Members of the Tribe love the ceremonies – the pageantry and, more importantly, the values they impart to boys and leaders alike. All of us participated in them as we came into the Tribe and some of us have the good fortune to assist in the ceremonies after becoming Tribal members. Very few actually get to run the ceremonies. Ed Gooseman, Ceremonial Medicine Man Flying Goose, is one of those few.
Ed grew up in the small town of Wellington where he was a member of Pack 317 and Troop 317. He went to camp for the first time and says he “wondered about the Scouts wearing claws, pouches and Foxman sticks.” He remembers the Campsite Host staffer who checked the Troop in talking with the Troop’s Foxmen. “It seemed kind of scary to me,” Ed recalls. Ed looked up to many of the boys in the troop and remembers two of his friends becoming Brave during Ed’s first year.
Mark Schorer (Keeper of the Wampum Silver Iron Horse) was Ed’s first Scoutmaster. Mark was 24 and he was accompanied to camp by an 18-year-old Assistant Scoutmaster during Ed’s first year at camp. The two led that Troop at camp until later in the session when the older Tribesmen began to show up.
Ed served on camp staff for a year and then returned to camp as a camper every year until he turned 18. Ed passed his Eagle board of review, graduated from high school, and turned 18 all within a few hours of each other. Then he immediately became a Scouter, serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster and then, when he turned 21, becoming Scoutmaster of troop 317. He served as Scoutmaster of that troop for 13 of the next 15 years.
But, back to that first year at camp!!
“That first year, I had every intention of going home prior to my first Call Night,” Ed remembers. He says Call Night was on visitors day the session that his troop camped. He really was not having the” time of my life” and hopes that first-year campers these days do. He was a little home sick and some of the older boys weren’t helping him feel any better.
Then, there was a young staff kid who saw Ed around the phone at the trading post waiting to call home after visitors day was over. That staffer - Wayne Stewart - talked to Ed and told him about the excitement of Call Night and that Ed should stay at camp to watch it. Ed says, “He was that staff guy that made a difference in my Scouting life. I remember during Call Night that he came and checked on me to see if I was having a good time. For the next few years as a camper I made a point to seek him out every year….” Ed eventually lost touch with Wayne until the 75th anniversary Mic-O-Say celebration, when they renewed acquaintances. Now the two remain very good friends.
Ed is glad he stayed for Call Night. He relates, “Well, I can tell you that I remember that first Call Night like it was yesterday. I remember the runners and the pomp and circumstance that goes along with Call Night. I remember listening to the speeches and being wide-eyed about what was going on. I believe that that night I learned what I need to do to become a Tribesman and did not look back. However, unlike most Scouts sitting in the stands, I never had the dream of being a Runner. I always wanted to be the guy out in the middle running the show.”
Ed returned to camp as a staff member in 2002, and has served on staff every year since then. Ed had many responsibilities over the years on Call Night, and he really enjoyed being a part of that. Ed recalls one evening when he and Jared Pearce (Sagamore Swift Running Bird) were standing outside the council ring. They commented about wanting to do more and then realizing the younger tribesmen behind them were wanting to do what they were doing.
Jared Pearce and Ed spent many hours at one of their favorite places - the porch of staff cabin two in Lone Star. They solved some of the world’s problems, but all of the tribe’s problems! On one occasion the talk became very solemn. Jared and Ed were discussing Mic-O-Say memorial services.
Ed relates the conversation, “We decided that night that when the time came the one of us who lived longer would have to do the other’s memorial service - specifically the song of Mic-O-Say.” Ed was several years older than Jared and was sure Jared would be performing the duty first. It wasn’t meant to be, as Jared had an untimely death just a few years later. Ed says, “I found myself in Oklahoma and then Olathe preforming that service. I’ll tell you that was one of the most difficult times in my life.”
Ed’s desire to run the ceremonies came to fruition, of course, as Ed became a Mic-O-Say Advisor in 2010 and was named Ceremonial Medicine Man for the Summer of 2016. From watching the ceremonies to running them…
But, back to Brave!!
Ed remembers the trail to Brave being a long and difficult to get through. As he works with Called Braves now he spends a great deal of time reflecting on what the process meant to him and what he can do to aid the young men in the process. He now appreciates being a part of something that was much bigger than any individual.
Ed remembers the Brave Ceremony. He recalls how Dick Chandler (Medicine Man Little Falling Branch), resplendent in beadwork from head to toe - immediately caught his eye. Ed remembers the way Chandler spoke softly but the tribesmen were hanging on every word he said.
Many of the leaders in Ed’s troop told him how proud his dad would have been of Ed for going through the program. Ed’s father – Warrior Big Flying Goose - had passed away the October before he was called into the tribe.
From one generation to the next…
Some of people that have mentored Ed over the years are his first Scoutmaster, Mark Schorer, Scoutmaster Tom Hodson, Assistant Scoutmaster Scott Westerman, Camp staffers Dick Chandler, Louis Chandler, Whitey Koogler, Nick Nichol, Dave Woodman, David Allen, Tom Volek, Grant Dealy, Jared Pearce, Jim Hayes, Jim Todd, Scott Smith, Wayne Stewart, and Lester Ham. Ed says there are probably many more he couldn’t recall of the top of his head, and apologizes for those left off the list.
His time in the Tribe led Ed to his vocation. Ed says, “It has influenced my career greatly. After a couple of different careers I chose to become a (special education) teacher. I have always enjoyed working with youth.”
Ed talks about what it means to pass the values of Mic-O-Say along to the next generation. “Having had the opportunity for the last six years to be a Mic-O-Say advisor, my wife Christina feels as if she can’t take me anywhere. Everywhere we go some one knows me. I often have someone whispering and or pointing, then the older Scouts that I (talk with) have usually been in one of my Brave or Warrior groups. (They) will just come up and start talking. I absolutely love it. Having the relationship with the next generation that is going to run our Tribe, Troops, and country means a great deal to me.”
The spirit of Ed Gooseman has risen from watching the ceremonies of Mic-O-Say to running them. Today his spirit has great influence on and off his beloved reservation.