Saturday, August 06, 2022

Indian Princess and Campfire Day--memories

My cousin in South Carolina sends out a weekly spiritual message to her friends and relatives and often closes with a "day" event, like popcorn day, or fly a kite day etc. I always look forward to what she has to say. Today she reported is "Campfire Day," so I looked it up, and it seems early August is a good time to sit by a campfire with friends.
But it made me wonder what had become of Indian Princesses and Campfire Girls (an outgrowth of father-son recreation and moral guidance by the YWCA in the 1920s), which my daughter and I (and her dad) participated in during the 1970s. I had a lot of fun strolling down memory lane with that one, like how we got our *first cat (see photo), the nice mothers of Tremont School I met, and the scary overnights at a camp in southern Ohio (forgotten the name).

After an extensive 2 minute search I learned that anything with the word Indian in the title is racist/colonialist/demeaning to native Americans so organization has separated from the Y. There are locally run organizations because daddy-daughter activities are still enjoyed and earning badges for service is still considered useful in building character and strong women. There is a local unit for the younger girls in my own community called Two Rivers Council (2 rivers, the Scioto and the Olentangy meet in Columbus).
"Two Rivers Council is a group of dads and daughters that strengthens that strong family bond through structured but casual activities - time apart from work and school to focus on family. During our time together, dads and daughters learn outdoor traditions, discuss current events, help out in our community, and enjoy our time in the great outdoors.
Our group includes Upper Arlington girls between kindergarten and third grade. Most of the girls attend Barrington with a few from Tremont, St Agatha, Wellington, and Columbus School for Girls. "Senior Princesses" in grades 4 and 5 are most welcome too! We take our Longhouse name from the two rivers that flow through Columbus: the Olentangy and the Scioto. The sun rises on the Olentangy and sets over the Scioto.
The Y-Indian Princess Program (now called Adventure Princesses) was an outgrowth of the Indian Guides, a father-son program started in 1926. That program enabled fathers and sons to participate in a variety of activities that nurtured mutual understanding, love, and respect. The first Indian Princesses came together at the Fresno, California YMCA in 1954. Today, as then, our program affords an unusual opportunity for the concerned and busy father to foster growth in his daughter's development and an understanding of the world around her. The father's role helps her in developing self-esteem, confidence with her peers, and appreciation for the differences among people and families."

*This is not our first cat, Mystery, born in 1976, but she looked like this.   I can't seem to find any photos of her on my computer.  In those days we didn't take photos every few hours. She was coal black except for a few white hairs under her chin.   We named her Mystery because she was so tiny when our daughter brought her home from an Indian Princess overnight with her dad at Camp Akita, her eyes were blue and we didn't know her sex. She was sort of sickly and the mother and all the other kittens ran away, but Phoebe caught her. Somewhere I do have a photo of her and the children with a carved pumpkin, so it must have been near Halloween. She got well and lived for 18 years. 

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