Tribe of Mic-O-Say
The Pony Express Council uses the Tribe of Mic-O-Say as its only honor society, while the Heart of America Council uses both the Tribe of Mic-O-Say and the Order of the Arrow.
Mic-O-Say was founded in 1925 at Camp Brinton near Agency, Missouri under the guidance of H. Roe Bartle, who was the Scout executive of the St. Joseph Council, now Pony Express Council.
Camp Geiger, which succeeded Camp Brinton in 1935, is considered the 'mother' tribe of Mic-O-Say.
In 1930 Camp Osceola opened near Osceola, Missouri, and remains open to this day, renamed the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, or commonly known as "Bartle."
The Kansas City Chiefs are named after the nickname "The Chief" of H. Roe Bartle, who had that nickname because of his position in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.
I’ve seen young boys grow into young men and adults, displaying discipline, good manners and qualities not seen in other areas. I also am a teacher.
We are so fortunate to have the Mic-o-Say honor tribe also.
Each Thursday night Scouts are “tapped” into the tribe and after meeting the qualifications, are advanced from brave, to warrior, on to tom-tom beater, runners, keeper of the sacred bundle, to sachem, medicine man and chieftain.
Most people reach the brave or warrior level. Apparently this "tribe" doesn't have any non-warriors because, well, Indians are warriors. But a warrior can become a tom-tom beater because, well, Indians beat tom-toms. A tom-tom beater can become a keeper of the sacred bundle or a medicine man because, well, Indian religion is the same as Western religion. You call yourself a Christian or a medicine man and...voilá, you are one. The tom-tom beater can also become a sachem (a New England tribal leader) or a chieftain (a Midwest tribal leader) because, well, anyone can put on a headdress. Besides, one tribal leader is like another; the guy with the showiest costume is in charge.
As Wikipedia helpfully notes, "The following responsibilities are not part of the Geiger tribe: Shaman, Keeper of the Wampum, and Sagamore." "Shaman" is primarily a West Coast concept while "Keeper of the Wampum" and "Sagamore" (along with "Sachem") are East Coast concepts. But who really cares if the Boy Scouts mix and match concepts from all over Indian country? All Indian tribes are the same, right?
Proving that the Tribe of Mic-O-Say is all about perpetuating stereotypes, here's the latest news:
History of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say
If the so-called Tribe of Mic-O-Say is less stereotypical than a typical Y-Indian Guide troop, it isn't obvious. How many kids have learned about Indians through these phony programs and how many have learned about them through accurate books or movies or face-to-face meetings?
Below: New chief and medicine man wannabes and a Mic-O-Say badge with a stereotypical Plains warrior. Note that the mock medicine man wears a warbonnet along with face paint, neither of which a medicine man normally dons.