Achewon Nimat Lodge 282

Order of the Arrow

San Francisco Bay Area Council #28

Copyright © 2006-2017 Achewon Nimat Lodge 282, San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, All Rights Reserved

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Achewon Nimat Lodge - History (Part 2)

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Achewon Nimat (our history continued):

Achewon Nimat would also use the totems from each of the two earlier lodges (the Bear from Machek N’Gult and the Indian head from Royaneh) to symbolize the joining of the two lodges together.  Achewon Nimat is one of the few lodges in the Country that uses two totems.  

With the joining of the two lodges it was difficult at first to get agreements as to anything because members from both lodges, still upset over the merger, didn’t want to speak to one another.  In fact for the first year both lodges operated as separate lodges so compromises had to be made.  


The first pocket patch issued by Achewon Nimat included a navy blue sky in honor of the Machek N’Gult Lodge colors and the second patch (issued in October 1965) included a light blue sky in honor of the Royaneh Lodge colors.  The name of the newsletter would continue to be called The Arrow Point which Machek N’Gult founded back in 1949.  At the end of the first full year as a combined lodge, Achewon Nimat carried out seven ordeals with the induction of 400 new members and sent 35 members to the National Order of the Arrow conference in Bloomington, Indiana.

Ordeals or service projects where held at each of the six council camps (Dimond-O, Willits, Los Mochos, Loomer, Lilienthal and Royaneh) using ceremony sites that had been previously used by the former Lodges.  The ceremony site at Los Mochos (known as Cardiac Hill) which had been created by Machek N’Gult Lodge in the early 1950’s and was one of the most spectacular ceremony sites of all the camps.  The site was located across from the entrance gate at Los Mochos on a hillside overlooking the canyon.  

As a Brotherhood candidate in the late 1970’s I still vividly remember the hike down the main camp road at Los Mochos and looking across the canyon to the hillside trail illuminated by the small smudge pots and the roaring fire atop the rock outcropping.  As we made our way up the trail, the giant rock was illuminated by the fire.  Mark Rickey, in the role of Meteu, was standing in front of the Brotherhood candidates with his large shiny buck knife drawn and pointing to the sky waiting to draw blood from the next candidate.  As I looked around, each of the candidates had a look of horror in their faces as Mark would draw that cold steel knife across our hands to signify the bond of brotherhood.

In 1966 with Kirby Childres as Lodge Chief held six ordeals where 316 new members were inducted into the lodge.  During this same year, many of the districts merged in 1966 following the merger of councils two years earlier.  Live Oak village was formed by the merger of Central & Castle districts; Golden Acorn village was formed the merger of Lake and Sunset districts, Charrowood village was formed by the merger of Chabot, Arroyo and Redwood districts, Golden Gate was formed by the merger of Embarcadero, Mission Trails and McLaren Park districts, Serra was formed by the merger of Sunset west and Lake Merced districts, El Camino was formed by the merger of Twin Peaks and District 10 and Balboa was formed by the merger of Buena Vista and Richmond Districts.

The annual Mikemosin (lodge business meeting) was held at the Snow building in Oakland’s Knowland Park where Grant Young from Live Oak was chosen to be the Lodge Chief for 1967.  During the meeting the lodge chose to purchase four teepees and that the use of the word “Chapter” should be changed to “Village” as village sounded more Indian-like.

In February of 1967, a group of 40 arrowmen from Live Oak Village planted over 500 Ponderosa Pines at Willits Scout Reservation as a service project.  Many of those trees are still thriving today and providing shade for both the scouts and the local animal population.  During April the dance team performed at the new Oakland Coliseum complex for the Scout-O-Rama in front of 23,000 attendees.

In 1968 during Wayne Butler’s administration, the lodge began to grow internally.  The Lodge rules and Lodge directory were established and finally the whole idea of disunity within the lodge due to the merger three years prior seemed to have disappeared.  The lodge held its annual banquet at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland and the lodge ended the year with 1500 members.

Lodge Chief Steve Wilhite started the year off strong as many of the previous committee chairmen continued in their positions producing experienced and qualified leaders.  Procedures were setup for Brotherhood and Vigil ceremonies and the finishing touches were added to the lodge rules.  


An accident at Camp Royaneh during one of the ordeals sent Steve to the hospital and forced Vice-chief Mark McMullin to take on the reigns of the lodge for a period of time.  The year 1969 ended with an inspiring moment at the Lodge Banquet where outgoing chief Steve Wilhite was given a standing ovation.  

A number of major changes took place in the lodge during 1970.  The wampum bead system was developed to show the history of an arrowman’s activity in the lodge.  Each of the colored beads stood for a type of activity. Large Red beads were for each honor, small red beads were for each ordeal you attended, white beads for each village meeting, black beads for each LECM and so forth. A listing of the beads and their colors is located in the appendix section of this document.

In October of 1970 the “one per life” restricted Brotherhood Lodge Flap was released.  The flap was made available to all Brotherhood and Vigil members of the lodge and each patch was numbered and signed for.  A total of 604 Brotherhood patches were handed out between 1970 and 1979 when all restricted patches were discontinued by the OA. Brotherhood patches #1, #282 and #375 were never released due to their number significance and are still maintained in the Lodge archives.  The other major change to the lodge was that the lodge year was changed from January/January to September/September to follow the typical school year.  1970 also marked the year in which the most arrowman were ever a part of Achewon Nimat when the year ended with 1535 registered members.

The following year Don Wilkinson became the first person from Achewon Nimat lodge to receive the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor that the National Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members.  The DSA honor was presented to Don at the 1971 NOAC at the University of Illinois.  As 1972 came to a close, “Area 12-B” which our lodge and former lodges had been associated with since 1947 was reconfigured into Section W3A.

In 1973 the lodge adopted a new Chapter system where the lodge was divided into three sections.  The East bay (Live Oak, Golden Acorn, Charrowood), the West bay (SF area) and the South Bay (Hayward, Fremont, Twin Valley).  Ultimately the East Bay would take the name Machek N’Gult Chapter, the South bay took the name Ohlone Chapter and the West bay took the name Royaneh Chapter.

The first annual Winter Camp Awareness indoor seminar was held in January 1974 on Treasure Island in one of the old historic aircraft hangers.  The first WCA was attended by over 500 scouts from all over the Council where they were taught the fundamentals of Winter Camping.  In 1975, Achewon Nimat was host to the W3A Section Conclave at Fort Cronkhite in Marin County.  The theme of the conclave was “Held Tightly Every Link” and as a special bonus, Dr. E Urner Goodman, founder of the Order of the Arrow, attended the Conclave.  

At the conclave, Achewon Nimat took home our first ever award for the Most Indian Lodge.  It was during this same awards ceremony that Dr. Goodman presented Section W3A with the first ever National Standard Section Award.  Many of the arrowmen in attendance had the honor of getting their sashes signed and pictures taken with Dr. Goodman including Machek N’Gult Chapter chief Jerry Sakamoto.  Unfortunately Jerry’s mom washed his sash and along with it Dr. Goodman’s signature.

In September of 1975, the name of Machek N’Gult chapter which had been around since the merging of the two lodges was renamed to Wekemnayon chapter.  Rumors swirled about why the name had to be changed but this would be the last time that the name Machek N’Gult was officially used by Achewon Nimat.


In 1979 the first Winter Camp Awareness outdoor session was held near Lake Tahoe and this year also marked the beginning of the end for the old lodge paper records.  Starting in 1979 with the aid of a Radio Shack TRS-80 “supercomputer”, Don Wilkinson and the Lodge began the daunting task of converting all of the old Machek N’Gult, Royaneh and Achewon Nimat membership records over into an electronic database.  Achewon Nimat was one of the first Lodges in the Country to convert our membership and financial records into an electronic database format.  Previously all membership records were contained on a 3 x 8 visual record cards

At the 1980 lodge banquet held at the Presidio Officers club in San Francisco, Lodge members feasted on such delicacies as Veal Cordon Bleu and BBQ ground round steak.  During the dinner events like blowing up balloons without the use of your hands and keeping a balloon aloft the longest provided fun and amusement for the on-lookers.  Winners of these events won a free trip to the 1980 Section Conclave at Camp Parks.  Near the end of the year, the Order of the Arrow was saddened by the death of Dr. E Urner Goodman, founder of our Order.

Live Oak village hosted a snow trip in Bear Valley at the start of 1981 that was attended by both village and lodge members.  The lodge stayed at a three story cabin that could only be reached by hiking up a snow covered road for a mile.  Toboggans, inter-tubes and skiing at nearby Mt Reba was the activities for the weekend.  A great spaghetti dinner with all the fixins was prepared by village adviser Adrian Stith.

(Part 3 - click here)

Copyright © 2006-2017 Achewon Nimat Lodge 282, San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, All Rights Reserved

1001 Davis Street, San Leandro, CA  94577-1514, (510) 577-9000  |  Site Map  |  Site Info and Policies  |  Contact Webmaster