Ton-A-Wandah’s connection to nature and deep respect for the Native Americans who originally inhabited these mountains are the inspiration behind the Three Tribes: Cherokee, Navajo and Mohawk. These three tribes are among Ton-A-Wandah’s oldest and most revered traditions, with membership passed down from mother to daughter, aunt to niece, sister to sister.
These cohesive small groups melt away age differences at camp, creating a strong sense of sisterhood and pride among and within the three tribes. By encouraging a healthy spirit of competition, our campers learn to set goals, to coach each other, and to support and cheer on their sisters! By practicing proper sportsmanship, these games provide a common thread among tribe members but never break the bond of tribal unity.
Allowing for the opportunity of natural mentorship to develop, each tribe elects a Chief, Co-Chieft, and Head Cheerleader to lead and organize the members for various activities throughout the session. Down by the waterfall with all of camp surrounding the Council Fire, ceremonies led by the Chiefs of each tribe are held to initiate new members or to signify the start of the Tribe Day Celebration. With the campfire blazing, campers join in song and dance and listen to old Ton-A-Wandah legends, imparting a strong connection to tradition at Ton-A-Wandah.
Throughout the three-week session, various competitions take place with the final games on Tribe Day. With great enthusiasm, each camper, wearing her colors, competes in various activities across camp and cheers on their fellow tribe sisters. At the end of this celebration, colors are stripped away and all Ton-A-Wandah sisters unite one final time to remind each other of a unified sisterhood that will always be.