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SpEdScouter

Tired of Mik o Say!

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To fully see the impact of the Micosay organization on the life of Camp Bartle and the scouts involved you have to be there to believe it.

 

On Day 4 of camp (see page 24 of the program here) is "Call out Night". On that day leaders of Micosay in tribal attire, walk around the various camps, shake hands with troop leaders, and say "Thank you for bringing down new recruits". Yes "recruits". Not new Scouts, but "recruits". ALL scouts and adults are required to attend this campfire. It is a 2 hour ceremony where different scouts are called out to be Foxmen, Warriors, Braves, etc... At no time are "Scouts" recognized for say becoming first class or life or eagle or anything. Its all Micosay.

 

Only on 2 nights of the 10 day camp at Bartle is there anything close to being what other scout camps would call a regular evening campfire program of funny skits, singing, and entertainment.(see page 30 here). Even that is almost all the Micosay people doing there stuff (ex. the "Firebuilders" come in to light the fire). At meals from day 4 on they call out the Warriors because that part of camp for them involves having a stick in their mouth while they do 24 hours of silence and do various work projects throughout the camp. At night they are lead away for a secret initiation. On days 6 and 8 they have their braves and warriors ceremonial but no alternative campfire programs for scouts (they do open the BMX track).

 

I have asked what Bartle would be like if it wasn't for Micosay. The answer is it might not even be there seeing how other scout camps have closed or they would have had to change direction to say allow outside groups to camp there. Micosay keeps a steady stream of campers and adults (and money) coming thru its gates. The tribesmen (you will see the warriors and braves working as part of their initiation) clean the grounds and do various maintenance projects. Micosay cuts down on discipline issues. I never see graffiti at Bartle. Micosay means most staff are older so many classes are taught by 18 year olds. Of course that means Bartle has to devote fewer resources to camp maintenance and programming because tribesmen never complain if say the food is bad or the merit badge classes are lacking.

 

At NO TIME at Bartle does the head Medicine man EVER tell Scouts they do not have to be in Micosay. They do tell them if they are not called to come back next year.

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ok, well first, other than the OP, who said it was a secret society?  My experience with the Tribe of my youth and the OA today is that a parent or leader that makes a concerned query about the program will get the information they want to make a decision.  Participation is voluntary.

 

Next, the things I mentioned are available through Boy Scouting but were expanded and increased through my participation in the Tribe.  I grew up in a very small town, being in the Tribe gave me multiple opportunities far beyond what I received through the Troop alone.  Mic-O-Say, like OA and Venturing and Sea Scouting are programs to help keep older youth engaged with Scouting so we can meet the mission.  I stayed in scouting, and became an Eagle, because of the Tribe.

 

Finally, since when is scouting about honors to place on a resume or college application????

Walk, you said you were in Micosay back in the 80's? Have you been to Bartle lately?

 

Is it voluntary? Yes and no. As I said when one goes to Bartle every staff member and nearly all scouts are members so "influence" and pressure to join is pretty high. As I said earlier nearly all the nightly campfires are Mic events and most meals have Mic call outs. So how can one say its strictly voluntary when its pushed so much?

 

At NO TIME when I have been there the last 3 years has any leader said "You do not need to join Micosay".

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Looks to be organized to be more adult led than OA.    So why then is there an OA in this council?  Or is that for the boys that can get into an honor society on a vote rather than good-old-boys invitations? 

 

And what happens to the boys that never get an invitation?

Your right it is more adult led than OA. In fact if you look on their main page, you see the larger events are really adult get togethers.They make a big deal of the native american garb paint on the plastic claws on their lanyards.

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Stosh, there is quite a rank/promotion structure in MOS.   Several tiers, lots of different beads, paint on claw tips, honors, etc. The youth have their track, the adults theirs.   In the adult arena, it is very political and close knit, almost like a fraternal order.

Yes, they have their secrets. Look at this page, It says under the title "Keeper of the Sacred Bundle" that "By tradition, the most important responsibilities of a Keeper of the Sacred Bundle are never detailed in print."

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Yes, they have their secrets. Look at this page, It says under the title "Keeper of the Sacred Bundle" that "By tradition, the most important responsibilities of a Keeper of the Sacred Bundle are never detailed in print."

 

The most important responsibility of a Keeper of the Sacred Bundle is to keep the sacred bundle.

Edited by MrBob
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Actually, in addition to MOS we also have the largest OA lodge in the country, Tamegonit Lodge 147, and we have a much higher than average Eagle scout rate, or so national keeps telling us.  MOS is also at Pony express Council and they have NO OA lodge.  There are also offshoots of MOS in the Tribe of Lone Bear over at Camp Arrowhead and others more distantly related.  

 

As a person who was born, raised and works in the KC Metro, in the business world, being an Eagle Scout, Tribesman of MOS,and/or an Arrowman of Tamegonit Lodge 147 all get you to the top of my list at interview time.  Heck, when I got my current job 4 years ago, one of the interview questions was about my tribal name in MOS.  All the prime movers in law, banking, construction, government, etc. are either MOS folks or have given enough time and or treasure to the council to know what it is about.  

 

It clearly benefits the boys, as our average scout goes to 5 years of summer camp and makes at least life scout.  It is much like a fraternal organization and the higher-ups are all adults.  But then our OA Lodge is a well run, boy lead endeavor and both programs benefit from the association.  I am an adult advisor to the OATR of our troop and assist at the Chapter level and with the Lodge Ceremonial team, and I encourage all the scouts that have the opportunity, to take advantage of both programs.

 

BSA is aware and has been for tens of decades.  Just like scouting in general, Mic-O-Say is for everyone, but not everyone is for Mic-O-Say.

 

just my 2 cents.  YMMV and all that.

You are right but let's face it, Bartle as a scout camp is VERY lacking. Bad food. Disgusting latrines. Weak programming (ex. no carnival nights or entertainers). But what keeps Bartle going with about a 90% return rate (scouts returning year after year) along with low staff turnover - is Micosay.

 

All those things you say Micosay teaches are true. Friendship. Discipline, Morals. Business networking. You work hard for your rank advancement and paint and you contribute much to scouting.

 

BUT, Micosay has become the crutch that keeps Camp Bartle going. Because of Micosay their is no incentive to Bartle staff to make improvements or even listen to the scout leaders.

 

I'll give you a big example. The latrines. They are the worst smelling and disgusting I've ever seen on a campground. Notice though the camp directors dont use them. They use the bathroom in the Micosay lodge or the pool. (Sidenote - we had a scout who wouldnt poop in the latrines and went 3 days and ended up getting constipation and being sent home.)

 

Or the food. Its mediocre at best, terrible is the norm. Leadership might eat a little in the dining hall but they have their own separate kitchen back in the directors area. But why improve?

 

Also leadership at Bartle (at least at Lone Star) makes no effort to be involved with scouters or general activities at the camp. You never see them down at the lakefront or coming down to the campsites to sit on a board of review or even sit down and talk to the scouts. (another sidenote - I've been to other youth camps where the directors ARE involved. They get to know campers and parents. They go to activities. They take their share of pies in the face and water balloons.)

 

It might not be what Micosay is about - but it IS what it has become. A crutch that keeps Camp Bartle going.

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Yes, they have their secrets. Look at this page, It says under the title "Keeper of the Sacred Bundle" that "By tradition, the most important responsibilities of a Keeper of the Sacred Bundle are never detailed in print."

 

Um, the page you cite, micosay.org, is the site for the MOS at Pony Express Council at Camp Geiger.  The Mic-o-Say at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, in Heart of America Council, has its website at http://www.hoac-bsa.org/mic-o-say.  The programs are similar, and both come from the mind and efforts of H. Roe Bartle himself, but are not the same.  

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I admit I don't know much about Mic-O-Say, nor have I met any members to my knowledge. But some of the actions and attitudes I've read here remind me of some of the OA members and lodges I've ran into over the years. One lodge in particular is coming to my mind about their attitude and actions, which caused the area director to get involved at a conclave!

 

Like any organization, it is comprised of a variety of members. Some are good, and some go overboard.

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PING @@WAKWIB.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Warrior Freedom's Defender from Eucalyptus Groves in the Tribe of Mic-o-Say (H R Bartle or HOAC branch).  Wakwib, a regular on this board, is a Sachem.

 

Let me correct something:  Organizationally, the CHIEF of the Tribe is the current Scout Executive, either of HOAC or the Pony Express Council.  As I recall, former Chiefs, including such good men as Jim Terry (retired as the Deputy CSE) become Chieftains after their tenure as SE. 

 

As far as membership goes, those who want to ask, may ask myself, @@WAKWIB, or other Tribesmen by private message.  Like the Order of the Arrow, the information is freely available to the adults, we use mystery and sleight of hand to keep the youth members excited.

I will say this:  HOAC has one of the highest camping attendance rates in the nation.  We camp 1500 youth and adults each session for 5 sessions, and 1000 at our sixth at HRB, for a 9 1/3 day camp.  We camp 600 at Theodore Naish (where OA has predominance) for each of 3 6 day sessions (the rest of its season is Webelos Camp, AND it runs 16 sessions of Bear Family Overnight Camp.

Geiger in Pony Express, home of the other branch of the Tribe, has the highest rate of Eagle Scout attainment in the Nation, as I recall.

Our Professionals and volunteers have to be doing something right.

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My son just got back from Bartle and he said he was really getting tired about how much they pushed Mikosay down there. For those of you not in the Heart of America district the Tribe of Mikosay http://www.hoac-bsa.org/mic-o-say is a local scouting honor society similar to Order of the Arrow.

 

Now I really have no problem with the group but its just that they push it so much. At Camp Bartle they have specific areas where only Mikosay members can enter (granted they are very small). Almost every evenings campfire was centered around Mikosay (callouts and such) especially nights 4,6 and 8. Non-members have to sit thru it anyways. Mikosay members have a different method of praying at meals. At campfires they separate out the Mikosay (called tribesmen) and non-Mikosay members.  My son really was tired of it all (he has been asked to join twice). As an adult leader down there you get the cold shoulder from members sometimes if your not wearing the claws and I get asked alot why I am not a member.  To see the influence you can check out the Bartle program guide here. Every time you see pictures of Scouts in Indian attire, those are all Mikosay. The Indian Lore merit badge is targeted for those entering Mikosay.

 

Frankly I really do not see much benefit from the group other than keeping the person closely involved in scouting even as adults. Part of the reason we go to Bartle in the first place is most of the scout leaders are Mikosay members.

 

I feel Scouting should be an inclusive organization and Mikosay is the closest thing to being a "secret society" within the organization. Most of the ceremonies and all their buildings are closed to non-members. Members are sworn to secrecy. It creates a "your not one of us" situation unique to this one scout camp.

 

I wish I would have seen this topic a bit earlier, but I'm always the late one to the party....

 

SpEdScouter:  If I recall correctly, you posted a similar topic a year or so ago. I offered then to engage in a more one-on-one conversation with you about it.  The offer still stands. Actually, if you wish, email me at wakwib@hotmail.com. Since you are in the area, I wouldn't mind taking the time to converse over a cup of coffee or lunch.

  To be frank, you do seem to have some misconceptions of the Tribe and that has, in turn, fed into the misconceptions of several of our commentators.

  The offer of some Q & A via my email also extends to other members of the forum also. Just don't spam me too much..... :) 

We could do that here of course  if we want to keep the thread rolling along.  I have been a member of the Tribe for over 40 years and stay as active in Scouting and Mic-O-Say as I can (the degree has gone up and down over the years due to life), so I have a little bit of credibility.

 

  I do want to make a few remarks just off the top of my head. First, I'm proud to say that this summer the Tribe will induct it's 80,000th member since it's formation in the Kansas City Area Council (now Heart of America) in 1929.

 This summer, we also inducted the new Chief Scout Executive into Mic-O-Say, which has been a custom of ours for several decades. He is fully aware, as are other members of the National Staff, of our customs and traditions and the content and conduct of our ceremonies.

 

 Our ceremonies are rich and meaningful. Every boy who goes through the program will tell you it is fun and exciting. They will also speak of the challenges and hard work involved. Scouts come to our camp for 5-10 years to experience it. Thousands of guys, and gals, call our Reservation "home."  That's an almost impossible thing to describe to someone outside of the organization.

 

  However, the main component of Mic-O-Say goes deeper than cool ceremonies, costumes, and the beads and claws. So, I will briefly share the "secret" of our not very secret society. Every youth and adult who enters our Tribe makes a contract with themselves to undertake specific tasks to give service in 4 specific areas of their lives. There is a format to this.The 4 entities are, or should be, very dear to the heart of the Scout. 

The Scouts who are joining the Tribe share these 4 resolutions with members of the Tribal Council at a special council ring. BTW--the view from that council ring is my profile pic). These resolutions are reviewed, and revised with the Tribal Council at other times during the next two years, if the Tribesman returns to camp. The adults who join Mic-O-Say witness this, and in turn, are also asked to make similar resolutions as well.

 

The Tribe, regardless of all the hoopla of the Indian stuff, is really centered around our 4 Heart's Resolutions, individually and collectively. For many Tribesmen, those resolutions become the template for an evolving "life-plan" of dedication and service. For some spiritual or emotional reason, this dedication to our life-plan has formed among Tribesmen a strong bond of friendship and fellowship, and a love for Scouting and our Scout Reservation. 

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