A Brief History of Section W-1S

The pristine beauty of the High Cascades at Oregon Trail Council’s Camp Lucky Boy was an ideal setting for a group of honor campers and staff to band together forming the nucleus of Oregon’s first Order of the Arrow Lodge. On January 24, 1944, the Oregon Trail’s Council Executive Board approved the petition presented by this group. Four Scouters, already OA members, and Jud Compton, a professional Scouter, inducted 27 Ordeal members on March 23, 1944. An election was held and Jim Vitus was elected chief of the new Lodge. TSISQAN, the Umpqua Indian word for deer was chosen for the lodge name and the running deer became its totem.

Over the next few years, Tsisqan helped form the other lodges in the section, Cole Snass Lamatai 259, Mazama 421, Makualla 437 and Hyas Chuck Kah Sun Klatawa 442. With a few exceptions, this was Section 11-A from 1950 to 1973. In 1944 Tsisqan was part of the “U” section, and in 1945 along with Cole Snass Lamatai, became part of the “Y” section. It is believed that members from Tsisqan and Cole Snass Lamatai were in attendance of the first section conference held in Yakima, Washington. After the formation of Section 11-A in 1948, another meeting was not held until Tsisqan invited the members of the other lodges to their annual lodge meeting at Sherwood Lodge in Yachats on the Oregon coast.

The very first 11-A Conclave was hosted by Makualla Lodge at the YMCA Methodist Camp at Suttle Lake in Central Oregon in 1952. The cost of this event you ask? $4.50 per member. How the times have changed! In 1958 our first Conclave patch was designed and issued. 1960 was BSA’s 50th Anniversary year; decisions were made to shorten the HYAS CHUCK KAH SUN KLATAWA name. The new name chosen, SKYLOO kept the number 442. Even though earlier years had Conclave “themes” a few times, the tradition of formalized themes really got started in 1965 with the theme “Catch the Higher Vision.”

In 1972 the National Order of the Arrow made major changes in the organization of the lodges and areas to come into line with the National BSA change from twelve regions to six. So, in 1973, the first W-1A Conclave was hosted by Makualla Lodge at the Central Oregon Community College in Bend. For our 25th Conclave, held in 1976 during our nation’s bicentennial celebration, and with sixty total years of OA service to Scouting, the theme “Involvement: The Past, Present and Future” was chosen. Section Chief Brad Harris, of Skyloo, suggested that all Arrowmen recall their pledge to cheerful service.

W-1A underwent a major change during the 1990’s and the 1994 Conclave started with three lodges rather than five. Skyloo and Cole Snass Lamatai merged to form Wauna La-Mon’tay 442 and Mazama and Makualla merged to form Lo La’Qam Geela 491. The new Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge hosted the conclave at Camp Rilea near Seaside OR.

In 2002, the Section’s 50th Anniversary Conclave, hosted by Lo La’Qam Geela at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR, set a record with 509 participants. Rob Rosamond, as Training Conclave Vice Chief, successfully implemented the Section’s first “University” style training system, which allows participants to receive degrees in different “colleges” within the “Ktemaque University.” The 2004 Conclave was the first year for Section W-1A’s ground-breaking “My Chapter Rocks!” program coordinated by the promotions and communications committee. In 2008, National again realigned the sections and changed the designations in November. The lodges of Tsisqan 253, Wauna La-Mon’Tay 442 and Lo La’Qam Geela 491 formed the new Section W-1S. The 2009 W-1S Conclave was hosted by Wauna La-Mon`tay at Camp Baker near Florence, Oregon, which has hosted the most conclave’s in our section’s history.

In 2015, the Order of the Arrow celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary. Tsisqan Lodge hosted conclave at Hoodoo Ski Area where a record-breaking 650+ Arrowmen attended. 

In 2016, the section created the section social media team to help manage social media communication and promotions for the section. Within a few months, it was renamed the communications team. The year-round section operating committee now manages all communications and promotions for the section including social media, websites, written and visual content, and more. 

Being the oldest lodge in the section, and one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest, their history book provides additional details of the formation of the section and a glimpse at some of our history. Check it out HERE

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