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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Machek N’Gult Lodge - History (Part 1)

Oakland Area Council (Founded June 1916):

Scouting in Oakland officially began on September 16, 1910 when the first “Scout” troop was formed by A. Patterson Jr of Telegraph Ave. In an article from the Oakland Tribune, “The boys will have regular Scout uniforms and if possible guns”. It is not known how many boys actually signed up with the first Scout troop in Oakland however the following month the First Presbyterian church at 26th and Broadway formed the first Scout patrol in Oakland consisting of five boys; Chris Milsich, Alfred Wollitz, Arthur Cross, Max Nye and G. Boyes with LN Brasfield as its first scoutmaster. ln November of that same year, the Scouting movement was formerly launched in Oakland under the American Boy Scout movement. Colonel George Dickie, superintendent of playgrounds for the Oakland Public schools was the President of the committee. Plans were also made for a permanent headquarters in Oakland.

Only a couple months later in January of 1911, the Oakland and San Francisco Boy Scouts disassociated themselves from the American Boy Scouts due to its funding practices and military associations and became associated with the California Boy Scouts that was also formed in San Francisco. For some unknown reason this too was short lived as George Dickie led a committee fo

establishing an Oakland contingent of Boy Scouts of America shortly thereafter.

On March 11, 1911 the Boy Scouts of Oakland held a meeting to consider the future plans of the organization. The members agreed to withdraw from the California Boy Scouts and to apply for a charter from the Boy Scouts of America, of which Ernest Thompson Seton was one of the foremost men. As new members of the Boy Scouts of America, both the Oakland Scouts and the San Francisco Scouts celebrated by holding a combined camp-out near the end of March. This relatively small group of Oakland and San Francisco Scouts camped as a group on the grounds of the Francis M Smith reserve in the Oakland hills for the first time. Each scout was outfitted with a "billy" which consisted of a tin bucket with a lid in which was carried a knife, cup, spoon and provisions for two days and a blanket. Lieutenant Edward Kendrick of the Oakland Scouts was in command and instructed the new recruits in the ways of camp life and how to light fires and cook their foods. Five years later on Friday June 2, 1916 a meeting was held at the Hotel Oakland where the Boy Scouts of Oakland and Piedmont were formerly organized as the Oakland-Piedmont Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Supervising the meeting was Harry Cross, National Field Scout Commissioner of the Pacific Coast District. The Oakland Council was the third “First Class” council in California to be formed after the Los Angeles Council and the Berkeley Council were created. To lead the Oakland Scout Council was Volkert (VO) Lawrence, the President of the Oakland Rotary club, who would serve as its first President and H. Richard Wilson was tapped to serve as the first Scout Executive. Wilson formerly was a Physical Education teacher at UC Berkeley before becoming the first Scout Exec of the Berkeley Council in January of the same year.

In January of 1919, the Oakland Council seeking a permanent location for both a summer camp and week-end camp site was able to purchase a 28 acre section of the 474 acre Francis M Smith Reserve in the Oakland hills for $20,000 (roughly $800 per acre). As scouting continued to grow additional buildings were added to Camp Dimond including a 5000 sq ft mess hall, a 2000 seat cement amphitheater and a 300,000 gallon swimming pool. Camp Dimond was known as one on the premier scout camps of the west coast from 1919 until the late 1940’s with over 3000 scouts per year using the facilities.

In 1922, three years before the Knights of Dunamis was founded by the San Francisco council, one of the first Eagle Scout associations in the nation was formed at Camp Dimond. The Eagle association in Oakland was known as the “Tribe of the O-hit-e-kah” and had tribes in California and New York. It is our firm belief that the idea to create an Eagle Scout association in San Francisco originated from Scout Exec Homer Bemiss. Bemiss and Hanson were good friends and they shared their ideas of Scouting (Bemiss was the Assistant Scout Exec for Hanson from 1917 until 1919) Hanson took the Eagle association idea, expanded it and created the Knights of Dunamis for the San Francisco Council in 1925. By 1935 the Knights of Dunamis was officially designated as part of the scouting program. The Eagle association in Oakland was disbanded and became one of the Chapters of the Knights of Dunamis (Chapter 40).

In October of 1925 with the need for additional camping facilities, the Oakland Council was able to acquire the assets of a former logging camp near Yosemite. The new mountain camp would be called Dimond-O as the new camp was the “Outpost” for Camp Dimond.

During the 1938/39 World’s Fair held on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Camp Dimond was used as the local campground for Troops visiting the fair. Five years later in 1944 the East Bay Automotive Machinists Union 1546 donated 646 acres of land south of Livermore for use as a Scout Camp. The new Oakland camp would be known as Ranchos Los Mochos.

All three camps, Camp Dimond in Oakland, Dimond-O near Yosemite and Rancho Los Mochos outside of Livermore were instrumental in the growth of the Order of the Arrow in the Oakland Council. But for Machek N’Gult lodge, Camp Dimond was the birthplace for the Order of the Arrow.

(Part 2 - 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