Hangin’ With the Princesses

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What happens in Indian Princesses, stays in Indian Princesses – and with dads and their daughters for a lifetime.

For the first time in print, the wonderful goings on are about to be revealed.  For the moms, officially, we did not lose Doug in the spirit of “The Hangover” – your beautiful daughters came home safe, with memories, and a bunch of sand.  Nothing a shower couldn’t cure.

The Nez Perce and their winning sandcastle. Photo by Jeff Zahedi

Indian Princess originated in the 1950s and is affiliated with the YMCA.  For more than a half-century, dads have been spending time with their daughters, sparking the debate of who benefits more, with a tie going to the forged foundation for a lifelong relationship. Of the program’s several goals, my favorite is “to seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit’s work in the forest, field and stream.”

We go to a Sock Hop at the Balboa Pavilion, march in the Balboa Island 4th of July Parade, and do lots of camping.

Actually, this is Newport, so it is lots of “glamping,” glamorous camping.  We have camped on Catalina Island, and last weekend, the Naranja Nation, 700 dads and daughters, set up camp on sndy Del Mar Beach inside the 26,000 acres of Camp Pendleton.  There are 16 tribes within the Naranja Nation – ours is the Nez Perce –  with a nation’s motto of “Friends Always.”

The Nez Perce tribe is originally from Idaho. Our local motto is “Ahmo Onichocaya,” translated as “No Crying.”  To give you a flavor of how the Nez Perce roll, the beginning of the chant song, with a BOOM-boom-boom-boom back beat is, “Hi ya ya ya, Hi ya ya ya, save the drama for your mama,” and ends with, “We’re the mighty mighty Nez Perce,” which every Nez Perce Indian Princess can proudly shout on command.

The Mighty Mighty Nez Perce have been lead by Brad Barton, “Chief Red Wolf,” with his daughter Amra, “Winter Bear.”  Chief Red Wolf is a high-energy chief with a high bar when it comes to our daughters, a motivator for sure.

“Indian Princesses is the magical time for dad and daughter in which a lifetime of memories are created.  I truly will remember the amazing experience the rest of my life, and I know Winter Bear will too.”

Well said and well done Chief, thank you.

Rendell Swart stepped up to perform grilling chores like a maestro with a symphony.  Hot dogs plus steak, shrimp and lobster to go with the butter.  Delicious, thanks.

All dads bring a skill set and spend a weekend transferring knowledge and passion to the Nez Perce tribe of daughters.  Imagine sitting ’round a campfire, toasting marshmallows for s’mores, telling stories and listening to residential real estate mogul Tim Carr pick his guitar and sing familiar tunes.  All the while, your Princess sits on your lap.

The Nez Perce have a tradition of bring boxes of Beanie Babies to the events for “Beanie Baby Bingo.”  To get a sense of the ensuing excitement, think Justin Beiber handing out sugar.

“My wife called, the tumor is B9.”

“B1 of the tribes to donate to Semper Fi Fund.”

“The Lakers got A’ty 6’d”.

But that fun soon turns to pandemonium. The castle is stormed, no time to call in the Marines.  In a last-ditch effort, and a classic under-the-bus gesture, Chief grabs the mike, “If you need help, see Mike Wooden.”

BFF’s participated in a Castle Building Contest where dads demonstrate a winning attitude while teaching collaboration, and they take a page from the Marines to “improvise, adapt, and overcome.”  After several in-process design changes, we build a huge monster thing, which became a tribute to the Marines when 50 glorious American Flags were introduced.  The Nez Perce proudly took home the coveted “Heap Good” award.  Then off to the amazing obstacle course, custom-made for our Princesses.

Lastly, before the dads retire to the tents to sleep next to their daughters, tell a bedtime story, watch them sleep, they must initiate Mike Manclark as Chief Eagle Eye, with his daughters Cha-Ching and Warrior Weasel.

A deep hole is dug.  Tiki torches surrounding the ceremonial pit are lit.  Chief Eagle Eye grabs a pair of swim goggles, and is lowered.  All princesses then open up with every katsup and mustard bottle, literally the camping sink, with ice and a little sand shared as the new Chief is inaugurated.  Pictures to prove it.

Nez Perce and the Naranja Nation are raising funds for the Semper Fi Funds to support Marines who return from over there, injured.  They are approaching a goal of $100,000, and need your help.  Ways to give are on the website SemperFiFund.org.  Please make a note of Naranja Nation, or Nez Perce.  God bless the Marines.

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