January 7, 2023

By Kathy Smith
Contributing Writer

I love it when our public officials share their time and talents with kids. Many times like in the case of James Freeman III, it is a club or a group at church. Freeman chose the Boy Scouts as his way of giving back.

Freeman has been in scouting since he was five. He participated until he went off to college. He re-engaged when he had his children.

Being on the city council, allowed Freeman to introduce many Scouts to the public over the years. I loved it when he did that. The pride shown on the faces of the kids was heartwarming. I never forgot those days.

I started following Freeman’s Facebook posts showing off his beading skills. I have always been fascinated with Native American culture.

I wanted to share his talent with you and the great story behind it.

Families in this region who have been involved in Scouting are familiar with the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. My son was in Scouting but I never knew the rich heritage that is behind the name.

The Tribe of Mic-O-Say is an honor society within two local councils of the Boy Scouts of America, the Heart of America Council at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation in Osceola, Missouri, and the council in which Mic-O-Say was founded, the Pony Express Council at Camp Geiger in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Mic-O-Say was founded in 1925 under the guidance of H. Roe Bartle who was the former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. Bartle served as the Chief Scout Executive for the Cheyenne Council in Casper, Wyoming. He became interested in the heritage and culture of the Native American tribes living on the reservations in the area. He spent many hours listening to the stories about the tribes.

Bartle was eventually inducted into the local tribe of Arapaho.

Freeman’s beadwork is based on the Arapaho tradition. He takes his beadwork seriously. It is becoming more difficult to find the proper beads to work with.

Many Scouting activities are going on across the United States. Freeman is part of many of the events. He enjoys watching his Scouts work hard and develop their way of paying it forward.