There were different certificates made during the time the "Most High Order of the Donkey" was used at Camp Billy Gibbons. Here are two samples.
Looking for a way to entice workers to come out to Camp Billy Gibbons to work on projects and get the camp ready to open for the summer camp season, the Comanche Trail Council developed the "Most High Order of the Donkey." A ceremony was devised, letters sent out to prospect workers, and the first "Donkey Day" was held on May 18, 1968 at Camp Billy Gibbons.
A special certificate was printed up to give out to the workers who qualified for membership in the Order by working eight hours. Later, the ceremony was dropped and a smaller wallet size certificate was issued. The ceremony was dropped in 1991 when harassment became part of the national scene and women became involved in Donkey Day.
Many thousands of man-hours have been spent on Donkey Day repairing program equipment, doing maintenance work, adding new facilities, cutting brush, painting, sweeping, cleaning, and in general getting the camp in tip top shape for the boys that were to spend a week in camp that summer. Donkey Day has generally been held in May of each year.
Our hats are off to all those
who come to Donkey Day and help work. Oh, did I mention, all the
great fellowship that also was a part of that special day.
MOST HIGH ORDER OF THE DONKEY
INTRODUCTION: The candidates will enter the sacred circle by two's. Each man will hold on to the rope with one hand as it is passed between them. They will be led into a circle in complete silence.
1ST KEEPER Most High Donkey, ,these lowly beasts of burden are before you and wait for the tests that lead to acceptance into our circle.
The Keepers of the shoes come forward and install with fanfare the "Donkey Ears" on the Most High Donkey.
MHD: My Keepers of the Shoes, are all those lowly beasts of burden friends of boyhood, and great lovers of Camp Billy Gibbons (Keepers scurry around the circle and return to MHD)
1ST KEEPER: Most High Donkey, we have searched the circle and find all these men to be friends of boyhood and great lovers of Camp Billy Gibbons.
MHD: Have they all taken the bit in the mouth, put the shoulder to the tasks at hand in the prescribed manner for the eight hours of .toil?
2ND KEEPER: Most High Donkey we have checked the records, examined their hooves, and can verify their labor, too often slow and in a surly manner, has been completed.
MHD: Do they hold forth the spirit of. the Scout Law?
1ST KEEPER: Most High Donkey, they do show evidence of the spirit. of the Scout Law.
MHD : Then let the rites of induction begin. 1st Keeper, 'instruct these lowly ones in the recognition of the members of our order so .that they may know and respect these ranks.
1ST KEEPER: First, lowly
ones, there is one and only Most High Donkey. Know ye him by his ears...his
proud braying...and by the labors he does not do. Next, lowly one, re-cognize
the Tail Pullers, the leaders of our crews.
MHD Keeper of the papers, tell them now of our glorious history that the bit in their mouths may feel softer and their burdens lighter.
2ND KEEPER: In the long past when the sun first rose in the east, we sprang from the womb destined to be servants of all. Note our long ears... they were made that way to listen to the tales of woe that others had. Our bodies were made strong to endure the labors on behalf of others. Our skins were made tough to turn aside the jeers and threats of others while we shoulder the burdens of this life. Our disposition leads us to be slow to anger, patient of mind while plodding ever onward and upward. Our hooves were made hard and sharp to climb over the obstacles of this life and to give us the sure footedness required of our tasks. Our voices were made to be heard when needed and, so recognized by all.
MHD: My heart is warmed by your words. Rest easy, Oh Beasts of Burdens. It is fitting here that we put some of you to the test of your faith and. your heritage. My lowly ones, is it not fitting here that wee call forth some of our Packers and Tail Pullers to let them take the test of tests in your name. All in favor say "Hee-Haw".
Now the last test of tests...get on all fours and face your Most High Donkey, 1st Keeper, blindfold each of them. 2nd Keeper, bring on the final test. (Put saddle over 1st one..then next one, etc.)
Now, my lowly beasts of burden, are your hearts warmed by this sight? Let me know by your voices of donkeys of your approval. Are these: Packers and Pullers worthy to be beasts of burden like yourselves? Does it fit? (cheer. ..bray)
You have done well, my Packers and Pullers, you have earned your rights and privileges in our order. Tonight you too looked like an ass.
(In Unison) I _____ being weary of body, weak of mind, and humble of spirit, do at this moment feel like an ASS. I have labored long, in this service in the name of Scouting, and I am a registered Scouter. I promise to keep this spirit of the donkey ever in my heart and when the sun of the springtime warms my back once again and the winds of the South carry the braying of the donkey. I will return again to shoulder this burden of love...so help me, John and if you catch me, Paul.
Arise, my donkeys, remove your bits and your ropes. Tonight, remember, each of you has indeed labored long and faithfully in many jobs and some lowly jobs, too. As you stand erect, you stand a little bit taller in the thought that what you have done today will be long remembered by all and shared by boys in the years ahead. This sharing of labors...this giving of yourselves...is a legacy given to you by those who went before you and must be given to those are to come after.
Do not let this stop here. I remind you each that when the sun of the spring warms your backs and the winds of' the South call, it is your time to return.
God, go with you, God keep you in His love, and Good Night, Scouters.
- end -
This was the first letter sent out to a select group of Scouters inviting them to become a member of "The "Most High Order of the Donkey"
FOUNDED ON SATURDAY, MAY 18, 1968, AT CAMP BILLY GIBBONS. THIS IS YOUR "ONCE IN
A LIFETIME" OPPORTUNITY TO
BE A CHARTER MEMBER OF A VERY EXCLUSIVE GROUP OF MEN!
HOW TO JOIN? CALL ON ONE OF THE MEN LISTED BELOW FOR ASSIGNMENT. THESE MEN ARE
TO BE OUR "TAIL PULLERS" FOR THIS ILLUSTRIOUS DAY AND EVENING. THEY WILL GIVE
YOU THE DETAILS! MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS: ANNUAL DUES ARE: 8 HOURS OF CAMP
CONSTRUCTION AND/OR MAINTENANCE WORK; FOLLOWING FIRST PAYMENT OF DUES, PARTICIPATE
IN INITIATION CEREMONY. IN THE FUTURE SMALL FEES TO COVER COST OF THE WEEKEND MAY
BE CHARGED, THIS YEAR THEY
HERE ARE OUR 1968 "TAIL PULLERS"
BRECKENRIDGE: M.H. Machen
OUR "HAY BURNERS" (food service
group) WILL BE HEADED BY W. DOYLE GRAVES OF BLUFF DALE. ANY SCOUTERS WISHING
TO VOLUNTEER FOR THIS GROUP SHOULD CONTACT MR. GRAVES: HIS CREW WILL BE
LIMITED TO THOSE UNABLE TO PERFORM OTHER OUTDOOR LABOR AND THOSE WITH SPECIAL
DETAILS: BE AT CAMP BILLY GIBBONS NOT LATER THAN 8: 30 am, SATURDAY, MAY 18 WITH YOUR WORK CLOTHES ON. BRING TOOLS, ETC. AS DEFINED BY YOUR "TAIL PULLER" LUNCH AND SUPPER WILL BE PROVIDED. YOU ARE WELCOME TO COME FRIDAY NIGHT AND FISH, BUT BRING YOUR OWN GRUB FOR EVENING AND SATURDAY BREAKFAST! WE WILL BE FINISHED (INITIATION AND ALL) BY 9: 00 pm, SATURDAY NIGHT!
YOUR BOYS AND THEIR CAMP VITALLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS MATTER! COME ONE, COME ALL FOR A WONDERFUL SATURDAY OF MOST GRATIFYING LABOR AND FELLOWSHIP ON BEHALF OF OUR BOYS!
Paul A. Cunyus
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -TEAR OFF AND MAIL - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - TEAR OFF AND MAIL - - - - - - - -
"MOST HIGH DONKEY"
OH, MOST HIGH, I AM PLANNING
TO JOIN THE WONDERFUL FELLOWSHIP OF THE ORDER ON MAY
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