Aug 29, 2005

The story behind Kecoughtan's last flap patch

The last Lodge flap issued by Kecoughtan Lodge has an interesting and colorful history. Recently I was able to converse via email with the designer of this patch and learn details about its heritage that add to its unique nature in the gallery of Kecoughtan Lodge's emblems.

Paul Kerstendiecks was an adult volunteer who previously designed three activity patches for the Lodge, the 1994 Winter Fellowship (see original design artwork here), the 1994 Spring Ordeal, and the 1994 Christmas Banquet. He was approached by Trading Post Advisor Dr. Ron Godby to design an anniversary patch for the Lodge to celebrate its 45 years of service.

Dr. Godby's singular design stipulation was that the patch not include the 3 ships that were prominently featured on the standard Lodge flap. These ships had come to be derisively referred to as "the slave ships" by some members of the Lodge who resented the change that was mandated by the Council Executive in August of 1988 from the original flap design that included confederate flags.

Paul recalls:
"It was to be an anniversary flap, and to incorporate something neutral as the "slave ships" were not liked by everyone in the Council/Lodge. Dr. Godby was trying to be sensitive to the entire Lodge with this concept. I had much artistic liberty to take it from there, his guidance was no ships though."

As you can see from the original design document, Paul included painstaking details that even included thread direction instructions to create the "starburst" effect in the green background and ensuring the spherical appearance of the acorns. Dr. Godby sent Paul a thank you letter with three of the flaps in March of 1996, writing "I've heard many comments that it was the prettiest flap ever issued and most appropriate for the final issue."

Remarkably, though, the patch was never designed as a "death flap." New York collector Bill Mulrenin defined this term in a post to the TSPA Patch Vine web site in 1996:
"A 'death' flap or patch is the final issue of a merging lodge specifically issued to commemorate the ending (death) of the lodge. They normally have the 'birth' and 'death' dates of the lodge on them. A tombstone as it were."

Paul explains that he didn't know of the upcoming merger, though more senior members of the Lodge probably did and says:
"I didn't intend the symbology. I wish I could say I had the knowledge and foresight, but I was simply expanding on the acorns, and making the patch balance out. When you look at it you can see focal points, and balance, follow-through ... artsy stuff."

With it's forest green background and simple design of oak leaves and acorns, the last flap patch of Kecoughtan Lodge stands in stark contrast to its predecessors, and serves as a fitting tribute to the Lodge's 45 years of cheerful service to the Virginia Peninsula. It's average value of 42.46 in the price guide makes the S38 final flap issue from Kecoughtan Lodge an affordable and essential part of a Kecoughtan Lodge emblems collection.

Aug 23, 2005

8 more Kecoughtan Kryer editions now online

Thanks to a generous loan by George Bains, I have scanned and created PDF documents from 8 editions of the Kecoughtan Kryer newsletter ranging from October of 1989 to October of 1995. This brings the total number available so far on the Kryer page to 11, with the earliest edition dating back to 1970.

The newsletters provide a fascinating insight into the state of Kecoughtan 463 at the time, and serve as important historical documents of the many goals and achievements of the Lodge and its members. I hope you will take some time to read them, and if you have editions which are not yet online, please share them with me so that I can add them to this archive.

Aug 16, 2005

'Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge' from Dec. 1990 Scouting Collector's Quarterly


The original inspiration for the Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History web site was an article I read in the December 1990 issue of Scouting Collector's Quarterly, the regular publication of the National Scouting Collector's Society. Authored by Ron and Jeff Godby, the article is entitled "Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge 463." It represented the first time that anyone had attempted to catalog every type of emblem and collectible ever issued by the Lodge.

Several years later when I learned that Kecoughtan Lodge was to merge with Chanco Lodge I decided to create an internet reference of Kecoughtan emblems to preserve this unique bit of history. I asked for and received permission from Dr. Godby to use his checklists, and he generously sent me additional information and helped me obtain several rare Kecoughtan items for my own collection.

I've scanned and created a PDF document of this article, whose research represents the core around which all existing Kecoughtan emblem catalogs are based:

Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge 463 (7 MB)

Aug 13, 2005

Kecoughtan 40th Anniversary History Booklet

Back in January of this year I received an email from Alex Wiatt who had come across the Kecoughtan Emblems and History site and offered to help contribute information and images. He kindly loaned me a copy of the History Booklet which was compiled and published for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Lodge in 1991. Alex was Editor of the booklet and Chairman of the 40th Anniversary Committee.

This booklet is a fascinating and thorough document, tracing the inception and development of the Lodge, including the story behind the Lodge's flap patch change from the original with confederate flags to the "3 ship design" that began with the S13 issue.

I've scanned the booklet and created a PDF document for those who would like to enjoy it. Be aware that it's currently 34 MB in size, so if you don't have a broadband internet connection you may want to wait for an optimized version I hope to post shortly. You can find the booklet here:

A Story of 40 Years of Brotherhood - Kecoughtan Lodge #463

Aug 9, 2005

Errors in the Kecoughtan S8 flap

My friend Tim Ewing sent me a picture of a Kecoughtan S8 flap recently auctioned on eBay that I noticed, but paid little attention to it because it was an error issue. The embroidery was not complete, with noticeable details missing, primarily the red in the confederate flags and the arrow in the center front of the tree. While some patch collectors seek out these rarities, they are of little interest to me.

The S8 flap was issued to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Lodge in 1986, and featured the first departure from the "classic" design of the original flap design with a large acorn in the center flanked by two confederate flags. The large acorn was replaced with an oak tree whose green canopy fills the upper part of the flap, with the lodge name embroidered in gray within it. According to documents provided to me by the late Dr. Ron Godby in 1996 the Lodge ordered a quantity of 400 of the S8 flaps.

Tim's notes with the picture, however, caught my eye, because they provided background for the patch that I wasn't aware of:
"For the record, the loom of S8 had many misprints in it. I do remember these being sold, but some were sent back too. Misprints that had missing flags, acorns, lettering, arrow."

I went back and examined the picture of the S8 issue on my own Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History web site, scanned from a patch in my own collection. I had often thought the patch looked unique since the flags were missing stars, but never considered that it was an error, since all of the other design components are complete. After reading Tim's email I pointed my browser to John Pannell's essential site for any OA collector, Checking the Kecoughtan S8 issue there my suspicions were confirmed: the patch in my own collection and pictured on the Kecoughtan site is an error patch.

Looks like I need a "complete" S8 to add to my collection! It should look like this (image courtesy