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Wunita Gokhos Lodge

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Wunita Gokhos Lodge was formed in 1972 with the merger of Swatara Lodge #39 of Lebanon County Council and Minqua Lodge #519 of Lancaster County Council. Lodge #39 was first chartered under the name of Deer Lodge on June 25, 1928. During World War II, the lodge became inactive and officially disbanded in June 1947. Lodge #39 was reorganized and rechartered on July 5, 1951 as Swatara Lodge, taking its name from a local Indian tribe and a creek in the area. A leaping buck became the totem for the lodge. Early national records show that Lodge #39 was represented at the Region 3 meeting held May 30- June 1, 1929, and James Fentress of Lebanon, Pennsylvania took his Brotherhood at the 1936 Grand Lodge (national) Meeting at Treasure Island.

In neighboring Lancaster County, a local organization known as the Pathfinders of the Golden Trails was converted to the Order of the Arrow and first chartered as Minqua Lodge #519 on September 20, 1956. The lodge was named for a Susquehanna tribe which inhabited the lower Conestoga Valley and was known as the "turtle clan." The name is an Algonquian term meaning "stealthy" or "treacherous." On September 1, 1971 Lancaster County and Lebanon County Councils merged to form Lancaster- Lebanon Council, BSA. On November 30 of that year, approval to retain #39 for the new lodge was received and on January 15, 1972, the new lodge became operational as Wunita Gokhos #39. Wunita Gokhos is translated "able" or "wise" owl in the language of the Delaware. The lodge totem is the Owl.

Wunita Gokhos and its predecessor lodges were part of old Area III-E. Earl P. Lieby(died 3/2003) served as Area III-E Adviser while a member of Swatara Lodge and received the Distinguished Service Award in 1965. Wunita Gokhos hosted the last III-E Conference in 1973 at Bashore Scout Reservation, near Jonestown, Pennsylvania. The lodge then became a member of the new Section NE-5A, hosting the 1981 Conclave at J. Edward Mack Scout Reservation near Brickerville, Pennsylvania. Paul Reuter of Wunita Gokhos served as NE-5A Section Chief from 1981-82. A regional realignment in 1988 resulted in the reassignment of Wunita Gokhos to NE-6, where it hosted the 1990 Conclave at J. E. Mack.

With the redesignation of NE-6 as NE-4C in 1994, Wunita Gokhos became the service lodge for the first NE-4C Conclave in June 1995 at Bashore. Wunita Gokhos was again moved in June 1997 to NE-4A. In May of 1998 at the first gathering of our new section, Dave Sargent was elected to serve as the Section Chief for the 1998-99 year. Dave received the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in 2000. In January of 2000 the Section Chief at the time became the National Vice-Chief and Jake Hartman became the New Section Chief to fill his term. Wunita Gokhos hosted the 2001 Conclave at Camp Mack.

In June of 2003, Adam Heaps, the Wunita Gokhos Lodge Chief was elected Section Vice Chief. The following year, Adam was elected the NE-4A Section Chief. Adam served as Section Chief for two terms ending in June of 2006. Adam received the DSA at the 2009 NOAC. In June of 2006, Bob Chaballa, the Wunita Gokhos Lodge Adviser from 1997 to 2004, was appointed as the NE-4A Associate Section Adviser. Bob assumed the role of Section Adviser in June of 2007. Phil Glover, another Wunita Gokhos Lodge Chief was elected to NE-4A Section Chief in June of 2007.

Wunita Gokhos hosted the 2008 Section Conclave at Camp Bashore Scout Reservation. In July of 2008, the Region realigned the Areas. That realignment moved Wunita Gokhos Lodge from Section NE-4A to Section NE-6B. Bob Chaballa retained the role of the Section Adviser for this new Section. At the 2008 Conclave, Josh Peloquin, Lodge Vice Chief, was elected Section Secretary. He served two terms in the position. During the 2010 NE-6B Conclave, at Hidden Valley Scout Reservation, Josh Peloquin was elected Section Chief, and Derrick Bransby, a member of Wunita Gokhos, was elected to serve as Section Vice Chief.

Last Updated (Saturday, 08 January 2011 23:44)