15 Suggestions for Having a Great Tribe

By Allan Head "Wise Wolf", Nation Chief 1979

  1. Work from an agenda at every meeting. An agenda/checklist organizes the meeting and helps every tribe member know their responsibility.
  2. Make a big deal of the Parent/child relationship. Do not compromise on the issue of father/ child being present at all events.
  3. Emphasize importance and require that invitations be made and personally delivered by father and child. The longer the tribe is together, the more difficult this becomes. Keep it up as long as possible.
  4. Seating arrangements are important. Form a circle with guides/princesses on the floor in front of Dad. This arrangement helps in having an orderly meeting.
  5. Be on time; start and end on time. Cooperation by everyone is imperative if this is to be accomplished.
  6. Get a wampum report from every child, and either a feather earned or "scouting report" from every child - time permitting. It‘s important that each child get on their feet to speak at least once each meeting. Dads, you control the time!
  7. Talk to the children and don‘t talk over their heads. Allow no dad‘s talk. Save that for Dad‘s Only Meeting. Remember the purpose of the program (See 2 above). The children may understand more than you think they do.
  8. Use a talking stick- it is fun! Honor the concept and it will be a valuable tool.
  9. Use Y Guides/ Princess names! This adds a great deal. This helps to set the tone and spirit of the meeting.
  10. Get with the Program- assign tribal equipment (Drum, Tally Book, Talking Stick, Wampum Pouch, Tribal Box, etc.) Make a big deal of using the equipment in the meetings.
  11. Encourage feather earning; talk to those who fall behind. Try to earn one feather each month. Set the example.
  12. Have at least one dad‘s-only meeting this fall. A second dad's only meeting will probably be needed to make Spring Outing plans.
  13. This is a YMCA Program and you should remember that the "C" stands for "Christian".
  14. Insist on structure. Two meetings and one outing each month- this will vary with your years in the Program.
  15. Recognize that as in all things, you get out of the Program what you put into the Program. If you put in an effort of 6, you will get a 6 in return.
    Put in a 10 and you will get out a 10!