Sagamore Shimmering Star
Scouting and Mic-O-Say touched Kevin Ferrett’s life in many ways. He still has his claws above his dresser at home, and sees them every morning as he heads out the door for work. Kevin currently is an instructional designer for Sprint University, the educational arm of the Kansas City-based telecommunications giant. He credits Scouting and the Tribe with providing him the skills for his highly successful career.
Kevin still remembers his early Scouting experiences that taught him perseverance and to believe in himself, perhaps embodied in a troop campout in subzero temperatures. He and the boys built a full-size igloo and two of the Scouts slept in it overnight. Kevin says the two inside the igloo slept warmer than the rest of the group.
Kevin spent two years as Senior Patrol Leader of his troop. He then served on on camp staff at Bartle. Both experiences taught him how to teach, motivate and earn the loyalty of others, building skills he now uses daily. He says such leadership positions in Scouting instill in the boys “a belief that they can do whatever they set their minds to. This goes for anything from believing you can obtain a job or career you want to believing you can fix the dryer when it breaks down.”
One of Kevin’s favorite Scouting memories is his first year on staff at Bartle in 1981. He was 16 years old. He served on the Camp Frontier dining hall staff, made Warrior and Firebuilder, and capped the summer with a trek at Philmont. “What a great summer,” Kevin says.
Kevin served on staff every summer for the next 11 summers, moving from the dining hall through Conservation, MOS Counselor, Program Director and MOS Advisor. Kevin is known in Tribal circles today as Sagamore Shimmering Star.
Kevin recalls that every time he received a paint elevation, his camp director would call Kevin’s dad in advance. Kevin says his dad then would drive to Osceola (without Kevin knowing) for the ceremony. Kevin would get elevated and afterwards the crowd would gather around him for handshakes and hugs. Once the crowd thinned out, Kevin would see his dad standing there, waiting “to put a big hug on me.” Kevin’s dad passed away a few years ago, and this is one of the memories Kevin holds onto about his dad, about his family, and about Mic-O-Say.
Kevin reflects on what he misses most about Bartle. “The camaraderie and shared team spirit is the thing I miss the most. The dining hall songs and stunts, the Call Nights, just sitting around the staff area on a hot summer night,” he says.
He says he found the satisfaction that comes from serving others through camp staff. Kevin challenges staffers to take it seriously. “For those who really live it while they are on staff, there is a shared sense of purpose toward a higher good that is not found in many other places in life,” he says.
Kevin’s staff days are over for now. He now is married with three sons, ages 7, 8 and 18. His 8-year-old is a Cub Scout, and Kevin is active in the Pack as a parent.
Kevin still sees his claws every morning and reflects on what Mic-O-Say means to him. “The commitments we make in Mic-O-Say can last a lifetime,” he says. “They remind me of great times on camp staff, but also remind me of my commitments.” He says he looks at those commitments differently over time, but they are still there.
Kevin Ferrett is another great example of what “building better boys” is all about. He learned the basic values and skills as a Scout that have propelled him into responsibility and leadership as an adult.