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Our History

Edson Influenced

Ernest Thompson Seton Speech Attended by Edson - American Indian Culture Influence

In 1915 I joined the staff of the Philadelphia Council, the head of the Field Department being E. Urner Goodman, afterwards Scout Executive of Philadelphia, and then of Chicago, and now a department head at the National Office.

Urner was designated as Director, and I as Co-Director of Treasure Island, the Philadelphia Camp. I found they had an award called “Treasure Island Scout”, for which an emblem TIS, was presented. The award was based on a point system, similar to a troop contest, so many points for passing tests, identifying nature objects, etc., etc. It seemed to me there should be some recognition of the spirit of Scouting, as the TIS was of the mechanics.

It happened that about that time I attended a meeting where Ernest Thompson Seton was the speaker, and he gave a splendid presentation of the value he had found in using an idealization of the Indian, in his work with boys, and it seemed to me that that gave the answer to the problem I had been considering.

I accordingly suggested to Urner that we organize an Indian lodge as our highest camp award, selection to be based on the demonstration of living the Scout Oath and Law. He agreed.”

--- Excerpted from Col. Edson’s 1942 letter to Moqua Chapter for their 20th Anniversary celebration

Edson was excited by his encounter with Ernest Thompson Seton and brought the idea back to Goodman and Treasure Island. The idea blossomed and became the Camp Honor Fraternity – Wimachtendienk.