Tribe of Tahquitz

The Tribe of Tahquitz is one of a few local Boy Scout honor societies in the United States that have not been absorbed by the Order of the Arrow. The organization was created in 1925 and consisted of 15 honor Scouts who were chosen to start and maintain a perpetual volunteer summer camp staff at Camp Tahquitz.

Tribe of Tahquitz
Camp Tahquitz staff 1996
OwnerLong Beach Area Council
CountryUnited States

To keep active during the winter months, the tribe has developed an extensive Indian Lore, backpacking and service program. These programs benefit the Long Beach Area Council and surrounding community and give the tribesmen unique youth leadership experience.

The tribe is particularly known for the Indian lore ceremonies that its members perform throughout the year at Scouting and civic group meetings. A great sense of dedication and many traditions has been developed throughout the 80-plus year history of the organization. The tribe exists only in the Long Beach Area Council, but has many "out of council" members, from California to New York, and beyond.


The Tribe of Tahquitz is run by five elected officers with each serving a one year term. [1]

Chief: The chief is the chief executive officer of the tribe, and is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all the Tribe's activities. He is the tribe's spokesperson and main connection to the Scout units in the Long Beach Area Council and the community. In addition, the chief is also responsible for working closely with the camp director to ensure a successful summer camp season.

Little Chief: The little chief assists the chief, and assumes the responsibilities of the chief in his absence. He is the editor-in-chief of The Runner and also oversees the tribe's Neophyte program. The Runner is the tribe's newsletter, which is published regularly and is filled with articles by the tribesmen, news about upcoming events, and other features of interests.

Medicine Man: The medicine man is primarily responsible for the Indian lore program of the tribe. For many decades, the tribe has studied a variety Native American tribes. He also coordinates the tribe's powwows, workshops and induction.

Mountain Man: The tribe also promotes camping and outdoor activities. The mountain man's duties include promoting Camp Tahquitz to Scouts whose troops have signed up to go to summer camp. He also assists the chief and the council with camporees, backpacking trips, rock climbing, the Venturing program and other activities.

Keeper of the Tally: The keeper of the tally is the financial officer of the tribe and works with the business manager to maintain the tribe's accounts, records, and supplies. He also assists the officers in the preparation of an annual budget and is responsible for all saleable supplies.

Membership requirements

To be eligible for membership, a Scout must:[2]

  • be at least 14 years of age or have completed the 8th grade by December 31st of the year in which they apply;
  • be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop and hold the rank of First Class or above;
  • have earned two of the following merit badges: Backpacking, Camping, Cooking, Hiking, Wilderness Survival;
  • have 20 days of camping experience, including Camp Tahquitz.

Membership invitation

Near the end of the week of summer camp that a troop attends, the tribe camp staff, along with scoutmasters present in camp, meets at Tribe Rock. There they discuss all of the Scouts present in camp who are truly “Honor Scouts.” Then, after a democratic vote by any and all youth Tribesmen present (mostly that year's current youth camp staff), those Scouts who are deemed worthy are offered an invitation to join the Tribe. The tribe announces and invites its new tribesmen at the Friday night awards campfire.[3]

In order to become regular members, tribesmen must complete the annual induction ceremony held at Camp Tahquitz over Labor Day weekend. All regular members have the right to hold office and vote on Tribe business. At the annual meeting following their 21st birthday, Tribesmen become "Honorary" members. They provide valuable service to the Tribe as advisers, but can no longer vote or hold office.[4]

The Long Beach Area Council did not have an Order of the Arrow lodge for many years, but used only the camping honor society, the Tribe of Tahquitz. The Tribe of Tahquitz will continue and has not ended, but on May 19, 2012 the Long Beach Area Council started an Order of the Arrow lodge. A number of councils have both OA and local camping honor societies.[5]

See also


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.