Gathering Of The First Nation People

The Susquehanna Council, Boy Scouts Of America, held their fall camporee, The Gathering Of the First Nation People, at Little Pine State Park this past week-end.

This past week-end the Susquehanna Council, Boy Scouts Of America, held a Native American Pow Wow themed Camporee, with scout troops and Native American tribes camping together at Little Pine State Park.

Native Americans and Scouts drummed, and sang, together throughout the week-ends events.

A camporee is typically a twice yearly event, through Boy Scouts, held council or district wide, for scouts to learn skills and compete against each other.  Often the camporees have a theme, and allow boys to earn specific merit badges.  At The Gathering Of The First Nation People Camporee, scouts could earn the Indian Lore Merit Badge, as well as the Leather Work Merit badge.

Arrow making was just one of the many stations scouts worked through on Saturday.

Ghost Bread, made from an authentic Native American recipe, was served to the boys with toppings of honey, powdered sugar, or a variety of jams such as elderberry, or sassafras.

Throughout the day on Saturday, troops rotated through stations to learn skills such as making a leather medicine bag, making an arrowhead necklace, and a choker.  They learned to throw tomahawks, and use an Atlatl (spear tossing device).  Members of local Indian tribes taught drumming lessons, made ghost bread for the scouts.  

Grandma Dragonfly shared stories during the lunch time demonstration time.

Blacksmithing was one of the many skills demonstrated for the boys during their lunch break on Saturday.

Order Of The Arrow dancers at the evening campfire

On Saturday night the OA dancers danced through hoops of fire at the evening campfire, and a woman received her new Native American name in a naming ceremony, as the moon rose over the mountain. The scouts were taught, and invited to participate in, a Native American crow dance.
Singing Amazing Grace, in the Cherokee language

Sunday morning began with a Native American religious ceremony, with Amazing Grace sang in the Cherokee language.  After the ceremony, scouts participated in service projects for Little Pine State Park, and teams participated in the Rite Of Passage Race.

Scouts participating in the Rite Of Passage Race had to start a fire and make it large enough to burn through the top string of twine.

The Rite of Passage Race used all of the skills the boys learned over the week-end.  First they paddled a canoe across the lake and back, then they raced to the next location where they threw a spear.  From there they ran to the next location where they tossed a tomahawk, before racing to the archery station where they shot a bow and arrow.  The fifth station was shelter building, the scouts built shelters with tarps and supplies they carried throughout the race.  Then they raced back to the beach, where they built fires using flint, steel, and kindling, between sticks lined with twine. The first fire to burn through the top string of twine, won the race.

For more information on scouting in the Susquehanna Valley, contact The Susquehanna Council, BSA