Jul 30, 2005

Kecoughtan Elangomat Sashes

I had the opportunity to add a unique piece of Kecoughtan Lodge memorabilia to my collection in September of 2001 when Kevin Johnson, former 463 arrowman and Vigil Honor member, agreed to sell me a Kecoughtan Elangomat sash to help raise funds to buy equipment for a high adventure Venture Crew.

For those unfamiliar with the term, an Elangomat is a dedicated brother who retakes the Ordeal as the inspiration and guide to the candidates.

I asked Kevin for the background of the sashes to include on my web site, and here's his response:
I took over as Elangomat chairman in 1993 from the legend in Kecoughtan Lodge, Bailey Tudder. We had the red sashes authorized by the lodge under the guidance of Bailey Tudder right before he died in 1995.

I had only 22 sashes made up and they were the only ones ever authorized by Kecoughtan Lodge in its history. 7 sashes were Vigil sashes (1 was put in archives along with a brotherhood and ordeal) and I have a Vigil one that was for me. I was in the last group of Kecoughtan Vigils.

The other 5 Vigil sashes were awarded to outstanding youth Vigil elangomats. 7 brotherhood sashes were made and 3 were given to outstanding brotherhood elangomats. I have the balance of brotherhood. There were 8 ordeal sashes. One was destroyed and 1 was given to a youth elangomat. I have the balance. All sashes were designed and paid for by me with the authorization of Kecoughtan Lodge and became the property of me when we merged with Chanco to form Wahunsenakah #333. Also the sashes are numbered.
The inscription on the reverse of the sash I have appears to say "O.E.S #7" which I presume indicates "Ordeal Elangomat Sash Number 7" and "Kecoughtan #463" referring to the official Lodge name and number.

I hope to someday be able to photograph all of the sashes as well as the other contents of the box containing the Lodge archives which are stored by Colonial Virginia Council at their offices in Newport News.

Jul 26, 2005

New page devoted to red and white strips

Long before the colorful Council Shoulder Patches (CSP's) were authorized for wear by Scouts in the mid-70's, red and white strips (RWS) with the community and state name were worn on the left shoulder of the Scout uniform. Originally they had red lettering on a khaki background, but sometime in the mid-50's changed to red twill with white embroidered letters. Scout councils that served many communities often had to stock a dozen or more unique strips for the different towns, villages, and cities their Scouts lived.

With the generous help of Larry Johnson of Colonial Virginia Council I have created a new page devoted to the RWS patches representing the communities that were served by Peninsula Council. This page is by no means complete since I expect we will discover more patches exist than we are aware of now. Have a look and tell me if you know of others that should be listed or if you can share pictures of RWS patches you have in your collection that came from the area served by Peninsula Council.

Jul 23, 2005

More clues about the 463 S4.5, aka QS1

In 1976, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, Kecoughtan Lodge issued a special version of their Lodge flap with a white background and black border. This was the first significant change in the flap design since the original S1 was issued in 1953. S2 only added a rolled edge, and S3 (popularly called the "stubby" among 463 collectors) was just a longer version of the same classic design (you can review all Kecoughtan flaps on this page).

Twenty three years of the same design is a long time, but as I recall from my days as a Kecoughtan officer in the early 70's few adults were eager to approve changes. Patch collecting was viewed by many professionals as distracting to the real purpose of the OA, and several of the Lodges in the old Area III-C had only recently changed "one per life" restrictions on their lodge flap patches.

To this day some mystery surrounds one version of the white background Kecoughtan flap, first listed in the Blue Book Order of the Arrow Standard Insignia Guide as "QS1." The "Q" designation is supposed to indicate a patch that was rejected by the Lodge (presumably for concerns about quality or incorrect design) and returned to the manufacturer, but somehow released to collectors. "Q" issues are not considered fakes, but neither are they considered "official" issues of the Lodge.

The "QS1" version has a white background and white "W's" but no border around the acorns or confederate flags. Two other varieties of the white background flap exist: S4 has white "W's" with black stitching around the acorns and flags, and S5 has black W's with black stitching around the acorn and flags. In later versions of the Blue Book the "QS1" flap has been designed S4.5, which acknowledges the patch as an official issue of the Lodge, but it is still unclear in what order these three patches were released, and the story behind the changes remains elusive.

I don't recall the precise restriction on the anniversary flaps. I was in my freshman year of college but had retained my Lodge and Council membership through the College Scouter Reserve program, and I seem to remember that I was able to buy two of them.

Information provided to me by Dr. Ron Godby in March of 1996 shows a quantity of 220 ordered for the S4, 220 for the S5, with the "QS1" quantity unknown.

Within the past week I received email from two former Kecoughtan arrowmen who were active in the lodge when it celebrated it's anniversary in 1976 who commented on the history of this patch. Former Chief Morris Friedman says:

"I would agree with Sam Fairchild that this actually was an authorized issue. As I recall, one loom run was made and the flaps were sold, and then it was decided that they would look better with black outlining of the white W's, and then finally the W's were switched to black. All three issues were sold to lodge members as 25th Anniversary flaps."
I will continue to research the history behind this unique flap, which is considered by many to be the most sought after issue of Kecoughtan Lodge. In June, 2005 a 463 QS1/S4.5 sold on ebay for 270.00, and pricing information at The Internet Guide to OA Insignia shows this patch valued at nearly double the S4 and S5 issues.

Jul 12, 2005

Kecoughtan flap restrictions circa 1962

I just received a bound volume of early issues of The Trader, the first printed newsletter for our patch collecting hobby that began publishing in 1957. This new volume was created by Joe Maloy, who generously took the time to turn his collection of back issues into a printed, spiral bound copy and provide it to interested folks like me for just the cost of printing (with payment in the form of a Lodge flap of equivalent value.)

The Trader was edited by Mike Diamond and E. Forest Reynolds, and each carefully typewritten page and story displays a devotion to our hobby that's fascinating to read. This peek into the past reminds us how early traders thirsted for news and information the same way we do now, but depended upon the monthly delivery of The Trader by their postman to fill in the gaps between events like Area Pow Wows, Conclaves, and national Jamborees.

I've only begun to digest the content in the bound volume that includes 66 issues from 1957 through 1965, but found this report in the June, 1962 edition I thought would be of interest to other Kecoughtan Lodge collectors:

KECOUGHTAN LODGE #463 will hold its Spring Ordeal June 15-17 at Camp Ohee. There are 58 candidates for Ordeal, 87 for Brotherhood, and 3 for Vigil.

The 463 neckerchief is going to change to 100% embroidery and each lodge member will be able to buy one of the new ones. The old ones can now be traded. They were solid embroidery except for a small piece of sky. The border on the flap and neckerchief patches will be changed to the new overcasting stitch.

The flap restriction has been changed to one patch per 7 hours service.

Gene Fowler, 463

Colonial Virginia Council 2005 Jamboree Shoulder Patches

Colonial Virginia Council has just issued a beautiful set of five distinctive shoulder patches for the 2005 National Scout Jamboree to be held July 25-August 3 in Caroline County, Virginia. The patches are themed with different watercraft, from a sailing clipper to an aircraft carrier to the famous Merrimac which battled with the Monitor off the coast where this council is located. Four of the patches are specific to the CVC troops destined for the Jamboree, while the fifth includes no troop number and reportedly is for Council members serving on the Jamboree staff.

Thanks to Larry Johnson for helping me add these patches to my collection and make pictures of them available on this web site!

Jul 11, 2005

Kecoughtan history items posted

This evening I scoured my hard disk for items that I saved to post to the Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History site when I had time to devote to this effort. Needless to say there were more than a few, so check back often as I begin to add them.

Tonight I focused on the History page, adding three images from the original Kecoughtan Bylaws which came up for auction on eBay in April of this year. Sam Fairchild won this auction (much to my relief) so they remain in the hands of a former Kecoughtan arrowman.

I also added a photo of Hugh C. Ewing, Jr. and William (Bill) Leighty at Camp Chickahominy. Both of these gentlemen served as Lay Advisors for the Lodge, Ewing from 1983-1987, and Leighty from 1976-1979. This photo was contributed by Tim Ewing who informs me this is the last photo of Bill Leighty taken at Camp Chickahominy before his passing.

Jul 9, 2005

Lodge 333 2005 Activity Patches

In late May my friend Larry Johnson from Wahunsenakah Lodge sent me scans of two new activity patches. I've finally added them to the Lodge 333 Activity Emblems page. The patches are solid embroidered, with cut edge, and are shaped like puzzle pieces.

They are part of a set that when placed together will form an arrow. You may remember that in 2000 Wahunsenakah Lodge issued a set of 5 activity patches that formed an arrowhead.

Wahunsenakah Lodge 2005 Winter Ordeal
Wahunsenakah Lodge 2005 Spring Ordeal

Thanks to Larry for helping keep the Lodge 333 Activity Emblems page accurate and complete!

Jul 2, 2005

Vote for your favorite Kecoughtan patches

Since it's July 4th weekend I had a little time to put together a poll for site visitors to vote for their favorite Kecoughtan Lodge flap patch and chenille patch.

The free service I used back in 1999 to create the original "favorite 463 flap" poll has long since disappeared from the internet, but it was easy to use SurveyMonkey.com to build a new poll that includes pictures of all of the patches. My first attempt created a web page about 1.5 MB for visitors to download due to the size of the images, and that is excessive for anyone still on dial-up connections.

Thankfully, a trip to VersionTracker led me to a free utility called ThumbsUp that quickly generated thumbnail images of the patch pictures, and I was able to get the size of the page down to a more reasonable 500K or so.

The poll is open until there are 100 respondents, since that's the maximum number allowed for free accounts. I'll post results from time to time so you can see what the consensus is. And if you complete the poll you will find out which Kecoughtan flap and chenille patches are my favorites!

Take the survey now (and tell your friends about it, too!)