Lodge Ledger: New Lodge History Cards Available

By: Kyle Brendel

Lodge Card Available to Lodge Historians

Cards with important lodge information had been considered lost. That was until national committee member Bill Topkis asked OA Associate Director Matt Dukeman if he had seen anything like the only known surviving card, which was for Papago Lodge. Matt instantly recognized the card and passed the lot of them along to the Order of the Arrow’s digital archivist. All cards have been scanned, and PDFs of the cards are available to lodge historians upon request. You can be sent the cards for predecessor lodges as well.

The top of the card includes the lodge name and number, council name, original charter date and a description of the lodge totem. For the years 1951-1964 there are pieces of data filled in for the lodge chief’s name and address as well as membership breakdowns between Ordeal, Brotherhood, Vigil Honor, new membership, active membership and a cumulative total.

For lodges that do not yet have a complete list of lodge chiefs, this card can potentially answer some questions. However, what if your lodge already has a completed list of lodge chiefs and knows all of the other information on the card? The suggestion is for lodge historians to try and speak with past lodge chiefs as they can serve as a wonderful primary source. Through talking with your previous chiefs, your lodge’s historians might be able to uncover leads on further information and stories about your lodge!

Lodge historians can request their lodge’s card via lodge_history@email.oa-bsa.org.

Lodges New to the Lodge History Book Project

For any lodges that recently began working on their history books, it is exciting that you are taking this step to record the historical narrative of your lodge. Though, the task of writing this history book might seem pretty daunting. You do not have to undergo this project alone! There are a variety of resources designed to help lodge historians with this project.

Head over to http://www.oa-bsa.org/pages/content/lodge-history-book! This page of the website hosts a number of resources, but first take the survey that is linked onto the page. This survey will enable a subscription to the Historian Gazette eNewsletter each month as well as the call-in information for monthly topical webinars. Webinar topics have covered such things as gathering resources, writing, editing and much more. You can view the materials from prior webinars in a Dropbox folder which is linked in the Historian Gazette eNewsletter.  

Other resources housed on the “Lodge History Book” page of the national OA website include a set of instructions. These instructions cover the steps of the project as well as provide some sample histories. The “Getting Started” flyer overviews the steps to successfully completing the history book. The bottom of the page has additional resources from which lodges and sections are highly encouraged to take advantage.

When your book is complete, the “Lodge History Book” page of the website is where you will want to go to submit the electronic copy of your history book for the OA archives. The last useful tidbit on the website is the email address to which you can send any questions about the project, lodge_history@email.oa-bsa.org.

Again, we commend you for starting this project. We hope that you discover interesting information for your book, which will be preserved the benefit of Arrowmen now and Arrowmen of the future!

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