Blackfeet Tribal Outing

A healthy gathering of the Mighty Blackfeet tribe at Winter Garden Bowling Alley

A healthy gathering of the Mighty Blackfeet tribe at Winter Garden Bowling Alley

The Fox Nation’s Tribe of the Year, The Mighty Blackfeet, got together this past week to simply hang out and have fun. Current tribe members met at the Winter Garden bowling alley for a few games and discussing plans for the forthcoming spring break. We even had the pleasure of a surprise visit from Blackfeet alum Victor!

In addition to the bowling, there were plenty of snacks, arcade games, ice cold beverages and of course, laughter. We’re all looking forward to getting back together for the final campout at Elks in April. Noonway!

Game on!

Game on!


Family Campout at Doe Lake

The Mighty Blackfeet set up camp for a fun-filled family weekend at Doe Lake in the Ocala National Forrest

The Mighty Blackfeet set up camp for a fun-filled family weekend at Doe Lake in the Ocala National Forrest

The Guides and Princesses of the Central Florida YMCA Adventure program came together with their families at Doe Lake this past weekend. While the boy’s and girl’s campouts are normally separated by a weekend or two, this past weekend, both nations met in the Ocala National Forrest for 2 days of sun, fun, and family. The Princess program’s Tribe of the Year, The Mighty Blackfeet, were 11 braves, 11 princesses, 9 squaws, and 7 siblings strong and were some of the first to arrive at the site on Friday. With nighttime temperatures in the 30’s, we spent most of our time Friday night around the fire telling stories of past camping adventures or in the pavilion watching a movie.

A big family photo as the sun sets on Doe Lake

A big family photo as the sun sets on Doe Lake

On Saturday, the moms were treated to some of our normal activities. The day began with a chance to earn an achievement by preserving beautiful Doe Lake and the Ocala National Forrest. Then the Blackfeet moms and 3 privileged judges were treated to our mobile omelet station catering to custom orders and personalized service. With our bellies full, we ventured out to war games, where the Mighty Blackfeet were one of five tribes to provide games for the entire nation. Of course, we took our game one step further by ensuring the moms got involved demonstrating their booty-shaking skills. The moms got to witness first hand the competitive side of the Blackfeet tribe.

The Blackfeet and moms compete in a war game provided by the Apache tribe

The Blackfeet and moms compete in a war game provided by the Apache tribe

The afternoon brought many enjoyable activities for the entire family, including DJ Rene, nature walks around the lake, storytelling, and tribal games. In fact, after many of the princesses enjoyed DJ Rene’s dance music and friendly competitions, they were treated to a number of wildlife sightings, including a large gator, a family of deer, and a bobcat. For a few, the afternoon offered too much fun requiring a quick snooze.

Fun in the sun can be too much for some...

Fun in the sun can be too much for some…

As the sun set, we gathered again in the pavilion for dinner and were treated to salty beef provided by Mr. Roger of the Oneida tribe, who cooked for over 250 people with a little help from his tribe. Again with full bellies, the moms were able to bare witness to our fire walk and Tonka fire, where the Mighty Blackfeet were awarded the inaugural Golden Cupcake award for best dessert. It was a fitting end to a fantastic day of family, friends, and fun.

Salty Beef's cooking was thumbs-up, but his attire lacked approval

Salty Beef’s cooking was thumbs-up, but his attire lacked approval


The Sun Shines Bright on Wickham Park and The Mighty Blackfeet

On February 12th, the Mighty Blackfeet joined the Fox Nation at Wickham Park in Melbourne for a fun-filled weekend of camping, games, and memory-making. Despite the threat of a winter chill (and the potential of a mommy chill for missing part of Valentine’s Day), we had a strong showing of dads and daughters. While it did get a bit chilly at night, mother nature brought us warm weather and bright sunshine during the day. The Blackfeet girls began Saturday by making the dads breakfast and presenting their meal of Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Bacon to the judges for Golden Whisk. While we missed out on an award for breakfast, our girls came back strong for Scavenger Hunt to take first place. With a full belly and the sweet taste of victory on our lips, we headed over to the open field for a number of fantastic war games.

Blackfeet Princess Smiling Skunk begins a war game provided by co-host Timacua tribe

Blackfeet Princess Smiling Skunk begins a war game provided by co-host Timacua tribe

After demonstrating our strong and award-winning Spirit at war games, dads and daughters enjoyed the sunny afternoon playing in the park and hanging out together. Wickham Park is a great location for relaxing and enjoying nature, and our tribe always looks forward to visiting this wonderful site. After an afternoon of fun, it was back to work studying our achievements and judging for the Campsite award, before getting dinner started. Again this camp out, the daughters were in charge of cooking the meal, with the dads keeping a close eye on our precious princesses to avoid injury and food contamination.

Blackfeet dads keep a close eye while Princess Prancing Fawn fries pork tenderloin

Blackfeet dads keep a close eye while Princess Prancing Fawn fries pork tenderloin

Blackfeet Princesses work together on red velvet cake

Blackfeet Princesses work together on red velvet cake

Tonka was another memorable event with a great fire put together by both the Navajo and Timacua tribes, lighting the skies and warming our bodies. The Mighty Blackfeet claimed their two awards, then left Tonka for the pavilion, where a fantastic dance party was emcee’d by DJ Steps on Frogs. All-in-all, it was a great weekend for dads, daughters and the Mighty Blackfeet. Noonway!


Blackfeet and the Fox Nation Brave the Elements at MONSTER JAM

The Fox Nation comes together to cook food and stay warm

The Fox Nation comes together to cook food and stay warm

The Fox Nation gathered yesterday afternoon for some tail-gating prior to this year’s Monster Jam at the Citrus Bowl. Despite temperatures more suited for the Northeast than Central Florida, many families braved the elements to enjoy a fun-filled evening. The Mighty Blackfeet provided a strong showing in terms of number of families, and Oneida and Mohawk worked together to grill food for the 20-30 families that tolerated a chilly, windy night.

The Mighty Blackfeet do what they can to stay warm on a chilly evening

The Mighty Blackfeet do what they can to stay warm on a chilly evening

It was all worth it as the Monster Jam production delivered once again. The Fox Nation bared witness to Grave Digger winning the speed competition and Avenger taking the Donut competition before Crusader pull-off an unbelievable back-flip during the Freestyle round. The Monster Jam drivers saved the best for last though for the remaining frozen crowd as Max-D went all out with a high-flying, roll-over front-flip recovering, car destroying, victorious Freestyle finale before Grave Digger dug his own grave to end it.

A return to familiar seats for Monster Jam

A return to familiar seats for Monster Jam

It was another great event for the Fox Nation, while the Mighty Blackfeet made more memories for dads and daughters to cherish for a life-time.


Blackfeet Host (and Survive) the Roper Campout

The Mighty Blackfeet hosted the Fox Nation campout this past weekend at Roper Island. After many weeks of planning and preparation, the tribe gathered at our regular spot, the Copperhead camp site. We were 15 dads and 16 princesses strong, including 3 boys and 3 dad/daughter alumni, making Roper our largest outing of the season. Many Blackfeet arrived by lunch time and were prepared to stay through Monday.

Getting creative around the campfire: Blackfeet alum Marina shows the younger princesses how it's done.

Getting creative around the campfire: Blackfeet alum Marina shows the younger princesses how it’s done.

Saturday morning began with the Blackfeet dads rallying together to make award-winning Hot Chocolate French Toast topped with whipped cream and chocolate shaving complemented with bacon and honey-glazed spiral ham as well as a cup of hot chocolate to wash it all down. The princess judges were thoroughly impressed.

The Princesses listen intently at the various tribes explain the breakfast entries.

The Princesses listen intently at the various tribes explain the breakfast entries.

Following a good breakfast and a highly-contested Scavenger Hunt, the tribes came together for War Games. The campout brought a lot of fun games from all tribes and definitely demonstrated the girls competitive side. The girls really enjoyed the Oreo game, but voted the Seminole’s rope obstacle their favorite.

Having fun with Oreos thanks to the Timacua tribe.

Having fun with Oreos thanks to the Timacua tribe.

After War Games, a quick lunch, and focusing on Achievements, The Mighty Blackfeet earned a sportsmanship award by organizing a multi-tribal game of Capture The Flag. The game lasted nearly 2 hours and definitely tired the princesses out. While the winners impressed with their speed and savvy, more impressive were the older girls that took time and care to help the younger girls pick burrs from their clothes and hair.

Despite being tired, the Blackfeet girls didn’t rest. The campsite needed to be cleaned up for inspection, and the girls did so well, they were awarded 1st Place for Best Campsite. Then they immediately began preparations for dinner in their quest for a Golden Spatula award.

Meal preparation underway for Award-winning Bacon Cheeseburgers.

Meal preparation underway for Award-winning Bacon Cheeseburgers.

Blackfeet girls working hard preparing dinner.

Blackfeet girls working hard preparing dinner.

With Bacon Cheeseburgers, Home Fries, and Ice Cream with warm pineapple and mango on the menu, much work was needed, but the girls rallied together admirably to form teams, separate tasks, and work harmoniously in order to prepare plates for the judges. The girls were impressive demonstrating their preparation, seasoning, grilling, and cooking skills. Their cutlery skills, well, we’ll continue to work on that at future campouts. With the judging out of the way (and another award in the bag), the girls fed all of the dads, then themselves.

With everyone well fed and anxious to hear the results of the days’ competitions, we headed off to Tonka! The Mighty Blackfeet put together and impressive fire that had more than a few people moving their chairs back away from the heat.

Tonka! Tonka! Tonka!

Tonka

The Blackfeet were honored with 5 awards total and celebrated with boisterous cheers and more games back at camp while many others scampered in fear of the pending storm. Despite threats of heavy rains and 25mph winds, the Mighty Blackfeet retained all of our attendees for the night and braved Mother Nature in the forest. We endured thunder, lightning, downpours, and even falling branches. With the sun rising Sunday morning, all tribe members were happy to have survived the night without issues, appreciative of our victories, and most importantly, thankful to Mr. Roper for such generous hospitality. Noonway!

Roper pine forest and the calm before the storm.

Roper pine forest and the calm before the storm.


Planning and Preparation Efforts for Roper Bring The Mighty Blackfeet Together Around the Holidays!

While we took a break from camping for nearly two months, The Mighty Blackfeet still took time to gather to plan and prepare for our next nation campout at Roper Island January 15-17th. As the host tribe for January’s princess retreat, we wanted to ensure all dads and daughters would have a great time and make lasting memories. We first celebrated the holidays with food and drink, then launched right into the making of the awards. Thanks to several donations, the princesses were able to construct all 16 awards using materials on hand and with little guidance. We’re certain the awards handed out at Roper will be proudly displayed by those tribes fortunate enough to earn them!

20151212_195653After awards were completed, the dads got down to business planning the trip as there was much to be discussed while the daughters busied themselves with games or homework. A Tonka committee was formed, variations for the Golden Whisk and Golden Spatula awards were discussed, menus were planned, and leaders of the various activities were assigned so that the workload was evenly spread. We were also fortunate to be joined by a Blackfeet Alum and former Chief, Victor Castellanos, who provided great counsel for us to maintain Tribe of the Year status. All-in-all, the planning and preparation went well, many smiles and laughs were shared, and we’re looking forward to another epic weekend at Roper Island. Noonway!

A few of the Blackfeet dads discuss Tonka and other important business. Not pictured but participation in preparation: AC Dave Debow, Angel Torres, Bob Reilly, and Greg Maaswinkel.

A few of the Blackfeet dads discuss Tonka and other important business. Not pictured but participation in preparation: AC Dave Debow, Angel Torres, Bob Reilly, and Greg Maaswinkel.


Tribe of the Year Gives Back

The Tribe of the Year, The Mighty Blackfeet, took some time out of the holiday season to join a few other program members at Matthew’s Hope on December 12th. Matthew’s Hope is a fantastic local organization helping others in reclaiming and stabilizing their lives. Our tribe came together and provided a helping help cleaning up the transitional housing units. The clean up included power washing, leaf blowing, weeding, raking, and general clean-up.

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After the clean up, we joined our other Fox nation members back at Matthew’s Hope to hear more about the program from Founder and Chairman Scott Billue. Scott’s talk left us all humbled, but proud that we were able to give back a little to those who need it the most. We’re honored to have participated in such a great program and are resolved to return to help some more!

Fox Nation Members with Matthew's Hope Founder and Chairman Scott Billue

Fox Nation Members with Matthew’s Hope Founder and Chairman Scott Billue


Winter Garden Parade A Huge Success!

The Mighty Blackfeet joined the other Guide and Princess tribes as part of our joint entry in the Winter Garden parade., making the event a huge success! While the event planning began immediately following last year’s parade, the tribe got together early Friday evening to begin construction of our float.

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Over half the tribe of dads and daughters worked late into the night decorating our trailer with donated Christmas garland and lights. When the rest of the tribe assembled late Saturday morning for the parade, there was limited work left to be done. There were even a few left over decorations and props that we were able to lend to another tribe, demonstrating for all parade participants the good neighbor spirit that is accentuated through our program. Once the parade began, all the smiles came out, many hands were shook, hundreds of pleasantries were exchanged with the spectators, and of course, candy was flying everywhere.

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For the judges, we performed our “We are the Blackfeet” chant at the top of our lungs, which the emcee repeated word-for-word over the PA system with many spectators joining in. For one fabulous moment, the whole crowd were honorary Blackfeet members! We even had a small bit of candy left over to share with the young children at the end of the route. All-in-all, it was a great event and one the Blackfeet were proud to be a part of alongside our other brothers and sisters of the Fox Nation! We’re already looking forward to next year!

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Happy Holidays to Everyone!


Operation Christmas Child in Full Effect – The Blackfeet Way

The collection and packing of the Operation Christmas Child boxes completed last week with a Friday evening pack-the-truck event. In typical Blackfeet fashion, we met prior to the packing party to finish preparations and collect the final boxes from our tribe. Over a dozen boxes were collected in all and 5 tribe members arrived to help. With many volunteers, the packing event went quickly and smoothly, and the care packages are now in route to those in need. The Blackfeet appreciated the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile cause and kick-start our holiday spirits! Noonway!

 

 

 

 

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Blackfeet Tribe Members: Andrew, Jim with daughter Avery, and Bob. Not pictured: Chris and Dave.


Camp Challenge Provides an Excellent Weekend for the Mighty Blackfeet!

The Mighty Blackfeet came together along with the other tribes of the Fox Nation to enjoy an outstanding weekend at Camp Challenge. We were treated to many wonderful experiences that will leave lasting memories for both the dads and daughters.

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Friday night provided a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the vast fields and numerous activities including the soccer fields and playground. Blackfeet daughters helped their dads set up the tents and campsite to earn one of their achievements, and Blackfeet dads took a moment to honor and celebrate all of the military veterans that serve or have served our great country. We were especially humbled as news of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris began to break, proving yet another reason to appreciate our veterans.

On Saturday, we were treated to a tasty breakfast of Seasonal Cranberry French Toast while tackling an all-too-specific scavenger hunt. We participated in a great collection of War Games, including our own Bean-Boozled challenge that elicited many photogenic moments. We filled our afternoon will many inter-tribal games and quality time with our daughters before venturing over to the petting zoo.

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Before Tonka, we covered our other achievement and filled our bellies with award-worthy paella. After Tonka, we played a modified version of Bean-Boozled and enjoyed our own dance party around the fire. Some tribe members even participated in a late-night version of extended-distance egg toss, much to the detriment of Sunday breakfast.

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As usual, we had a most enjoyable time at Camp Challenge and we’re thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the Easter Seal cause. We can’t wait to see what the next camp-out brings!


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