isnt national like OA is but other councils have their own versions. Do you all see the scouting fraternities taking up too much attention from regular scouts?

 

Don't know about the Micosay thing, but I think OA is pretty good, and I don't think it takes up too much attention from regular scouts. Our OA members in our troop are for the most part, exemplary scouts.  At camps we've been at, OA has a separate cracker barrel/ice cream social one night, but that's about it.

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There are several non-national groups like this that are just within a Council.  There is also Firecrafter in Indiana area.  In Seattle there is the Silver Marmot.  But that is at Camp Parsons and is now a Camp Staff based thing.

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There are several non-national groups like this that are just within a Council.  There is also Firecrafter in Indiana area.  In Seattle there is the Silver Marmot.  But that is at Camp Parsons and is now a Camp Staff based thing.

Do you think they dominate? 

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OA, Micosay (sp), Firecrafter, etc are prominent at camps becasue they are the ones that provide the volunteer manpower to keep the camps running throughout the year. I know my lodge has 3 Ordeals, which are essentially formal work days, to maintain and improve the main camp. The lodge also does 1 informal workday at the other 3 camps.

 

And chapters do their part too. I know my chapter has paid for and build several structures at the local camp, as well as workdays to maintain it. I can't tell how much money they have raised since I moved back to the area, but when I was chapter adviser, in a 4 or 5 year period, we invested about $10,000 in tools, supplies,  and an industrial grade lawnmower. I have not been as active for the past 7 years due to Cub Scouts, but I know that they raised the money for and are almost finished a new shelter at the camp.

 

So I can see why they do some special things at the camps.

 

As for taking up Scout's time, I only know about the OA. And an Arrowman's primary duty is to his unit, whether it's the troop, ship, team, crew, or, as in my case, pack.

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I'm not from a Micosay council (there are only two remaining, both artifacts of H. Roe Bartle's career, a third merged their program into OA (Mic-o-say Lodge) might have been others) so I don't see a dominance of OA at camp, mostly because OA tends to be tied to council/lodge and not specifically to a camp.  This is somewhat unfortunate as your lodges events and workdays during the spring & fall are tied to its councils camps, and often (from my experience) specifically tied to its "suburban" Cub World or overnight-only camp while the council's summer camp is either non-existent or far outside the geographic territory.

 

My experience is mostly from camping out of council or in camps with large out-of-council presence.  In recent years, I've just seen an OA day worked into the week: wear your sash, OA-hosted service project during siesta, OA ice cream social in the evenings.  In-camp elections and/or ordeals are rare but still happen in some lodges.

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At Camp H. Roe. Bartle, and especially at camp Lone Star they have Micosay and I have to say, Micosay is pretty dominant. Easily 19-20 staff members are Micosay and Micosay dominates the activities like they run the major events, at mealtimes they call out the various ranks and such, Micosay also has their lodge there.

 

Also white rocks set aside areas only Micosay members can enter.

 

While I dont have any problem with Micosay in general and I definitely see the need for such a group to keep older scouts in the system, I really think they can overwhelm things. I can see that part of the reason our group camps at Bartle is because of its Micosay focus (all of our leaders are in it). They seem less enthused about staying at non-Micosay camps.

 

Now I knoiw Micosay is just Heart of America council and isnt national like OA is but other councils have their own versions. Do you all see the scouting fraternities taking up too much attention from regular scouts?

 

My best advice on this SpEd is that you continue to attend Bartle Reservation and eventually become a member of Mic-O-Say yourself. Through that experience you will come to understand that it is more that just a club or fraternity. 

What are some of the results:

Retention-kids attend our camp 5 years on average and many continue to attend well into their early 20's.  

Volunteerism- we never have a shortage of applicants for the roughly 200 staff positions at camp.(that's an educated guess on numbers.)

Also youth and adults give lots of time, talent, and treasure to the maintenance and improvements of the camp.

While many councils seem to be struggling, Heart of America and Pony Express (another Mic-O-Say council) stay pretty strong on almost all the key metrics.

And finally, it may be a surprise to the casual observer, but the main focus of Mic-O-Say is actually NOT on it's members but on the "regular scouts" who are not yet a part of the Inner Circle.

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My best advice on this SpEd is that you continue to attend Bartle Reservation and eventually become a member of Mic-O-Say yourself. Through that experience you will come to understand that it is more that just a club or fraternity. 

What are some of the results:

Retention-kids attend our camp 5 years on average and many continue to attend well into their early 20's.  

Volunteerism- we never have a shortage of applicants for the roughly 200 staff positions at camp.(that's an educated guess on numbers.)

Also youth and adults give lots of time, talent, and treasure to the maintenance and improvements of the camp.

While many councils seem to be struggling, Heart of America and Pony Express (another Mic-O-Say council) stay pretty strong on almost all the key metrics.

And finally, it may be a surprise to the casual observer, but the main focus of Mic-O-Say is actually NOT on it's members but on the "regular scouts" who are not yet a part of the Inner Circle.

I've not been to Bartle, but we have tried several times because we wanted to experience the camp and witness Mic-O-Say.The reputation of the camp and Mic-O-Say is well established and huge. The organization doesn't get that way by accident. 

 

Barry

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I grew up in a Mic-O-Say spin-off, The Tribe of the Silver Tomahawk (brought to Iowa by Earl Ring).  The Tribe was the reason boys came back to camp every year.  Younger boys wanted to be in the Tribe and worked hard at advancement and tenure requirements to be tapped out.  Older boys came back every year to enjoy fellowship, provide adjunct camp staff, and provide the service required to move up in paint.

 

Silver Tomahawk was actually a merged Mic-O-Say/OA lodge when I was a youth.  When the council merged in the 90s the Tribe lost it's OA charter.  As I understand it the Tribe now exists as an Honor Society for my old camp with only a minor OA presence. 

 

I think the advantages of Mic-O-Say probably far outweigh any concern about dominating.  My experience with Mic-O-Say matches the comments of WAKWIB. 

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I attended Bartle 25+ years ago, and had the privilege of being selected to join Mic-O-say (as an adult scouter).   Wonderful camp and the positive influence of Mic-O-say can be seen in the participation and heritage of the camp.   Plus, the induction ceremony was better than any OA ceremony I'd seen before or previous.

 

That said, there was alot of "I'm Mic-O-say and you aren't" attitudes throughout the camp.   Scouters and scouts both seemed to relish needling non-Mic-O-say people.   I'm not normally bothered by such things, but there was a steady stream of "we're in and you aren't."   Perhaps this is what SpEd is referring to?

 

Going to camp in other parts of the US, I've haven't seen any other fraternal influence.   The OA will perform their duties at certain times, but they are pretty low key otherwise (I mean that in a good way).

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I attended Bartle 25+ years ago, and had the privilege of being selected to join Mic-O-say (as an adult scouter).   Wonderful camp and the positive influence of Mic-O-say can be seen in the participation and heritage of the camp.   Plus, the induction ceremony was better than any OA ceremony I'd seen before or previous.

 

That said, there was alot of "I'm Mic-O-say and you aren't" attitudes throughout the camp.   Scouters and scouts both seemed to relish needling non-Mic-O-say people.   I'm not normally bothered by such things, but there was a steady stream of "we're in and you aren't."   Perhaps this is what SpEd is referring to?

 

Going to camp in other parts of the US, I've haven't seen any other fraternal influence.   The OA will perform their duties at certain times, but they are pretty low key otherwise (I mean that in a good way).

Yeah, when you walk around and you dont have the lanyard and the claws, your pretty much ignored. Especially at Lone Star which has the Micosay headquarters.

 

Does any other camp have areas marked off with white rocks that only fraternity members can go to? To me the camp should be for the scouts not just the tribesmen.

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Yeah, when you walk around and you dont have the lanyard and the claws, your pretty much ignored. Especially at Lone Star which has the Micosay headquarters.

 

Does any other camp have areas marked off with white rocks that only fraternity members can go to? To me the camp should be for the scouts not just the tribesmen.

The Bartle Reservation covers 4200 acres. The areas outlined with white rocks that designate ceremonial grounds and places for other tribal activities maybe add up to a grand total of 2 acres. The remaining space provides some the best long-term camping and program facilities in the country that are used by thousands of scouts every summer that do not wear the claws of the tribe. 

If the private message thing works on this form, shoot me a note. It would be my pleasure to help you understand what Mic-O-Say is really about and to share with you what a strong Scouting program the Heart of America Council has been blessed with.

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@@SpEdScouter, the OA ceremonial rings are also restricted land ... the idea is we keep mystery for the YOUTH.

 

How many other Scout Reservations have a ten day cycle?  HRB does.  How many have THREE campfires during the week?  HRB does.  How many Scout Reservations camp 1500 youth and adults in each of five sessions, and 1000 in the last?  HRB does.

 

HOAC is doing something right.  As @@WAKWIB said, contact him directly.  He'll be glad to share details.  He and I are friends locally here in KC@@SpEdScouter

Edited by John-in-KC
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