Dec 12, 2009

Wahunsenakah 2009 Holiday Banquet patch



Larry Johnson sent me a picture of the newest Lodge 333 activity patch, issued at their Holiday Banquet on December 5. The design mirrors the four prior activity patches this year with the exception of a Christmas wreath added to the front of the tower. This minor change from the original design adds a festive, colorful touch.

Nov 4, 2009

The final Kecoughtan Lodge chenille emblem



Although Standard Pennant Company of Big Run, PA  was the manufacturer for the first 3 Kecoughtan chenille emblems, Krelman Company of Pueblo, CO was selected by the Lodge to create the final chenille patch which was patterned after the Lodge's first green arrowhead patch from the early 50's.


Jeff Godby reports that this patch was produced in 1996 and says:
The C-4 was sort of my idea as well.  I liked how Blue Heron made a chenille using their A-1 design and mentioned that we should do the same thing.  Don't know why they came from a different manufacturer, but it was probably because it was cheaper.
Since Kecoughtan officially merged with Chanco to form Wahunsenakah Lodge at the beginning of 1996, the C-4 chenille was issued in the twilight of the Lodge's existence, and represents a fitting tribute to the original arrowhead patch design from the earliest years of Kecoughtan Lodge.

The Krelman Kecoughtan C-2 chenille prototype


In mid-September 2009 Mike McCaughan sent me a picture of a prototype Kecoughtan C-3 chenille that I had never seen before. Unlike the released version with a red felt background this prototype had a tan felt background.

While researching this emblem I consulted Jeff Godby, who was Lodge Chief at the time and whose father, Dr. Ron Godby, was the Lodge Trading Post Advisor responsible for ordering this chenille issue.

Jeff confirmed the existence of the tan C-3 prototype and sent me pictures of one from his collection with the only difference being that the prototype Mike McCaughan acquired does not have a Standard Pennant Company label on the back while the one in Jeff's collection does.

A fortunate coincidence occurred when Jeff mentioned that he also has a prototype chenille patch for the Kecoughtan C-2 chenille.  As he remembers:
I was Lodge Chief when we came out with the C-2 and C-3 issues, and it was my idea for the lodge to issue our first chenilles in about 15 years ---  good money maker.  My father was the trading post advisor, and he was in charge of ordering the chenilles.  We gave Krelman & Standard both a shot at the C-2 and went with Standard.
The Krelman prototype is noticeably smaller than the Standard Pennant Company version, and the colors are more subdued. Additionally, the reverse side of the Krelman prototype is black, although when viewed from the front the felt background is red.


The Kecoughtan Chenille Emblems page has been updated to include the recently discovered prototype C-2 and C-3 issues. No known prototype of the C-4 is known, but perhaps a surprising discovery awaits!

Nov 2, 2009

My SE-8 chenille article is published in the ISCA Journal


I was pleasantly surprised to see that my article about the Section SE-8 chenille patch issued in 1993 at the final SE-8 conclave was published in the September 2009 edition of the ISCA Journal. Editor James Ellis did an awesome job of reproducing the images I provided to him that illustrate the released and prototype versions of this patch. For those of you who aren't members of the International Scouting Collectors Association and don't receive the Journal, you can view a 3.1 MB PDF version of the cover and my article here.

Oct 7, 2009

Kecoughtan Lodge 40th Anniversary Emblems



1991 was a special year for Kecoughtan Lodge. The January 1991 Kecoughtan Kryer displayed a special new masthead and the front page story highlighted the 40th Anniversary of Kecoughtan Lodge. (Arapaho II lists the charter date of Kecoughtan Lodge 463 from official OA records as July 5, 1951).

Along with plans for a 40th Anniversary Fellowship to be held June 15-17, 1991 at Camp Chickahominy, the Kryer announced the availability of a special 40th Anniversary chenille patch, available for two months only by preorder at a cost of $14.00. Reportedly 100 of these were ordered.

The Lodge's 40th Anniversary Committee  published a special anniversary booklet edited by Alex Wiatt entitled A Story of Forty Years of Brotherhood - Kecoughtan Lodge #463, Order of the Arrow. This document remains the most extensively researched and detailed history of the Lodge, spanning over 50 pages and including a checklist of all known Lodge emblems provided by Dr. Ron Godby and Jeff Godby. This booklet was available at the Trading Post during the Fellowship event.

A total of 10 emblems were issued by the Kecoughtan Lodge during 1991 with a special 40th anniversary logo:
  • 2 solid embroidered flap patches (1 restricted, 1 unrestricted)
  • 3 oval pocket patches with loops for the 40th anniversary Fellowship
  • 1 limited edition chenille emblem produced by Standard Pennant Company (prototype exists)
  • 3 other event patches (Winter Ordeal,  Summer Ordeal, and Christmas Banquet)
  • 1 Leather Vigil rededication arrowhead
The Lodge issued two special flaps, S25, a restricted issue with a design similar to the standard lodge flap in use at the time with 3 ships, and S26, unrestricted and patterned after the former Lodge flap design, with American flags instead of Confederate ones flanking a large center acorn. The emblem checklist in the Anniversary booklet indicates 500 of each design were ordered.




 The 40th Anniversary Fellowship featured participant, staff, and beaver day issues, differentiated by their border colors of red, dark yellow, and light blue respectively. These were later classified in the Blue Book as X15, X16, and X17. The emblem checklist lists quantities of these produced as 400 red border, 50 dark yellow border, and 100 light blue border versions.

The other event patches for 1991 included the 40th Anniversary acorn logo in their design, as well.

The July 1991 edition of the Kryer reported the huge success of the 40th Anniversary Fellowship, with 230 Arrowmen in attendance, with 15 visitors from other Lodges,  two of them former SE-8 Chiefs.

The Trading Post News column advised that 40th Anniversary chenille emblems were sold out and more than half of the 40th anniversary flaps which arrived at the fellowship on Saturday were gone by Sunday morning.

Fortunately the emblems issued by Lodge 463 in 1991 to celebrate its 40th Anniversary remain surprisingly affordable even today, and together make a unique collection to remember this significant milestone in the history of the brotherhood always remembered as Kecoughtan Lodge 463.

Sep 23, 2009

New Kecoughtan chenille prototype discovered


A couple of days ago my friend and fellow Virginia OA collector Michael McCaughan advised me he had obtained what appears to be a prototype of the Kecoughtan C-3 chenille that was issued for the Lodge's 40th anniversary in 1991.  He said that the patch was part of a group of sample chenilles purchased by John Conley Williams directly from Standard Pennant Company and later sold to another collector in Virginia. Michael kindly sent me pictures of the front and back. Interestingly, the reverse of the patch does not include a manufacturer's label:
I had likewise never heard of such a prototype; it's not listed in the Blue Book or any other Kecoughtan listings like those compiled by the late Dr. Ron Godby. I checked the Kryer archive to see who was active in Trading Post affairs in 1991 and discovered that Dr. Godby was Trading Post Advisor, and his son Jeff was Lodge Chief.

A quick email to Jeff confirmed the patch Michael obtained is indeed authentic and apparently one of two known to exist. The other one is in Jeff's collection, and he sent me pictures of it to share. Below is a picture of the prototype next to the released version.



Jeff's prototype includes a Standard Pennant Company label on the reverse, just like the released version:


As with the Chanco chenille prototype, the handwritten numbers "12/19" on the reverse of the patch would seem to indicate that more examples of the patch exist:



A prior version of the Standard Pennant Company web site explains the numbers have a different significance:
While technology has enabled us to automate part of our production, many of our chenille items are still "handmade" by experienced personnel that consistently reproduce every required detail. All operators identify their own letters with pride. (Check for the operator number on the back).
I expect that since the prototype Michael now has was intended to be archived and never expected to leave the premises, so no label was ever attached. I confirmed by email with Conley Williams that the prototype 463 C-3 was indeed part of the sample set he purchased from SPC in 1995 and later sold in a group of Virginia items.

If this was the second chenille prototype for Kecoughtan Lodge it would be cataloged as 463-YC2, but it's not. In his reply to my inquiry about this patch Jeff Godby revealed another chenille prototype previously unknown to me; one for the Kecoughtan C-2. That's a story for a subsequent article. For now just know that this one will be listed on my web site as 463-YC3.

Sep 21, 2009

2005 activity patch arrow posted


I've spent several hours recently putting my Wahunsenakah Lodge patches into new patch envelopes and pages from besthobbypages.com. What great products to display patch collections!

I took a moment to stop my organizational efforts to scan a picture of the 2005 Wahunsenakah Lodge activity patches together, forming an arrow. I'm only about 3.5 years late posting this. The combined parts extended well beyond the length of my Canon scanner, so I had to do some photoshop work, scanning each end and combining them to create the image you see above.

Wahunsenakah Lodge also issued puzzle piece activity patches that form a larger image when combined together in 2000 (arrowhead) and 2002 (fleur d'lis). You can see them one piece at a time or together on the Wahunsenakah Lodge Activity Emblems page.

Arapaho Listings for Chanco and Kecoughtan Lodge


Long before there was a Blue Book for OA Collectors the standard reference for Order of the Arrow emblem collectors was Arapaho II - A History of the Order of the Arrow Through Insignia. Arapaho II was a collaborative effort by Albertus Hoogeveen, Richard Breithaupt, and Dave Leubitz, first published in 1979 in loose leaf format. Although it was not the first attempt to catalog OA issues, it was a landmark publication is the scope of it's efforts to publish not only listings but also pictures of each Lodge's known issues.

Arapaho II remains a vital historical document since the authors diligently researched topics including lodge names, totems, and charter dates in official OA records while onsite at the BSA Headquarters, then located in New Brunswick, NJ. Those archives were later destroyed, leaving Arapaho II as the only remaining authoritative resource for this vital historical data.


When I began collecting OA patches in the 70's my flap patches were stored in ziplock bags with matching cards from Alhoo Supplies, Albertus' company for patch collecting goods. Albertus was a pioneer in cataloging the first issues of Council Shoulder Patches when they came on the scene in the early 70's, publishing Arapaho I which illustrated these colorful replacements for the prior red and white community and state strips. Although CSPs were popular because they were not restricted like most OA items were at the time, there were still rarities, like those from merged councils. Albertus gave me a CSP from the newly merged Grayback Council and I still treasure it as a great example of a senior collector aiding a newcomer to the hobby.

Recently a fellow collector asked me for a copy of the Kecoughtan Lodge listings from Arapaho II and when I wasn't able to quickly find my copy I asked Trey Walls if he could help out. He generously provided scans of not only Lodge 463 items, but also Lodge 483 as well. Albertus kindly granted permission for me to share these copyrighted items on my web site, so they are offered now as aids for researchers and collectors of those lodges.

You can download and view the 4.6 MB PDF document including these listings from Arapaho here.

In this modern age of computers, digital cameras, and the internet it's hard to appropriately appreciate the vast amount of effort and expense that went into early collecting publications like Arapaho II. Every image was shot on film and developed, every word typed and laid out painstakingly one letter at a time on typewriters, and every bit of information gathered and confirmed in person or by telephone call or postal letter. What we can accomplish in a few minutes then took weeks or months to share. We owe a lot to pioneers like Albertus for setting the standard high for accuracy and detail that remains valuable decades later.

Sep 1, 2009

What is a complete Kecoughtan collection?


For aspiring collectors of any OA Lodge, the holy grail is a "complete collection" of everything ever officially issued by the Lodge. For most lodges this is a virtually impossible task since some items had limited distribution or for older items simply not commonly found anymore. Kecoughtan is no different, but that shouldn't deter you from trying to assemble a complete collection.

A complex question could be "what comprises a complete Kecoughtan collection?" Rather than delve too deeply into the finer points of defining which items should truly be considered official issues or which items are definite varieties that deserve a separate listing and which don't I'll keep the answer simple.

Using the Sixth Edition of the Blue Book Catalog of Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia, published in 2006 (the most current one available now) the total listings for Kecoughtan Lodge break out as follows:

Number Type
9 Arrowheads
14 Chapter
4 Chenilles
100 Events
1 Jacket
1 Leather
2 Neckerchief
1 Unauthorized
8 Round
44 Solid Embroidered Flaps
17 Odd Shape (X)
1 Prototypes
202 Total

Ready to get started? Here's a handy checklist created with Dave Pede's awesome Blue Book VI PDF Generator. Note that the Blue Book doesn't list items like coffee mugs, hat pins, keychains, or belt buckles, so once you assemble the 202 items above there's still plenty to keep you busy.

Note: The collection pictured above is not mine. Thanks to Ray Ellis for sharing this picture with me of a beautifully displayed Kecoughtan collection.

Aug 31, 2009

Spring 1976 leather ordeal emblem is not an official issue

Since it was first published by the American Scouting Historical Society in 1996, the Blue Book Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia Catalog has become the defacto reference for collectors of Scout OA emblems.

In 2000 the third edition of the Blue Book was published, and for the first time included event issues for each Lodge. The event listings for Kecoughtan Lodge were provided by the late Dr. Ron Godby, who was the Blue Book regional editor for Virginia.

Based upon the collection of items shared with his son, Jeff, Dr. Godby's list of 100 event emblems spanning Kecoughtan's existence from 1952-1995 has remained unchanged in the Blue Book for every edition since.

There are three items in the Blue Book list of Kecoughtan event issues that I believe should not be included. One is the 1970 Fall Fellowship patch that was inadvertently released without the numerals corrected from "453" to "463." This will be a topic of a future article.

Two other items are leather items that I contend were private issues that were never intended to be official Lodge issues. These are the 1976 Summer Ordeal leather round and the 1992 NOAC leather round with leather thong and beads. For both of these events official Lodge emblems exist (the 463 R2 was distributed at the 1976 Summer Ordeal and the 463 S32 flap was specifically designed for Kecoughtan's NOAC delegates).

This article specifically discusses the leather emblem listed in the Blue Book since 2000 as:
463 eR1976-2, Spring Ordeal, Leather round

In over thirty years of collecting Kecoughtan emblems I've never seen one of these, nor had any other collector I queried about it. I should have gone to the source of the original listings many years ago instead of relentlessly hounding every Virginia OA collector I knew. Interestingly, this item does not appear on the list of Kecoughtan issues that was published in the December 1990 Scouting Collector's Quarterly authored by Ronald and Jeff Godby, so I suspect it was added to their collection at a later date.

It was only recently that I decided to inquire about this emblem directly to Jeff Godby, and it was because Dr. Barry Green was certain that if it was listed on Dr. Godby's list there must be one in the collection the list was based upon. Jeff confirmed the existence of it and sent me the photograph you see above. Unfortunately, he was unable to provide any background details about it, so I continued my search for information about it's provenance.

Duane McSmith created a number of leather issues for the Lodge, including the official emblems for the 1975 and 1980 SE-1 Indian Seminars that were hosted by Kecoughtan. Duane and his son Gary were both active in the Lodge in 1976, and when I asked Duane if the Spring 1976 Ordeal leather round was one of his works he replied:
I am reasonably sure I made this because the acorn stamp looks like mine and the lettering looks like mine. If I did make it it was just a few to "swap."
My friend Harry Hager (we knew him as "Chip" back then) also responded to my pleas for opinions about this piece:
From what I remember of the leather emblem shown, I don't think that it was ever an official lodge issue. I was Treasurer at the time and I know that we never sold this item nor contracted to have it made. I want to say that I remember this being a project of one of the older men in the lodge (like Milt who used to make the Kecoughtan lodge name tags) and that he had been fooling around with a brand hence the leather emblem. I don't think they were given to everyone (maybe just those in his chapter Pamunkey - maybe) but It was a long time ago. I'm 90% sure I have one at home just as an oddity. I could be wrong but I was pretty heavily into patches then and I don't recall this being a lodge issue. I do remember seeing it though but it's origin was more of a craft work piece.
Kevin Hopkins (who was elected Lodge Vice Chief at the 1976 Spring Ordeal) wrote:
I don't specifically remember this one but do remember that Duane McSmith was cranking these leather medallions out on an ad hoc basis (there are other designs floating around that you haven't run across yet, I'm sure). This looks like one of his - I'd bet on it.
Sam Fairchild assured me back in 2005 that no official leather Kecoughtan activity patch existed, telling me:
We did not have a '76 Spring Ordeal leather, for sure. Gary McSmith ran for Lodge chief with a leather McSmith patch, and we had the SE 1 Indian Seminar. Both of those issued leathers. The McSmith patch, which says McSmith on it, certainly is not a lodge issue. The Indian Seminar patch is just that. Otherwise, there was nothing else. Of that I am certain, since that was our 25th year, and I oversaw everything associated with that year.
When I finally found a picture of the item and shared it with Sam on the last day of August he reiterated his stance, saying
[It] certainly was a private issue that was not even known within the lodge. McSmith's dad made them, I think.
As a result of these findings I will be relocating this item from the event emblem listings on my site to an Unofficial Emblems category alongside the beaded version of the A5 (also created by Duane McSmith).

Unlike the Unauthorized Emblems like the ZS1 reproduction of the S10 Brotherhood flap and the ZC1 fake acorn-shaped chenille, the unofficial emblems category is designed to catalog items made by Lodge members that represented Kecoughtan Lodge but were never created as an official issue of the Lodge. Another example of such an issue is the painted plaques sold as fund-raisers with the Kecoughtan flap design.

I will also petition the current Regional Editor of the Blue Book to remove the Spring 1976 Ordeal leather emblem from the Blue Book event listings beginning with the next edition.

Many thanks to the Kecoughtan Arrowmen and collectors who helped me retrace history to discover the roots of this unique emblem. I'll bet Duane McSmith never anticipated it would earn so much interest 33 years after he created it in his workshop!

Colonial Trail District patch posted

Larry Johnson kindly sent me a couple of district patch images that I was missing for Colonial Virginia Council, including a silver bordered James River district patch to go along with the blue and yellow bordered varieties, and the above patch for Colonial Trail District that serves the City of Suffolk, Isle of Wight County and Surry County.

I especially like the pig and peanut icons that are emblematic of major industries in those areas. You can find district emblems for Colonial Virginia Council included on the Colonial Virginia Council-Other Emblems page.

Summer Service activity patch issued

Wahunsenakah Lodge held their Summer Service event (formerly known as the Summer Ordeal) on August 21-23, 2009, and issued a 3" round pocket patch to commemorate the event. The design is not a surprise since all of the event patches this year share the same design with the only difference being the color of the background and the name of the event.

Still on the schedule for event patches later in 2009 are the Fall Fellowship (presumably now called the Fall Service) on October 23-25 and the Holiday Banquet on December 5.

Aug 26, 2009

Colonial Virginia Council Jamestown Extravaganza patch

I've avoided adding Council event emblems to the patch listings on this web site since to do so would expand the scope and number of items I keep track of exponentially.

But I recently acquired a very attractive 3 part patch issued by Colonial Virginia Council for their 2007 Jamestown Extravaganza and decided I couldn't leave it off the site. After all it wasn't just a weekend event, it spanned 18 months and had to be earned by completing a series of requirements that taught the historical importance of Jamestown.

If you aren't familiar with the Jamestown Extravaganza I encourage you to read the booklet issued by the council; you'll be impressed by the Council's efforts to commemorate this historical event with such a thorough Scout-related program and how nicely they integrated it with advancement opportunities.

You'll find it listed on the Colonial Virginia Council-Other Emblems page.

Aug 24, 2009

2009 Wahunsenakah NOAC flaps pass milestones


With the recent release of the two special 2009 NOAC flaps (S39 and S40) Wahunsenakah Lodge passed a pair of milestones.

First of all, Wahunsenakah has issued more flaps in 13 years than Kecoughtan 463 did in its forty four years of existence (38 flaps for the Acorn lodge), or Chanco did in forty three years (11).

Secondly, Wahunsenekah has issued more flaps in 2009 than in any other year since its inception in 1996. 2009 has seen six flaps issued to date, and a quarter of the year remains for more. The six issued so far are:
S35 2009 SR-7A Conclave trader
S36 2009 SR-7A Conclave delegate
S37 2009 SR-7A Conclave staff
S38 Beacon of Service flap, 14 hours service at Beaver Days required
S39 2009 NOAC trader, red border, issued with X4, 850 made
S40 2009 NOAC delegate, silver border, issued with X5, 150 made

The closest the Lodge has come to issuing this many flaps was in its first year of existence when it issued five flaps:
S1 First flap
S2 Service flap (multiple varieties exist)
S3 1996 SR-7 Conclave
S4 1996 NOAC trader, purple border, issued w/X1 pocket part
S5 1996 NOAC delegate, light blue border, issued w/X1 pocket part
The Lodge issued four flaps in 1998, 2002, and 2006. It's not a coincidence that all of those years included a NOAC which warranted trader and delegate flap issues.

The acorn Lodge, on the other hand, did not change the design of it's flap patch from 1953 until 1976. Things have changed a bit, wouldn't you say?

Aug 12, 2009

Kecoughtan Lodge Bead Program

Kecoughtan beads circa 1979-1980, pictured on a strand with
1980 SE-1 Conclave Vigil Rededication medallion


In June of 2006 Tim Ewing sent me an email that included a picture of a strand of colored beads along with the message:
Kecoughtan Lodge Bead Program
See Kecoughtan Kryer about 1980 for details.
I dutifully filed the email in my "research when I have a chance" folder and as time passed forgot about it.

Recently while I was hunting for clues about a Kecoughtan patch in the Kryer archive I came across mention of a Bead System in the November, 1979 edition of the newsletter. Editor Tim Ewing summarized 1979 for the Lodge in his Smoke Signals column, listing the many accomplishments and accolades, including this reference to the beads:
The year is coming to an end and it was a great year for our lodge. Let's look back over the year: Our lodge introduced a bead system and an Honor Patch …
Further hunting through earlier and later copies in the Kryer archive turned up just two references to the beads.

The January 1979 edition includes an article on page 7 introducing and explaining the program:
Lodge Gets to try Bead System

The lodge will also try a experiment with a bead system based on attendance at lodge events for one year. A bead system is when you go to a event, you will receive one bead to put on whatever you wish to hang them on to show off how many beads you have earned.


Beaver Days - Violet
Summer Ordeal - Yellow
Spring Ordeal - Green
Winter Ordeal - White
Christmas Banquet - Light Green
Ordeal - Brown
Brotherhood - Gold
Vigil - Silver
Section Conclave - Dark Green
Section Seminar - Orange
National Conference - Dark Red
National Indian Seminar - Dark Blue
Summer Camp Staff - Gray
Long Term Camping - Maroon
Lodge Chief - Red Square
Lodge Vice Chief - Orange Square
Lodge Secretary - Yellow Square
Lodge Treasurer - Green Square
Chapter Chief - Red Tube
Chapter Vice Chief - Orange Tube
Chapter Secretary - Green Tube
Committee Chairman - Blye Square
Lodge Advisor - Violet Square
Past Lodge Advisor - Violet Tube
Committee Advisor - Navy Blue
Honor Patch - Gold Square
The April, 1980 Kryer included a reminder article about the beads for new members, again listing many colors and the events they were awarded for:

I didn't find any reference to the Bead Program in later editions, so I presume that it only lasted a couple of years (1979-1980), unlike the Honor Member patch award which began the same year and was issued each year through 1990.

Now that you know how to distinguish the events related to each bead color, can you list all of the events and offices indicated on the picture of Tim's beads above?

Aug 9, 2009

History and Design of the Pamunkey Chapter Jacket Patch

In July of 1971 Pamunkey Chapter of Kecoughtan Lodge 463 issued their first emblem, a 6" round, solid embroidered jacket patch. This multicolored patch with its Indian themed design has long been sought after and prized by OA collectors for its beauty and scarcity.

Even though I was a member of Pamunkey Chapter and have had this patch in my personal collection for over thirty years, it was only when I sought to learn more about it in July of 2009 that I discovered its fascinating history and the special significance of its design.

Pamunkey Chapter was formed during the summer of 1970 when Peninsula Council, BSA reorganized its district geography. The Eastern and Central Districts, served by Allogagan and Pamlico Chapters respectively, combined to form Hampton District, and a corresponding chapter was created by Kecoughtan 463, the Councilʼs Order of the Arrow Lodge, to serve it. The new chapter was named for the Pamunkey Indians.

Historians believe the Pamunkey were the most powerful of the tribes in the great Powhatan paramount chiefdom, which consisted of approximately 35 tribes with an estimated population of 10,000 led by of Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. His territory encompassed the entire coastal plain from south of the James River to near Washington, DC. Powhatan was living among the Pamunkey when English colonists first arrived in Virginia in 1607.

Today the Pamunkey Indians live on a reservation of 1,200 acres located on the Pamunkey River, adjacent to King William County, Virginia. Recognized since 1677 as a sovereign nation, the Pamunkey continue to hunt, fish, and make pottery on their ancestral land.

The August 1970 edition of the Lodge newsletter, the Kecoughtan Kryer, announced the election of officers and appointment of an advisor in the Chapter Chatter section, where Chapter Chief Mike Barroso wrote:
Future plans for our chapter include the endorsement of the plan to build the dining hall at Camp Chickahominy, to get our own chapter patch, and to have a chapter camporee at the Pamunkey reservation near West Point.
Soon after the chapter was formed its Advisor, Dr. Ron Godby, approached Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook, Chief of the Pamunkey Indians, and sought permission to use their tribal seal in a design he envisioned for a chapter patch. Born in 1899, Cook served as Chief of the Pamunkey for over 40 years, and lived to age 103. According to Andy Hess, who was treasurer of the chapter at the time, "the Tribal Council had a meeting and voted to allow us to use their seal."

Chief Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook
Photo by Helen C. Rountree, November, 1969. From Pocahontas's People - The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries. Photo used with permission.

Once approval had been granted the seal had to be adapted for the chapter patch. Hess remembers the process of color selection:
There never was a set color pattern (from the Pamunkey Indians) when we got permission from them to use their seal for our patch. When I was Chapter Chief, we had several Chapter Executive Committee meetings where we all practiced coloring copies of the seal to get the final result. By the way, this was done at Dr. Godbyʼs dental office. We were looking for a lot of different colors to make it pleasing to the eye! The center of the patch is from their seal. They had no color scheme on their seal. The outside of their seal had their Tribe information where we put our lodge info.
To the layman the Pamunkey Chapter J1 appears to be a round patch segmented into quarters, with an assortment of familiar Indian symbols representing various things found in nature, along with colorful pottery.

However, after reviewing the Pamunkeyʼs explanation of their tribal seal, the symbols in the design take on new meaning. For example, the zigzag horizontal line across the center represents the Pamunkey River, which they describe as "the lifeblood of the Pamunkey people ... the center of our very existence."

Explanation of the Pamunkey Tribal Seal (click to enlarge)

The July 1971 Kecoughtan Kryer Chapter Chatter reports for Pamunkey Chapter:
The beautiful new Chapter patch is now available to Chapter members at $3.50 each. Ordeal members are allowed to buy one, whereas Brotherhood members may buy another, and Vigil Honor members a third. The 5 elected Lodge officers and their advisors may buy one each.
A second order was placed in late 1973, according to the Pamunkey Chapter news in the December 1973 Kryer. The March 1974 Kryer includes the following news for Pamunkey Chapter:
Chief Mike Kinzie reports that Chapter backpatches have been received and will be on sale at the Spring Ordeal and possibly at the Pamunkey Fellowship on April 19-21.
The Sixth Edition of the Blue Book: Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia Catalog published in 2006 included a revision to Kecoughtan Lodge patch listings which added a variety of this patch that had not appeared in any of the earlier editions dating back to 1998:


The Pamunkey Chapter J1 patch is now cataloged as having two varieties: J1a with a BRN (brown) deer, and J1b with a DBR (dark brown) deer.

Bill Topkis, Editor in Chief of the Blue Book Sixth Edition, graciously provided a comparative photograph of the patches that were used to document this variation. As you can see below, the J1a with the brown deer is on the right, the J1b with the darker brown deer on the left. The same difference in the shade of brown is also evident in the horizontal line representing earth in the center of the patch.


According to Andy Hess, who was Pamunkey Chapter Chief when the patches were ordered, the color change was never intended nor noticed, and he does not believe that it merits the addition of a variety listing in the Blue Book:
There was no intended design difference. There seems to be just minor variations in the brown color. I don’t think it is significant enough to warrant an inclusion of the second patch in the Blue Book to make it another “collectors item”. It sure was not intended to be another different collectible patch. We never noticed a difference when we compared the different orders when the second batch arrived. My patch that I have is the one on the left with the brighter brown thread. There are always minor color differences in threads between different loom runs.
Sam Fairchild, a noted collector, Blue Book editor, and Lodge Chief of Kecoughtan Lodge in 1971 when the patch was originally issued, concurs:
There are two slight color variations on the Pamunkey deer - Andy Hess ordered the patches twice. They are so slight in my view as not to warrant a and b designations, but that is entirely subjective.
In 1985 the Chapter ordered a slightly revised version of the patch with a rolled (instead of cut) edge and computer designed pattern with sharper details. This patch is listed in the Blue Book as the Pamunkey Chapter J2.

The same design was used for the first jacket patch issued by Pamunkey Chapter of Wahunsenakah Lodge 333, the Lodge formed by the merger of Kecoughtan 463 and Chanco 483 in 1996. Wahunsenakah is the Algonquin name for Chief Powhatan. The name and number were changed to reflect the new Lodge identity. Blue Book lists it under Lodge 333 as Pamunkey J1. A 3” round pocket patch with the identical design was also issued, listed as Pamunkey R1.

I hope this article has given you a new appreciation for these emblems of Pamunkey Chapter inspired by and honoring the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, and that like me you are motivated to learn more about their history and culture. See the bibliography for some excellent resources.
Please help me by sending any additions or corrections to: Glenn Chase, spanky@mac.com



Bibliography

Pamunkey Chapter History
http://members.cox.net/pamunkey.press/news/Feature/ChapterHistory.html

A Story of Forty Years of Brotherhood, Kecoughtan Lodge 463
http://kecoughtan.com/images/463/Kecoughtan463-40thAnniv.pdf

Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge 463, Ron and Jeff Godby
Scouting Collectors Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 4, December 1990
http://www.kecoughtan.com/images/463/scq-dec1990.pdf

Virginia's Indian heirs cling to sliver of native soil, by Joanne Kimberlin
The Virginian Pilot, June 10, 2009 http://hamptonroads.com/node/512248

Kecoughtan Kryer Archives
http://kecoughtan.com/kryer.html

Pamunkey Indian Tribe Home Page
http://www.pamunkey.net/index.html

Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries by Helen C. Rountree
http://www.amazon.com/Pocahontass-People-Powhatan-Centuries- Civilization/dp/0806128496

The Pamunkey Links
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vermont/Pamunkey_Links.html

Blue Book: Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia Catalog, Sixth Edition, 2006, published by the American Scouting Historical Society
Bill Topkis, Editor in Chief


Input from: Norm Effinger, Sam Fairchild, Jeff Godby, Andy Hess, Bill Topkis, July 2009

Aug 8, 2009

Wahunsenakah 2009 NOAC flap pictures added

Larry Johnson of Wahunsenekah attended the 2009 National Order of the Arrow Conference at Indiana University, and upon his return kindly sent me pictures of the flaps that the delegates from Lodge 333 traded this year. Larry reports that 150 of the silver bordered delegate sets and 850 of the red bordered trader sets were issued.

This year Wahunsenakah returned to issuing a two-part set for their NOAC patches after a decade of NOAC flap designs without a matching pocket part. Since the Lodge's inception in 1996 they have always issued a special flap for NOAC, but their last 2-part set was issued in 1998. The list to date looks like this:
  • 1996 - 2 part set (S4 trader and S5 delegate matched with X1)
  • 1998 - 2 part set (S9 trader and S10 delegate matched with X2 and X3 respectively)
  • 2000 - white ghost flap (S14 trader) and white ghost with gold mylar lettering (S15 delegate)
  • 2002 - photochromatic ghost (S20 trader) and photochromatic ghost with silver border (S21 delegate)
  • 2004 - S25 trader with silver inner border, S26 delegate with gold inner border
  • 2006 - S31 trader with red border, S32 with silver border
  • 2009 - S39 and X4 trader with red border, S40 and X5 delegate with silver border
The patch was designed by Lodge member Casey Johnson and cleverly interprets the theme for this year's NOAC, The Power of One.

You can find pictures of these and every Wahunsenakah Lodge flap on the Wahunsenakah Lodge Emblems page.

Aug 4, 2009

History of the Kecoughtan A-6 Arrowhead Patch

The 463 A-6 arrowhead is a diminutive, simple patch whose complex historical background belies its plain appearance.

Just 3 inches tall and 2 1/8 inches across it's widest part, the patch has a gray twill background and just two thread colors: red border, lettering, and arrow, and an outlined dark brown acorn.

The gray background of the flap denotes its significance to the Lodge. This small arrowhead was issued in 1976 on the occasion of Kecoughtan's 25th (silver) anniversary. The design mirrors the first arrowhead patch that was issued by Lodge 463 in 1952 that had a green twill background, red border, lettering, and arrow, and a fully embroidered brown acorn.

The patch was designed not only to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Lodge, but as a limited edition reproduction of the original Lodge arrowhead it had to be earned.

The patch was announced in the November, 1975 edition of the Kecoughtan Kryer:
"In this issue you will find information on the Lodge 25th Anniversary Award, available to all members who meet the requirements on page 3. The award itself will be a reproduction of the first lodge emblem, the arrowhead, with a silver background."
Co-editors Tom and Dicky Wiggs wrote in their Editor's Smokesignals column that:
"It should be possible for every active Arrowman to fulfill the requirements …"
The Lodge Executive Committee determined the requirements for earning the 25th Anniversary Award patch, and as one Lodge member remembers:
"The requirements to receive the award were not trivial. They included service work far beyond the level that the casual lodge member wanted to devote. The service work requirement was intended to get the lodge membership involved in the considerable amount of work needed to prepare for the celebration."
To keep track of progress towards the award the Lodge provided a scorecard with dates of associated events:



In the July 1976 Kryer Co-Editor Tom Wiggs hinted at low participation in his Smokesignals column, writing:
"I again emphasize to all of you the dire necessity that you attend the lodge events. The lack of strong participation is hurting the effectiveness of our Brotherhood greatly. I would like to ask that you go forth to your fellow Brothers and promote greater Lodge spirit and participation for this, our 25th year. And that is about as blunt as I can state it."
The August 1976 edition of the Kryer reprinted the requirements and a reminder:
"How are you doing on your 25th Anniversary Award? The requirements are tough, and we know that anyone who earns the award will have shown a heck of a lot of dedication to the Order and to Scouting. Show us your dedication: be one of the few to leave the 25th Anniversary celebration with an award on your pocket!"
The Kecoughtan Lodge history booklet issued for the Lodge's 40th Anniversary in 1992 recalls the 25th anniversary event held Sept. 16-19, 1976 as a huge success, noting that 261 Brothers attended, including Dr. E. Urner Goodman, founder of the Order of the Arrow.


Dr. E. Urner Goodman, Camp Chickahominy Dining Hall, Sept. 1976

The booklet also noted that "16 Brothers received the Lodge's 25th Anniversary Award."

There were far more of the silver arrowhead ordered (500 by one estimate) than Arrowmen who earned them, so the Lodge Executive Committee was faced with the difficult decision of what to do with the remainder.

As one Kecoughtan Arrowman who was active at the time remembers:
"At that point it seemed like the best course of action to just go ahead and sell them and at least recoup our costs. At that point, the patches didn't mean much anymore, but were still a nice reproduction of the original arrowhead patch of the lodge. In retrospect, a reproduction patch probably shouldn't have been chosen as the award patch - too many people wanted one but didn't want to do the work associated with the award. That patch caused some hard feelings around the lodge that took awhile to go away."
Another Kecoughtan Arrowman recalls:
There were only a couple dozen folks to complete the requirements for the 25th anniversary award and the patch (gray arrowhead) intended for this award was in fact released for sale in the trading post because there were too many that would be left over. This proved to be politically contentious in the Lodge Executive Committee and there were some bruised feelings about it … It seems trivial now but at the time it was a big deal to some. From this we learned not to treat any patch award as truly restricted.
To properly award the Arrowmen who had completed the difficult requirements to earn the Award the Lodge Executive Committee approved a special handmade leather emblem designed by Duane McSmith. The one pictured below belongs to George Bains, who was Chairman of the 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee.


Although the silver arrowhead patch was the cause of some internal friction in the Lodge, it did not overshadow the 25th Anniversary Celebration which was hailed as a great success, and continues to represent a very special time in Kecoughtan Lodge history. Recently an Arrowman who earned it told me:
"I don't know if I ever received the leather patch made by Mr. McSmith - I looked through my memorabilia and couldn't find it, but I did find this one gray arrowhead - I guess it really does mean something to me after all these years - I wouldn't part with it for any amount of money. Thanks for reminding me of a wonderful time in my life - there are a lot of memories in this old patch."

Aug 1, 2009

Thumbnail pictures added to two pages

While the rest of the trading and collecting nation is living it up at NOAC 2009 in Bloomington, IN I decided to distract myself with some site maintenance. I've been meaning to add thumbnail images of patches to the catalog listing pages for years now, but have always put it off until the site is generated dynamically from a database instead of static pages. That's proven to be more of an obstacle than I originally expected, so for the time being I've manually implemented thumbnails on several pages to see how they look.

The original page converted to thumbnail view was the Wahunsenakah Lodge flaps page and I've been pleased with the results, mostly because of the elegant way that the highslide zooming effect allows you compare multiple images (ie, NOAC delegate and trader issues from a particular year). I used the same size for the Colonial Virginia Council CSP, FOS, and JSP pages.

Based upon the dimensions of those thumbnail images I elected to go with 150 pixels wide as my default for the Kecoughtan Arrowhead and Round shaped emblem pages.

I am still on the fence about the final results. 150 pixels wide looks fine for flaps and CSP's but when the height of the image is the same or more the thumbnail images begin to overwhelm the page. Since the Kecoughtan Arrowhead and Round emblems pages don't have many items to list I'm not dissatisfied enough with the results to start over, but I don't think I can follow the same design for the Activity emblems page that has 100 different patches listed.

Jul 27, 2009

Memories of Camp Okee


While researching the history of Camp Okee in Gloucester County google presented me with a link to a story on Southern Scribe by Bob Faw about his experiences in 1964 at "the camp called Okie on the river named James."

Bob's story includes details about 1964 being the camp's last year after serving three decades of campers, so I sent him an email to see if his "Camp Okie" is in fact "Camp Okee" that previously served Peninsula Council. I also sought permission to link to his essay. Bob's reply confirmed that the camp from his memory was indeed Camp Okee, granted permission for me to link to his story, and promised to share additional memories about his experiences there:
Yes, I can add to your anecdotal archives about Okee--and the closing--as I was among the wrecking crew that laid her to rest. I have stories to tell about that summer: our mile swim and three-mile swamp wade; the open-sided Adirondacks we lived in and the tricks we played on each other and the "grubs"; the arrival of new campers and the tearful goodbyes from their sisters at the final campfires; skunk hunting--and catching; catching and cooking blue crabs on the shores of the James River; sneaking a canoe into Yorktown one night to play bingo and the phosphorescent micro-jellyfish that turned the bow wake into glowing green glass; the larger jellyfish that could get a camper to walk on water; campfire skits, nonsense songs, and comraderie ...

I'll try and remember to write down the best of the stories--especially the canoe trip, infecting the camp with "Frog Pox," and the skunk hunts (especially where the skunks ended up).
With thanks to Joyce Dixon, the owner of Southern Scribe, which hosts Bob's Story, I heartily recommend that you read Bob Faw's A Change of Life and join me in waiting eagerly for more stories of his Camp Okee days.

Jul 26, 2009

July 1999 Duck Calls posted to online archive


Larry Johnson kindly forwarded me scans of the Duck Calls newsletter from Lodge 333 for July, 1999 for inclusion on the online archive. I've created a PDF document of this edition and it's available now in case you've been waiting to find out what happened at the 1999 SR-7 Conclave hosted by Nawakwa Lodge.

Check the Duck Calls page for all of the online editions, and if you have an edition that's not posted please let me know!

Jul 24, 2009

Current 463 needs list posted

I took time to review my Kecoughtan Lodge 463 collection and confirm that I still have more than a few needs. You can have a look at the most recent version here. The items on the list are linked to pictures of the patches to make it easier to identify them quickly.

That 463 X12 pictured above is one of my Honor Member patch needs.

If you have any of these items that you are looking to trade or sell, please let me know!

Google search implemented for kecoughtan.com


When the site that became kecoughtan.com originally came online in 1996 there was no such thing as Google. Yahoo, Lycos, Altavista, and many others were the services that people used to find web sites.

When it came time to add search capabilities to this web site I had a short list of choices and selected freefind.com which has worked as advertised. Today I implemented a new custom google search on kecoughtan.com which enables you to search content on this site exclusively. Google has crawled every page and every PDF on this site, so your search will now include all of the newsletters and history documents as well.

Jul 15, 2009

Do these Kecoughtan Chapter patches really exist?

Last weekend I decided to spend time updating the long-neglected web page devoted to the Chapter Emblems of Kecoughtan Lodge. Way back in March Larry Johnson sent me pictures of several event patches for camporees sponsored by Wicomico Chapter that I needed to add.

Most of all I wanted to update the listings on the page to match those in Blue Book 6 - Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia Catalog. The Kecoughtan Chapter Emblems web page was originally created over a decade ago using Blue Book 2 (1998) which did not include any chapter emblem information. The listings were based upon the photocopied sheets of Kecoughtan Lodge patch data sent to me by the late Ron Godby in 1996.

I was surprised to discover that Blue Book 6 claims there are two versions of the first Pamunkey Chapter jacket patch, with the difference being whether the embroidered deer is brown or dark brown. It also claims that there is a second jacket patch for Piankatank Chapter with a dark blue border and multicolored background. I've never noticed any difference in the color of the deer on the Pamunkey jacket patch, and I've never seen any Piankatank Chapter jacket patch other than the pentagon-shaped J1.

How about you? If you have two Pamunkey Chapter J1 patches with obviously different deer, I'd love to see a side-by-side picture. If you have knowledge of any Piankatank jacket patch other than the J1, please let me know.

Jul 14, 2009

Kecoughtan Lodge listing in Blue Book First Edition


Hidden on John Pannell's oaimages.com web site is a fascinating bit of history - a complete copy of the very first Blue Book. Published in 1958, the official title of the publication is Order of the Arrow Lodge Listings, but the color of the cover is the only clue you need to understand how the later versions got their name.

Compiled by E. Forrest Reynolds, the booklet is barely over 50 pages, but these were the early days of the Order of the Arrow, and patch issues were still scant. Still, the amount of effort to compile the data in this document is almost incomprehensible when you remember that most of it had to be gathered in person or through postal mail.


The Kecoughtan entry lists just two items: an X issue and an F issue. "Wait!" you exclaim; "Kecoughtan Lodge never issued a flap patch that had a twill background." That is true, but as the abbreviation legend for this document explains, "F" simply indicates a flap shaped patch. It wasn't until later that "S" was used to indicate a flap with a solid embroidered background and "F" for flaps with twill background.

Check it out and be sure to tell John you appreciate his efforts to preserve and share such a vital part of OA patch reference history!

Jul 8, 2009

Can you spot the fake Kecoughtan Brotherhood flap?

Kecoughtan Lodge issued it's first flap recognizing Brotherhoods status in 1987. The S-10 issue is virtually identical to the S-6a and S-6b versions of the Lodge flap, except the arrow piercing the acorn is reduced slightly in size to make room for Brotherhood bars added at each end. A Vigil version of the flap was also produced, adding the Vigil triangle totem to the center of the acorn, at first behind the "W" (S-11) and later in front of it (S-12)

The Kecoughtan flaps featuring confederate flags were replaced with new designs in 1989 at the demand of a new Council executive. S13, 14, and 15 displayed the three ships that landed at Jamestown in 1607, and a special flap with this design was created specifically for the 1989 Boy Scout Jamboree (S-16).

Coincidentally, the 1989 Boy Scout Jamboree held at Fort AP Hill, Virginia, was where the first and only known Kecoughtan Lodge fake flaps were introduced by sources still unknown. The fake flaps were computer-designed reproductions of the Lodge's S-10 Brotherhood flap, and continue to fool many collectors and traders even to this day since their likeness is so similar to the genuine article.

Looking at the picture above can you tell which flap is an official issue from Kecoughtan Lodge and which is the unauthorized reproduction? Here are the clues you can use to spot the imposter:

The REAL Kecoughtan Lodge S-10 Brotherhood flap features:
  • white outline stitching has small amount of black space next to acorns and flags
  • large "W" in center acorn has a pointed center peak
  • FDL in center acorn is wider and has one dimensional appearance (not 3 segments)
  • stars on flag are not well defined, hard to see "points"
  • number "6" in "463" is blocky (not rounded)
  • top Brotherhood bar above the arrow does not touch the flag on the left side
The FAKE Kecoughtan Lodge ZS-1 Brotherhood flap features:
  • white outline stitching is tight and close to acorns and flags.
  • large "W" in middle acorn has a flat center peak
  • FDL in center acorn is skinny with 3 discernable components (center and 2 side parts)
  • stars on flags are sharp and defined, each with 5 points
  • number "6" in "463" is rounded
  • top Brotherhood bar above the arrow touches the flag on the left side
Now can you tell which one is fake? If you chose the bottom flap in the picture, you're right.

You can view all of the official Lodge 463 flaps on the Kecoughtan Lodge Flap Issues page. Fakes and other unauthorized emblems are cataloged on the Unauthorized/Unofficial Issues page.

The McSmith 463 Chief leather round


Then Pamunkey Chapter Chief Gary McSmith lost a close election to Bill Irwin at the 1976 Spring Ordeal to become the Kecoughtan Lodge Chief succeeding Rone Baldwin, according to the July edition of the Kecoughtan Kryer.

McSmith's campaign for Kecoughtan Chief included a leather round emblem (see above) that is often mistaken for an official Kecoughtan issue. Although it includes the Kecoughtan Lodge totem and number, it was not issued by the Lodge, but remains an interesting piece of Lodge history. Gary and his father Duane McSmith hand made leather round emblems for the 1975 Section SE-1 Indian Seminar that are official Section emblems.

Thanks to Michael McCaughan of Blue Heron Lodge for sharing the images above with me. To see other interesting unofficial Kecoughtan Lodge emblems, check out the Unknown/Unauthorized Issues page.