Orange Spirit Nation

Member F.A.Q.

Spending time with the Orange Spirit Nation is a great way for dads and daughters to create memories that will last a lifetime. As a new member to our Nation, we hope you’ll find the following info helpful in having as much fun as possible.

 

  • Who started this program?
    • Our non-profit organization traces its roots back almost 100 years. Based on the traditions of the Ojibway of Ontario, Canada, the first tribe was organized in Richmond Heights, Missouri way back in 1926!  Harold Keltner was a local YMCA director who started the program to strengthen father-son bonds by enjoying the outdoors together. Father-daughter tribes were introduced in the 1950s.
    • Today we still teach our daughters the “”Ngoodwasgo nake”, also known as the “Six Aims” of the Ojibway Indians, based on traditions given to the first tribe by Ojibway native, Joe Friday.
    • Founded as “Indian Princesses”, the program has evolved to be called “Adventure Princesses” and now “Native Daughters”.
    • More history is here: http://nationallonghouse.org/Archives/Archives.html

 

  • Who is eligible for membership? 
    • Generally, the program is designed for girls in grades K-5, with a graduation ceremony taking place at the end of 5th  grade.  However, there are no firm lower age rules on membership.  Younger girls outside of this range have joined (especially if they had a sister that was also involved in the program).
    • If younger girls have the maturity and ability to stay away from Mom for a weekend then they can consider joining.  By 6th or 7th grade, older girls tend to “age out” on their own as they reach adolescence.

 

  • Where do we go on campouts and how often? 
    • Campouts happen roughly once/month during the school year. They start on Friday afternoons and end on Sunday mornings, usually within Orange County or a short drive beyond.
    • Recent campout locations have included Camp Pendleton, Irvine Ranch, Lazy W Ranch (San Juan Capistrano), Oso Lake Scout Camp (Rancho Santa Margarita), Joshua Tree National Park, etc.
    • We also regularly visit Santa Catalina Island’s YMCA Camp Fox, take a winter trip to Big Bear, and the final campout of the year is usually held at Big Rock Creek in the San Gabriel Mountains.

 

  • What are OSN, Longhouse, and the names of the tribes?
    • OSN, or Orange Spirit Nation, is the collective name of the group of 7 Tribes that comprise our Native Daughters “nation” in the Tustin/Irvine area. These tribes include the Eagle Eyes, Phoenix, Road Runners, Thunderbirds, Red-Tailed Hawks, Penguins, and Owls.
    • Each Tribe typically has between 10 and 20 dads each with one or more daughters participating.
    • OSN belongs to the Native Sons & Daughters National Longhouse which is an national non-profit organization whose purpose is to strengthen parent-child relationships while integrating a Native American theme to serve as a common point of interest for members, as well as providing an educational tool for the casual introduction to Native American cultures.
    • There are 400+ members of the Orange Spirit Nation local longhouse.

 

  • What obligations are there for membership?
    • There are no participation or fund-raising requirements.  All events, campouts, and meetings are optional, so your level of participation is up to you and your daughter(s).
    • Of course, as with most volunteer programs, the more you put in, the more you get out, so we encourage you to get involved as much as possible.
    • During the school year there are usually both monthly meetings for your tribe and also monthly campouts/activities for you to enjoy together with the rest of the Nation.
    • If you attend a campout please be useful and participate both before and during the event by helping with shopping, preparing meals, cleaning, etc. More team participation gets the chores done quicker and allows everyone more time for fun together.

 

  • What obligations are there for the girls?
    • Native Daughters (formerly Indian Princesses or Adventure Princesses) is designed to help our daughters build character and friendships.
    • Our community is designed to help encourage your daughter(s) to be friendly, participate, help the other girls, and do their (smaller) share of group chores and activities, too.
    • There are no participation or fund-raising requirements.

 

  • How does the background check work and what does it cover?
    • Like for Boy Scouts, AYSO, or other youth service organizations, a background check is required for all dads who participate in the program. This automated check requires your Social Security number as part of your online registration and is included in its cost. This security check only monitors for crimes of a sexual nature, not DUI, financial, or unrelated issues.
    • Any reports that are received are reviewed discreetly by a small committee of Nation leadership. Get more details from your tribe’s Chief if you have any concerns here.

 

  • How often are tribe meetings and where are they held?
    • In addition to campouts, most of our tribes meet monthly during the school year at a member family’s house. These meetings usually happen after dinner on a weeknight or on the weekend and last about 2 hours.

 

  • What happens at tribal house meetings? 
    • Meetings include time for the girls to play and reconnect, while the dads plan for the next outing.
    • Then a craft activity (often leading to a feather award) is usually conducted, followed by a “round up” closing ceremony where the girls each get a little “sunshine” (public attention) by introducing themselves, their fathers, and discussing a recent fun activity they have shared together.
    • Your tribe may also pass around the “Wampum Bag” for each girl to put in a few dollars to cover the costs of the meeting host for crafts and refreshments.

 

  • What are the Tribal Names and how are they chosen?
    • These are Indian-style nicknames that every member (both dads and daughters) gets to pick for him/herself.
    • They are usually an adjective combined with an animal or other natural feature to create something that sounds Indian-ish.   Examples for girls are Rainbow Fox, Little Trout, Tiger Lily, Red Moon, and Hummingbird, or Rolling Rock, Laughing Fox, Running Bull, or Wild Bear for dads.
    • These names can be made up by you and your daughter for fun. (There is no hurry on this “big decision” and the names can be changed later if she changes her mind, too.)

 

  • What do we eat on campouts? 
    • Some campouts include cafeteria meals (e.g., Catalina) but on most campouts the tribe meals are planned and prepared collectively by tribe dads using cooking equipment owned by each tribe (propane stoves, pots & pans, coffeemaker, plates, utensils, etc.)
    • “Buffalo Hunters” are dads who visit Costco and other grocers for food and supplies before each campout, based on shopping lists compiled in the monthly meetings.
    • Costs for these supplies are shared proportionally among the dads participating in each event in addition to registration fees.
    • Successful campouts require participation of all tribe members in the cooking and cleaning. If you don’t volunteer to help, you will be assigned cooking or cleanup tasks that need doing.
    • Members must pack out anything they bring to eat or drink. We are a dry organization.

 

  • What equipment do I need for campouts?
    • You’ll need sleeping bags, flashlights, sunscreen, appropriate clothing, and probably folding chairs for every campout.
    • Beyond that a flyer is published before each camping event detailing additional suggested specifics (like tents for tent camping, bathing suits for beach campouts, etc.).
    • You’ll also want to try to attend the monthly house meetings before camping trips to hear more about the specifics of each outing. That will help you plan appropriately for you and your princess.

 

  • What does it cost? 
    • One year registration for the entire family is  usually ~$100. This covers our obligation to the National Longhouse as well as the administrative costs of Orange Spirit Nation. This registration fee is tax deductible since the Nation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service.
    • There are additional, smaller annual tribal dues due to your tribe’s Wampum Bearer. This helps purchase and maintain tribal equipment used at campouts and helps defray unforeseen expenses.
    • Campouts – The cost of each campout varies depending on the venue. Some campouts cost more due to the accommodation and transportation costs (e.g., Catalina) while others are very inexpensive (e.g., tent camps in county or state parks). The Nation attempts to have a broad spectrum of campouts throughout the year.
    • For campouts your tribe will organize meals and you should bring some cash to pay your share.

 

  • What is the Nation policy on event refunds if I can’t make a campout I already paid for? 
    • The Nation counts on every reservation made to meet attendance minimums set by the campgrounds we visit. So, once paid you’re in and there are usually no refunds.
    • If you need to cancel last minute, it’s best to try to swap your slot with someone else (in your tribe or another tribe) who has not yet registered for that event.

 

  • What if I’m not good with names? 
    • Don’t worry – none of us are!  Please don’t be shy about asking other tribe members their names repeatedly.  It takes time to get to know everyone so asking and asking and asking again is officially okay.  (Once you are registered with the Nation, you can also visit the website to review the tribe roster for dads and daughters names, too, if you’d like.)
    • Since they’re often shy and its hard for girls to remember (or even know) all the dad names, we also help the girls by teaching them to address other dads by a name they usually already know – that of their daughters.  So Scott, father of Samantha, can easily be remembered and addressed as “Mr. Samantha” by the girls in your tribe.

 

  • Where do I get t-shirts, hats, headdresses, sweatshirts, jackets, etc.?
    • All members are encouraged to wear our “Spirit Wear” at OSN campouts, activities, at tribal meetings, and around town.
    • The Nation and each tribe has a supply of t-shirts available for sale. More t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and jackets are ordered periodically in coordination with other dads/daughters who are also in need. (Notify your tribe’s Chief or Trapper if you are interested).

 

  • Where do I get vests and why?
    • Suede vests are worn at meetings and campout ceremonies. They are most easily bought online:
    • For growing daughters it’s best to buy vests large so that they can grow into them in coming years, and to allow room for lots of patches. Consider buying darker suede because it hides stains better.

 

  • What are the vest patches for and where do we get them?
    • Patches are earned by attending an OSN event, and are affixed to your vest as a testament to the different experiences that dads and daughters have shared together.
    • Bonus patches for other significant accomplishments can also be earned.

 

  • How should I attach the patches to the vests?
    • The best method for attaching patches to the vests is to have them sewn on. Several local tailors will perform this work with prices in the $2 per patch range.
    • A quicker and more cost effective method is to use a strong adhesive (eg, E-6000).

 

  • How does the Spirit Catcher feather headband program work?  When and where do the girls get feathers?  How to get a headband?
    • The girls earn feathers for various activities and crafts that they can do with their dads.  These can be done on your own or at tribe meetings. Your daughter will display the feathers she earns on a “Spirit Catcher” headband that she will receive once you go through Induction together.
    • Feathers are separate and different from the patches, which are given to campout attendees.
    • You can keep track of the feathers your daughter earns on the OSN website under the “Feathers” tab. She will receive the feathers she earns at tribe house meetings from your tribe’s Dream Catcher or Chief.
    • For girls who earn all their feathers, they will be awarded the coveted “Dream Princess” rocker patches and Eagle Feather Award during campout ceremonies from the Nation Dream Catcher.

 

  • What ceremonies are there? 
    • The new member Induction Ceremony is held twice a year, once in the Fall and again in the Spring.
    • There is also a Graduation at the final spring campout when the daughter finishes 5th grade.

 

  • Who gets to wear headdresses and why?
    • Consistent with the Native American theme, the Chiefs and Little Chiefs of each tribe wear headdresses during OSN ceremonies. The only way to earn the big feathers is to serve as Chief.
    • Other families that serve on the Nation Council also get to wear various Native American or role appropriate-themed headgear.

 

  • What roles/offices are there to help with?
    • Both your tribe council and our Nation Council need volunteers to help keep things organized.
    • As you get involved we hope you’ll consider volunteering for these roles, too.
    • Future chiefs and other tribal council leadership roles are determined by each tribe’s Chiefs Council, which is led by the current Chief and comprised of past, present, and future Chiefs of that tribe.
    • Many of these and related offices also exist at the Nation level where volunteers are needed, too.
    • These Council roles include:
      • Chief
      • Greeter – helps recruit new members and welcome them
      • Dream Catcher – tracks princess awards
      • Wampum Bearer – treasurer
      • Medicine Man – next year’s chief
      • Buffalo Hunters – Dads who coordinate the meal planning, shopping, cooking, and cleanup for campout meals
      • Webspinner – the CTO of the tribe who helps with website development and surveys
      • Skitmaster – plans and directs rehearsal of skits and songs performed by the girls
      • Storyteller – entertains princesses during campouts with fun stories or fables
      • Trapper – responsible for design, ordering, and payment for tribal t-shirts and gear
      • Rainmaker – Leads tribal community service and charity event activities.

 

  • Top Strategy Tips?
    • Review the events schedule here to put all the dates into your calendar now.  It’s easy to forget and schedule business trips or other activities that end up stepping on the events your daughter was looking forward to.
    • Be sure to forward to your wife all of your tribal meeting and Nation event dates, too.
    • Warn your wife that she may not hear from you when you’re out with us. Campground connectivity is unpredictable and phone charging is difficult, plus you’ll be busy with your daughter(s) and the activities. Prep Mom for “no news is good news” and you’ll return to a happier home.
    • Don’t be discouraged if the first campout or two is challenging. New places, faces, food, and outdoor activities can be tiring for both dad and daughters.  But we promise that every event gets better as you and your daughter get to know each other better, share exciting experiences, and build lasting relationships with others in our Nation.

 

 

If you have other questions, just ask!

Your tribe Chief and other dads are happy to help.

 

Or email the Nation Chief at nationchief@orangespiritnation.org
or the Nation Greeter at nationgreeter@orangespiritnation.org.