Scouting History

Scouting History in the Heart of America Council - April 2015

by Andy Dubill, Council Historian

 

The Early Days of Tamegonit Lodge 

Camp Naish outgrew its honor award program in the late 1930’s when the leaders realized that camp needed a more robust program to hold the interest of the older Scouts. Back in 1915, a camp director in Philadelphia and his assistant developed a program to honor those Scouts who best exemplified the Scout Law and Oath. This honor camping program was named the Order of the Arrow. That summer, E. Urner Goodman and Carroll Edson were the camp directors at Treasure Island Scout Camp. They developed a program built on the rituals of the Delaware Valley Native Americans, the Lenni–Lenape. The first two members were inducted into the Wimachtendienk or the “Brotherhood of Cheerful Service” that year. Goodman went on to become the National Program Director and he promoted the Order of the Arrow as a means of retention, recognition and development for older Scouts. 

At Camp Naish, this honor camping society was open to Scouts and Scouters who demonstrated “Cheerful Service” to camping and the ideals of Scouting. The first OA elections were held at camp in 1939. Several Scouts and leaders were inducted into the Order later that summer and Tamegonit Lodge #147 was officially chartered. A young Arrowman named Elmer Horseman was chosen as the first Tamegonit Lodge Chief and remained in that position for three years. Camp Naish was poised for dramatic growth as it now had the rustic land, outstanding facilities and an honor camping program that would serve it well for years to come.

The original totem of the Lodge was the owl and the first Lodge flap matched the Tamegonit Lodge neckerchief patch in use at the time – an owl superimposed over a totem pole. When the Camp Naish patch was changed from white to green in the 1960’s, the Lodge flap was changed to green, although the emblem remained the same. In 1972, it was pointed out that the owl was a symbol of bad luck to some Plains Indian Tribes and the Lodge totem was officially changed from the owl to the turkey. The Lodge issued a fully embroidered flap with a standing turkey at its center. In 1977, the Lodge flap was redesigned again to show a turkey in flight. Several variations of this flap have been issued since.

If you have Scouting history questions or suggestions for future articles email email me at adubill@aol.com.