Singing Eagle has been moving away from many of the Native American traditions over the past several years. At SEL 2019, many of our Council Fire traditions were changed. We no longer wore “Indian Dresses”, instead, dressing in all brown. The Captains no longer played drums, but carried Pine and Birch boughs and we had new music for walking in. It was amazing how everything was different, but the spirit of the evening remained unchanged. Girls were still excited to be named to a team (and received a special pine or birch bead from their captains), new councillors were presented with whistles on SEL lanyards as a welcome to council in place of feathers. Girls still giggled through their histories and I still listened to beads plinking on the floor while girls were stringing their weekly beads.
At the last Winter Council Meeting (held before SEL 2020 was canceled), the Council decided to change the group names. We decided on birds because they capture the spirit of Singing Eagle and because we could find names with the same syllables, which allows us to continue using the group songs. Starting at SEL 2021, the girls will be:
Flickers- 4th grade or below
Chickadees- 5th grade
Vireos- 6th grade
Bobolinks- 7th grade
Meadowlarks- 8th grade
Peregrines- 9th grade
Eagles- 10th grade
The group going into 11th grade will retain the Councillor in Training or CIT name. The Council will continue to look critically and lovingly at all our SEL traditions and make changes that are needed to be respectful of all people. Sometimes these changes feel major and important, but none have changed what I love most about the Lodge: sitting on the lodge porch with my friends, watching the sun set, climbing mountains, watching a girl play her first violin solo in front of a rapt audience, jumping into Squam Lake when it’s a little colder than expected... This list could go on for pages.
The real spirit of Singing Eagle is not dependent on any particular traditions and comes from the many women who have helped shape it and used their time there to grow.
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