Tribe of Lone Bear
The Tribe of Lone Bear is Ozark Trails Council's older camper honor program for Camp Arrowhead. It was founded on July 11th, 2000. More than 1,300 Scouts and Scouters are involved in the program and it continues to grow each summer.
The Tribe of Lone Bear is designed to retain older boys in Scouting by getting them involved and excited about attending summer camp, helping in their troops, and by serving on camp staff. It also builds anticipation and excitement in younger Scouts as they watch older Scouts become more involved and active in the Tribe.
The Tribe of Lone Bear is a leadership enhancement program that helps the Ozark Trails Council fulfill its mission of preparing young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by strengthening their understanding of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.It provides recognition to Scouts who have demonstrated their devotion to Scouting and challenges them to take actions that show their commitment to the Scout Oath and Law.
The Tribe of Lone Bear is a program for Scouts that is guided and inspired by adults.Adult leaders are brought into the Tribe so that they may interpret and encourage the use and application of those principles in the lives of Scouts.
In 1922, H. Roe Bartle was the first Scout Executive of the Central Wyoming Council at Casper. Scout executives were encouraged to find ways to enhance the Scouting program, and honor Scout organizations were developing across the United States.
Bartle became interested in the many Native American tribes near Casper. A local Shoshone chieftain, who was also a Scoutmaster and interested in Scouting, became friends with Bartle. Eventually, this chieftain inducted Bartle into his tribe, and gave him the name Lone Bear.
Bartle held a special meeting with his Shoshone friend, a Sioux and an Arapaho to determine the right name for a new concept in honor camper programs. They named it “Mic-O-Say,” meaning deep, abiding and everlasting friendship and warmth of the heart to reach down and lift up those who are younger and weaker. We now shorten this concept to the phrase “Friendship and Warmth.”
The Shoshone Chief Lone Bear began a simple program for older Scouts in his troop. The symbol of membership was a walrus tooth. Bartle changed the concept to the eagle’s claw, more representative of the highest rank in Scouting.
In 1925, Bartle was selected as Scout Executive in St. Joseph, Mo. He brought with him the ideas and experiences gained through his relationships with the Native Americans in Wyoming. In May 1925, at the conclusion of a Boy Scout training program in his new council, Bartle awarded single eagle claws to boys and leaders that he felt were worthy. Eventually, this led to the development of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, which still exists in the Pony Express Council.
Bartle transferred again in 1928 to the Kansas City Area Council, and Bartle founded the Mic-O-Say program in this council as well. The Tribe of Mic-O-Say took off quickly, first at Camp Dan Sayre near Noel (a town that is now in Ozark Trails Council) in 1929, then at the new Camp Osceola in 1930, just north of the Ozark Trails Council boundary. That 4,000-acre camp is now called the Bartle Scout Reservation and the Tribe of Mic-O-Say thrives there.
In 1999, the Ozark Trails Council Board approved the establishment of Mic-O-Say or a similar program at Camp Arrowhead. The Tribe of Lone Bear was born at Camp Arrowhead with a Founding Ceremony and a Chieftains Ceremony on July 11, 2000. The Tribe of Lone Bear at Camp Arrowhead, while based on the principles of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, is a separate program for the benefit of Scouts at Camp Arrowhead.
The first Chieftains of the Tribe of Lone Bear were: Scout Executive Dean Ertel, Chief Dancing Rainbow on Sparkling Waters; Gene Hartley, Presiding Chieftain Far Seeing Black Oak; and Kevin Mitchelson, Chieftain Screeching Eagle. The tribe honored Jimmy Bartle Taylor of Fort Worth, Texas, daughter of H. Roe Bartle, by elevating her to Chieftain Lone Bear Princess in 2002; she died in 2008. Directing Medicine Man Shoots-Straight Talker, Lyle Morgan, became a Chieftain in 2005. Shawn Harris, Keeper of the Wampum Great Wise Owl of the Night, became a Chieftain in 2015.
While we are not a part of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say at the Bartle Scout Reservation, we share its history, its customs and traditions, and a kinship spirit of friendship and warmth. Any Tribesman of Mic-O-Say or similar tribes in other councils is welcome at Lone Bear ceremonies.
Year In Review
The 2017 camping season at Camp Arrowhead was another good one. The staff led by Camp Director Will Scruggs and Program Director Karl Zahn did a wonderful job of providing great experiences for the hundreds of Cub Scouts and 924 Boy Scoutswho spent time at Camp Arrowhead in June and July.
The Tribe of Lone Bear’s activities began May 20 with our Tribal Feast, in which we set up tents in the Camp Arrowhead campsites, enjoyed a wonderful evening feast, and did the first of our Tribal Council elevations at our evening ceremony. Altogether this summer, we elevated nine Warriors and Honored Women to Sachem, elevated three Sachems to Keepers of the Wampum, elevated one Keeper of the Wampum to Sagamore, and elevated two Sagamores to Medicine Men.
The most significant Tribal Council elevation this summer was that of Adam Bolyard, Medicine Man Climbs Mountains. He is our tribe’s third Directing Medicine Man, replacing Frank Carlile, Medicine Man Bobwhite Singing in the Oaks, who led our tribe since 2006. Our Directing Medicine Man directs the operations of the tribe at Camp Arrowhead and during fall, winter and spring. Frank is now the first person in the Tribe of Lone Bear to hold the title of Senior Medicine Man.
Adam earned Eagle Scout in 2000 and also earned the Venturing Bronze, Gold and Silver awards. He’s served as a committee member for Trooper 494 and Crew 1924, is a member of Order of the Arrow, a former council climbing instructor, and a former Camp Arrowhead camp staff member. Adam became aBrave of Mic-O-Say in 2001 and a Warrior of Mic-O-Say in 2002. He started working at Camp Arrowhead in 2003 and became aFirebuilder in 2003, advanced through the paint responsibilities and became a Sachem in 2007, a Keeper of the Wampum in 2011, and aSagamorein 2015. He was the tribe’s first youth Lone Bear coordinator.
At Tribal Feast, we also honored our late longtime trading post manager, Ron Hurley, by naming Big Drifting Eagle Trading Post in his memory. Ron was one of those do-everything Scouters. He was a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, unit commissioner, assistant district commissioner, den leader, merit badge counselor, trainer, instructor, and camp commissioner. He won numerous awards, including Silver Beaver and Golden Sun, and was proud to see his son and grandson earn Eagle. Ron became an Honorary Warrior of Mic-O-Say in 1968, a Sachem of Lone Bear in 2005, a Keeper of the Wampum in 2008 and a Sagamore in 2012. He died in early 2017. His family attended the dedication ceremony and donated some of his tribal attire and Scouting mementoes to the tribe.
During the five sessions at Camp Arrowhead, we honored 51 Scouts as Foxmen, brought 93 Scouts into the tribe as Braves, elevated 25 Braves to Warrior, and brought in 48 Scouters as Honorary Warriors and Honored Women. The service that the new Braves, Warriors and Honored Women provided to Camp Arrowhead definitely made camp a better place for those who will follow.
We also honored 75 Warriors with additional paint responsibilities: 26 Firebuilders, 14 TomTom Beaters, 10 Runners, 5 Keepers of the Sacred Bundle, and 5 Shaman. The number of youth paint elevations (60) was 24 more than 2016 and is a tribal record.
We also awarded 151 special coups, which is also a tribal record. That number includes 35 First Coveted coups, 24 Eagle coups, 22 Religious Award coups, 17 Coups of the Long Trail, 1 Dancer coup, 13 Staff Coups, and 39 Scoutmaster Coups.
Our special thanks go out to the dedicated volunteers and staff members who led Tribe of Lone Bear operations and activities this summer. That includes Tribal Feast director David Johnson and his talented crew;Lone Bear Coordinator Peter “Obie” Oberwager;Directing Tribal Council Members Mike Trantham, Don Lasley, Mike Whitescarver, John Gerzen and Sam Holliday; Trading Post manager Don Sadler;and Recording Medicine Man Ian Martin. We also had talented staff members who took on major parts to make our ceremonies successful, including Austin Grega, Shane Sondermann, Karl Zahn and JacobWylie; and the coups and props ceremony coordinators, including Tracy Gerkey, Michelle Johnson, and Theresa Sondermann.
We look forward to seeing each of you in 2018 as we keep striving to deepen Scouts’ and Scouters’ understanding and dedication to the Scout Oath and Scout Law.