By Morgan Farrell
TTB Little Sees Many Horses
The theme of the 2014 Fall Pow-Wow was "Mic-O-Lympics.” It gave the games an Olympic spin that was enjoyed by all who attended. Throughout Friday and Saturday, there were competitions for all Tribesmen to participate, whether it be the Mic-O-Lympics games, the costume competitions at the Friday night Pow-Wow, or the dance and dance team competitions at the Saturday night Pow-Wow. There were plenty of chances for Tribesmen to take home ribbons and even medals for those that dominated their event.
Tribesmen began showing up around 5 p.m. to register and set up camp. At 8 p.m. the weekend officially began with the Friday night Pow-Wow. There were fancy and traditional costume competitions for all ranks and paint stations. There was also a dance exhibition for all the new Braves to learn how to dance. After the Pow-Wow, all Tribesmen moved to the Handicraft Corral for a cracker barrel to end the night.
Saturday began with an amazing breakfast in the Dining Hall. After breakfast, Tribesmen moved to attend their dance team meetings in various locations on Camp. There they introduced all the new Braves and elected their Warrior's Council representative. Most Tribesmen then enjoyed a free hour before attending their respective rank and paint station meetings. Warriors spent their time learning proper dance technique, Firebuilders were shown how to build a proper fire, Tom-Tom Beaters reviewed drumming and chants, and Runners and Keepers discussed various things. It was a very productive morning.
After lunch in the corral, the games began. The games were spread all over Camp and gave Tribesmen they chance to do everything from hitting home runs to targeting their favorite Chieftain with a water balloon launcher. At the end of the afternoon, the winners of the events were awarded medals. Also occurring throughout the day was the Trader's Midway. Many items were traded including patches, beads, costume parts and knives. It was a very successful afternoon.
The evening began after a wonderful dinner in the Dining Hall before everyone moved to the council ring for the Saturday night Pow-Wow. In between the presentation of ribbons for dance and costume competitions, there were special Pow-Wows led by Tom-Tom Beaters from the various dance teams. Robidoux started off the night with their Pow-Wow. Then we moved on to White Shield, then Maha/Otoe/the Wichita wanderer, and then ended the night with an awesome Pow-Wow from Crossed Arrows/Lone Star. Maha/Otoe/the Wichita wanderer took home Fourth Place, Robidoux took Third, Crossed Arrows/Lone Star took Second, and the White Shield team inched away from the others to take home First.
Directing Medicine Man Walks Tall shared his words of closing and the night ended with a fireworks display for all to enjoy. It was an amazing end to a fantastic weekend on our Reservation.
To view a video recap of this event, CLICK HERE
The Pony Express Council's 2013 Eagle Recognition Dinner was held February 22 at Moila Shrine Temple in St. Joseph, Missouri. The purpose of the dinner was to honor those Scouts in the Pony Express Council who received their Eagle Scout Award in 2013. The dinner also honored long time Scouter Gary Combs as the 2013 Eagle Class Honoree.
The evening opened with a social hour as guests arrived to the second-floor banquet hall at the Moila Temple. The room was decorated with Eagle Scout memorabilia, and a projector listed the several sponsors who could not be in attendance for the evening. The 25 attending Eagle Scouts enjoyed conversations about their projects, anticipation for the evening in their honor, and a shared sentiment of relief and pride for their success and accomplishment.
As the 7 o'clock hour grew near, the Eagles, their guests, and attending sponsors found their seats as the show began. The dinner chairman, David Whitmer, called forth the colors, expressed the importance of becoming an Eagle Scout through an entertaining story of his own Eagle Dinner, and then said the two magic words, “Let's Eat!”
After a filling buffet dinner, the new Eagle Scouts were introduced and honored individually by the Pony Express Council Scout Executive, Alan Franks. Franks gave the young men their new duties and responsibilities as Eagle Scouts, reminded them of the many people who helped them along their trail, and congratulated them one more time.
Next, was the moment to honor the 2013 Eagle Class Honoree, Gary Combs. Combs, a Medicine Man in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say and Silver Beaver Recipient, has been involved in just about every level possible in the Pony Express Council for almost 40 years. His son, Kevin, spoke in his honor to the Eagles just before Gary gave his own inspiring words to the young men. Combs' contributions to Scouting were well recognized with a standing ovation as he concluded his address to the audience.
Whitmer concluded the fantastic evening by presenting Combs with a plaque listing the 2013 Eagle Scouts of the Pony Express Council. The Eagles, Combs and Franks gathered together for a photo as the crowd was dismissed and many waited around to shake the hands of the new Eagles and the Eagle Honoree.
The 2013 Eagle Dinner was a great night. Thanks to all of the donating sponsors, the chairman David Whitmer, and the Special Events Committee for their roles in making this event a success.
Congratulations again to all 59 Eagle Scouts of the Pony Express Council in 2013 and to Gary Combs, the 2013 Eagle Honoree.
This year's Pony Express Council Recognition Dinner took place April 5, 2014 at Grace Evangelical Church in St. Joseph, Mo. The Council Dinner is a time to recognize volunteers across the districts and award the council's highest award, the Silver Beaver, to those deserving recipients.
The evening opened at 5 p.m. with a social hour for guests as well as the Annual Heritage Society Reception. After all the guests arrived, greeted each other, and found their spots for dinner, there was only one thing that seemed logical to do: eat dinner! Dinner was a generous portion of Chicken Parmesan, twice-baked potatoes, green bean casserole and for dessert, peanut butter and fudge parfait.
After dinner, the guests were treated to the evening program portion of the night. The program started with Event Chairman Jim Wheeler introducing the emcee, Clark Hampton. Clark then introduced Scout Executive Alan Franks and Council President Nick Robb. All three gentlemen gave their remarks of wisdom and excitement for Scouting in the Pony Express Council.
The awards quickly got underway with recognition of the newest members of the James E. West Fellowship. These gentlemen had also been given honors at the previously mentioned Heritage Society Reception. Each District was then presented with their Key 3 Journey to Excellence Awards. All districts received high marks and were noted by Franks as being successful in many areas including, “membership growth, financial stewardship, trained quality leaders, and continued focus on program.”
Congratulations to the many volunteers at all levels of the Pony Express Council for your outstanding service to Scouting in 2013!
The time of the night to present the coveted Silver Beaver Awards had arrived with much anticipation and excitement. If you're not familiar with how this award is presentations, each recipient is introduced by another distinguished member of their District. The presentation process is the first chance at actually knowing who it is that will receive the award. Before revealing the award recipient's name, the presenter tells of all the service, dedication, and leadership that this person has provided to the Pony Express Council over the years. As this list is quite long in each and every case, we have listed just a few brief notes below with each recipient.
First to receive the honor was Mabel Blanchard of the Crossed Arrows District. Presented by Gaylon Whitmer, Mabel is well known around the Council and Crossed Arrows District through her enthusiastic involvement in the Cub Program. Mabel has also received the District Award of Merit and served in many leadership positions at various levels in the Council. Along side her son Zach, an Eagle Scout, Mabel has enjoyed multiple summers on the Camp Geiger Staff.
Next to the podium was Richard Miller of the Kanza District. Richard proudly presented the Silver Beaver honor to long time Unit and District Leader Paul Becker. Along with his involvement and leadership through Wood Badge and the White Coup Society, Paul has also received the District Award of Merit. Paul became involved in Scouting with his sons, Matt and Andrew, who are both Eagle Scouts, Keepers of the Sacred Bundle, and long time Camp Staff Members.
The third Silver Beaver Recipient of the night was Dave Bengston of the Ma-Has-Kah District. Dave received the District Award of Merit in 2001, and has served as the Friends of Scouting District Chairman. Kevin Bailey had the honor of presenting Dave and proudly telling the crowd, “in the entire time that I've known him, he's worked tirelessly to make a difference in his community, been a friend to all that know him, and has been an advocate for both youth and adults alike.” Well put, Kevin.
Last called to the stage to present a new Silver Beaver Recipient was Ken Baker, Ceremonial Chief Little Pack Rock. Ken was pleased to present his good friend and fellow Chieftain, Darrell R. Jones. After 27 years on the Tribal Council, Medicine Man Short Fire became Chieftain Short Fire in 2013. An Eagle Scout, Tapper, and Silver Coup Recipient, Darrell has also spent time as the Robidoux District Dance Director, Make Talk Now Executive Producer, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Inner Circle Trade Company Merchandising Committee.
Congratulations and thank you to all the new Silver Beaver Recipients for your outstanding dedication, service and leadership to Scouting and the Pony Express Council!
By Ben Shackelford, Runner Least Winging Black Hawk
The 2013 Staff Reunion Dinner was held on October 5, 2013 at Camp Geiger with special recognition for the staff of 1965. With over 80 members in attendance, this event was a big success.
The afternoon began with open free shooting and a COPE tower experience. Current and previous staff members had the opportunity to zip line and even try their hand at five stand sporting clays. The evening continued with a friendly social hour before dinner, in which there was a slideshow with pictures of Camp and Camp Staff members throughout the years. All in attendance were treated to an excellent dinner of burgers, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, shrimp, and cheddar biscuits prepared by Brad Derr and his crew.
The Staff was honored to have both Bill Kent and Ken Paden speak about their experiences as members of the 1965 staff. They both had many memorable stories to share. When the evening drew to a close, there were a few final videos with clips of camp through the years. To close out the evening, everyone was given a patch to commemorate the event.
By FB Lone Falcon
On Sunday, August 18 in Omaha Nebraska, a group of out of council Tribesmen and their families met up for the Maha family picnic. There were approximately to 60 people in attendance for the event, 30 of which were youth Tribesmen. There were even 15 new Braves in attendance to experience the fellowship at the picnic!
There was a dance practice led by the dance team’s Lone Bear Council for all of the families to enjoy. Following the practice there was delicious meal prepared by Ken McBratney, Sachem Makes Peace, the Maha dance team director. It was a great opportunity for Tribesmen to discuss events of the past summer and to get ready for the upcoming dance season.
TTB Starry Trail
The 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree took place on July 15th through 25th at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Mt. Hope, West Virginia, with nearly three-dozen Scouts and Scout leaders from the Pony Express Council in attendance. The great thing about a National Scout Jamboree is the opportunity to share Scouting experiences, skills and fun with other Scouts from across the country and even some from other countries.
Scouters from the Pony Express Council who attended the event were quick to note the excessive amount of rainfall that came during the event. However, the rainy weather did not dampen their spirits; they just went with the flow, literally, creating a massive mudslide to keep them entertained between formal activities.
There were a multitude of scheduled activities ranging from scuba diving to the “Big-Zip”, which is a 3,100-foot long zip line that can reach up to 60 miles per hour! It was a 45-minute hike to the top, and it was a 45-second ride down. Spencer Rosenak explained that you had to go through an interview process before you could join the Jamboree contingent. This was the first time this event was held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, and it will be the permanent home for future Jamborees. “I got to meet a lot of new people from a lot of different countries. I got an experience that you just can’t get in Missouri,” Spencer Rosenak said. “If I went back, I would like to go back as a staff member.”
“It was a great experience where you could do activities you couldn’t normally do, like whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and BMX,” Jordan Miller, who also attended the Jamboree, said. “If you have the chance to go, you should.”
To sum it up, the 2013 National Scout Jamboree was a success for Scouts across the country, and especially for the ones here in the Pony Express Council.
By James Arcano
KSB Wild Animal
With Pow Wow fresh in many Scouts’ minds, it is hard to believe the Camping Season for 2013 is over. This year at Camp Geiger there were close to 1800 Scouts and 600 leaders in attendance. Several Scouts completed merit badges in the brand new Trades area. The main focus of the Trades area was to expose the young men to potential career fields. Law and Public Speaking were moved to the new area with Veterinarian Medicine, Dentistry, Plumbing, and Bugling added in.
Geiger 60 had continual success with many records being broken. In addition to the organized competitions, there were several unorganized activities for the less competitive Scouts to participate in. The program will carry on into the 2014 Camping Season to give next year’s Scouts yet another chance to break the Camp-wide records.
Along with new records in the Geiger 60, there were record lows for temperatures this summer. “The weather was absolutely amazing. We had several very nice days which turned into beautiful nights for ceremonies,” says Tony Sasso, MM Talons Bare White Eagle, Camp Director.
The remodeling of the Flaming Crow Trading post was a big hit with Scouts and Staff members alike. Staff member, Noah Bielby, KSB Little Speedy Fire, stated, “I appreciated the expansion of the trading post. It cut down on some congestion and also allowed for more customers to enjoy the store. I believe next year and in years to come, the area will be used in a shopper’s best interest.”
Already working on next year, Program Director, Aaron Lewis, Sachem Little Silent Counter, said that, “While it is still very early in the planning process, Welding is for certain going to be added [next year], thanks to some equipment donations from National.” There have also been discussions of Radio being added in for the 2014 camping season. 2014 will also bring new improvements to Camp as the new Short Arrow Campsite will be completed.
To receive information about all the additions happening in the 2014 Camping Season and to apply for one of the greatest staffs in the nation, visit the council’s website, www.ponyexpressbsa.org.
Click here to go back to the news page.
By: Brandon Keller
KSB Little Strong Mustang
The weekend of August 2-4 brought one of the largest crowds ever of 481 Tribesmen to the Geiger Reservation to partake in this year’s Pow-Wow “Redneck Games.” The event kicked off on Friday night with a Pow-Wow, a great chance for all of the Tribesmen in attendance to shake the dust out of their costumes and work out all of the kinks in their dancing abilities before the competitions took place on Saturday night. Friday night was capped off with a wonderful cracker barrel provided by our cook staff.
The Saturday festivities kicked off bright and early with a hearty country breakfast of biscuits and gravy and hash browns served in the Dining Hall. The morning was filled with the meetings of dance teams, rank and paint stations and special groups, such as Make Talk Now. An all-you-can-eat lunch was served, which included hot dogs, hamburgers, freshly-fried French fries and fresh pork rinds. Everyone enjoyed the meal, and many were going back for seconds, thirds and even fourths. Following the meal, everyone headed over to the Council Ring for the opening of the 2013 Redneck Games! After Co-Chairmen Cody Lehman (Sachem Little Strong Parchment) and Bill Harkendorff (Sachem Rain Fox) shared the rules for the day, all Tribesmen were split into groups and sent on their way to start the games. Games that could be found around were lawn mower racing, where Tribesmen would have to help a blindfolded group member steer the riding lawn mower they pushed through an obstacle course. They also partook in redneck bowling and redneck horseshoes, as well as many other games!
At the end of the games, all Tribesmen assembled met in the Council Ring to watch the top two teams from the games battle it out in a head-to-head eating contest. Tribesmen in the contest had to eat everything from an apple pie, to chili cheese dogs, to a plate of jalapenos. Following the contest, Tribesmen were greeted with some free time, as the 2013-2014 Warriors’ Council had their first official meeting of the year. Dinner that evening was a delicious meal of BBQ chicken, baked potatoes, corn, green beans, rolls and homemade cheesecake. That night, Tribesmen adorned themselves in their regalia and headed to the Running Horse Council Ring for the costume and dance competitions. The night also included multiple Pow-Wows, and ended with a big bang as fireworks rained over the camp at the conclusion of the program.
All Tribesmen had a great time, and a big thanks goes out to the many people that gave forth a multitude of hours of preparation to plan and get ready for this fantastic event!