YOOP’s and FOOP’s…..
The YOOP’s (Yukon Order Of Pioneers) is an organization dating back to 1894. It was organized in the gold mining fields before any law organization existed in the Yukon. Their motto was to do unto other as you would have done to you. They settled disputes between miners and dealt with any criminal element. If someone was deemed guilty or unsuitable, they would be given enough supplies and told to leave the territory. It seems the Yukoners were very adamant about not repeating the lawlessness of places like Skagway, in Alaska.
The YOOP’s are still active in Dawson City and Whitehorse in the Yukon. The current rules specify that an applicant must have lived in the Yukon for at least 25 years. The applicant must have at least two members support his membership and is investigated by another two members. If the applicant is deemed suitable for membership, his name is then introduced to the membership at large. Then he is dressed in the organization’s regalia and then introduced to the members at one of their monthly meetings.
At some point in the past, a woman from the Yukon (Martha Black, I think?), decided she wanted to become a member of the YOOP’s. She took her fight all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and was eventually denied. The reasoning was that if they allowed her membership in this organization, it would set a precedent for all other fraternal organizations including the Masons and the Elks.
The FOOP’s came about when Dani and her female friends decided to form the Female Order Of Pioneers. The entire population of Keno, (I know, only 12) know the group as the FOOP’s and anticipate their annual camping trip. Throughout the weekend, we patronized the two bars and restaurants in Keno and definitely livened things up.
The FOOP’s entry into Keno this year was greeted with a lightening strike less than 2 kilometers from the campground. We were shortly put on notice that we might have to evacuate on a moments notice, depending on the fire. We gathered around the table at Mike’s place drinking beer and eating pizza while a lot of hustle and bustle went on around us as firefighters arrived. A helicopter came and dropped of ground crews and three airplanes flew into the area. One plane was the “spotter” and he circled around the fire directing the other two planes “bombers” who would drop retardant on the flames. It was quite exciting….and thankfully they had the fire under control in less than an hour.
And here are some of the FOOP’s. In all we had about a dozen women; a much smaller group than usual. The cooking was excellent and there was a ton of food. Everyone brought something special to share and food for themselves for the weekend. The beer, wine, and cocktails were quite plentiful. But the best part of the weekend was the comraderie amongst these women who accepted me without hesitation in such a warm manner. Maybe it was because they were anticipating the “initiation” of two of us newbies…..
Oh, yes. Just as in the YOOP organization, the FOOP’s had their regalia. So two of us (fortunately plied with a bit of alcohol) were initiated into the FOOP’s.
And for the final bit of hilarity, we paraded through the campground… the campground that was full to capacity…..not only with FOOP’s!