Thursday, June 21st, 2018

For most of the Scouts and Scouters of Troop 451, today began at the more reasonable-seeming hour of 6:45. This enabled our table waiters and the Scouters supervising that crew to be at the dining hall in ample time to discharge their important duties. The menu featured scrambled eggs and sausage patties, with milk and cereal as alternative/supplemental fare.

At the Flag Plaza  (The place of the flags, where the flags hang out and blow in the wind, all day long, right side up) this morning, we had the honor of hoisting the Texas flag in recognition of our "cleanest campsite' achievement. The color guard was comprised of Aidan Zentner, Landon Pratt, Kaleb Rutherford, and Christian Woehler.

The morning, as for the night, has been cool - about 60 F. Today's high is predicted to reach a balmy 72. It is for this kind of change in the weather that we advise our Scouts to pack a hoodie or the like. Thankfully, it seems that all heeded the advice so we see no blue skin contrasting with the Troop 451 red T-shirts.

Along with cooler temperatures, the morning brings more rain. It is more of a light mist really, barely reaching "drizzle" status momentarily before returning to hardly more than heavy fog. Again, the admonition to pack rain gear was taken to hot and we see no bedraggled, 'drowned rat' Scouts from 451 around the camp.

The high point of any week at Camp Geiger comes on Thursday night. This is the night of the much-anticipated “Tapping” ceremony when new candidates for admission to the tribe of Mic-O-Say are publicly selected. Many a camper has been anxiously awaiting this day since his first session at summer camp. Tonight, they may realize their goal of being inducted as a lowly "Foxman", as candidates for membership are styled.

The tribe is the honor camping society of the Pony Express Council, the Heart of America Council, and Camp Geiger. In many ways, it is similar to the national Scout honor camping society, Order of the Arrow, but, in many ways, Mic-O-Say is unique. For example, both organizations make extensive use of Native American lore and traditions but the tribe of Mic-O-Say maintains greater adult involvement in its leadership. Many independent honor camping societies of the BSA arose in various Councils around the country in the 1920s (the tribe's founding goes back to 1925).

By the late 1940's the BSA recognized the benefits of bringing such an honor camping program to all of its Councils and launched the national initiative, selecting the OA as its exemplar. The great majority of the various Councils' societies were eventually subsumed into OA. Yet a few, like the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, maintained their independence and thrived.

The Tribe's mission is to support Boy Scouts and encourage our young men to maintain their participation with their units. One emphasis is on advancement; to advance within the Tribe, one must advance in BSA rank. For example, the typical candidate for membership in the Tribe is a third-year camper who has attained the rank of Star Scout. The potential for membership in the Tribe has motivated many a First Class Scout to finish up that last merit badge and have his Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review prior to summer camp.

Several of our Troop 451 families have made to long journey to St. Joe to attend this impressive spectacle and the forecast looks favorable for a rain-free ceremony, though our surroundings will undoubtedly remain damp.

The day of tapping fire is even more packed with activity than the previous few and we tribesmen have many things to do and places to be in addition to our regular duties as Scouts and Scouters. Thus, this meager offering may be today's only entry. For those unable to await tomorrow's description of the tapping fire, a flavor of what you will read can be had by reading last year's description.

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