Scout Honor Societies

Tribe of Tahoe - Boy Scouts in the Sacramento Area Council and later in the Golden Empire Council enjoyed cool summers in the High Sierra near Echo Summit at Camp Audrain, which opened in 1925. During the next summer, 1926, a Scout Honor Society, called the “Tribe of Tahoe”, was formed. Members of this honor society fulfilled various requirements at camp and earned titles such as “Brave”, “Warrior”, “Medicine Man”, and “Chief”. Some of the tribe’s ceremonies were “borrowed” from the “Order of the Arrow”.

A Council camping brochure from 1929 stated that at Camp Audrain “Only real Scouts who enter whole-heartedly into the Scouting program and have a fine Scout Spirit will be invited to join”. The 1932 camp brochure said, “Outstanding Scouts are eligible to membership in the ‘Tribe of Tahoe’, a camp honor society ... camp pins and belt awards will be given for achievement in specific fields of en-deavor”. Later camp pins and belt awards, (none of which are known to exist today) were replaced by beanies, in the 1930’s.

Tribe of Tahoe Beanies - Brave and Warrior
Tribe of Tahoe Beanies - Medicine Man and Chief
The tribe rank, beanie color, and re-quirements are listed below:

  • Brave (blue beanie)
    • Good Scout
    • Satisfactory camper
    • Contributes to camp development
  • Warrior (red beanie)
    • Second season in Camp
    • At least Second Class
    • Good Scout
    • Good camper
    • Contributes to camp development
    • Contributes to program’s success
  • Medicine Man (gold beanie)
    • Third season at Camp
    • At least, First Class rank
    • Contributes to program’s success
    • Outstanding character
    • Complete meditation
  • Chief (white beanie)
    • Fourth season in camp
    • Eagle rank
    • Honor camper
    • Has character & leadership ability

Besides the four basic beanie colors, variations exist in the screening of the lettering and construction of the beanies. Due to these factors, at least seven major beanie variations exist.

The “Tribe of Tahoe” was disbanded after the 1945 sum-mer camp season, and replaced in 1946, by the Mayi Lodge #354, Order of the Arrow.


From: Journal of The American Scouting Historical Society, "The Tribes of the Golden Empire Council" by Alan O’Connor, No. 7, 1999. Text and images used by permission of the author.

Material found on this page is the work of David L. Eby and used USSSP, Inc. by permission. This material may not be reproduced without the express permission of David L. Eby

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