The choosing of the Council of Elders is a long, complicated and quite confusing process. Even the Elder bears themselves are often not exactly sure why they might be serving at that particular time. Every Elder, however, is very excited when it is their turn to serve. You see, the Council was not formed in the beginning to lead the village, but rather as a fun time for the Elder bears to gather and drink tea while they talk about old books and songs and all that is going on in Haven.
And so, from very early on, a very long and very wordy statement of purpose was formed. (Which, if you took the time to sit down and try to work it all out, you would almost certainly come to the conclusion that despite all the fancy wording, the Council of Elders is where the Elder Bears gather to drink tea.) Everyone, except the Cubs, knows this, of course, and is perfectly happy that such a gathering exists.
In times of emergency, the Council of Elders is called together, but it is a smaller gathering with representatives of the various village groups: The Engineers, The Rescue Committee, The Writers and Artists, and more.
In Hegel’s day, as the history books recall, a new Council of Elders was formed, first meeting in one of the far rooms of the westward caverns. It was started as a place for the Elder bears to gather and remember missing friends. It was stated that in those meetings, for every sad thing that was shared, two happy memories should also be added, and for every bear which couldn’t be present, a toast should be offered from all gathered with hot mugs of tea.
As the village of Haven was built, the Council of Elders moved to a large cavern on the side of Mount Hegel. In the front was a very formal room with a long polished table and tall, formal chairs. Behind this room though, through a small wooden door, was a wide, comfortable room with double stuffed couches and a fireplace, and even a small kitchen for baking treats.
After the Explorers came and the buildings were completed, a similar place was built in the Haven Town Hall: a small, formal meeting room, with a hidden room behind. It was not much of a secret though. Most Young Bears figured it out sooner or later.
Little Cubs, of course, were almost always a topic of conversation. The Elders howled with laughter at things they might have done earlier in the week. And there were lots of stories of times gone by, of long hot summers and deep winter snows.
Since the days of Hegel, the sad things that were once shared became less and less. Haven was a village in the mountains where nothing much changed, and bears that had gone missing became names in the history books.
Until, of course, C.J. went over The Precipice, blown away in his glider down over the cliff.