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The Buckskin Sons of Wauwepex

The Buckskins of Camp Wauwepex was born in 1923 as part of the camp Indian lore program. Founded by "Chief" Howard Covey and Irving "Southy" Southworth, it was not a society as we know the Order today, it was designed to provide opportunities for Scouts sincerely interested in the American Indian. To be a member, a Scout was to have been a three-year camper and first class. The organization took its name from Dan Beard's Buckskin Men and helped promote advancement by making the earning of merit badges a requirement in order to obtain additional feathers for a member’s bonnet. The Buckskins had not yet realized the potential of their group to promote the high ideals of cheerfulness and service.

During the early 1920's many Scout Councils sought to develop organizations to recognize the outstanding Scout campers. Some affiliated with Wimachtendienk W.W., later known as the Order of the Arrow, while others started their own societies with local membership prerequisites. The Order was not yet recognized as an official B.S.A. Scouting institution, only experimental. Consistent with the national trend, the camp's Indian lore program at Camp Wauwepex was abandoned and one to honor Scout campers was put in its place. The Indian based foundations were retained, however, to give the new Buckskin Sons of Wauwepex its character and mystique.

The Buckskin Sons' development of ceremonies, traditions and ideas consistent with those of the Order of the Arrow was not accidental. Both Covey and Southworth had been inducted into the Order at one of its national meetings. During the 1930's the Sons became an integral part of the council camping program.


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