Otena Lodge History

Order of the Arrow

Note:  The Otena Lodge consolidated with the Kotso Lodge, Abilene, on January 1, 2004 and formed a new Penateka Lodge #561 as part of the Texas Trails Council, BSA.  The history of Otena Lodge goes to January 17, 2004 and their final Annual Banquet.  Go HERE to read the new e-book on Otena Lodge

Tribe of the Black Arrow 1930
Kunieh Tribe 1934
Otena Lodge 1945
  Name and Totem
  Gee Lodge
  First Brotherhood Members
  Women in the Lodge
Lodge Patches
  Anniversary Patches
Lodge Neckerchiefs
E. Urner Goodman Camping Award
Lodge Chiefs
Lodge Advisers
Supreme Chiefs of the Fire
Section Conclaves
50 Anniversary
Vigil Honor Members
Founder's Award
Last Otena Lodge Banquet
Four Winds Ceremony
Ric Wilkins Memories in the '50s.

Tribe of the Black Arrow

The seed for the organization of the Otena Lodge , Order of the Arrow, was sown some seventeen years before the lodge was chartered. This seed was the result of a Scout Troop 2 going to another council's summer  camp for a week of fun and adventure in 1928. This troop spent much of their free time working with Chief Red Eagle on Indian lore. Little did they know that this camp would eventually affect hundreds of Scouts in the next 75 years.

The Tribe of the Black Arrow was the very first Indian organization in the council.  Gaitha Browning, along with C. L. Pouncey,  were the the organizers of the group.  In a letter dated February 18, 1973, Browning said that “This group did much to hold Scouting together in this area, going to many places to perform.  It also produced several outstanding Indian Lore experts who got jobs with summer camps form Wisconsin to Florida, Georgia, Texas and over the South, 12:14 PM 12/17/99 thus spreading the once thin line of dancers to other places.”  The idea for the Black Arrow organization came from the many hours Scouts spent at summer camp with Jim Red Eagle and his wife Inez.  Browning said “He was a fine craftsman and we learned that from him.  His programs by the campfire were wonderful indeed to a boy, and he held them spellbound each night with dances and really fine legends.  It was the magic spell we needed before a nights sleep.” 

It was from this group of Scouts who enjoyed Indian lore with Jim Red Eagle that the Tribe of the Black Arrow was organized. It started out in Troop 2 of Brownwood of which C. L. Pouncey was Scoutmaster and Gaitha Browning and Stuart Painter were Scouts.  After they returned from summer camp at Camp Fawcett, they began to build Indian costumes and put on ceremonies. 

Order of the Black
                  Arrow at Lucas Cabin in 1932.Photo of the Tribe of the Black Arrow taken in 1934 in the Troop 2 Scout Hut at Lucas Pecan farm.  Left to right, back row: Gaither Browning, 5th, with horn bonnet, Stuart Painter to right of him.  Front row:  Kneeling with bow, Lowell Pouncey; with drum, Cliff Pouncey.

In August 1930, at their newly completed Scout cabin at Lucas Pecan Farm, they had one of the best  ceremonies yet put on by the troop.  Pouncey introduced each person with their Indian name such as Chief Running Elk (Gaitha Browning), Thundering Buffalo (Stuart Painter), Slow Turtle (Lowell Pouncey), Fleetfoot (Earl Baker), Blue Arrow (Jack Schlueter) and Sapwood (Larkey Fowery).  They had dancing to a drum, fire lighting ceremony, talking in Indian sign language, and other ceremonies that night.   After the ceremony was over, pictures of the boys were taken around the fire and several spent the night in the cabin. 

When C. L. Pouncey became the Acting Scout Executive of the Pecan Valley Council, the following month, he took that same group of boys from his troop, all friends of his sons, and organized what he called the “Council of Black Arrow” to promote Indian Lore and stimulate interest in Scouting around the council. 

The group was first used in September 26, 1930, when they had a special council campout at Paint Rock.  A few days later he took some of  the group to Lampasas to put on an Indian ceremony to stimulate the troop there.  They later became known as the “Black Arrow Society.” 

Like many groups of its time, they became a very popular organization and had over 100 Scouts participating in the group.  They created three “ranks” in the Tribe - Hunter, Brave and Warrior. To be a member of the Tribe one had to make leggings, breech clout, brow band and moccasins. One coup feather was presented to the new member by the Chief.  In addition, they had to know all of the Second Class Indian Sign language, know toe-heel and single snake dance steps and make a fire by flint and steel. 

The Society was used over the next several years to put on Indian Ceremonies in various towns and at special activities.  Some of them taught Indian lore at Scout camp.  They continued to be active until they again talked Pouncey into organizing the Kunieh Tribe in 1934.
Back to Index

Kunieh Tribe

Leather patch given to 
Kunieh Tribe members. 
Leather Kunieh patch.Ernie A. Meyer, a former Lodge Chief of the Otena Lodge, provided the following information concerning the Kunieh Tribe  in the Comanche Trail Council.  "The Kunieh Tribe was started at the original camp (Camp Billy Gibbons) in 1934. Gaitha  Browning had been a member in the Waco (Scout) Camp, came back and discussed this with Mr. C.L. Pouncey, who was then (Acting) Scout Executive (and his former Scoutmaster). Mr. Pouncey got the necessary materials from the National Office and the first meetings were held in the first Billy Gibbons Camp at the mouth of Brady Creek in the summer of 1934. The canyon, where the ceremonies were held, was known as Kunieh Draw and it circled the campfire area in the same way as the canyon does at the current Camp Billy Gibbons.

The organization continued to be well organized up until the time the National Scout Office replaced this with the Order of the Arrow in 1945.  Shown on the left is Eagle Scout Winston Bowles of Eastland when he was "Fire Lighter" during a Kunieh ceremony.

"The two organizations are similar, except Kunieh was more Indian oriented, using many Indian Legends and Indian Poetry in their ceremonies. The Kunieh and Order did differ in that the members of the Kunieh Lodge selected the candidates, whereas in OA, the Troops choose the candidates. Also, Kunieh induction and calling out ceremonies were not open to the non-members. 

"Besides this, there was no official national patch (in this council), or official lodge name. Many of the old Kunieh leaders went on to become Scout leaders, and at least one was a Scout Executive for many years. Several were killed in WWII. A few still lived in Brownwood - Mr. C.L. Pouncey, his sons Lowell and Glen (all deceased), Gaitha Browning, Manley Webb, and John Wood. 

"The first meeting place of the Kunieh was up on a rocky canyon South of the old Scout Camp. There an altar was built, and many paintings done on the rocks telling the story on the Kunieh organization. Gaitha Browning painted these rock pictures in Indian fashion and some of them may still be there.” According to James B. White, M.D., “The paintings were placed in a rocky overhang and shaded by scrub trees so that they are never touched by sunlight or rain.” 

Gaitha Browning confirmed Mayer’s account of the Kunieh Society in his letter of February 18, 1973, when he wrote: “When the first honor organization was organized by Dad (C. L. Pouncey) and I, I painted the insignia and story on the cliff where the meetings were.  I was very proud of this as I was the first honor Scout in the Council, having been taken into this organization on a teaching trip in camp at Waco, then I came back and Dad and I went to work and organized the Kunieh. Now those paintings on the cliff are regarded as ‘old Indian’ by everyone.  They have weathered beautifully and were done on the style of the early cliff paintings - so, the story of this has now become legend, after a short 40 or 45 years.  It belongs to legend for it is truly part of the land and the people.” 

For additional information on the Tribe of Kunieh go to David Eby's excellent history of this group found at: http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/honorsociety/kunieh.html

Back to Index

Otena Lodge

The Otena Lodge was born out of the Kunieh Tribe and was chartered on May 24, 1945. Application for a charter was made by the Comanche Trail Council on May 1, 1945, by the Council Executive board. E. J. Miller was President of the Council, Henry Wilson was Chairman of the Camping  Committee and Guy N. Quirl was Scout Executive.  The Otena Lodge was given the number 295 as it was the 295th Lodge to be chartered by the Order of the Arrow.  The first Lodge Chief was Connie Mack Hood of Breckenridge, now living in Midland. The first members of the lodge, of course, were all the current members of the Kunieh Tribe. 

James B. White, M.D. wrote “That, of course, was true, but there is a flip to that in that not all of us in the initial ‘45 class were members of Kunieh.  Those of us who were first inducted into OA were then later inducted into Kunieh and then Kunieh was disbanded.  Those of us who were in that later group felt that we were ‘short changed’ as the Kunieh ordeal was done in a half-hearted sort of way, i.e. we didn’t make an arrow for example.  I might also mention that for many of us, the Kunieh was considered a much greater honor than the OA - probably because there were much fewer candidates called and the selection was based on being recognized as worthy by the campwide membership rather than being selected by your own troop.”
Back to Index

Name and Totem

The name "Otena" is translated as "place of the adobe", "place of the teepee", or "lodging." Thus, the totem of the Lodge was a teepee and was used for many years on their patches and neckerchiefs. The Indian headdress is also used along with the teepee as the totem of the Lodge. 

    Photo of ceremony at Camp Billy Gibbons in 1955.
In 1946 the Lodge held its first campfire to call out new candidates. Some 48 new members were inducted at the old Camp Billy Gibbons.   The new Lodge played a major role in moving the camp equipment to the new Camp Billy Gibbons later that year as its first service project. By the end of 1946, their first full year as a lodge, they had 132 members registered, having inducted 48 new members during the year. That same year the first two Brotherhood members were inducted in ceremonies at another lodge. 

By 1953 there were 94 youth and 25 adults registered as members of the Lodge with a yearly budget of $127.00. The first edition of "Onward and Upward" was printed and for the first time Otena sent delegates to the National Order of the Arrow Conference.  The first Spring Conference of the Lodge was held at Camp Billy Gibbons on March 10-12, 1954, while Dabney Kennedy served as Lodge Chief.

Under the leadership of Lodge Chief Bryan Healer, the Lodge was divided into two chapters in 1956. He picked up the idea during the Lodge's participation in the 9-D Area Meeting held at Camp Karankawa in August of 1956. At the same time a call went out to the Lodge by the Lodge Chief for members to design its first flap patch. The rules stated that "The patch must contain the information of the Lodge, such as: Otena Lodge #295, Comanche Trail Council." A prize was to be given during the Christmas Banquet for the best design. 
Back to Index

Gee Lodge

The present Gee Lodge at Camp Billy Gibbons was started in 1958, built and paid for by Otena Lodge. It was designed to be a five-year project costing $1,000.00. Dabney Kennedy was the prime mover and designer of this project. Donations were accepted from many people including Arrowmen who paid their $1.00 dues five years in advance. Other donations were given by Dr. Nathan Cedars, Stephenville Hospital; Calvin Barkley, Palace Drug; Brownwood, and James D. King, Brownwood Superintendent of Schools.  Davis Floral, Manley Webb and Brownwood School District donated most of the trucks, tractors, and equipment needed to build the lodge. Work weekends over several years were needed to build the road, pour the concrete foundation, gather rocks, build the walls, fireplace and set the steel windows. 
Photo of Gee Lodge at Camp Billy Gibbons 
Their plans were to lay the foundation before the summer of 1959 was over. By September of 1960 the rock part of the wall, cement floor and plumbing were completed. They were now ready to start on the walls and roof. The rock for the walls was gathered by OA members during their Ordeals. By April 1962, they still lacked the windows and fireplace. Raymond Richardson was not an OA member, but an expert rock mason. He was responsible for building the walls and the fireplace. Reve Ponder related that as a little girl she used to go out to camp with her father Bill Lynn as he worked on the Lodge. She remembers that the weekend they finished the fireplace that it started to snow. It was so cold that they went ahead and built a fire in the fireplace even though the cement was not totally dry. 

The building was finally completed and the lodge was dedicated during summer camp in 1963. When Lois Gee passed away on October 11, 1977, the building was named in his memory and is known to this day as "Gee Lodge."  During the 80's a portion of the North end of the Lodge was petitioned off and converted into the First Aid Lodge for the camp when the State Health Department would no longer allow the camp to use the room at the end of the dining hall for this purpose.
Back to Index

Calling Out Ceremony

Mrs. J. C. Gibson of Richland Springs wrote a story about the calling out ceremony held by the Lodge at Camp Billy Gibbons. Her son, John Gibson, of Richland Springs Troop 36, was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in the summer of 1976. He received his Brotherhood in in 1978 and served on the summer camp staff. 

“The moon is almost full and sheds its soft light. As you cross Plum Hollow you are told to remain silent cross your arms Indian fashion. As you near the Council Ring of the Otena Lodge you hear the chant of young Scout Braves.  ‘You are an outsider,’ but you will know by the sincere deep ring of the young male voices that this is important to them, therefore you respect their ceremonies and your privilege as a visitor to sit on the outside circle of their council. 

"The whispering boughs of the cedar are accompanied by the beat of a slow tom-tom drum and from the east comes the figure of an Indian and he explains that the Order of the Arrow is based on service and brotherhood.  Still yet another Indian all in full regalia steps forth and invokes the blessings of the spirits in traditional Indian fashion (using the Four Winds Ceremony). Through all of this the tom-tom holds the cadence of the speakers as they circle the council ring. 

“Then comes the Indian Scout Dancers. You are told how the Indian used the dance to express his many and varied ways of life. It was a great part of the young braves' life to be able to dance in the Council Ring and these young scouts were no different. They began with the Indian heel dance and the cadence of the tom-tom picked up a faster beat. 

"Then came stories in pantomime dancing that told of evil spirits and their removal by the medicine man. 

"Now the fun is over and the time for the chosen ones to be called. All is silent, save the wind whispering through the cedar boughs and the crackle of the council fire. 

"Suddenly, as if by magic across a deep ravine and high atop a bluff is a flaming arrow. From the council ring this gigantic arrow looks 20 feet long with the flames outlining it making it look even larger. Then a loud voice breaks the stillness and says, 'Many are called, but few are chosen' and the young scouts wait in rigid expectation. 

"If you are called you are to stand up and remove your shirt. Then you are escorted not too gently by a young Indian brave to where the Chief officially 'taps' you for the Order of the Arrow. 

"Just one name at a time is comes booming into the silence and the chief is his beautiful headdress taps you and you are escorted out of the council ring into the deep ravine. This means you are on your own and your ordeal begins. 

"From the moment you stand you have just one year to fulfill the tasks the Lodge brother put before you. 

"When the call out voice is silent and the sounds of  the night are again upon you, you hear the call of the Whip-o-will and your spine tingles because you really know it is the call of one of the Indians to another. Then from the bluff comes the screech of an owl answered again by the plaintiff Whip-o-will. 

"You leave as you are politely bid to do, filled with curiosity as to what the night holds. Somehow you are sure your son or brother will be a better person if he is man enough to perform the tasks set forth for him to fulfill.

Photo of modern day Calling Out Ceremony at Camp 
Calling Out Ceremony at Camp
                Billy Gibbons.The Order of the Arrow is something all scouts reach for. It is not unattainable. It is based on cheerfulness, service, and brotherhood. 

"The first ordeal may be passed within one year - the other two may take an entire lifetime. It depends on the candidate for the degree." 

Mrs. Gibson pretty well describes what the calling out ceremony has been for many years at Camp Billy Gibbons. Only a few changes have been made over the years. The Scouts no longer remove their shirts before having a wreath placed around them and they are treated more gently as they are led around the council ring to the bluff, all brought about by changes in time. But as she said, "Many are called, but few are chosen." In the fifty-eight year history of the lodge over 1,500 Scouts and Scouters in the Comanche Trail Council have been called to membership in the OA.

The Four Winds Ceremony has been used to open their campfire since the lodge was formed in 1945 and has been used in the council's summer camps since 1922.  We have included this ceremony in Otena's history for all to enjoy.  Go HERE for the ceremony. 

Another tradition that the lodge used in the Calling Out Ceremony for many years has been a flaming arrow.  The arrow is set on a bluff overlooking the council ring.  At first, the arrow was wrapped in burlap, soaked with kerosene, and was lighted at the  beginning of the calling out ceremony itself. However, the arrow tended to come apart as the burlap burned and did not last through the evening.  The National Order of the Arrow ended the practice of using kerosene in camp in early 1993.  To replace the use of kerosene, an engineer Scouting in Stephenville came up with the idea of using an arrow with gas holes in the metal pipe, fed by propane, much like the burners on a stove.  The first arrow of this new invention did not distribute the gas evenly around the arrow, so a second attempt was made to improve the flow of the gas.  This arrow proved to be a great improvement over the last one.  It is still in use today and is always supervised by an adult.

Ric Wilkins recalls his memories of the induction ceremony and his experiences in the lodge in the 1950's.  You can read his story by going HERE.

A story came from Perry Winkler.  He  was a Ranger at Camp Mauritz for Gulf Coast Council, now South Texas.  Lou and Blackie are Lou Carter, Jr., Area 9d chief from 307 in 1961, and Robert Blackmon, who tapped Roger Schustereit out in 1960. 

"Lou or Blacky,"

"Was it not at the 1961 area 9D meeting that you wanted a fire lighting that was similar to what Tracy was doing in camp? I told one of you that we didn't have the aircraft  nicrome wire that Tracy used on his fire lighting and that we had to do something different.

"If I recall correctly (and that may not be) we went to the Ranger at Camp Billy Gibbons and he gave us a roll of wire that was normally used for bailing hay and a 12 inch X quarter inch copper tube that would slide over the wire. We strung that from a tree top (which we climbed with a ladder) across the river or creek and it ended up in the campfire set up in a big open area at Billy Gibbons. We wrapped toilet paper tightly around the quarter inch X 12 inch copper tube and soaked it  with diesel. We could light it from up in the tree and it would slide down the wire to the campfire as you either Lou or  Blacky raised your hands to the four winds.

"It went down about halfway (over the middle of the river or creek) and hung. It stayed there about 15 or 20 seconds and then started sliding the rest of the way down. I was mystified as what had happened and the Ranger said we must have had a small kink in the bailing wire. The wire which after it got hot with the torch hanging on it allowed it to smooth out enough to allow the torch to slide the rest of the way down. He also mentioned we were really lucky that that kink didn't break when it heated up. Is any of this familiar to either of you??"

Back to Index

First Brotherhood Members

The first Brotherhood members were welcomed into the Lodge in 1950. Their ceremony was held in another lodge as there was no one in the lodge who could do the honors. Only one member was known to be in the lodge in 1951. We do not know who these persons were. The following year, thirteen Otena members were inducted into the Brotherhood Honor. The induction was held during an Area meeting at Camp Tom Wooten located just outside Austin, Texas, on Bull Creek. This was the summer camp of the Capital Area Council.  A special calling out ceremony was used in 1953 to call out the Brotherhood candidates at camp. 


The first copy of the Lodge newsletter Volume 1, Number 1, "Onward and Upward" was published on February 1, 1955. It was a one page newsletter printed on a mimeograph machine on tan legal size paper. The first newsletter gave a report on the 1954 Christmas Banquet and Winter camp. There were one hundred Arrowmen and their guests present at the December 28th banquet. It was held at the Brownwood Hotel Roof Garden and they had to battle the snow storm on their way home after bringing to a close the most successful Third Annual Banquet of the Order of the Arrow. 
Back to Index

Women in the Lodge

Betty Hart, an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 103, Eastland, and Reve Ponder, Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 1, Brownwood who had spent many weekends with her dad at camp years before, were the first women inducted into the Otena Lodge. This was accomplished at the summer induction in 1991 during Perry A. "Butch" Wakefield, Jr.'s term as Lodge Chief.  In the summer of 1993, Cathy Maples, Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 99 of Lampasas, was inducted into the Ordeal, thus becoming the third female to be in the Lodge.  Carlo Goodwin, Assitant Scoutmaster of Troop 12, Brownwood, was the fourth female to be inducted into the Lodge. 

Both Reve Ponder and Betty Hart achieved the Vigil Honor.
Back to Index

Lodge Patches

The first patch of the Lodge was created in 1952 and was designed to be worn on the right pocket of the uniform as a temporary patch. Dabney Kennedy, Lodge Secretary, designed the patch with a red border. In the center was a teepee with an arrow going up at an angle from left to right. The words "Comanche trail Council, B.S.A., WWW" were printed across the top of the circle. In the center of the teepee was "Otena Lodge 295." This first patch had the "Arrow" pointed from left to right on the patch because that was the symbol of the "Ordeal." A person wore a the sash with the Arrow pointing over his left shoulder.  When he achieved the "Brotherhood Honor," he switched his sash to his right shoulder to symbolize that honor. 

During 1956 the first Lodge patch for wear on the right pocket flap of the Scout uniform was designed and sold to members in the Lodge for thirty-five cents each. The patch was designed by Dabney Kennedy after seeing them at an Area meeting. This first pocket flap had a white background with a black border. Across the top of the patch was a red arrow pointed to the left with the word "Otena" inscribed on through the arrow. Below this was a teepee with "295" in the center. A "W" was located on each side of the teepee with one inside the teepee just above the "295." Feathers formed the bottom border of the flap. 

The present Ordeal Patch was designed around 1968 and had seven colors. It had a black border and a blue background with twenty feathers hanging from the bottom of the flap. One could buy the patch for $1.00. The teepee was kept on the design from the old patch but moved to the left side of the patch. A new Indian Head, which would later be used along with the teepee as the Lodge totem, was placed on the right side of the patch .
Back to Index

Brotherhood/Vigil Patch

An announcement was made in the July 30, 1969, issue of the Lodge Newsletter that the Lodge now had a special flap for both Brotherhood and Vigil members. The patch was fully embroidered in ten colors and had two red Brotherhood bars on the left side of the patch and a red Vigil triangle on the right side of the patch. A Region 9 shield was in the middle with its five feathers dropping below the bottom of the flap. The Indian head was superimposed over the shield. This patch was only available at lodge functions at Camp Billy Gibbons. 

Later, both Brotherhood and Vigil patches were designed for the lodge.  Here are the last patches used in the lodge for Brotherhood and Vigil members. 


Several times they have had a special flap made to take with them to the conference to trade.  Here is one of the more recent patches that was taken to the 2002 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC).  It was called the Dr. Pepper patch.  You can make out the ghost printing on the left and right side of the patch. "NOAC 2002" and "Otena 295"

Back to Index

Anniversary Patches

Believing that the Lodge was 50 years old in 1990, a special patch was issued to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the Lodge and the 75th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow. Only one of these events proved to be true! This was not discovered until the following year when interest was generated to write a history of the Lodge.   Gordon Place designed the colorful patch. An Arrowman could purchase one patch at each activity that he attended plus an extra one when he paid his dues. All patches were sold out within one year. 

A new Fiftieth Anniversary patch was designed in 1994 for the "real" anniversary. The Lodge decided to reissue the original 1956 lodge patch but add "1945-1995" to the patch and a white Scout emblem in the background. The patch was made available to anyone who wanted to purchase it.

For a list of all the patches of the Otena Lodge go to: http://www.otena.com/otena_Flap_list.htm   We want to thank Chris Firth, Vigil Member, for providing this information to us!

Back to Index

Lodge Neckerchiefs

During 1960 the first official neckerchief for the Lodge was made available. The neckerchief was in five colors and had red bunting around the borders. All members of the Lodge were urged to purchase the neckerchief to wear the following summer when the lodge hosted their second Area 9-D meeting. The neckerchief, which sold for $1.00, "was not to be traded, sold, or given away to any member of another lodge.” 

The second Lodge neckerchief was designed by Jimmy Erwin and made available to the members of Otena in the Spring of 1967. A fully embroidered patch, for $2.25, was designed to be sewn on the back of a white satin neckerchief with fringe. Each member was urged to buy the patch and make their own neckerchief. Later, the neckerchief with patch sewed on was made available by the Lodge. When all the patches were gone, each member made and wore just the neckerchief with fringe. Today that is the official neckerchief of the Lodge. 

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Lodge, a new neckerchief patch was designed by Michael Beach and Michael Denison and issued in the Fall of 1994. This design featured all the previous emblems of various flaps. It had the teepee, Indian head and Arrowhead plus Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil sashes.

In 1996 a new neckerchief patch was designed by Chris Firth with the art work done by Tully Hair.  It depicts the Four Winds Ceremony at Camp Billy Gibbons.   The patch is fully embroided with a gold border.

Go to http://www.otena.com/otena_neck_and_activity_list.htm for a complete list and photos of Otena Lodge nechkerchiefs.  We want to thank Chris Firth, Vivil Member, for providing this link to us.

Canvas Painting

Gaitha Browning supervised a group of Otena Arrowmen as they painted a large 5 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet muslin canvas of a famous print that was in one of the Order of the Arrow handbooks.  We are looking for the date of this painting.  Click on the picture to your left to go to a page with a large redention of the painting.

It was used as a backdrop for a lodge banquet and other lodge events.  We will post more information as find it among our older members who probably remember the event and the reason it was painted.  We thank Don Walske for saving this canvas for the lodge and giving it to the Brown County Museum of History.

Back to Index

E. Urner Goodman Camping Award

Otena Lodge was one of three lodges in the Nation to receive the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award in 1992. The Award was presented at the National Council Meeting to Dr. T.C. Graves, the Council's National Council Representative, on behalf of the Order of the Arrow. The award was established as a tribute and testimonial to the Order's founder, E. Urner Goodman. Its purpose is to encourage and challenge Order of the Arrow members and lodges to increase their effectiveness in promoting and increasing Scout camping in each council. Awards are presented to one outstanding lodge in each region annually. 
Back to Index

Lodge Chiefs

20 Lodge Chiefs at
                  50th Anniversary Dinner.
OA 1995 50th Anniversary Banquet

Lodge Chiefs, Right to Left:  Connie Mack Hood, Eddie Hart, Lloyd Carter, Burts Kennedy, Dabney Kennedy, Bryan Healer, Thomas R. Seely, Jr., Carl B. Sanders, Jerry Jackson, Dr. John "Eddie" Garner, Ernie A. Meyer, Stanley W. Walker, James C. Reed, Joseph B. Swanner, Pat Leatherwood, Ronnie L. Schackelford, Richard A. Crenswaw, Rickey L. Wilson, Jeff Nix, Sam Mangrum, Perry A. Wakefield, Jr. 

The most important youth leader of a lodge is the Lodge Chief.  They are responsible foring seeing that the Lodge runs smoothly and, with a group of officers, carries out the various projects, ceremonies and activities of the lodge during their term of office.   Currently, all but two of the Otena Lodge Chiefs are still living, most within Texas.  A list of Chiefs with the  town they lived in at the time of their election includes: 

1945 - Connie Mack Hood, Breckenridge
1946 - Eddie Hart, T-103, Eastland
1947 - Ben Sparks, T-6, Eastland
1948 - Unknown
1949 - Unknown
1950 - Lloyd Carter, Brownwood
1951 - Don Friend, T-43, Brownwood
1952 - Burts Kennedy, T-1, Brownwood
1953 - Burts Kennedy, T-1, Brownwood
1954 - Dabney Kennedy, T-1, Brownwood
1955 - Dabney Kennedy, T-1, Brownwood
1956 - Bryan Healer, E-34, Brownwood
1957 - Bryan Healer, E-34, Brownwood
1958 - Allan Pritchard, T-43, Brownwood
1959 - James Smith, T-8, Brownwood
1960 - Louis Jan Wall, T-22, Brownwood
1961 - Tommy Seely, E-4, Brownwood
1962 - Jimmy W. Wilkins, T-1, Brownwood
1963 - Carl B. Sanders, T-30, Dublin
1964 - Marty L. Lehnis, T-22, Brownwood
1965 - Joe Shaw, T-43, Brownwood
1966 - Bill Boles, E-23, Eastland
1967 - Jerry Jackson, T-39, Stephenville
1968 - John "Eddie" E. Garner, T-41, Stephenville
1969 - Ernie A. Meyer, T-43, Brownwood
1970 - Ernie A. Meyer, T-43, Brownwood
1971 - Charles W. Graham. T-17, Breckenridge
1972 - Stanley W. Walker Jr., T-14, Brownwood
1973 - Ricky L. Masters, T-14, Brownwood
1974 - Ricky L. Masters, T-14, Brownwood
1975 - James C. Reed, T-73, Sidney
1976 - Joe B. Swanner, T-1, Brownwood
1977 - Pat Leatherwood, T-30, Dublin
1978 - Christopher T. Clement, T-14,Brownwood
1979 - Ronald L. Schackelford, T-1, Brownwood
1980 - Ronald L. Schackelford, T-1, Brownwood
1981 - Richard A. Crenshaw,T-63, Breckenridge
1982 - Richard A. Crenshaw,T-63, Breckenridge
1983 - Rickey Wilson, T-37, DeLeon
1984 - Rickey Wilson, T-37, DeLeon
1985 - Rod T. Dippel, T-14, Brownwood
1986 - Thomas Kennedy, T-30, Dublin
1987 - Chris Huse, T-18, Stephenville
1988 - Jim Knovicka, T-18, Stephenville
1989 - Jeff Nix, T-22, Brownwood
1990 - Sam Mangrum, T-39, Stephenville
1991 - Perry A. "Butch" Wakefield, Jr., T-39, Stephenville
1992 - Perry A. "Butch" Wakefield, Jr., T-39, Stephenville
1993 - Michael D. Beach, T-39, Stephenville
1994 - Michael D. Beach, T-39, Stephenville
1995 - James H. Hart, T-103, Eastland
1996 - Michael Denison, T-22, Brownwood
1997 - Michael Fulton, T-39, Stephenville
1998 - Timothy Price, T-22, Brownwood
1999 - Aaron Carpenter, T-68, Stephenville
2000 - Aaron Carpenter, T-68, Stephenville
2001 - Neal Mann, T-14, Brownwood
2002 - Joey Ellis, T-14, Brownwood
2003 - Joey Ellis, T-14, Brownwood (Also first lodge chief of the Penateka Lodge #561)
Back to Index

Lodge Advisers

Over the years many great Scouters served as Adviser for the Lodge. They have given of their time, their talents and their knowledge to guide the officers of the Lodge to insure that the very best program of cheerful service was rendered to others.  A list of known advisers and when they served includes: 

1946 - Guy T. Smith, Brownwood
1947 - Ben Sparks
1952 - 1953 - Excell Segrest, Bangs
1954 - 1955 - James M. Cooper
1957 - Sam Etter, Brownwood
1958 - 1961-Manley Webb, Brownwood
1962 - 1963 - Dabney Kennedy, Brownwood
1964 - Manley Webb, Brownwood
1965 - 1967 - C.W. Boles, Eastland
1967 - 1970 - Vernon Honea, Cisco
1971 - Mac McConnell, Brownwood
1971 -1972 - Gaitha Browning, Brownwood
1972 -1976 - Lois Gee, Dublin
1977 -1992 - H. Neal Pepper, Brownwood
1993 - Gordon J. Place, DeLeon
1994 -1995 - Burton J. Phillips, Stephenville
1995 -1998 - Thomas A. Ponder, Brownwood
1999 - Dale Carpenter, Stephenville
2000 - Jim DeWitt, Blanket
2001 - 2003 - Sam Mangrum, Stephenville
Back to Index

Supreme Chiefs of the Fire

There have been only eight "Supreme Chiefs of the Fire" in the fifty-three year history of the Otena Lodge. As Scout Executives it was their job to see that the Lodge adhered to National policies and to advise the volunteer Advisor and Lodge officers. 

1945-1953 - Guy N. Quirl
1954-1961 - Joe O. Galbraith
1962-1969 - John H. Pound
1970-1971 - Harold DeHon
1972-1982 - Eldon Sehnert
1983-1990 - Alfred Havens
1991-1995 - Frank T. Hilton
1996-2001 - Eric Howell
2001- 2003 - David Foil
2003 - Les Zimmerman (Also first Staff Adviser to the new Penateka Lodge #561) 
Back to Index

Section Conclaves

The lodge has hosted six OA Section Conclaves over the past 54 years  They are: 

1955 - Area 9-D at Camp Billy Gibbons
1961 - Area 9-D at Camp Billy Gibbons
1968 - Area 9-D at Howard Payne College
1974 - SC-4A at Tarleton State University
1990 - SC-4 at Tarleton State University
1997 - SR-2 at Tarleton State University
Back to Index

50th Anniversary

The Otena Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary on January 7, 1995, at the First United Methodist Church in Comanche.  Twenty-six of the thirty-six Lodge Chiefs were present for the banquet.  A history of the Otena Lodge was published at that time. 
Back to Index

Vigil Honor Members

The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service above self to their lodge and local council.  The first person to receive the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow was its founder E. Urner Goodman, who received this honor in 1915.

This list of names contain the date that the application was submitted to the Order of the Arrow and not by the year they were inducted.  For instance, four Arrowmen were submitted to National in March 1990, and another group was submitted in October of the same year. 

1955 - Leo Buckmaster, James M. Cooper, Dabney Kennedy
1956 - Sam R. Etter, Bryan Healer, Johnny Minear, Manley  Webb
1957 - None
1958 - Lois Gee, Allan Pritchard
1959 - None
1960 - Harold E. Pewick, Thomas J. Pinto, James Smith, Oren Sumpter
1961 - Billy Bailey, Bob Bain, Jan Wall
1962 - None
1963 - John H. Pound
1964 - Martin L. Lehnis, Walter Walske
1965 - Carl B. Sanders, III, Don Walske
1966 - Bill Boles, Roland E. McFarland, H. Neal Pepper, Mike Shillingburg
1967 - Claud W. Boles, Tommy Brashier, Jerry Jackson
1968 - Eddie Garner, Thomas C. Graves, Ernie Meyer, Sr.
1969 - Jimmy Erwin, Ernie Meyer, Howard Norris, William F. Opry, Gary Walske, Jimmy W.
1970 - Alford Havens, Ronnie Huse, Cline W. McClelland, Excell Segrest, Arlon Weems
1971 - Donald Smith, Larry Smith
1972 - Pete Cadenhead, Mark Chastian, Frank Griffin, Vernon Honea, Ricky Masters, Andrew
           G. McConnell, Jr., Harlen L. Rowe
1973 - None
1974 - James C. Reed, James C. Rominger,  Stanley W. Walker, Jr.
1975 - Jim Hoppenrath, Dick Johnson
1976 - Jay H. Bethany, Randell F. Dewbre
1977 - John W. Allen, Pat Leatherwood
1978 - Christopher T. Clement, Brian C. Selcer, Westley Sumpter
1979 - Fred A. Atnip, Thomas G. Keithly, Ronald  C. Shackelford, Scott Tipton
1980 - David Cleveland, Richard A. Crenshaw
1981 - Hugh C. Keithly
1982 - Roy T. Curbo, Glen L. Deitiker, Jet M. Hays, Jett D. Rominger
1983 - Mike Barclay, George Dooley, Ricky Wilson
1984 - Brian Barker, Roderick T. Dippel, Zachery  S. Havens, Thomas F. Kennedy
1985 - Monte R. Carroll, Tony S. Cox, Billy I.  Dippel, Steve R. Gary
1986 - None
1987 - None
1988 - Jim Konvicka, James M. Leese, Jeffery Nix
1989 - (See 1990)
1990 - Names submitted in March 1990:  Tom C. Graves, David Hale, Mark Morvant, Cory
            D. Smith
1990  - Names submitted in October 1990: David Cherry, John D. Cox, Larry A. Peabody,
            A.J. Pepper, Allen R. Thomas, Perry A."Butch" Wakefield, Jr.
1991 - Antonio Giustino, Sam Mangrum, Steven A. Mims, Robert M. Murphy, James M.
            Perkins, Fritz W. Quast
1992 - Thomas A. Ponder, David Rives
1993 - None
1994 - Don M. Beach, Michael D. Beach, Michael H. Denison
1995 - James H. Hart, Burton L. Phillips, Reve L.  Ponder, Cody Stephens
1996 - Chris A. Firth, Michael D. Fulton, Betty L.  Hart, Timothy K. Price
1997 - Charles D. Fulton, Trey Reno
1998 - Kirk Brown, Aaron Carpenter, Pat Hart
1999 - Durward Brown, Dale Carpenter, Chad Firth, Jeremy Seifert
2000 - John Seifert, Neal Mann
2001 - Charles Collins, Robert Rider, Adam Schluckebier
2002 - Johathan E. Durand, Gary Edwards, Joseph S. Ellis, Carl Parker, Thomas Andrew Rollins
2003 - Jared Blair, John Ellis, Buck Paolino, Pamela Rider, Shirley Teague
Back to Index

Founder's Award

The Founder's Award was created by the Order of the Arrow to honor and recognize those Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to the Lodge. The bronze medallion bearing  the likeness of E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson is reserved for an Arrowman who demonstrates to his fellow Arrowmen that he memorializes in his everyday life the spirit of achievement as described by our founder.  Arrowmen are elected by secret ballot at the Fall Fellowship by all Arrowmen present. At least one award must be to a youth under 21 years of age. 

The award was first presented in the Otena Lodge at the 50th Anniversary Banquet on on January 7, 1995 to Michael D. Beach, Stephenville and Perry A. “Butch” Wakefield, Jr., Stephenville.

1996:  Michael H. Denison, Brownwood
           James H. Hart, Olden
1997:  Michael D. Fulton, Stephenville
           Betty L. Hart, Olden
1998:  Timothy K. Price, Brownwood
           Burton L. Phillips, Stephenville
1999:  Kirk Brown, Stephenville
           Aaron Carpenter, Stephenville
2000:  Neal Mann, Brownwood
           Pat Hart, Olden
2001:  Joey Ellis, Brownwood
           Lisa Rollins, Lampasas
2002:  Thomas Andrew Rollins, Lampasas
           Durwood Brown, Stephenville
2003:  Chad Iley, Stephenville
           Hubert Swann, Brownwood
Back to Index

Legacy of Servant Leadership Award

Dabney Kennedy, former Lodge Chief of the Otena Lodge,  received the Order of the Arrow's Legacy of Servant Leadership Award at the National Order of the Arrow Conference held at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2006.  For the full story on the award and Kennedy go to: Dabney Kennedy

Final Lodge Fall Fellowship

The final Fellowship of Otena Lodge was held at Camp Billy Gibbons the weekend of October 24-26, 2003.  Over 150 Arrowmen attended this final induction of Ordeal Candidates and Brotherhood members. Service projects, fellowship, ceremonies, reunions and good food were the order of the weekend as the lodge prepared to consolidate with Kotso Lodge and form a new Penakeka Lodge on January 1, 2004.

Photo of some of the Arrowmen who attended the last Otena Lodge Fellowship at Camp Billy Gibbons

Final Officers of the Lodge - 2003

Chief - Joey Ellis
Vice Chief of Dancing - Jon Durand
Vice Chief of Activities - Jared Blair
Vice Chief of Camping - Chad Iley
Secretary - Buck Paolino
Treasurer - Chris Harris
Lodge Adviser - Sam Mangrum
Staff Adviser - Les Zimmerman
Back to index

Final Otena Lodge Banquet

The last Otena Lodge Banquet was held January 17, 2004 in Brownwood.  For photos and description of the banquet, click HERE which will take you to that special page.  Included on the page is the Adviser's Minute by Sam Mangrum, outgoing Adviser to the lodge.  Then go HERE for candid photos of the banquet. The chapter that has now replaced the Otena Lodge is named the "Black Arrow Chapter" in honor of the first Indian organization in the former Comanche Trail Council. The chapter includes the Kickapoo and Noreast Districts of the Texas Trails Council.

| E-Book On Otena Lodge |

Last Updated:  January 23, 2006

Back to top
Back to Home Page