From the Whens-day archives

I was very involved in boy scounts when I was a teenager.  Someday I’ll post more on that as there are many interesting stores to tell.  Anyhow, Boy Scouts has a sub group in it called Order of the Arrow.  OA, as it is called, is based around Native American lore and has all sorts of traditions related to that.  Typically, OA is comprised of the older, more involved scouts so it is a pretty neat time.  One aspect that many OA “lodges” (regional groups) have is a Native American dance team (we used to call it an Indian dance team…but that was a while ago).  My brother and I both were members of such a team for the Langundowi Lodge in PA.  I was a dancer and he was a drummer.

We practiced weekly the authentic “fancy dance”  dances that modern plains and western Native Americans might dance now.  All of our costumes were hand made so each member had a direct hand in researching and building the dance outfit.

We travelled all over the place putting on shows for groups of all sorts.  We danced in parades and in malls and for nursing homes and cub scouts.  It was a lot of fun and we put on a loud and rowdy looking show as we spun and jumped and rattled the dozen or so cowbells around our legs.  While dancing, I am sure I was in the best cardiovascular shape that I have ever been in.  Anyhow, these pictures are from some of the dances in which I participated.  Check out my mad rhythm!

22 thoughts on “From the Whens-day archives

  1. Very cool – were you an eagle scout too?? I’m not sure if Todd was in this or not – but he was waaaay into boy scouts/eagle scouts the whole nine yards…

    Kris Bair’s last blog post..Not Meant to Be

  2. You were quite the good looking teenager, even in that “Native American” get up. Who would have ever thunk you would be a part of something like that?!?
    Something trivial but sort of related to the Native American aspect (and because I just love to tell this story.) When I attended South Dakota State University, I had a Native American in my English class who drove an old Ford pickup. On the back of the pickup, was a bumper sticker that read, “Custer was a punk”. That always made me laugh and still does to this day. I don’t get to share that story much because, well, it just doesn’t come up much. Plus all my friends have already heard it! Sorry for your luck and being my new friend, that I had to share with you today.

    cheesychick’s last blog post..CSI-Pennsylvania

  3. I know I am older than you by a few years, but it seems like scouting was “cooler” when we were younger. I think kids today see it as being “dorky”, and that’s a shame.

    Evil Twin’s Wife’s last blog post..Such a Slacker

  4. It was a lot of fun for the parents too. Love to watch the boys dance and drum and sing. The rythem really gets in your blood. Haven’t seen the dancers for a long time. PowWows were great too with different dancers competing.

  5. Yet another reason to swoon. I have personally seen “Warren” dance and he was very good. Glad you posted this. Makes me want to return home.

  6. Ah Yes, Souting used to be a whole lot of fun and excitement, many memories. I tried very hard to get into OA, but the politics between Explorers and Boy Scout was bad enough without the nearest Lodge being over 50 miles away. And the Camp they used for initiation was 150 miles away. Sure was difficult to obtain a ride.
    Glad you made both Eagle and OA. Thats quite an accomplishment, and I salute you.

    It sure is heartbreaking to see what Scouting has become. Way too many rules, make it very difficult to be a Scoutmaster and not as much fun for the Scouts either. Today’s society has ruined a very good thing. According to the rules today, as a Scoutmaster, I wasn’t even supposed to take my son to the meetings by myself, because of the minimum 2 adult rule.
    And I couldn’t take my Scouts near water without a “Boy Scout Certified” Lifeguard, and the requirements are so strict that there was only 3 in the whole District. I was only Red Cross certified and that wasn’t good enough. So whenever I wanted to do anything near or in the water. I would say I was going to be at a certain place at a certain time and if any boy and their parent wanted to join me fine, but no uniforms allowed. I found a loop-hole and with the blessing of our District Representative, I took full advantage of it.

  7. Did you ever dance for Native Americans? 🙂

    Cool outfits. Scouting seems to be very big among homeschoolers. I’m not a fan of it… or well… I’m not a fan of Girl Scouts. Everything is so commercialized. Being a Girl Scout is an expensive hobby… and everything our troop did, we did at home anyway, being homeschoolers and all.
    And finally, the cookie sales. $60 for each sold box go to the troop. These girls are putting a lot of work into this, and that’s all they’re getting out of it? Let’s leave aside that crap they put into those cookies. Thanks, but no thanks. 🙂

    suchlovelyfreckles’s last blog post..When all you get is pity

  8. Cheesy – we danced some with true Native Americans. They had mixed feelings I think. They liked that others were interested in their culture but I don’t think they were entirely impressed with our intruding on it either. Still, we all got along very well and had a lot of fun!

    ETW – yeah, it used to be cool. Not so much any more. Some of that is do to legal changes that have been made and some is due to a change in how spend our time (i.e. inside).

    Mom – yup…I still remember the fun

    YD – me too!

    farmgirl_dk – it was cool…but unusual…I’ll give you that!

    Capri Kel – you’re my favorite…don’t tell the others!

    GW – yeah…it has changed a lot. I think we may get involved as Isaac gets older…we’ll see. I surely have good memories of it though!

    freckles – girls scouts are different than boy scouts (I think it’s still true) in the commercial part. we were all about outdoors and nature and the like and it was great. I have no idea nowadays. You are too funny, btw!

    Deb – It sure was…our entire fam drove all over together to do this…it was fun indeed!

    June – oh yeah…but I am bigger and broader now…it doesn’t seem to cover me as well…hmmm…

    farm mom – I got the skills! but alas, video is against the Native traditions 😉

    sugarcreekstuff – my grandma sewed the fringe. I made the bustles (the feather parts) and my dad did most of the beadwork. It was all a tremendous amount of work!

  9. Remember the one dance you did where you danced and leaned over on one foot and picked up a feather with you teeth off the floor. Bet you can’t do it now!

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