Troop 174

Finished Totem Poles at Clear Lake
Sept. 27, 2003

The Meaning of the Poles
The Dedication

West Pole - 110 Years

East Pole - 88 Years

Birds of the Southern Hemisphere.

Birds of the Northern Hemisphere.

Twist Nose represents the dualities we find in life and help us make the right choices. (Trickster or Coyote in Native American mythology).

Toxic Man (Machine Man) represents the part of us that wrestles with technology—which can be wonderful or can be dangerous. “We truly understand when we can know nature’s secrets and work in balance with them.”

Deer Man represents Ungulates (animals with hooves- moose, goats, sheep, gazelle, eland, topkapi, rhino, horse, pigs elephants, antelope, deer).

Schnoz Man represents the entire world’s people, the knowledge that we are all immigrants, and that everyone has a nose.

Bear and Child represents nurturing and continuity, seasonal rebirth.

Beaver represents all the rodents (gnawing creatures) and teaches us to build our dreams.

Hawk represents the messenger of the Great Spirit. Hawk teaches us to be observant.  Hawk is the main patrol of Troop 174.

Raven represents magic in the world and the seeking of answers to spiritual questions.


We dedicate these poles today, September 27, 2003, in the solar calendar and Tishri 1, 5764 of the Jewish lunar calendar.

These poles represent Earth wisdom.

The relationship between all things—two legs, four legs, winged and from the seas.

The west pole is 110 years old; the east pole is 88 years old.

These poles are memories and therefore are also dedicated to the Twin Towers.

These poles were cut here at Clear Lake and are now returned to Clear Lake two years later having been shaped by human hands.   A full cycle—a full circle.

Each one of you that carved an eye, or cut a tooth or claw, anyone that had a part in this will ever be connected to it.

Like the experiences of Clear Lake and Scouting, we are tied up to the animals and land and rivers and streams that make the web of our lives.

When you visit here in the future—5 years, 10 years, 20 years, hence—and see these carvings, as the Big Chief says, “He who come upon these poles knoweth very well a bunch of Boy Scouts, old men, and family made them for everyone.”

      --Dale S.
        September 27, 2003

History of the Totem Poles

Photos by Tom L.

Boy Scout Troop 174, Yorktown, NY.