The Mishigami Ceremonies Committee is dedicated to providing the best induction experience to new members coming into our lodge. With much thanks from our American Indian Advisor, Michael Tracy for guidance since 2021, we are disappointed to announce that the new leadership of the Michigan Council of Native Americans have decided to not persue a relationship with the Mishigami Lodge and the local tribes of Michigan. As such, the lodge has looked to none Native American regalia, none Chippewa/ Ojibwa Nation regalia options.

October 2, 2023 letter to the lodge:

Dear Brothers of Mishigami Lodge,

My name is Owen Colburn, and I have the distinct honor of serving as the Mishigami Lodge Ceremonies Chairman for 2023-2024. One of my main responsibilities over the past few months has been to lead the Committee in choosing a new option for Lodge Ceremonial Attire. I’m glad to say that this effort has been successful. Recently, the Ceremonies Committee and LEC have voted to approve “Black Shirt and Black Pants with Ceremonial Medallions”, in accordance with National policy, as the new Lodge standard regalia, starting January 2024. This letter is thus a report, to inform you of the new Attire, the process that occurred to make this a reality, and how you can be involved in future choices regarding the design and implementation of the new Attire in our Areas. 

The Process

Back in May, an email was sent from the Ceremonies Committee regarding a need to replace our American Indian Regalia with another option, starting in January 2024. This email included a detailed timeline for the committee, as well as a survey for members to fill out regarding their opinions on different Attire options. Over the following months, results flooded the survey and gave the Committee valuable information to consider regarding their final decision. After months of discussion and debate, at a regular meeting of the Committee on August 2, the Areas of North, South, and West cast their votes for new Ceremonial Attire. This vote resulted in a primary recommendation of “French Fur Traders”, and a secondary recommendation of “Black Shirt and Black Pants with Ceremonial Medallions.” for consideration at the August 13 LEC. In the interim between this vote and the August LEC, it was discovered that “French Fur Traders” is not an acceptable design, by national standards. This was brought to the attention of the LEC, and eventually after further debate, the motion for “French Fur Traders” was struck down, and the motion for “Black Shirt and Black Pants with Ceremonial Medallions” was tabled until the next LEC. At the immediate following Ceremonies Committee Meeting, points of discussion were brought up regarding the appearance of the Black Attire, and how Ceremonial Attire fits into the Committee’s goal of a unified Induction process across the Lodge. 

The meeting concluded with the following motion, for consideration by the LEC: 

Motion to approve the Black Shirt and Black Pants with ceremonial medallions, in accordance with National OA policy, as the standard Regalia of the Lodge starting in 2024. Areas will have an interim period up until the first Spring Induction of the 2024 season to prepare the new Regalia. 

This motion was approved by unanimous consent by the Youth members present at the Committee Meeting, with representation from the West and East Areas. This motion was then brought to the subsequent LEC, where it was approved by a vote of 15:9:2 (15 for, 9 against, 2 abstain). 

The Future and Your Part in It

While the LEC has approved the Black Shirt and Pants option for 2024, there is still a lot of work to be done to make it a reality. From designs, to costs, to implementation at camps, there are still a substantial amount of decisions that need to be made before the new Attire is officially unveiled at the Lodge Winter Banquet, and worn for the first time at Teetonkah and Rotary’s Inductions next May. This is where you come in. As a youth member of the Lodge, you have the power to make change by getting involved. Whether as a member of a Committee or serving as an Officer, the decisions you vote on have real world impact for thousands of Arrowmen across the state. For the adult members, your steady voice in discussion and consistent guidance gives youth the opportunity to work through disagreement while still sharing your knowledge to help shape the future. There’s lots of room for everyone on the Ceremonies Committee. If you’re interested in joining the Committee, being involved in Ceremonies in any way, or just want to see what it’s like, please reach out to ceremonies@mishigami.org and you will be added into our mailing list so that you can participate on the Committee, and leave tangible effects on the Lodge for years to come. 

FAQ and Other Concerns

In the writing of this report, it is of best interest to you and the Committee to answer some of the frequently asked questions, and to explain some of the seemingly concerning aspects of the decision making process. Hopefully this serves to answer any questions you may have, or assuage some concerns.

Q: If you collected survey data from members of the Lodge, why not use that data for your recommendations? Wouldn’t it make sense to use the provided data instead of worrying about a vote by the Committee?

A: While the survey does provide useful information regarding public opinion of different Attire options, there are a few problems with using this data outright. Firstly, the survey only garnered 143 responses. Compared to the 2269 currently registered members of the Lodge, this number of responses is statistically insignificant. Therefore, it would not be proper to use this data as a generalized assessment of the feelings of each member of the Lodge. Secondly, the Committee and the Lodge are youth run. Of the 143 survey responses, only 33 were from Youth members of the Lodge. While these results were considered with more weight than the adult results, there is again a statistically insignificant amount of responses to generalize for the entire Lodge. Additionally, the Committee itself has the power to make the final decision. This power is not necessarily granted to each participant in the survey. Therefore, the members of the Committee themselves had express power to make a final decision, whether or not that aligned with the results from the survey. 

Q: For the initial recommendation vote in Committee, only three Areas were represented (West, South, North). Why were the other Areas not represented, and why was a vote held without all Areas present?

A: In truth, it is extremely difficult to get representation from each Area at a Committee meeting. Members from each Area are included in the mailing list for each meeting, but whether or not they show up is out of the hands of the Committee. In fact, prior to the final vote to make a recommendation, there were two attempts that were unsuccessful due to a lack of representation from the Areas. The primary reason for holding the vote with only three Areas was that the Committee was running out of time. According to the original timeline, the decision would be approved by the LEC in August so that it would be ready for Fall Fellowship. The meeting where the final vote was taken was the last possible date before the August LEC. Having 3 of 5 Areas represented is a majority and the vote was cleared. While certainly not an ideal scenario, it was decided as the best path forward in order to maintain the timeline. To prevent further attendance issues, the Committee asks again that any interested individual reach out to ceremonies@mishigami.org for more information. It is strongly recommended that each Area have an individual, or individuals on the Committee to help with the decision making process. 

Q: My Area/Chapter is holding a Crossover Ceremony or a Brotherhood Ceremony after the 1st of January, but before the first Area Inductions. What attire do we use?

A: For Cub Scout Crossover Ceremonies, National policy states the following: “These ceremonies should only be presented in Scout uniform. No form of costume, including American Indian costume, are to be used.” As far as Brotherhood Ceremonies go, if your Area/Chapter has the proper new attire, as designated by the Committee, then please wear that. If your Area/Chapter does not have the proper new attire, then please wear your current Scout Uniform, with extraneous patches and other items removed if possible. As soon as your Chapter/Area has the new attire, please use it for ALL Callout, Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil Honor ceremonies. 


As it stands, the new Ceremonial Attire for 2024 and beyond is Black Shirt and Pants with the ceremonial medallions. While the type of attire is decided, the specific design has not been determined and that is the next task of the Lodges Ceremonies Committee. If you are interested in being a part of this effort contact the committee at ceremonies@mishigami.org. Additionally, any concerns or questions not addressed here can also be directed to ceremonies@mishigami.org

While there may have been complications, it is the belief of the Committee and the LEC that this is the best option moving forward. We look forward to seeing this plan into fruition and continuing our commitment to provide an amazing Inductions experience for members all across the state. 

Owen Colburn

2023-2024 Mishigami Lodge Ceremonies Chairman 

Michael Ferdig

2023-2024 Mishigami Lodge Chief

John Somers

2023 – 2024 Mishigami Lodge Ceremonies Advisers

Rick Todd

2023-2024 Mishigami Lodge Adviser


Ceremony Scripts (Some are password protected)