Patch History

The first lodge flap was approved in 1955. It was designed by Merle Vogel and Holland St. John, both of Richland. The main color was green and was dome-shaped. The border was yellow with white letters. The patch was worn on the right pocket where temporary insignia are usually placed. It remained the lodge emblem for five years.

The first patch designed to fit on the right pocket flap was approved in 1960. It was designed by Tom Simonton of Pendleton. The background was black. The border was gold and it had gold lettering stating the lodge’s name at the bottom of the patch. The design featured a mountain sheep standing on top of a blue mountain with a red arrow through the center of the patch. By decision of the executive committee, these lodge patches could not be traded.

Recognizing the need for a trading patch in the early 1970’s, and to fill the need of arrowmen attending a national jamboree and owning several uniforms, a multi-colored patch with a new design was approved. Several sketches were submitted, and the concept developed by Ron Olson of Richland was accepted and submitted to the national supply service artists for refinement. It was to be fully embroidered and featured an Indian camp scene at the base of mountains. Three canoes were beached on the shore of a lake. The scene was to represent the Wallowa Mountains with Lake Wallowa in the foreground. The three canoes represented Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil Honor members of the Order of the Arrow.

Around 1977, William Berry of Walla Walla designed a new lodge patch. It was multi-colored with a gold border. It featured red letters for the lodge’s name. The central feature was a large mountain sheep’s head facing slightly sideways.

Three variations of this patch were approved a short time later. Ordeal members were to receive the patch with a gold border, Brotherhood members to receive one with a black border, and Vigil Honor members to receive one with a red border. The order was placed and the National Office accidently sent the wrong patches. The patches sent with the three different borders were from the design of the patch previous to the Berry Patch – “the Three Canoe Patch”.

These patches were sold to the members as traders except that the 25 red bordered “Three Canoe” patches were only sold to Vigil members of the Lodge. The order for Lodge flaps was placed with the National Office once again except that the Lodge Staff Adviser made the unpopular decision that the different borders were not to be ordered. These patches were used from 1978 to 1983. This is why we have the red and black bordered “Three Canoe” patches which is not mentioned anywhere else in the patch history section. This is also why we have a plastic back and cloth back yellow bordered “Three Canoe” patch. The plastic back, yellow bordered “Three Canoe” patch is from the same loom as the red and black bordered patches of the same design. The cloth backed, yellow bordered, “Three Canoe” patches were ordered prior to 1978.

The next major change in the lodge patch appeared in 1984. Greg Cole, Don Carlyle, and Bill Buchmiller of the Tri-Cities were chiefly responsible for the design, often referred to as the “Squaw Patch” among trading circles. It was multi-colored with a silver border. It featured red lettering stating the lodge’s name and number. The central figure was a Nez Perce Indian wearing a blanket capote, looking toward the Blue Mountains. It was used as the official lodge patch for only one year. A number of lodge members felt it looked too much like an Indian woman with a papoose on her back.

The next year the patch featuring the head of the mountain sheep was brought back (William Berry patch). The only change made was that the patch had a grey border. This was the the official patch for the next seven years.

To help celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the lodge, a special lodge patch was approved. The design was taken from the Simonton patch with the letters 40th added to the background in red. The background was black with a gold border. The fleur-de-lis was hidden in the background. This patch was approved by the executive commitee in 1986.

After the introduction of the lodge’s Participation Award, for those arrowmen who qualified, a patch featuring the head of the mountain sheep with a silver mylar border was approved. Only one patch could be earned per year.

A special NOAC delegation patch was approved in 1990. It celebrated the 75th anniversary of OA and was the first time the lodge patch was not ordered through the National Supply Service. Difficulty in getting the proposed design to fit the pocket flap was encountered, so the executive commitee placed the order with a private company.

Anticipating the possibility of the lodge merging with a neighboring lodge due to the consolidation of councils in the early 1990s, a special patch was designed duplicating the original flap patch first introduced in 1960 and designed by Pendleton’s Tom Simonton. The thinking of the executive commitee was that the last patch (if it was to be) should be very much like the first patch. The same design only with a gold mylar border was used as the Spirit Award.

Problems arose with the 1994 NOAC contingent pocket flap patch. When the order was received, it was learned that the wrong color blue was used and as a result, the order had to be resubmitted. A special patch was designed by the NOAC committee to encourage class participation.

A special 50th Anniversary packet was prepared in 1995 to raise funds for the 50th anniversary banquet to be held in March of 1996. It included a commemorative pocket flap patch and a triangle neckerchief patch using the Tom Simonton 1960 design with a red 50 with a gold mylar border, and a copy of the lodge history. They were packaged and sold first to members of the lodge and then made available to arrowmen throughout the country. One hundred packets were prepared by the committee under the chairmanship of Luke Roach of Pasco.

Also in 1995 spring and fall Ordeal candidates received a revision to the 1960 Tom Simonton design with a red “50” in the background and with a gold border. Brotherhood candidates received the same version, only with a red border. For those members of the lodge who qualified for the Spirit Award, the same version, only with a blue border, was presented to them. These lodge patches were also designed and developed by the 50th Anniversary committee.

After the 50th Anniversary year was over, the lodge switched primary flaps to the William Berry design. This time, the flap had a red border. When the flap was ordered, a Spirit Award flap also was ordered. The Spirit Award was the same flap, except it had a red mylar border. Later that year, two new flaps were issued for the NOAC contingent. The patches were similar to the design created by Berry, except they were larger. The flap with the yellow border was issued as a trading flap. The red border flap was reserved for only the members of the lodge that went to NOAC and participated in the lodge meetings and events.

The next trip to NOAC saw the issuance of two more patches. The Berry design was used again, except with a change in the colors. The entire patch was made with white thread making it a “ghost flap”. 1998 NOAC was also put on the sides of the flap with gold mylar. The contingent flap that was limited to participants from the lodge had a gold mylar border and was used to promote attendance at lodge meetings and participation in activities.

In 1999 the lodge began searching for new ways to raise funds to pay for expenses. The Executive Committee agreed to create a two piece patch set that would be sold to raise money. After requesting for patch designs to be submitted, the Executive Committee decided on the design created by Mike Ash. The bottom piece was an extension of the flap that Berry created. The bottom piece of set includes the mountain ram’s body standing on a mountain peak, a river, tipis, and canoes. The set design was based primarily on the “Three Canoes” design created by Ron Olson. Miscommunication between the lodge and patch manufacturer resulted in a few errors that can be found in the mountain peak that the ram is standing on. This set was only available for lodge members to buy and featured a black border.

After seeing the success of the first fundraiser set, the Executive Committee decided to create another set to be sold outside the lodge. Instead of creating a new design, the same design created by Ash was used again, this time with a red border. The top piece of the set is the regular flap, but the bottom piece was slightly modified to correct the previous miscommunications. 500 sets were created and advertised on the lodge web site and through discussion lists. When the second order for two piece sets went in, the lodge also ordered new Spirit Award flaps. The patch is the current flap with a gray border. The red mylar border was not very visible, and it was decided that a gray border would be used to designate this special flap.

In preparation for the 2000 NOAC at the University of Tennessee, the Lodge decided to once again issue two flaps for the event. The Lodge decided to use the regular flap with a few changes in color. The NOAC trader flap was identical to the regular flap except with “2000 NOAC” put on the sides in gold mylar thread. In addition, “WA-LA-MOOT-KIN 336” and “WWW” was changed from red to gold mylar. 100 delegate flaps were made as well. These were identical to the trader, except with a gold mylar border.

Information through 1995 taken from Council Fires 50th Anniversary Edition
by L. Holland St. John.


Walamootkin Story

The former Moskwa Lodge (now Tataliya Lodge ) performed a service to the brotherhood in 1946. The service was the induction of four Blue Mountain Scouts into the Order of the Arrow and the birth of the Wa-La-Moot-Kin Lodge. The four Scouts inducted and a Scout Executive selected the name Wa-La-Moot-Kin from the Lower Nez Perce band of Indians who lived in Oregon’s Wallowa Valley.

Research shows that Old Chief Joseph (father of the Chief Joseph famous for his resistance to leaving the Wallowa Valley) was known as Wellamotkin. In fact, several alternative spellings are known to exist. The ram’s head was selected as the lodge totem because mountain sheep once roamed the Eagle Cap area of the Wallowa mountains near the upper Wallowa Valley. The ram’s head has been a trademark for the Blue Mountain Council since it’s beginning in 1929. A complete history of Wa-La-Moot-Kin Lodge is available in Council Fires, by L. Holland St. John.


Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was created in 1940 to honor those who rendered service to the Order beyond the lodge level. The award is presented to Arrowmen, youth and adult, who have rendered distinguished and outstanding service to the Order on a sectional, regional, or national basis. The award is presented at National Order of the Arrow Conferences. Since the time the first awards were presented, less than 1000 Distinguished Service Awards have been awarded.

The award is a sterling silver arrowhead bearing an arrow pointing up and to the wearer’s right. The award is suspended from a white neck-ribbon on which red arrows are embroidered. A white square knot embroidered on red cloth is available for uniform wear and a silver arrowhead lapel pin is available for civilian wear.

Wa-La-Moot-Kin Lodge Recipient
Mark P. Hendricks
Stephen F. Gaines
Joshua G. Gana

History Sub-Menu

Centurion Award

The Centurion Award was a national centennial (2015) award which aimed to highlight “Hometown Heroes,” or those Arrowmen who have meaningfully contributed to the forming, maturing and ongoing operational excellence of their local council’s lodge, and who, in doing so, have or will have inspired others to follow in their footsteps. This award was a one-time recognition associated with the centennial anniversary of the OA that is bestowed by the national Order of the Arrow committee.  Accordingly, this recognition was an opportunity to highlight lodge development over the last century and the many individuals, both youth and adult, who were instrumental to this success. Centurion Award honorees serve as exemplars of leadership, modeling to others a commitment to cheerful service as the Order of the Arrow enters its second century of service.

At the time of the award, Centurion Award recipients may be living or deceased and should have provided significant contributions to the lodge’s legacy. Each recipient will be designated as either a youth or adult contributor. The minimum service period is 3 years for a youth contributor or 6 years for an adult contributor. Recipients of the award were provided with a certificate and recognition ribbon consisting of a red and white ribbon and a metallic totem symbolizing the centennial anniversary of the Order of the Arrow.

Over 1800 Arrowmen across the organization have received the Centurion Award. Please join us in congratulating these individuals from our lodge for their exemplary leadership and commitment to cheerful service. Full national recipient list.

Steve Gaines
Hollland St. John
William Buchmiller
Mike Tesky
Taylor Blanc
Ben Johnson
Years of Service
June 1971 – January 2015
January 1953 – January 2010
January 1963 – January 2015
January 1965 – January 2015
January 2006 – January 2015
January 1999 – January 2004

Founder’s Award

The Founder’s Award was created to honor and recognize those Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to the lodge. The award is reserved for those Arrowmen who memorialize in their everyday life, the spirit of achievement as described by our founder Dr. E. Urner Goodman.  Nominations are to be made by the Lodge Executive Committee to the Founder’s Award Committee who will chose the recipients. The award is a handsome bronze medallion bearing the likeness of E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson, with wooden base and brass plate suitable for engraving. Award recipients can also wear the Founder’s Award ribbon, similar to the universal arrow ribbon, except that it is a gold colored arrow suspended from a red ribbon. Lodges may petition the national Order of the Arrow Committee to present up to four awards annually, based on lodge membership. If the lodge presents more than one award, one must be to a youth under the age of 21. The Founder’s Award Committee is made up of the past recipients of the Founder’s Award. 

Taylor Blanc
Rob Buxbaum
Pete Gibbons
Stephen Ash
Mark Hendricks
Jim Gibbons
Calvin Fulks
Paul Ash
Josh Gana
Nick Bilyard
Luke Roach
Mike Anderson
Lee Calkins
Alan Anderson
Mike Kovis
David Bruggeman
Murray Kuhns

Tony Finfrock
Evan Pollock
Jeff Person
Michael Blanc
Wes Johnson
Ben Johnson

Tom Greethurst
Mike Ash
Mike Tesky
George Henckel
Harley Smith
Steve Gaines
George Petrina Jr.
Harold Bussell
Marc Lenzke
Scott Lynch
Larry Sorensen
Kyle Lynch
Holland St. John
Bill Buchmiller

Chapter of the Year

Given to the most outstanding Chapter of the given year, determined by a matrix system constructed by the Lodge Chief and approved by the LEC . The Chapter with the highest participation at all Lodge, Section, and National events. To the Chapter that has excelled the most in all aspects of the Lodge Program. The Chapter that has gone above and beyond the call duty in giving cheerful service to the Council and Lodge. NO Chapter may receive the award more than two consecutive years. Voted on by the Lodge Executive Committee.

Tri-Cities – 2014

Past Lodge Chiefs

Baba Ganush               1940-1950
Unknown                      1951-1960
Unknown                      1961-1970
Davis Mackey               1971-1990
Kurt Koain                    1991-2012


Camp Wallowa opened in 1939 as a Boy Scout camp when Pacific Power and Light Company donated the land to the Blue Mountain Council, it was deeded formally on June 12, 1947. Although they were offered all the land from the existing camp property to the shores of Lake Wallowa, the Scouts chose to have only the existing camp property. The lake was used for waterfront activities until 1981. Staff had to move boats and docks from the camp to the lake and back again each camping season. Scouts participating in waterfront activities had to take a bus or walk to the lake. Once there, they found the water extremely cold.

Fire destroyed the dining hall in the fall of 1965. Order of the Arrow members were there at the time to help close the camp after a successful camping season. Scoutmaster Vern Harvey and Eagle Scout Steve Willi were sleeping in an area above the kitchen where the fire started. They were killed in the fire. The dining hall was rebuilt and Scout camping continued, though to this day we do not permit anyone to sleep in the dining hall under any circumstances.

In the mid 1970’s a spring flood of the Wallowa river washed out the bridge which had been used for access to the camp. The bridge was located at the bottom of the hill just about where the current bridge is located. This made access to the camp difficult, using the service road that passed by all the summer homes. The same year, flood water from BC Creek destroyed the water supply to the camp and piled dirt, logs and rocks against the uphill side of the dining hall. Use of Wallowa as a Scout summer camp was halted after the summer of 1981.

Beginning in about 1984 the Order of the Arrow has taken a keen interest in camp improvements. Most of the rocks and junk around the dining hall was cleaned up and removed. In the mid 1980’s plans were made to improve the camp so that it could be used as a training center and base camp for backpacking trips into the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area. Money for the projects has been limited and progress slow. The new look to the dining hall is an example of this work.

History Sub-Menu

The “A-frame” buildings called Headquarters, Pioneer, and Rotary and at the north end of camp were used for staff housing and guest quarters. Pioneer is in very poor shape and we recommend you stay away from it. The Headquarters building where the First Aid Lodge is located and is still in active use. Rotary is still used for Cub Resident Camp and other programs. When Wallowa was still a summer camp, the A-frames were used for senior staff housing while a number of smaller cabins were used for housing junior staff (all since removed).

A recent water improvement project by the town of Joseph provided the camp with a new water supply and the town as well. The water tank high on the hill behind us and the fire hydrants around camp are part of this project.

In 1996, the Wheeler Memorial Footbridge was constructed by the Rotary Clubs of La Grande, Baker, and Wallowa Counties. This donated bridge honors Wheeler, a US Forest Serviceman, Rotarian, and Scout Leader from Baker who was killed in the line of duty.

Landlocked salmon from Wallowa Lake still come to the base of the American Falls to spawn in the Wallowa River every fall. The water there is very cold and the current very swift.

To register your unit use Camp Wallowa, visit the Wallowa page.


The Papah – Lodge Newsletter

Early in the development of the lodge, communications played an important part in the promotion of activities and in keeping members informed. The official publication of the lodge for nearly fifteen years was the Walamootkin Newsletter. The paper was usually 8.5×13, various colors were used, and was mimeographed at the scout office in Walla Walla. The stencils were typed by the office secretary, based on proof sheets provided by the Lodge Vice-Chief. It was the main duty of the Lodge Vice-Chief for many years to serve as the editor of the newsletter.

Around 1965 the executive committee approved a more expensive form of printing the newsletter. The Kalitan (Chinook jargon for Arrow) was adopted as the official name and a printing company in Richland was contracted to print the newsletter. Offset style of printing would be employed and the editor was obliged to provide picture-ready proofs. For the first time pictures were featured and a double page 7×8.5 format was used. Modification in size was employed over the next ten years, but the basic layout remained the same.

When the decision to follow the Nez Perce Indian theme was made, the name of the newsletter was changed to Piama, meaning Brothers in the Nez Perce language. The format returned to 8.5×11, but no pictures.

For several years the newsletter did not appear in any regular pattern. By 1984 the paper was once again called the Walamootkin Newsletter, and this name was used until The Papah made its appearance in August of 1985. Papah means Message in Chinook jargon. The paper featured, once again, pictures and the double page 7×8.5 format. Offset printing was used again and for the first time, multicolor inks were used. The Lodge Publication Chairman served as editor of the newsletter and was required to prepare picture-ready copy to be printed by printers located in the Tri-Cities area. The papers would then be folded, printing labels made, and sorted by ZIP codes in the council service center. These projects were done by volunteer arrowmen, both youth and adult members.

During most of the 1980s and early 90s, 300 copies would be printed and distributed to members of the lodge. In addition, complimentary copies would be mailed to other lodges, section officers, and several lodges that agreed to exchange newsletters. By 1993 there were 350 names on the mailing list.