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JUN. 23, 2016

Growing, Evolving, Shifting Times at the Nest

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Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director

Being a part of a tribe at Eagle’s Nest is a tradition that began in the mid 1940’s.  Our tribes are just one way that we belong to smaller communities within our community at large.  Our tribes, 2 for the females and 2 for the males, provide us with a touchpoint at Eagle’s Nest that never changes from the very first moment we arrive at camp.  Once you are a Winnesquam, Wohelo, Natseeho or Migisi, you will always be a member of that tribe.  In these small groups we learn to be a part of multi-generational communities that play, work and come together intentionally to reflect, share stories and be held quietly by the natural world around us.

Cultures shift over the course of history and a healthy organization does the same. This spring we created a council of staff, trustees and others to study our tribal system and make recommendations for ways in which we might be even more inclusive and intentional in our approach to conducting ceremony and honoring other cultures.  Our discussion included many topics ranging from what we call our gathering place, how we recognize advancements in our activities, what costumes we wear and what our goals and intentions are for each aspect of our tribal system.

This first session at camp we rolled out the shifts to our tribal system that we wanted to make.  We are now led to our Tribal Village by our Tribal Elders who wear costumes carefully chosen to represent their personal roots, tribes and affiliations.  Our tribal names remain the same as they are our history, our creations.  We teach the specific origins of each of our tribal names.  As we achieve a new rank in the Village we now receive a bracelet with a bead reflecting the color of our new rank; Nestling, Fledgling, Eaglet, Flier, Eagle. Our stories as told by Storyteller are collected from other earth-honoring cultures around the globe, with our playmakers from the Nature Lore class adorned in costumes from that same culture.  Our games led by the Gamekeeper are researched and also derived from the same culture we have chosen to honor that night.

I am proud of our campers and staff as they have embraced this change with gusto.  The ease with which the changes have come means to me that it was all meant to be.   We know too that we will continue to change and grow as we should.

If you have questions about the changing tides at Eagle’s Nest Camp let me know.  I am happy to share more details.

Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director