Legacy Lodge Rocks Grassroots Effort

By Michael Kipp

At the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), lodges were introduced to the 2015 Legacy Project and asked to complete several milestones in advance of NOAC 2015 to help us celebrate our shared history. For the first milestone, lodges were asked to submit a rock, engraved with the lodge’s name and council headquarters city, to be included as a permanent part of the Summit Circle, the Order of the Arrow’s new ceremonial grounds at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. With the 2015 NOAC quickly approaching, rocks have been received from all of the active lodges across the country! As a means to recognize those lodges that have been merged and no longer exist, the National Order of the Arrow Committee has begun accepting rocks from inactive lodges to become part of a special display at NOAC 2015 and eventually find a permanent home at the Summit Circle. 

In an effort to help recognize inactive lodges from our rich history, volunteers across the nation have been working to reconnect alumni of these former lodges so that they can ensure their inactive lodge has a rock and is represented in our centennial celebration. Jeff Goldsmith is one such volunteer. In late February, Mr. Goldsmith began a movement to reconnect alumni of the 40 former lodges in New Jersey that have since merged to become part of the now five lodges in the state. As the message spread, more and more Arrowmen joined the effort to memorialize inactive lodges. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of volunteers like this, New Jersey—which has an incredible forty inactive lodges—has had rocks for over thirty seven inactive lodges received in the past two weeks alone! 

This grassroots effort has spread farther afield than New Jersey. Some lodges, like Pocumtuc Lodge of the Western Massachusetts Council, Tschipey Achtu Lodge of the Seneca Waterways Council and Grand Monadnock Lodge of the Nashua Valley Council have all organized efforts to fund rocks for each of their predecessor lodges. Both Kentucky and Tennessee have recognized all of their former lodges, and even the U.S. Virgin Islands are submitting a rock for the former Arawak Lodge.

This project serves as an opportunity for members of these former lodges to reconnect behind a common purpose. After all, the Order is a brotherhood; something that won’t soon be forgotten by alumni who have reconnected with old friends to work together to submit a rock for their former lodge. There is truly no better way to memorialize a lodge’s history than to set it in stone at the new home of our Order! Before these lodge rocks make their way to the Summit Bechtel Reserve, however, they’ll first be on display for over 15,000 Arrowmen to see at NOAC this August! Rocks from current lodges will be displayed along with the lodge’s history book and legacy lid during the conference. In the same area, the rocks from inactive lodges will be part of a grand display in the center of the tent. 

As of yet, plenty of inactive lodges that deserve a lodge rock are still unrepresented. The new display for legacy lodge rocks will be so easy to execute that the deadlines for orders and submissions have both been pushed back by six weeks! Now, you can place an order for an engraved rock through May 1st. Legacy lodge rocks may also be self made and sent directly to National Chairman Ray Capp, until June 1st. Make sure to refer to the specifications if you choose to send in a self made rock. There is a list of inactive lodge rocks received to date. If your former lodge is not yet memorialized, make sure to take advantage of the extended deadlines!

As you can surely tell, the showcase of all of the lodge rocks at NOAC and eventually the Summit Circle will be a sight to see. Even if you can’t make it to NOAC yourself, at the very least ensure that a rock from your former lodge does! From New Jersey to the Virgin Islands, legacy rocks have become a requisite part of our centennial celebration. Be sure to check out further instructions using the link below and do not let your lodge miss out on being a part of OA history for our next century!

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