Tahquitz Community

Officers Just Elected! 2021-2022

Congratulations to the following five youth just elected officers for this coming program year. 

Officer TitleCurrent Officer 2021-2022
ArchonCharlie Benedict (Troop 74)
Minor ArchonBen Freedman (Crew 228)
EnvoyLouis Hardy (Troop 105)
MountaineerJames Hull (Crew 228)
KeeperGrant Zandvliet (Troop 371)

Change in Name, Explained…

The Tribe of Tahquitz has been an important part of the Long Beach Area Council since its founding by 15 Honor Campers in December 1925 at the original Camp Tahquitz in Idyllwild. For 95 years the Tribe has served the local council, primarily by providing an all-volunteer summer camp staff. From the beginning, Indian lore was an important part of the Tribe’s program. Over the decades the Tribe’s focus on Native American dancing, singing and regalia has been refined with the utmost respect for the culture being represented.

However, in line with social and cultural trends in recent years it has become clear that parts of the Tribe program did not demonstrate the intended level of respect. In 2020 a deep analysis of the Tribe program led to the conclusion that it included elements of cultural appropriation and stereotyping. Steps were discussed and agreed upon to address this issue. At the Tribe’s 96th Annual Meeting, held virtually on December 19, 2020, the organization’s constitution was amended to change the name, purpose, officer titles, and rank titles to remove stereotypes and refocus the outward image.

Also changed were gender specific words, such as boy, man, he, him and his, to gender neutral terms such as member, youth, adult, they, them and their. This is in line with the fact that beginning in 2018 and 2019 women and girls are now permitted to go through the Annual Induction and become full-fledged members. (Hence the need to change the office of Mountain Man to Mountaineer.)

The new name of the organization is Tahquitz Community. New officer titles with their previous counterpart are:

Old Officer TitleNew Officer TitleCurrent Officer 2021-2022
Chief  ArchonCharlie Benedict (Troop 74)
Little ChiefMinor ArchonBen Freedman (Crew 228)
Medicine ManEnvoyLouis Hardy (Troop 101)
Mountain ManMountaineerJames Hull (Crew 228)
Keeper of the TallyKeeperGrant Zandvliet (Troop 371)

Although it is intended to retain a focus on Native culture, certain aspects will be discontinued. Using demonstrations of Native culture to entertain units, as a theme for campfire programs or to promote summer camp are clear examples of cultural appropriation and will no longer be used.

These changes are being made at this time following extensive deliberation by the membership and to avoid being coerced into making arbitrary changes later by either BSA policy or pressure from outside groups. It should also be stressed however, that the changes have been adopted voluntarily in the belief that this is the right thing to do.

What will continue is a detailed study of Native regalia, dancing and singing as they relate to the current “Powwow Culture.” The Tahquitz Community will seek to partner with local Indian groups to support their efforts and to learn from them.

The Tahquitz Community will also continue to provide an all-volunteer summer camp staff at Camp Tahquitz, just as it has for the last 95 years. The members will also continue to support Council events such as Camporee, Scout-O-Rama and Freeze-O-Ree.

While the outward image and parts of the program will change, the Tahquitz Community will continue to provide service, a positive example and promote leadership development of its members. We are looking forward to celebrating our 100th Anniversary in 2025.

Fore more info and the latest happenings, please see the Tahquitz Community website here.

Past Leaders of the Tribe of Tahquitz:

2020 – 2021 Jack Jones
2019 – 2020 Tyler Lansdell
2018 – 2019
Jason Millett
2017 – 2018 
Derek Delp
2016 – 2017 Ben Steidl
2015 – 2016 
Calvin Belcher
2014 – 2015
 Luke Higbee
2013 – 2014 Matthew Downs

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