Scout Honor Societies

Wincheck Indians - Existed at the Yawgoog Scout Camps in the Narragansett Council in Rhode Island. Based upon the legend of Indian Chief Yawgoog and his son, Wincheck. A 1930's society brochure tells the story of young Wincheck's ordeal of slaying a large bear. Wincheck's ordeal lasted seven suns with silence throughout and he had to find his own food in the wild and make his own shelter.

The father tells the son before he leaves for his ordeal:

"If you are to lead the tribe when I am gone, you must not only be strong, but you must be wise. You must know when to speak and when to be silent. You must show by your actions, more than your words, how the Braves and Warriors should live and act. You must know thyself, my son, and be a Sachem first over thine own body and tongue and heart."

There were two degrees with the first being a "Brave". It required passing an ordeal then a brave received a "Msqui-red" mark upon the nose. Inside the front cover of the brochure was a certificate that certified membership in the honor society as a Brave.

The second degree was "Warrior". It required the following:

  1. Earn the Indian Lore merit badge or graduate from an approved Haffenretter Indian Lore Course.
  2. Make an Indian costume.
  3. Wear this costume and take part in a Wincheck Indian Lore ceremonial.
  4. Show development in Leadership and Scoutcraft ability, and in the living up to the principles of the scout oath and law.

The Warrior degree had to be approved by the unit leader. There was a work requirement that was fulfilled on the last friday of summer camp season, presumably to take down camp. The application for Warrior was on the inside back cover of the brochure. There is no mention of a society patch but at the end of the story Wincheck is given a coup stick, eagle feathers, the mark of Msqui-red on his nose and a new Indian name. Presumably this was all part of the Wincheck ceremonial for successful candidates. The society existed in the 1930's and perhaps much earlier. It became OA Lodge 534. -Dave Eby

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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