Chief Training and Orientation
Do you want your tribe to be an outstanding tribe?It is actually quite easy if you do three things:
- Organize you tribe's activities early -- at the beginning of the year.
- Establish a "tradition" (structure) for your tribe meetings.
- Maintain a good set of tribe property.
Organize Your TribeMake a tribe activity calendar at the beginning of the year and stick to it.
- Include all Nation events in the calendar
- Include all your Tribe meetings in the calendar. Schedule your meetings early in the month – as soon after the monthly Nation Meeting as you can
- Include tribe outing dates in the calendar
- Include your year-end picnic in the calendar
- Assign a family to host each tribe meeting.
- Assign a family to plan each tribe outing and your picnic.
- Assign all the other tasks that you know about to someone.
Tribe meetings should be held monthly, typically in the members' homes. Your tribe meetings should be structured. The basic outline for a good tribe meeting is simple:
Structure Your Tribe Meetings
- The Tribe Chief Conducts
- The Meeting Host Provides
- A story
- A craft, game or other activity -- adults and children together
- Treats and "free time" (while the adults hold a short business meeting)
- The Tribe Chief Conducts
- The business meeting (while the kids have treats and play).
- The closing ceremony (all members)
Other approaches can work just as well as the outline presented above. If you have a large tribe, you might want to allocate duties differently. Read the Friends Always book for more ideas.
Some Keys to Successful MeetingsAdults and children should do everything together (except the "business" portion of the meeting - excuse the kids from that.)
Rituals are important.Each tribe's meeting should begin with an opening ceremony and end with a closing ceremony. Make written copies of the ceremonies. Pass them out at each meeting and have the members participate.
Business should be kept to a minimum.Rely on handouts and phone calls. You are at the meeting to play with the kids – not to talk about upcoming events. If necessary, have a separate business meeting once a month.
Structure makes things easyIf the host only needs to select a story, some treats and a simple activity, then there is no real "work".
Variety can be good but use it sparinglyStructured tribe meetings are at the core of the program. Special tribe activities and outings are a wonderful enhancement; I strongly encourage them. But special activities should be scheduled in addition to the tribe meetings, not instead of the tribe meetings.
Keep things simpleChoose things that the kids can easily do together with their parent. Choose things that do not require elaborate plans.
Maintain a Good Set of Tribe PropertyTogether with your tribe "traditions", your tribe property defines your tribe's identity. Tribe property is important.
Property may be accumulated over time. Be sure you have the basics – a Chief's Headdress and Staff, a Drum. Build from there. Each year you should try to either add a (missing) item or upgrade an old item. Making property is better than buying property. If you buy an item, consider having the tribe decorate it.
Tribe property should be a shared activity. Creating or decorating your property can be a great activity for one (or more) of your Tribe meetings!
Wear Your VestsYour Tribe Vests are really a key to bringing your members together. Encourage everyone to have a vest -- especially new members because it will immediately make them part of "the gang". Everyone's vest does not need to match exactly, but they should be similar. Vests are easily purchased at minimal cost. Vests should be worn at all meetings and events.
Patches might seem unimportant, but the children love them. Try to get your members to put their patches on. If members do not sew, perhaps a member has an older daughter or son who will do the service for a small fee. Most commercial dry-cleaners provide sewing services.