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LODGE HISTORY

 

In the summer of 1945, when we were still using the old name of the Washington Area Council, our council-wide camp was moved to rented land on the west shore of the lake at Cowan's Gap State Park.  Scout Executive Bern Hagedorn made arrangements with the Arrowmen at Camp Hidden Valley to have an Ordeal Team visit the camp to form a local lodge of the Order of the Arrow.

The name Guneukitschik, which is the ancient Indian spelling of the Conococheague Creek, was chosen and we were assigned the number 317.  The name of the Conococheague Creek was selected for the lodge name since it flows through the length of our council area.  Guneukitschik is a Delaware term which can be translated as "Indeed a long way".  Because rattlesnakes can be found throughout the council, the rattlesnake coiled down the shaft of the arrow was adopted as the totem.

The seven scouts who were tapped out by the visiting Ordeal Team were: Jim Spofford, Harvey Miller, Peck Sterling, Lloyd Miller, Earl Watson, Charles Morrison, and Bill Calhoun.  The first four, formed the Ordeal Team for the succeeding weeks of the camp, and held the offices of: Allowat Sakima, Meteu, Nutiket, and Kichkinet respectively.

During the years of our Council Camp at Cowan's Gap, the candidates were tapped out at the Friday night Retreat Ceremony.  The Ordeal which began that night after camp fire was completed after the camp fire on Saturday night.  The candidates received their big meal at the time of the evening meal.

In 1948 we occupied our present Camp Sinoquipe on council owned land just north of Fort Littleton, PA.  We adopted the system of holding two ordeals, one at the end of the first half of camp and the other at the end of the last camp period.  In 1949 a team of Ordeal Members visited Camp Hidden Valley to receive Brotherhood instruction but no group was started upon return.  

About 1950 we also adopted the plan preparing a banquet for all members at the close of the summer's final ceremonies.  In the spring of 1950 two carloads of scouts and scouters traveled to the Regional Pow Wow at Camp Broadcreek in the Pocono Mountains.  The underlying purpose of this trip was to prepare boys to form a Brotherhood Team for our Lodge.  In the spring of 1951 five scouters traveled to Camp Nisatin of the Appalachian Trail Council at Pottsville to attend the Region Pow Wow.  The group comprised of: Noel Murray, who passed the Vigil Honor; Robert Bruce, H. W. "Pete" Zimmerman, Wilbur Kline, and J. Warren Large, Lodge Chief.  The latter four all passed into the Brotherhood at this meeting.  From this time on we conducted regular Brotherhood Ceremonies at the end of the camping season.

During the early 1950s the Council name was changed to the Mason-Dixon Council.  During this time there was no Vigil activity stemming from the lone Vigil member, who by mid 1950s had moved out of the area.  At the fall business meeting in 1956 J. Warren Large was elected to take the Vigil Ceremony.  Arrangements were made to do this at the Area Pow Wow at Camp Hidden Valley in 1957.  The allotted number of other Vigil Candidates were chosen and approved by the following summer.  These candidates, George Frick, Wayland Marlow, E. K. (Doc) Mowen, and Jack Nichols traveled to Camp Hidden Valley for a special fall Vigil Ceremony.  After this time all three groups of our Lodge have continued a normal growth in accordance with the development of activities in the Council.

In 1960, Sinoquipe Scout Reservation hosted it's first Section event the Area 3E Pow Wow.  We hosted the section with a great success for our lodge.  The lodge was growing and due to many complications stemming from this large membership and the lateness of the hour we dropped the summer final banquet in 1963.  This banquet has been very successfully held later in the year at the Leitersburg Grange and was moved to the Savoy Restaurant and now held at the Maugansville Ruitan Club Building during Christmas brake so our members attending college can attend.  Again in 1968, the Section Fellowship for Area 3E was hosted by Guneukitschik with its theme "Train to Lead".

During the years of its existence the Lodge has completed many small projects around Sinoquipe camp as they have been requested by the Camping Committee.  In the early years of the camp the lodge managed a major tree planting project.  As mentioned earlier in 1962 the need for a chapel at Sinoquipe was taken up by the lodge.  As with most projects collecting funding was difficult but the lodge persisted and the members succeeded and also provided the basic foundation work mostly by hand labor.  The alter was built of concrete block faced with fieldstone.  H. W. "Pete" Zimmerman of Waynesboro, PA. completed the alters stonework working all night prior to taking his Vigil.  A bell was secured from a scouter in nearby Houstontown, PA.  The bell was used to call scouts to service and also as the camp fire alarm and emergency alarm.  The Chapel stands as a reminder of the Scout Law, "A Scout is Reverent".  Scouts from all faiths have worshiped in this lovely setting and it has been used for at least one wedding.  The lodge also cleared the undergrowth from a low-lying area in camp, arranged for the acquisition of seedlings and replanted the area.  In 1968, a new ceremonial council ring was completed in the north-end of camp as lodge tradition calls.  In 1969, the J. Warren Large Camporee (the first Pow Wow) was held at Sinoquipe and the lodge has continued the tradition of a fall Pow Wow to this day.

In 1973, the J. Warren Large Ecology Center was opened thanks to the work of the lodge.  We continued the tradition of cheerful service to the camp by sponsoring work weekends both before and after summer camp season.  Now a part of the South East Region we again, in 1976, sponsored the SE-1 Conclave.  With the theme "Key To The Future" the Lodge unlocked Sinoquipe and welcomed 12 lodges for the weekend.  In December 1979, the OA executive board voted unanimously, that the lodge would have a Distinguished Vigil Award, to honor our most outstanding Vigil Members, for their long and dedicated service to our lodge, our council, their church and community.  Due to the sudden death of H. W. "Pete" Zimmerman the award was named after him.

In the 1980s, Guneukitschik hosted the NE-6 1984 Conclave the theme saw "Beneath the Lights of Heaven".  Again in 1987 NE-6 visited Camp Sinoquipe as the Conclave host for a chance to "Renew the Spirit"  In 1988, the Wishalowe (Rattlesnake) Lodge was constructed and donated to the camp as a general use and museum for the Order of the Arrow. 

The 1990s, saw only one Conclave at Sinoquipe.  The 1994 NE-6 section came together to learn of the "Traditions of the Past".  Guneukitschik Lodge continued the custom of work weekends and ordeals supporting Sinoquipe.  The construction of the handicapped accessible latrine for "Doc" Mowen pavilion was a major project.

With the introduced of the Founder's Award at the 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference, we have been able to recognize our Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to our lodge. In December of 2003 Lodge Chief Robert E Holsinger III and Advisor Earl Selby, Jr. received the award.  In 2004, Donald Gehr received the award.  In 2009 both Seth A Martin and Robert E Holsinger II were presented the Founders Award.  David Mellott and Jack Rhodes in 2010, Austin Huff and Scott Smoot in 2011, Richard Stickley, and Jared Chamberlain 2012.  In 2013 Christan Rejonis and Kyle Zittle were our award recipient.  The award is reserved for an Arrowman who demonstrates that he or she personifies the spirit of selfless service, as advocated by founder E. Urner Goodman and cofounder Carroll A. Edson.  The Section NE-4C Conclave for 2001 "Today's Service for Tomorrows Dream" and 2006 "Their Vision Has Become Our Passion" was held at Sinoquipe.  Realignment of Sections to NE-6A saw us host the 2010 Conclave "Super Heroes Saving the Legacy".  The 2015 Section NE-6B Conclave will be held at Sinoquipe "Back to Our Future".  The lodge looks forward to the future with Leadership in Service to Camp Sinoquipe and the Mason-Dixon Council.

For a complete history of the Lodge, as well as the Mason-Dixon Council and Camp Sinoquipe, click here

 

 
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