The Miami Lodge #495 is named after the great Miami Indian nation. The origin of name Miami comes from their Ojibwe name, Oumami (Oumamik, Owmaweg, Omaumeg) “people of the peninsula” altered by the French and English into our familiar form of Miami (Maumee).
The Order of the Arrow was initiated in the Miami Valley Council in the fall of 1952. A group of Scouts and volunteers petitioned the Council Scout Executive, Wayne Hopkins (a Vigil Honor member), for permission to charter and start a lodge.
The first ceremony and induction of members were held at Cricket Holler in October of 1952. At the time 121 new members were inducted in a ceremony by Arrowmen of Owasippe Lodge #7 of the Chicago Area Council. A loan from the council permitted the lodge to purchase materials for Indian outfits for the second Ordeal. Ordeal and Brotherhood ceremonies were held annually at Cricket Holler through 1958. With the opening of Woodland Trails Scout Reservation in 1959, Miami Lodge embarked on a plan of holding events at both camps, a tradition that continues today.
In the first year of opening, the lodge inaugurated its basic plan of service. The lodge helps in preparation for the summer and winter camping seasons by providing conservation work and general improvement to the two council camps. This is one of our greatest traditions and is continued to this very day.
Initially, a reunion and dance were held every December. This event was replaced by the annual Fellowship Dinner. The first dinner was held in January of 1958 and continues to this day as the major social event of the lodge.
The totem of the Miami Lodge is the crane, officially designated as the Sandhill Crane in 1996 by the Lodge Executive Committee. The first pocket emblem and neckerchief were designed by Don Huxley. Since that time the lodge has had many different lodge flap designs approved by Lodge Executive Committee. A special lodge flaps are normally created for special events like Anniversaries, National Scout Jamborees, National Order of the Arrow Conferences, and hosting a Section Conclave.
Miami Lodge has always been proud of its service to Miami Valley Council. During our three annual Ordeal Fellowship weekends, we have given countless hours of service to our council camps since 1952. Gifts to the camps of materials like roofing shingles, paint, and wood are commonplace. Most recently, large gifts of a new climbing tower and Archery Range shed at Woodland Trails have proven the lodge’s commitment to our council and its youth.
Section Conclaves have always been an important part of the history of the Miami Lodge. In the fall of 1960, the Lodge hosted its first conclave at Cricket Holler. Since that time the Miami Lodge has hosted the section conclave as follows:
- 1966 Section 4-G at Cricket Holler
- 1969 Section 4-C at Cricket Holler
- 1973 Section EC6A at Woodland Trails
- 1982 Section EC6A at Cricket Holler
- 1990 Section EC6A at Woodland Trails
- 2002 Section C-5B at Woodland Trails
- 2009 Section C-6A at Woodland Trails
- 2015 Section C-6B at Woodland Trails | OA Centennial Conclave
The Miami Lodge has continually sent a delegation to each section conclave. We have gained a substantial reputation as a respected competitor and spirited lodge.
The Lodge has been represented at every National Order of the Arrow Conference since 1954. In 1977 the Miami Lodge Ceremonies Team placed among the nations finest in national competitions in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the 1986 National Conference at Central Michigan University, Miami Lodge’s John Kincer placed third in Traditional Indian Dance Competition.
At the 1988 National Conference at Colorado State University, Rick Hauser was among a select group of Arrowmen to be inducted into Brotherhood membership at the first ever National Brotherhood Induction Ceremony.
Miami Lodge is most known for its consistent presence as servant leaders on the sectional, regional, and national level. Many of our members have served on numerous NOAC staff contingents over the years. Several of our past lodge officers are currently on the National Order of the Arrow Committee. In addition, Miami Lodge has always been an interregnal part of any Section Conclave operating in many different capacities.
Training has always been important to the Miami Lodge. To that extent, a delegation from the Miami Lodge has attended every National Leadership Seminar in our area since the inception of this program by the National Order of the Arrow Committee. Three recent Lodge Chiefs, Alex Rhodes, Rick Hauser, and P. J. Hentrich have distinguished themselves by serving on NLS Staff on numerous occasions. Moreover, one of our past lodge chiefs, Randy Cline, is widely recognized for constructing the current NLS course.
In 2011 the Lodge began reforming Chapters with the hope of reigniting a passion for the OA in the Miami Valley Council. It was decided that four Chapters would represent the 6 Districts of the Miami Valley Council. Since then the Chapters have met with varying degrees of success however many dedicated youth and adult leaders are working diligently to ensure the Chapters’ and their Lodge’s long-term success.
With over 60 years of cheerful service behind us, our supporting role continues to be of major importance to Scouting in the Miami Valley Council.