History

oa symbol

History of Witauchsoman Lodge #44

Order of the Arrow, W.W.W

written by Scott M. Best

last updated 11/27/2012

 

In 1928, just 13 years after the founding of the Unami Lodge #1 – Order of the Arrow in 1915 at Treasure Island Scout Camp; there emerged the beginning of the Order of the Arrow, W.W.W. in our area at Camp Trexler.

The original lodge was formed in 1928 and was known as Minsi Lodge.  According to the Minsi Lodge #5 history (Reading, PA), “In 1929 the Minsi Lodge installed 19 charter members of the Lehigh Council at their Camp Trexler on August 11, thus assisting a second new Lodge to get under way.”  This “new” Minsi Lodge served the Lehigh Council that operated Camp Trexler.  It was in existence under this name until 1932 when it was disbanded.  It was reorganized in the summer of 1936 and was known as Pohopoco Lodge #44 with John Beecher as Lodge Chief.  For 33 years the Pohopoco Lodge #44 acted as a pilot lodge, helping to start new lodges in the area.

Witauchsoman Lodge #44 was chartered on January 1, 1969 in the Minsi Trails Council.  This was the result of the first tri-merger in the history of the Order of the Arrow.  The three Lodges that merged were:

Pohopoco Lodge #44

Chartered – July 11, 1929

Totem – Elk (deer)

Lenni Lenape meaning – Valley Stream (name for the Pocono Mountains)

Lehigh Council; Allentown, PA

Camp Trexler

Ah’Pace Lodge #58

Chartered – May 1931 as Kittatinny Lodge #58

Rechartered – August 1948 as Ah’Pace Lodge #58

Totem – Wolf

Lenni Lenape meaning – Wolf (not Lenape)

Delaware Valley Area Council; Easton, PA

Camp Weygadt

 Tunkhannock Lodge #476

Chartered – June 19, 1952

Totem – Stag Head (deer)

Lenni Lenape meaning – Little river (named after the creek that formed Stillwater Lake)

Bethlehem Area Council; Bethlehem, PA

Camp Minsi

The tri-merger was named the Witauchsoman Lodge #44, which means “to be in fellowship with somebody” or “fellowship together.”  The totem of the Lodge is a bow with three drawn peace pipes (three peace pipes pulled back into the string of a bow).  The three peace pipes (symbolizing the three predecessor Lodges) pulled back into the string of a bow symbolize the union of three to become one with unity of purpose.

In 1980, Witauchsoman absorbed the former members of Quekolis Lodge #316.  [Quekolis #316 merged with Acahela #223 in 1969 to form Gischigin #223.  In, 1980, the former members of Quekolis #316 moved from Gischigin #223 to Witauchsoman #44.]

Quekolis Lodge #316

Chartered – August 6, 1945

Totem – Whippoorwill

Lenni Lenape meaning – Whippoorwill

Anthracite Council; Hazleton, PA

Camp Rotawanis

The Witauchsoman Lodge #44 has a long history and deep tradition in the Order of the Arrow and Scouting.  It continues to be a strong and vibrant force in the Minsi Trails Council similar to its predecessors.  No one knows exactly where the Lodge will go, but one thing is for sure:  The Spirit of the Past… is spreading and our …Vision for the Future is rising!

National Awards / National Recognitions / Major Accomplishments:

1969 – First tri-merger in the history of the Order of the Arrow

1994 – Re-established chapters (each of our six scouting districts operates a chapter)

2002 – Became a National Quality Lodge for the first time in the history of the Lodge

2006 – Lodge recognized as the National example for its OA Scoutreach Mentoring program

2009 – Ryan Hay served as Northeast Region Chief

2011 – Lodge awarded the National Service Award (major project was the Don Beck Pavilion)

2012 – Lodge recognized as the National example for its OA Lodge Annual Report methods

Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

“The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was created in 1940 to honor those who rendered service to the Order beyond the lodge level. The award is presented to Arrowmen, youth and adult, who have rendered distinguished and outstanding service to the Order on a sectional, regional, or national basis. The award is presented at National Order of the Arrow Conferences. Since the time the first awards were presented, less than 1000 Distinguished Service Awards have been awarded.

The award is a sterling silver arrowhead bearing an arrow pointing up and to the wearer’s right. The award is suspended from a white neck-ribbon on which red arrows are embroidered. A white square knot embroidered on red cloth is available for uniform wear and a silver arrowhead lapel pin is available for civilian wear.”  (http://www.oa-bsa.org/pages/content/distringuished-service-award)

Lodge Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

1963 – Henry Faucett

1972 – Larry Young

1992 – Donald Oplinger

2012 – Ryan Hay

2015- Scott Best

Area Pow Wows / Section Conclaves Hosted:

1955 Area 3D Pow Wow at Camp Rotawanis (Quekolis #316 hosted)

1958 Area 3A Pow Wow at Camp Trexler (Pohopoco #44 hosted)

1958 Area 3D Pow Wow at Camp Weygadt (Ah’Pace #58 hosted)

1960 Area 3D Pow Wow at Camp Minsi (Tunkhannock #476 hosted)

1964 Area 3D Pow Wow at Camp Weygadt (Ah’Pace #58 hosted)

1966 Area 3A Pow Wow at Trexler Scout Reservation (Pohopoco #44 hosted)

1967 Area 3D Pow Wow at Camp Minsi (Tunkhannock #476 hosted)

1971 Area 3D Pow Wow at Trexler Scout Reservation (Witauchsoman #44 hosted)

1978 NE-5A Conclave at Trexler Scout Reservation (Witauchsoman #44 hosted)

1988 NE-5A Conclave at Trexler Scout Reservation (Witauchsoman #44 hosted)

1996 NE-4A Conclave at Camp Minsi (Witauchsoman #44 hosted)

2004 NE-4A Conclave at Camp Minsi (Witauchsoman #44 hosted)

2011 NE-5B Conclave at Trexler Scout Reservation (Witauchsoman #44 hosted)