Centennial Update: Lodge History Series: Klahican Lodge

By Michael Casey

Klahican Lodge, of the Cape Fear Council in southern North Carolina, was founded on the legacies of two honor camper societies: the Order of the Red Dragon, formed in 1932, and Ku-ni-eh, formed in 1934. Ku-ni-eh was recognized by Boy Scouts of America and officially operated in the council from 1936 until 1939. Little is known about these two honor camper organizations, but they began Klahican's tradition of service to camp and community.

The lodge was chartered on January 22nd, 1946 to the Cape Fear Area Council, BSA headquartered in Wilmington, NC. The first installation of members was conducted by Nayawin RaR Lodge, from Tuscarora Council located in eastern North Carolina with help from Wahissa Lodge, Old Hickory Council, from Winston-Salem, NC. The first lodge chief was J.D Barnes, elected in 1946.

In its over sixty years of service, the lodge has developed a tradition of committed leadership. Many national officers have hailed from Klahican. For example, Brad Starr, national chief from 1980-1982 and the 2002 Southern Region Chief Nathan Finnin were both members of Klahican. The lodge has also produced 8 past section chiefs and 7 section vice chiefs. Four Klahican Lodge members have been honored with the OA Distinguished Service Award, and many continue to provide service today.

The name Klahican translates to "trap" in the Delaware Indian language. Thus, the lodge totem is the Venus flytrap, a carnivorous plant that is indigenous to the Cape Fear area, and one of the few plants featured as lodge totems. Depictions of the Venus flytrap have appeared on all lodge flaps issued by the Klahican Lodge. By focusing on their native flora, Klahican Arrowmen develop an appreciation for indigenous species and an awareness of the hazards presented by invasive species.

Klahican has won numerous awards for its website design and online presence, viewable at klahican.org. Graphics used by the lodge display the power and beauty of the Venus flytrap.

Today, the lodge consists of five chapters: Three Fires, Kittahacin, Lakes, Sipo and Jappehichan. The current lodge chief is Victor Olson, who provided the information and the graphics contained in this article.

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