What is Mic-O-Say?
Mic-O-Say is an honor camp society adopted by certain Boy-Scout camps in Missouri. This program also covers parts of eastern Kansas and other troops from other states who attend these camps. It began in 1925 near St. Joseph, Missouri.
The program draws on the folklore and traditions of Native American culture for courageous young people approaching adulthood. Its purpose is to reinforce the principles of Scouting, foster personal growth and development, and establish meaningful involutions in Scouting. Scouting membership in the tribe consists primarily of two recognized ranks: Valiente and Guerrero.
Who is eligible for it?
Only experienced explorers-campers under the age of 18 are eligible for this. They must have shown some leadership and community activity before applying. Basically that includes all active Scouts who have attended these summer camps one or more times. Otherwise, these explorers would not be in the scouting program or attend these summer camps in the first place.
How does it work?
A young camper usually becomes Foxman first (not a membership rank), which is a one-year assignment leading to his induction as a Mic-O-Say Brave the following year. The brave man makes himself a simple tribal outfit, and then selects or is given a tribal name, such as, Jumping Bear, Lightning,gold Deep blue water. After completing these and a few other requirements, you receive a single Eagle Claw Necklace to wear around your neck.
Later, after the scout has become more dedicated to exploring and camping, he is eligible to become a Hardway Warrior. This stage has more requirements, training and ceremonies, such as self-assessment, silence, assigned work projects, counseling with advanced tribal leaders, and participation in tribal activities, for example, learning an Indian dance or something related to India. The new warrior receives a double eagle claw necklace with an attached medicine bag. Both claws point upwards.
Also, in addition to participation in their camp, any tribal advancement for the tribe members parallels their advancement of exploration in their respective troops. Additionally, the tribe also has a wide variety of responsible and committed adult leaders who understood the Mic-O-Say councils and chiefs.
It’s a secret?
No. Mic-O-Say is not a secret. However, tribe members do not openly discuss the inner workings of the tribe with non-members to make it more challenging and meaningful to younger explorers prior to their induction. Still, younger campers seem to learn a few things about it anyway. Additionally, all tribal induction ceremonies are open to any parent who is concerned about the welfare of their children for any reason. Additionally, all tribal businesses and programs must remain open to the National Scout organization at all times.
Does it include adult troop leaders?
Yes, definitely. Both male and female adult leaders, 18 years of age or older, may enter Mic-O-Say at their choice, whether or not they had prior experience in exploration or Mic-O-Say in their own youth. The adult induction ceremony is not as long as the actual scout campers. But this rank of membership is desirable, honorable, and worth receiving. The adult members of the tribe are called Honorary Warriors. Its double claws point downward.
It’s worth it.
Due to its openness and fairness to all scout-campers, the tribe has enhanced various camping programs for scout camps and the scout troops that participate in them. In part, the Mic-O-Say Tribe has accomplished the following:
- brought a new enthusiasm to Scouting and its summer camps
- improved long-term camp attendance and participation
- had high retention of senior scouts at summer camps
- intensified the meaning of the Boy-Scout oath and law
- increased the number of merit badges and other awards earned at camps
- increased the number of scouts reaching Eagle rank in the troops attending these camps.