m Migisi Opawgan Lodge #162 - History 1989 - Now
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Migisi Opawgan
Lodge 162

Serving the Great Lakes Council since 1939

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Another memorable Migisi Moment

Another memorable Migisi Moment

Another memorable Migisi Moment

History 1989 - Now

Spring of 1988, was the first time National OA Committee allowed female membership to the order. The thought if females could be Scoutmasters why not members of the Order of the Arrow. Also a major change in the adult selection. Adults who were selected by their units, only ONE per year. would have to be screened by the Lodge Adviser then recommended to the Lodge Executive Committee for final approval. Each Adult would now had to fill out an application and answer basic skill questions. Our lodge believed in quality of its adults and didn' t just want an adult to receive a sash if he/she wasn't apart of the OA program. Either promoting within his/her unit or and active role in the lodge or chapter as an adviser. This proved to be a great opportunity to design service projects at our ordeals who were the most qualified. They could in turn bring their tools to camp and be ready for a productive weekend.

Fall 1989, the National OA Committee, on the eve of it's 75th Anniversary, released applications for the 75th Anniversary Award. This award was to recognize those youth/adult arrowmen for their serve to their home lodge. A list is enclosed below of all who received the award.

In summer 1990, as the lodge slowly developed better communications. It converted all lodge administration onto eletronic data. Lodge rules and procedures could now be updated easily and distributed faster. Forms and registration could be produced faster and records could be kept and updated easier. Under a new lodge leadership, the lodge embarked on trying to bring back old faces and improve it activism at our council camps. One thought was to start funding several lodge oriented projects which included the revamping of the Pedro Trail at D-Bar-A Scout Ranch. The project started with a meeting at D-A and a detailed mapping of the trails current markers.Then the committee marked off troubled areas.The lodge had voted to use 4x4 walmanized wood and put 'UU' on the posts, also some poles had arrows pointing directions, and number signifying mile, and 1/2 mile markers. The service project lasted for 2 years and a gateway was erected in Fall Conclave 1991, 'Pedro Trail Begins and ends here'. Another idea was for all the Lodge officers to rotate visit each chapter meeting so that feedback could be made at Lodge Leadership Committee meetings. This opened an channel to the lodge membership who normally didnt see its elected leaders except at Lodge events. Lodge Meteing were held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Detroit. Those meetings and committee meetings would be held there for 3 years.

Also in 1990, the lodge, after attending the EC-2a, EC-2b, state conclave, and noticing the nice fire bowl the camp had built. Hurried up the next and important project in years at D-A. The Trout Lake fire bowl was designed and installed by Ordeal candidates and long-standing lodge members. The project started in the Fall of 1990 and ended in the spring 1995. The original plans had 2 sections of 15 rows about 30 feet in width. In spring of 1995 the lodge added a third row to accommodate larger groups. A mound was added to secure the area, a sound system was donated, electricity and a control shed was built to control everything. If it werent for the efforts of Mahican Chapter the project might had lost steam and fell to the side.

Spring 1990, wood gazebo was built in the name of Harold Oatley, long time scouter, arrowman, Vigil Honor, Lodge Adviser in 3 different lodges in Michigan, and educator. There was also a campership setup by Harold Oatley trust fund to help Downriver Scout goto summer camp. This structure is the home of the only Boy Scout owned lifesize Lincoln Statue.

Summer Camp 1990, at both Cole Canoe Base and D-Bar-A Scout Ranch, Brotherhood ceremonies were held for those arrowman who worked on camp staff and who made the special trip. Call-out ceremonies were also held for troops who asked for them at the beginning of the summer camp week. This year our lodge felt in order for troops to get quality call-outs and elections that both camp directors would free up the camp chiefs role at summer camp and the lodge would reimburse them with $20.00 a each week. As long as all paper work was directed to the Council Service Center at the end of the week. This proved to help the camp chief recruit ALL arrowmen that worked on staff and have them help at the Friday camp fire. At Cole, there were 8 members helping, 6 members had received there brotherhood and the other 2 were vigil candidates. The ceremony consisted of 2 war canoes with 3 Arrowmen in each. The other 2 arrowmen on shore catching each canoe. next, the Chief entered the center of the camp fire said the magic word and the fire would mysteriously self ignite. Each Ordeal Candidate was escorted off to the side of Basco Lake and then given Ordeal Candidate letters and instructions for the upcoming lodge ordeal.

August 1990, Bloomington Indiana, National Order of the Arrow Conference, NOAC. This was also the 75th anniversary of the OA. Our lodge traveled by car and school bus. NOAC was a great time for all. Our lodge was honored by Chris Herring of Mahican chapter, not only did Chris place in the top ten in the Nation in southern fancy dancing but he made the cover of the NOAC newspaper. Our Lodge placed best in the nation for Founder Day, our lodge's booth was all about winter camping. Ok Pik Training and winter clothing templates. So each person who wanted one could take the correct size shoe, hat or mittens home to make out of open foamcore. Our lodge also brought along 62 members. At this event Vigil member Olliver Hilliker donated to the lodge, though the Lodge Chief a Olympus hand recorder which was to be used to take minutes at our lodge executive committee meetings. This gift was greatly used in the past few years.

February 1991, as promised to the Executive committee, the old Lodge Chief sash was to completed and donated to the OA Museium in Washington, Michigan, which a great deal of Mi-Gi-Si O-Paw-Gan Lodge memoralbilia is stored. A new sash was purchased by current lodge chief and past lodge chiefs. All the bead work was donated by past EC2b Section Adviser Butch Bison. A copy of the pattern and address of Mr Bison was left in the Lodge Chief box.

March 1991, Lodge structure had changed. Communication, Finance and Activities committees were reassigned and now the Communications would be the reponsibility of the Lodge Secretary, he would still have an adviser for the Lodge newletter and publishing lodge minutes. Finance would be the total burden of the Lodge Treasurer, he would also have a finance adviser to publish budgets and ammendments. Budgets were detailed to the penny and programs and events were given consideration from year to year upon financial success. Finally activities would be the job of the Lodge Vice Chief of Activities. He was doing the job anyways no reason to ask another youth to do something a elected officer was charged to do. He coordinate Lodge events like the Lincoln Pilgrimage and fellowship at lodge ordeals/fellowships and training weekends.

April 19-21, 1991, the lodge hosted the EC-2a Section Conclave at D-A Scout Ranch. As host lodge, each chapter had an equal responsibility. Achowalogen had signs and decorations, which included 2' x 4' posters from entrance to that lodge cabins. ; Lowanue Kuwe, had a big task of food. In order to have an accurate count for the conclave our lodge asked for each lodge to register by the Friday before the event. If a lodge registered late or had walk-ons then that lodge had a penalty cost added to there registration. Food was donated from local super markets in the fall then deep frozen to keep fresh. So there was plenty of food and the event made a great deal of money for the section. Mahican chapter handled the trading posts. Some of the items were an unbreakable (plastic) coffee mug with the conference logo. Conference activity pin and extra patches were also on sale. Wapeneu, handled health and safety of the event very well, without an injury. Finally Wsigau, they handled registration. At registration, only the Lodge Chief and Lodge Adviser registered there group and then at that time the pre-counted welcome packets were handed over. The packets included a welcome letter from the host Supreme Chief of the Fire, Host Lodge Chief, and Section Chief. Also training schedule, camp rules and clean-up procedures, pen, and loose leaf notebook paper to take notes.

For our lodge, the event was a great moral boost, 72 members participated, a former Lodge Chief Lee Gardy was Section Chief, former Lodge Secretary and later Section Chief Chris Marston was elected Section Secretary. Our Dance Team was in a prime position for NOAC. Chris Herring, George Kennedy, and Pat Foley took one, two and three in the southern fancy dance competition. At the morning of the section meeting, Lee Gardy received the Dan Ling Service award and our lodge, first time since 1977 had brought home the section coup stick.The section highest award for a lodges spirit.

May 1991, was a very busy month, four lodge events were held. Spring Ordeal at D-A, Annual Banquet May 29 and the Lodge Leadership Training/Vigil Weekend. At the spring ordeal, Wsigau was host chapter. Spirit was shown at each meal. Lodge songs and cheers were lead and practiced. Next was the Annual banquet, this was a time to elect officers and ceremonially turn over the lodge sash, gavel and chief bonnet. This years event was held at the All Saints Knights of Columbus hall in Taylor. Jay Bottorff stepped down as Lodge to hand over the lodge to Mike Bien. Mike would then congratuate his new officers and thanked Jay Bottorff, Chris Marston, Jeff Campbell, Chris Noyes, and Mike St. John for there job last year.

Summer 1991, Frank Powell Building was built in memory of Frank V. Powell, Camp Ranger 1950 - 1972, Vigil Honor member. Frank Powell had scene a great deal of change at D-Bar-A since the camp opened in 1951.

Lodge Officers Training/ Vigil weekend went off very well. This had also been the longest weekend of a out going or in coming officer. Each new officer and adviser was asked to be present so that their new position could get the right amount of attention by the end of the weekend. On Sunday the official lodge chief ceremony was made. this was done at the end of the last Executive Board Meeting. That way the new officers would get a feel how to run the meeting by the out going chief and all materials could be handed over. The lodge chief kept a grey box of supplies. Stapler, tape, marker, pens, Lodge event hanging folders and Nationa/Section updates. That way the lodge chief would have everything to be prepared for any meeting or an election. All of his committee forms were also included.

Spring 1992, Section Conclave, our lodge hosted training, the sylabus was taken from the 1990 NOAC and key training members carried out the task very well. After eight years of drought our lodge lead by Jamie Morin and Jay Bottorff, took home the Section George R Decourcey award. This award was to recognize the best camping promotion program a lodge has for the year. This award also gave the a chance for each lodge to share camping information and ideas to bring scouts to camp. The presentation was included statistics of the lodge proformance for the past 3 years, budget of lodge contributions to camp and total service hours to each camp. These hours only included physical man hours not campmaster weekends. The section believed that a lodge should be always trying to improve the look not just the program.

Fall 1994, the Lodge voted to help with the renovations of the Trout Lake cabin, all though the major construction was done by outside contractors. All of the wiring and furnishing were installed by lodge members. The central area of the cabing wa s moved out by 2 feet to help with the water damage problem a small slopping roof. the roof was also raised by 8 feet. The project took 6 months to complete. The cabin now shows the old clock from the CHR dining hall.

May 1995, Ordeal weekend at D-A, two 30 foot walking bridges were constructed, one over Trout Creek and other leading from Jacklord cabin the Jack Lord Firebowl.

February 1996, at the foot of the Harold Oatley gazebo is a head stone dedicated to George R.E.A. Thomas, long time scouter, Vigil Honor, Lodge historian from 1939 - 1959. The head stone is engraved the following: In memory of George Reber Thomas, May 5, 1912 - December 27, 1995. A Boy Scout for 71 years, Eagle Scout, American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln scholar. Hiked over 3200 miles of Lincoln Trails in 20 states, a true friend of all scouts.

July 1996, Gordon W Draper cabin was Rededicated at D-A during the week of Trail to Eagle Provisional camp. The endowment helps maintain the cabin for a lifetime. The Lodge voted to dispurse $6000.00 to bulid the new bathroom facility of this same building. Draper cabin was formally known as Tamarack.

May 1997, Ordeal Weekend at D-A, two 30 foot bridges were constructed on the south side of Trout lake. former sire of the Dad Hope bridge.

September 1997, Lodge Executive committee voted to host and run the 1997 Scout Trade-O-Ree at Ladbroke DRC in Livonia. The proceeded benefit the council camps. Youth arrowmen who helped out would be received benefits toward the 1998 NOAC.

December 1997, Annual Banquet. There was only three officers elected they were, Dan Rutty, Lodge Chief; Brian Slykhouse, Executive Vice Chief; Ryan Cole, Vice Chief of Activities. At the Chiefs year end report, Chris Kujan was proud to announce that every lodge and committee position was filled for this past year. Lodges youth involvement had grown and the lodge had grown to 715 members. Suprme Chief of the Fire, John Primrose also reinforced the Councils support and thanks to past and current officers and advisers who help in this great grow of over 200 members. Mr. Primrose also stated the lodges goal of 90 arrowmen to the 1998 NOAC and how possible it can be reached. The Lodge pasted out coupon for arrowman who were interested in going to NOAC.

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