kachina-graphicOur Lodge was chartered to serve the Theodore Roosevelt Council as a member of the Order of the Arrow in Area 12. We chartered in 1950 with the Name Wipala Wiki Lodge 432. During the late 40’s the OA was starting to make itself known In the Southwest with most councils in the area developing an interest in chartering the organization. In fact several lodges had chartered in the early 40’s such as Victorio Lodge #177 which served the Cochise County Council in 1940 and Sinawava Lodge #3132 which served the Boulder Dam Area Council in 1945. The Strong influence of the military was present in both councils.

The Program was very successful in most councils, but not without some growing pains first. Many lodges were formed and abolished within months or years, only to re-organize and charter again. The problems varied, but for the most part there was resistance to the development of a lodge within the council’s from the unit leaders, especially the troops. They saw little if any benefits to their boys being involved in the Order, so few troop elections were allowed by Scoutmasters. Even in the successful building years of southwest lodges most of the OA program was in the hands of Explorer units.

To further aggravate acceptance, from 1950 through 1955 our lodge was mostly functional only at summer camp and the boys, who were elected and inducted there, were often harassed by the overzealous camp staff who for the most part made up the ceremony and ordeal teams. Many complaints were made and finally in 1955 Chief Scout Executive George F. Miller ordered the program halted.

In 1956 a group of scouters (Mike McNaulty, Max Mitchel, Jerry Frees, Fritz Hines, Steven Rysiak, Alex Hoagan, Walt Seaman and Jim Dempsey) met with Chief Miller and between them they worked out the issues and came up with an organization plan that was acceptable to all. These men worked with the new youth leadership and together they wrote the first Rules and Regulations of the lodge. They also agreed that the summer camp was very important to participate in and promote, but that our primary obligation was to service the boy in the unit year round. Thus the lodge was re-organized in 1956.