Each year, Wewanoma Lodge out of South Texas holds a public powwow. The event was started twenty one years ago by Troop 68 from McAllen, Texas as a way for Scouts to get the Indian Lore Merit Badge. Since then, it has grown to become an annual tradition with up to 1,500 people in attendance. Some of the powwow’s events include afternoon demonstrations on topics such as beading, animal skinning and choker necklaces. Scouts still have the opportunity to earn the Indian Lore Merit Badge, and there are special activities for any Cub Scouts in attendance. They end the day with a show hosted by The Texas Connection in the evening.
The powwow is volunteer driven, and local troops are asked to run different stations during the event. Usually by mid-November about 1,200 people are expected to sign-up to attend, but this year there were only ten people signed up. The officers reflected on the lodge’s use of advertising and began a complete overhaul. Lodge Chief Gabe R. reflected on their shift.
“We looked and we were really only using Facebook and that was not reaching many people.” A list was drawn up of attendees from the previous five years and the new advertisement campaign began. Robo calls were made, paid social media campaigns (with the new addition of Instagram) were released and mass emails were sent out.
The change resulted in a huge success, and the powwow is the Rio Grande Council’s most attended and most profitable event. All the profit generated from the powwow goes into the capital campaign for Camp Perry, their local council camp. The capital campaign, which is also funded by regular donations, has recently paid for a new 1.2 million dollar dining hall and improvements on campsites and other areas.