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Child Spirit of Woodcraft
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Twelve Secrets
Woodcraft Aims
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by Ernest Thompson Seton

To Become a Woodcrafter

One may easily become a Woodcrafter, either by joining a tribe already organized, or by forming a new tribe.  Get together six boys or girls, twelve years of age or over, and a man or woman twenty-one years of age to act as Guide.  Let each read the Woodcraft Birch Bark Roll carefully so that they may know what Woodcraft is. Send to Headquarters for Application for Charter.  Then select a name for the tribe, usually of historic or special interest and often an Indian name; also select a totem. Have the Guide sign the Application for Charter.  Send the Application with 50 cents for each member to Headquarters, where the Council of Guidance will act on your Application and give your tribe a charter.

To Form a Tribe

The tribe is the unit of organization, consisting of not less than six, nor more than fifty members.  The Guide directs the work of the bands, and is responsible to Headquarters.

In the beginning it is wise to have the officers temporary or, for a short time only. Elect, or have the Guide appoint a Leader, a Tally Keeper, and Wampum Keeper.  Decide the time and place of your meetings, the dues (about five cents a week is usual), and other matters of a similar nature.

You should then divide the group into Bands of not less than three or more than ten. Each Band should elect, or the Guide appoint, a Leader, and if meeting separately, a Tally Keeper and Wampum Collector, who shall report to the Tribal officers.

Vow of the Head Chief
(To be signed with name and totem, if any, in the Tally Book.)

I give my word of honor that I will maintain the Laws,
see fair play in all the doings of the Tribe,
and protect the weak,
and I will not ask anyone to do what I am not willing to do myself.

Vow of each Member.
(To be signed with name and totem, if any, in the Tally Book.)

I give my word of honor that in all matters of Woodcraft,
I will obey the Chief and Council of my Tribe,
and if I fail in my duty,
I will appear before the Council when ordered,
and submit without murmuring to their decision.


The Charter certifies that the Tribe is registered at Headquarters and entitles the Tribe to a definite place in the Woodcraft League, to recognize achievements according to the Woodcraft Birch Bark Roll and to wear the badges of the League.  With the Charter comes a Guide's Scroll of Authority.  The charter fee covers all the expenses of chartering a group.  Also see Membership Ticket and Titles & Officers.  Individual badges of rank should be purchased as needed.  See Woodcraft Honor Band, also Woodcraft Badges.

The Charter must be renewed each year.

Band Meetings

Each Band should select a Band name and totem. The Band should hold a weekly meeting followed by a Tribal meeting (of all the Bands), or it may be decided to make the Tribal meetings less frequent.

A Meeting Place

One of the very first problems the Tribe will have to face is that of providing a place to meet.  It should be comfortable, clean, quiet, and large enough to seat the Tribe in a circle.  For the Band meeting a smaller room will do.  If the room is used by others it will be necessary to use it without change; but when a Tribe has entire control of a room, or when the room is used by more than one Tribe, it will be possible to fix it up so as to suggest an outdoor Council Ring, the interior of a log cabin or stockade [See also: Indoor Council Ring].

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A coup claim properly filled out and passed by the Tribal Council becomes a valued thing to be kept in one's own tally book.

The Birch Bark Roll






Additional Information:

Councils ] Initiations ] Totems ] Ticket ] Titles and Officers ] Salute ] Big Lodge Ranks ] Big Lodge Ranks ] Council Names ] Token Cards ] List of Sagamores ]

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Title Page ] Copyright ] Child Spirit of Woodcraft ] Woodcraft Way ] Preface ] Woodcraft History ] Officers ] The Woodcraft Idea ] Chief's Message ] Twelve Secrets ] Woodcraft Aims ] Seven Secrets ] [ Organization ] Things to Know and Do ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Birch Bark Roll ] Book of Woodcraft ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.