Few members of the Tribe ever advance to the responsibility of Medicine Man, so it’s a bit surprising to find two Hardway, full-rainbow Medicine Men who came into the Tribe as Blood Brothers. Such is the case with Medicine Man Fast Running Silver Fox and Medicine Man Distant Full Moon, known to the non-Tribal world as Jim Hayes and Kelsie Clark.
Jim and Kelsie were born three days apart, both families were members of United Methodist Church for several generations, and both attended the same Pleasant Hill schools through high school, and then went to Mizzou together, where they shared an apartment. Kelsie recalls that both he and Jim grew up feeling like a part of each others families. “We weren’t biological brothers,” Kelsie says, “but we were brothers.”
On the Scouting side, they both attended Pack 300, earned their Arrows of Light, and bridged up to Troop 300.
Jim and Kelsie pretty much advanced in rank together, although Kelsie earned his Eagle award in 1975 as part of Pappy Grube’s Court of Honor, and Jim earned his the next year in the Honorable Larry Winn, Jr. Class. They both attended the 1977 Jamboree together with Jim serving as a Patrol Leader, and Kelsie his Assistant Patrol Leader.
Now that’s close!!
Jim and Kelsie began the Bartle experience in 1973, camping together with Troop 300 in Fort Fremont. Jim recalls that was the last summer Chief Lone Bear was still alive.
Both remember aspiring to be like the Braves and Warriors in Troop 300. They looked up to the older guys who wore claws. Jim says “I didn’t understand it – just that I wanted to be a part of it.”
Kelsie recalls he saw the older boys and leaders wearing claws and brave pouches and started wondering what this Mic-O-Say thing was all about. Kelsie says, “Of course they would only tell us a little. I knew I wanted to be a part of this special group. Little did I know at the time what a significant impact that becoming a Tribesman would have on me and others.”
Kelsie recalls several First-Year-Camper experiences centered on the Tribe. One was the Shaman’s instructions to not run in camp and stay away from the white rocks. The other was Call Night.
The two entered the Tribe as Braves and Blood Brothers in 1975. Their watch fires are now underwater down by the old Riverfront. They advanced to Warrior together in 1976, and received most of their paint together on the same nights through Sachem. Kelsie recalls that night in 1983. “Medicine Man Mad Drums (Whitey Koogler) called us and named us. I was told later that he had requested to call us that night because we were Blood Brothers. He thought that was special and made some mention of it when he read our bios. It was special.”
They continued to advance through white paint, though not at the same time, until both eventually heard the call to become Medicine Men.
They received their elevations to Medicine Man at different ceremonies, but were with each other when they heard the call. Jim says it was the ultimate honor to receive “a life achievement to be called to stand in the same place as those guys that I had always looked up to – Dick, Louie, Whitey, Will Krahenbuhl, Rick Boeshaar.” Kelsie echoes his admiration for those Tribesmen.
Jim vividly remembers his Call Night. Pappy Grube “tested” him – something he still considers “pretty cool.” The Tribal leaders that influenced Jim were Pappy, Dick and Louie Chandler and Whitey Koogler. Jim recalls, “Dick always made ceremonies special – soft spoken, was able with words to make me feel the presence of the MOS brothers that had gone before us…Roe, J.D. (Hammontree), and the others. He made you feel like you were part of the inner-circle of Mic-O-Say.”
Both served on Bartle staff from 1979 to 1982 in Camp Wigwam/Lone Star, and in 1983 at Camp Naish. Kelsie served another year on Bartle staff in 1984 as Pioneer Trails Director, while Jim heard the call to begin his career at Sprint. Kelsie started his career in engineering the next year.
The Mic-O-Say influence stayed strong in both of these men as they grew in age and wisdom. Their Scoutmaster, Harry Dyke, kept the two active in the Troop as they graduated high school and went off to college in Columbia. Jim recalls that Scoutmaster Dyke opened doors in the district, made sure they attended the Tribal Feast, and encouraged them generally to stay active. Kelsie recalls Mr. Dyke “had a way of ‘needing our help’ when we were available. They assisted at Arrowhead District’s New Scoutmaster Training while home on weekends. Both assisted Troop 5 in Columbia while attending Mizzou. Both joined the Arrowhead District Training team after college and eventually became District training chairs. Later, Jim served as Council Training Chair and now as Vice President Program and Kelsie now as District Commissioner.
Kelsie says, “who knew that Mr. Dyke’s ‘weekend invitation’ would spark a couple of decades of involvement in various training functions?”
Jim recalls his Scouting and Mic-O-Say friends have been a consistent thread throughout his life. He and Kelsie were on staff at the same time as Lester Ham, Scott Hess, Jim Todd, Wayne Stewart, Russ and Steve Nichol, Rick Boeshaar, Jimmy Clark, Danny Smock, Mark Gotzon, Doug Combs, Ed Hubert – just to name a few. Jim and Kelsie later returned as commissioners and found more life-long friends in Aaron Guest, Bill and Bob Huston, and Scott Smith. All have become great life friends.
Jim Hayes reconnected with Jim Todd when Todd built his house next door to the Hayes’. Todd saw Hayes mowing his yard with an old staff shirt only to find out they were on staff at the same time – Hayes in Lone Star, Todd in Sawmill.
Jim says the core of MOS are the principles we live in our hearts, and those have served as his guideposts in living his life. He continues to reflect on those principles as his life changes.
Kelsie reflects those sentiments. “(These principles) are a cornerstone of how to live life and often take on even more meaning when I listen to a called Brave or called Warrior (in She-She-Be),” Kelsie says. “I remember how hard it was to talk about some of these things when I was that age. Sharing with these young men how (the core values of Mic-O-Say) can change their lives and thinking how they have guided me in mine is especially rewarding.”
Jim also says, “Mic-O-Say is a brotherhood, a shared purpose. The pride and purpose that I have when I put on my claws is hard to describe. Knowing that the Tribe has deep meaning for our members and has positively influenced the character and leadership development of so many youth (and adults!) is awesome…. [We as Tribal leaders need] to be the example, to serve and help guide the future of our organization.”
Kelsie echoes those sentiments. “It’s a lasting brotherhood. The bonds we share with other tribesmen cross over generations and age differences. I have lost touch with most of the friends I had in high school and college but the friendships I’ve made with brother tribesmen and camp staff members over the years has been lasting. Even though we may not have served on staff or became tribesmen at the same time and may be of very different ages, the common bond of being a tribesman is strong.
Jim and Kelsie are models for every new member of the Tribe to watch and follow – whether young or old. These Blood Brothers represent the true meaning of Mic-O-Say!