Suwanee River Canoe Trip 2023

One of the really unique events we do as a Federation here in Jacksonville, FL is the Canoe Trip. We do it yearly at the end of summer on the historic Suwanee River, but that’s not even the amazing part. What makes it truly special is the fact that it’s just you and your child(ren) in a metal canoe.
Sometimes you’ll be surrounded by a few other canoes, but alot of the time it’s just you together in that boat with no other sounds but that of the paddle entering the water and the cicadas always buzzing in the background. All kinds of species of trees are along the banks, and most of the time there’s a perfect mirror image of your surroundings on the water. And since it’s August in Florida, that cool water absolutely refreshes you when you jump in for a break. We’ll stop every hour or so for what turns into about a 5 or 6 hour day. Depending on how many breaks for a breather or lunch we take, we usually pull into the Holton Creek River Camp in the middle of the afternoon.
Another neat aspect of the trip is it being a REAL campout. We don’t drive to the cabin or have our bags delivered to the room by a bellhop. Nope. We haul ALL our gear in that canoe – the tent, the sleeping bags, the food, the water, the air matttresses if you bring them, the change of clothes, the water-proof bags. All of it. And you better pack efficiently, or you’ll be hating yourself later that day and the next. For this year we managed to avoid any rain, even though the clouds threatened all day long. The kids loved all the stops for a swim break. Some stops even had rope swings from previous, enthusiastic riverine engineers. Every now and then you’d see someone’s home along the elevated river bank and wonder ‘who lives there?’ The river current this year must have been faster than usual becuase we arrived at the camp early – about 2pm. Then it was time to slug our stuff up the steps to the screened-in “cabins” that were really porches with power. Many folks stayed in the river to cool off yet again and swim across from the camp for even more rope swing fun. And whether you were down at the river or up at the cabins, there was talking and laughter all over the place. Another canoe of 2 guys had arrived right after our group – some long haulers doing a multi-day trek. Since Holton Creek is open to all, our group made room in one of the cabins for them to have a place of their own. Then it was soon discovered that a certain Fed Chief forgot the lighter fluid for the charcoal, but the ever-positive attitude of ‘Soaring Falcon’ turned it into a competition between the parents and kids to make a fire from scratch to light the briquets. The trash talking was PG-rated but epic. The food smelled heavenly after a hard day’s row. The air stayed warm all night, but thank the Lord for ceiling fans. Pretty much everyone was passed out sleeping by 10:30 or 11pm. Surprisingly the next day there were no complaints of sore backs or arms.
We shoved off, and again arrived at our destination well ahead of time (even with stops to rest) and enjoyed one last rope swing. The Suwannee Canoe Outpost picked us up at high noon in passenger vans with canoe trailers and drove us back to our vehicles in the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. What an amazing time!!
Timucuan Fed Chief
Rick “Storm Cloud” Murphy

Kiowa Smoke Signals 2022

Firewalker – Ryan

I liked the derby racing because I was happy to know that I places 3rd knowing it was my first time.  I also liked spending the night at MOSH museum.  I liked the stargazing, candy and pizza.  I liked launching the rocket because it was fun when we caught them.  My favorite free active was running to the woods (My first day) My favorite beach activity was ghost crab hunting it was fun to hold the big ones.  The base ball was fun even though it rained I also got to take a picture with the mascot.

Wide Eyed Buck – Zane

I like camping because of crab hunting and the critter race and I can explore and win.  I go to the sacred fire.

Bull in China Shop – Luca

Things I Love about NSAD

  • Creating stuff
  • Spending time with Dads
  • The bonfire
  • Spending time with friends
  • Roasting Marshmellows
  • Egg Toss
  • Fishing
  • Crab hunting

Clear Sky – Zico

I like the critter race because you get to catch a critter and race it.  I was cool in 3rd place. I love being part of NSD

Recruiting at TCA

On Monday June 14th Trinity Christian Academy was kicking off their summer program with Camping Week. The Timucuan federation was invited to help out and fresh off the heels of the OWB campout at Ichetucknee, members of the Chippewa tribe volunteered.  Our trusty Medicine Man, Rick “Storm Cloud” Murphy, and his son, Roryn “Brother Wolf” Murphy, demonstrated tent set up for the kids and spoke about the NSD program.  Right as the bell chimed 10 a.m. Storm Cloud admitted he had borrowed the tent he was demonstrating and didn’t know exactly how to put it up. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders asked many questions and said they wanted to go camping that day. And there were plenty of volunteers to go into the tent when it was finally set up.

The next group for the demonstration was the kindergarteners and 1st graders, they too had many questions and unrelated comments. They also enjoyed hearing about NSD and received wooden nickels (Seems like we never have enough!).  This group also managed to pack the 4-man tent with at least eleven 5-year olds much like a NSD campout

Hopefully some of these kids will be joining a tribe soon

Submitted by Storm Cloud

Timucuan Medicine Man and Chippewa Tribe Chief

Santee Tribe Origins

Running Wombat and his daughters Nature Caterpillar, Curious River and Dancing Turtle lived on the outskirts of the Wakapalaka territory.  They were active members of the tribe travelling to meet up with their tribemates at the Tribe meetings, Longhouses and other Timucuan Federation events.

There came a time when Running Wombat couldn’t catch any more fish, the wild mushrooms grew scarce and the fleet footed deer were no longer seen.  Running Wombat told his daughters he had heard of a place many hands away with plentiful game and fruits just waiting to be picked.  They would move to this place, but would most likely not be able to return for Wakapalaka tribe meetings.

His daughters were sad, but understood the family needed to move their Teepee.  Together, they asked Running Wombat “ Can we start a new tribe in our new home?”

Running Wombat consulted with the wise elders of the mighty Timucuan Federation and they agreed a new tribe would be formed, this new tribe would be part of the Sioux Nation with Running Wombat as its first chief.  The Tribe was named for the Santee people of the Eastern Dakota.

Running Wombat invited the Federation Chief and Medicine Man to his new teepee in the orange groves to help with the first meeting of the Santee tribe.  They welcomed new big braves Swimming Yeti and Tatonka who lived close by on the shores of Medicine Man Lake.  They brought their princesses Swimming Unicorn, Little Silky and Princess Unicorn.  Chief Two-Toed Brown Bear came from the east across the great stone bridge with his princesses,  Pokin’ the Bear and Boujee Bear.

This was the beginning of the great Santee Tribe.

Cayuga Smoke Signals 2021

Being a part of the Cayuga tribe has taught me many lessons and brought me many memories. However, my favorite memory is when we made our very own time capsule in the flip-flop trail. It made me realize how much time had passed when we first had put it in the ground.  All the memories made me appreciate that the Cayuga tribe is my second family. I loved looking at the old tags and notes we had put in the capsule and seeing how much we have all grown as a person. Thank you for letting me be a part of all these memories.

-Singing Bird (Florentine Schmidt)

Thank you all for best camper because that is my I od and to be kind and sweet to everyone and help them. I love spending time with my dad

  • Happy Hummingbird


Thank you dad for bring us to Native Sons and daughters I love spending time with friends and family.  I love going camping with you.  I like going on bike rides.  My most ‘favrit’ part is swimming at the lake with you

  • Sly Cheetah

My favorite thing I did in Native Sons and Daughters is spend time with my DADDY.  I remember one time when I was camping with him at Suwannee river we got a golf cart.  I was riding with him.  He acted like there was a bear be-hind us.  We went over many bumps we were also on a cliff I was about to fall but he was holding on to me it was scary.  But fun I love my father and Native sons and Daughters It helps you get close to your father but if you are a father it helps you get close to your children IT IS SO MUCH FUN !!!

  • Dancing Butterfly

My ‘favret’ campout was when I was alon(e) with daddy my faveret part was when we did the zipline the scary part was when we did drove up and down on the big bumpy hill the fun part was when I was shoting the bow and arrow I loved the part when I was watching a movie with some friends (beaty and the beast)

  • Flying Unicorn

Hi my name is Zoe I did native sons and daughters for 8 years. I had a lot of fun and a few of the things I experienced where cannoing, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, zip lining, egg toss, sack racing, critter race, scavenger hunts, roller skating, ice skating, swimming, helping the community by picking up trash or cleaning up houses, donating to people that need it, long nights among the fire, and best of all hanging out with my dad. My favorite thing has to be hanging out near the fire because everyone was having there own conversations and me and my friends in the group would all get together and draw or write story’s. I’m going to miss it. I’ve had an awesome experience in these camping trips and it might be sad to leave but I and my father have for sure made a lot of friends that we can hang out with.

  • Shooting Star

There are many things I have enjoyed doing with my dad as Cayuga.  Things like camping and canoeing but my all time favorite thing was making pinecars with my dad.  My first car was a pink Volkswagon with rainbow stripes.  It wasn’t as fast as we expected but it was decent.  My second car was a light blue fancy car with Hello Kitty stickers on it.  It was small so it was fairly slow.  The third car Umicar, disguised as a fire truck won in our Nation but not the Federation. It came 4th in the Federation.  The fourth car, the car my dad and I most dislike, was for Valentines Day.  It was a heart car pink and red covered in glitter it was our slowest car.  Our fifth car was a unicorn car my personal favorite it was a rough race and very close.  We didn’t win but we got best in show and fastest car in second place.  My last car another favorite, was gold with a random stripe here and there as a rainbow.  There was Yin and Yang but it was pink and blue and it had the world peace with a peace sign.  It meant that everyone belongs.  I won first place fastest in the whole federation

  • Fire Goat

Facing My Fears

Being a Cayuga has helped me face many fears.  One of which is my fear of heights.  I got tired of waiting to jump off and wasting my fun time being scared on the platform at blue springs.  So I finally jumped off I was no longer scared and was sad to have to leave the campsite.  I use most of my time there jumping off the platform.  Thanks to Cayuga

Fire Goat (Laila)

Cayuga Virtual Campout

I love Native Sons and Daughters because you can spend time with your daddy, sister and brother.  We had a virtual campout because we did not let Covid  19 keep us down.  We had a bonfire, movie night, swimming and we video chat(t)ed with our tribe Cayuga.  The best of all is having FUN!

Love Dancing Butterfly

Nature Caterpillars Poem

Camping, Camping, I think its fun

Camping, Camping, its for everyone

I love Camping so much

I love Native Sons and Daugters just as much

Camping its fun

Join Native sons and dauters its more fun.

by Olivia

also Nature Caterpillar

River City Live 2019

Federation Chief Big Red with his son Little Big Red joined our TomTom Beater Lion Heart and his daughter Dancing Butterfly as well as War Chief Storm Cloud and his son Brother Wolf to talk about the program with local TV host Rance Adams. The segment was broadcast on Tuesday morning. If you missed it you can see it here