Mar 20, 2008

Identifying a Kecoughtan first flap issue

According to the Blue Book Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia Catalog there are three varieties of the Kecoughtan Lodge S1 flap patch, first issued in 1953. All share the same design, have a cut (rather than rolled) edge, but have subtle differences which distinguish them.

The S1a variety is listed with the following comments in the Blue Book:
BLK BMT; FF; WHT back; coarse bkgd stitch; (1953) - which translates to "black base material, first flap, white back, coarse background stitch, first issued in 1953"

The S1b variety is listed with the following comments:
predominately BLK on back; BLK BMT; fine bkgd stitch; FF - which translates to "predominately black on back, black base material, fine background stitch, first flap"

The S1c variety is listed with a single comment:
GRY BMT - which translates to "Gray base material"

I am fortunate to have a 463s1a flap patch in my Kecoughtan Lodge patch collection, but would like to add an S1b and S1c to have all of the different varieties. Unfortunately this is not an inexpensive item to acquire. Two Kecoughtan S1 have recently been listed on eBay, with prices in the neighborhood of $500 each.

Last week a 463S1b was listed for auction with a photo of the front of the patch, and I found myself frustrated in my attempts to determine if the patch was indeed the second variety. It's hard to determine if the patch you are looking at has coarse or fine stitching, and even more difficult to determine the color of the base material without seeing the back of the patch. To really ensure accuracy you need to have samples of each variety in hand to identify and contrast the differences and compare each with the patch in question to make a proper identification.

Not having that luxury, I sought the opinion of fellow Scouter Larry Johnson who is also an avid collector of Kecoughtan Lodge emblems as a former member of that Lodge before it merged with Chanco 483 in January of 1996 to form Wahunsenakah Lodge 333. Since his collection contained examples of each 463s1 variety he quickly scanned both the front and the back of each and emailed me the pictures.

Meanwhile the seller had kindly responded to my request for a picture of the reverse of his patch. Using that and Larry's pictures I was able to quickly determine that the patch was actually an S1c based upon gray base material. By the time I sent my feedback to the seller he had already discontinued the auction due to the listing error.

Since Larry's pictures were invaluable to me in identifying the differences between the Kecoughtan 463 first flap varieties I decided to create a comparison picture to help others that might benefit from this resource. All credit goes to Larry for the excellent pictures and to the original contributors of the Blue Book who originally identified the variations, cataloged, and submitted them for publication

Mar 10, 2008

Yorktown Scout Sunday patches

On February 3rd this year the Chesapeake Bay District of Colonial Virginia Council sponsored their annual Scout Sunday with a 7 AM service at the Yorktown Monument, followed by breakfast at the local US Coast Guard Base.

Larry Johnson kindly provided me with images of the patches that have been issued for this event, and I've added them to the District Emblems section of the Colonial Virginia Council Emblems page. There is a fascinating consistency to the design and the variety of unique colors not often seen in Scout patches make these a nice group to collect.

Mar 9, 2008

More Duck Calls for the archive

Larry Johnson kindly scanned and sent me two editions of Duck Calls, the newsletter of Wahunsenakah Lodge 333. Both are more than a decade old. Check the Duck Calls archive page for PDF versions of the August, 1996 edition and the Feb-Mar, 1997 edition.

The addition of these brings to total number of Wahunsenakah Lodge Duck Calls newsletters in the online archive to an even 36. There are still a number of issues missing that I'd like to add. For example, I have no issue of Duck Calls from the year 1999. Please check to see if you have any that aren't already listed.

Reading old lodge newsletters can be informative about Lodge emblems. For example, in the August, 1996 edition of Duck Calls an item listed in the Trading Post Action article discloses that "All 1200 Conclave flaps were sold out by midday Saturday of the Spring Ordeal." The flap mentioned would be the 1996 Conclave flap, classified in the Blue Book as the 333 S-3.

Mar 3, 2008

SE-1 beaded emblem

Southeast Region Section 1 was created in 1973 by the National Office of the Order of the Arrow as part of their reorganization from twelve regions spanning the country to six. Under the twelve region scheme all of the Virginia OA lodges with Amangamek Wipit of Washington DC comprised Area III-C.

According to History to SE-8, published in 1984, the National and Regional OA planners originally wanted to split Area III-C lodges among at least two other sections, but after much pleading and discussion it was agreed to leave the Virginia lodges together, adding 3 Lodges from Maryland  (Nentico 12, Guneukitschik 317, and Ahtuhquog 540) and one from Delaware( Nentego 20) to form SE-1, the largest section in the nation.

One of the most interesting SE-1 emblems is a unique item that is not an official issue at all, but rather a creation of Duane McSmith, who was an adult member of Kecoughtan Lodge 463. McSmith beaded a colorful and detailed picture that includes the totems of each SE-1 Lodge. The item has traded hands a couple of times within recent years by way of eBay, each time selling for more than $100.

The new owner of this unique item kindly provided me with an excellent picture of it so that McSmith's excellent handiwork and tribute to Section SE-1 could be appreciated by all.  Can you identify all twelve of the lodge totems and find the two places where his first name is included in the design?