Chicago

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Tenth Grand Lodge Meeting

After requesting to host the Grand Lodge Meeting for ten years, the OA came to Chicago, hosted by Owasippe Lodge. Included in the host Owasippe Lodge contingent were several members of the all African American Takodah Chapter making the 1933 meeting the first that can be verified to be an integrated national OA meeting.

Many of the 252 delegates from 23 lodges attending the 10th Meeting of the Grand Lodge took advantage of the opportunity to attend the Century of Progress World’s Fair (and the lower promotional train fares.) This meeting was very different than any previous Grand Lodge meeting. The rules were suspended. The normal business of officer reports, committee reports, and by-law amendments were dispensed with. Instead, the delegates gathered in a casual manner to discuss the impending issue of official recognition from the BSA.

Third Degree / Vigil Honor OA Sashes

The first example of anything resembling a sash worn by recipients of the Third Degree (Vigil Honor) is a fraternal “bib” type three-part sash. These sashes can be observed around the necks of founders E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in the photograph taken at the Rededication Ceremony held at Camp Biddle in conjunction with the first Grand Lodge Meeting in 1921. Other than the photograph itself, there is no other evidence, documentation or even confirmation that these are indeed Third Degree sashes.

25th Lodge Formed

On November 27, 1926 Garrison Lodge forms the fifth and last of the original five Chicago Council lodges to form. Carroll A. Edson founded all five of them. Garrison Lodge’s formation marks a milestone in the growth of our Order as the twenty-fifth lodge to charter. Garrison Lodge would later join the other four Chicago lodges when E. Urner Goodman consolidated them together to form Owasippe Lodge.

Goodman - Chicago Scout Executive

On May 1, 1927 E. Urner Goodman took the helm of Chicago Council as Scout Executive. This was a great professional opportunity for Goodman. Chicago was the largest council in the nation outside New York. And James E. West and the national office dominated New York. Chicago was the most significant Scout Executive position in the BSA. It was a long train-ride away from New York, calling was expensive. Because of this, Chicago had a propensity for doing things their own way. Goodman would bring Chicago Council into national compliance.

Five Chicago Lodges Merge

On May 18, 1929 E. Urner Goodman Scout Executive acting as Supreme Chief of the Fire merged together the five Chicago Lodges initiated by his old Assistant Camp Director Carroll A. Edson. The Grand Lodge had maintained a rule that councils could have one lodge for each of their Scout camps. Goodman constructively ended that rule, as Chicago was the only Council remaining with more than one lodge.

Field Executive Edson Forms Seventh Lodge

In January 1921 OA Co-Founder Carroll A. Edson became the field executive for the South Shore District of the Chicago Council. Edson brought Wimachtendienk with him and on June 15th, 1921 formed the Order’s seventh lodge, Moqua Lodge 7 at the Owasippe Scout Reservation located near Whitehall, Michigan.

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