Achewon Nimat Lodge 282

Order of the Arrow

San Francisco Bay Area Council #28


Copyright © 2006-2017 Achewon Nimat Lodge 282, San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, All Rights Reserved

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Achewon Nimat Lodge - History (Part 1)

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San Francisco Bay Area Council (Founded February 1964):


In the early 1960's former United States Senator William F. Knowland chaired a study commission representing the nine bay area councils regarding a plan to merge all of the Scout Councils of the San Francisco Bay Area into one large council.


The councils involved were: Alameda Council (Council #22, organized 1917), Marin Council (Council #35, organized 1923), Mt Diablo Council (Council #23, organized 1951), Oakland Area Council (Council #21, organized 1916), Piedmont Council (Council #42, organized 1921), San Francisco Council (Council #51, organized 1917), Santa Clara Council (Council #55, organized 1929), San Mateo County Council (Council #20, organized 1932) and Stanford Council (Council #31, organized 1940). Most of the nine Bay Area Councils disapproved of the merge indicating it would do more harm than good for the scouts and the councils.


Of the nine councils, only the Oakland Area Council and the San Francisco council voted in favor of a merge. Between the two councils, the San Francisco Council was smaller and was less financially stable than the Oakland Council. However it still made sense to merge the two councils into one larger council that could better support the needs of the Scouts.


It is interesting to note that back in 1911, 52 years before the two councils would merge and only one year after the Boy Scouts of America was founded in the United States, the first combined outing of the Oakland Scouts and the San Francisco Scouts took place in the hills of Oakland on land that eight years later would ultimately become Camp Dimond, the first permanent Scout Camp of the Oakland Council. One of the games that was played during that outing in 1911 according to an article in the Oakland Tribune was “a war game where one group will try to surprise the other group”, these days all scouts know that same game as Capture the Flag. No doubt the two organizations had a close relationship since the start of Scouting in the Bay Area.


Jump forward 50 years to Monday February 10, 1964 atop Yerba Buena Island as the proud old blue and gold flags of the Oakland Area Council and the San Francisco Council were lowered and retired for the last time. The retired council flags were folded and presented to Robert J. Matheison and Raymond Marks former Presidents of the Oakland and San Francisco Councils respectively. In their place, the two councils dedicated the new San Francisco Bay Area Council flag in a ceremony that united 30,000 Bay Area Scouts into one cohesive unit for the first time. The ceremony, pining the San Francisco Council and Oakland Area Council, was held atop Tower Hill on Yerba Buena Island, a point midway between the two cities. As the new flag, bearing the names of both cities was unfurled, Thomas Williams of the Oakland Area Council and Bill Rothschild of the San Francisco Council tied a big square knot in a hawser to symbolize their unity.


At 7:45 pm on the evening of February 10, BSA Region 12 Chairman Edward Mills called to order a meeting of nearly 500 volunteer Scout leaders at the Edgewater Inn in Oakland’s Jack London Square. At the meeting the voting membership elected Arch Monson Jr as the new board President of the San Francisco Bay Area Council (SFBAC, Council #28) as well as eighty-six other board members and officers. Harvey Price was selected as the first Scout Executive of the council as Price had been the former Scout Executive for the San Francisco Council. Frank Dix, who had been the Scout Executive of the Oakland Area Council was named to a National Council position and moved to Florida. With the adjourning of the meeting, the San Francisco Bay Area Council was officially formed.



Achewon Nimat (our founding):


Achewon Nimat Lodge 282 is located in Northern California and is the Order of the Arrow Lodge for the San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. The SFBAC covers almost 1000 sq miles in area and is headquartered in the City of San Leandro, ten miles south of downtown Oakland. The Council and Lodge encompasses the counties of San Francisco and Alameda which includes the communities of San Francisco, Daly City, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Newark, Pleasanton and Livermore.


Achewon Nimat was formed by the merger of Machek N’Gult Lodge 375 and Royaneh Lodge 282. The first meeting & gathering of Achewon Nimat was held on Sunday afternoon, December 13, 1964 at Goodman’s Restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square and was attended by over 300 members (199 from Machek N’Gult lodge and 105 from Royaneh lodge). The banquet and lodge elections marked the official start of the new “as yet to be named lodge” of the San Francisco Bay Area Council.


Almost 11 months earlier in February of 1964 in a ceremony held atop Yerba Buena Island in the middle of San Francisco bay, the Oakland Area Council and the San Francisco Council would merge forming the San Francisco Bay Area Council thereby uniting 30,000 Scouts from both sides of the bay. With the merging of the two councils, so too would the Order of the Arrow Lodges associated with the former councils, Machek N’Gult Lodge of the Oakland Area Council and Royaneh Lodge of the San Francisco Council.


Although the two lodges technically merged at the banquet, January 1, 1965 is the official date of the merger and the establishment of Achewon Nimat. Larry Teshara (former National Deputy Chief) from Royaneh Lodge acted as the master of ceremonies during the luncheon and was assisted by the past lodge chiefs for Machek N’Gult (Dennis Haw) and Royaneh (Jeff Baechler). The number for the new lodge would be 282 as it was common practice for merged lodges to take the lower of the two lodge numbers. At this same banquet the lodge number 375 for Machek N’Gult was retired and removed from the National Charter of Order of the Arrow Lodges. After the luncheon was over, a special meeting was held to elect Lodge officers for the new lodge. Bill Garvine from Machek N’Gult Lodge was elected as the first chief of the new combined lodge. It had also been decided prior to the banquet to split the Lodge into two chapters, Royaneh Chapter for the West Bay (San Francisco region) and Machek N’Gult Chapter for the East Bay (Oakland region). The name, totems, patch design and bylaws for the new lodge however would not be selected and adopted until the first business meeting could be held for the new lodge a couple months later on February 28, 1965. Although the beginning of Achewon Nimat lodge started on that afternoon of Sunday, December 13, 1964, our history in the Order of the Arrow actually began some twenty years earlier in 1944 when Royaneh Lodge was officially formed in the San Francisco Council and then three years later when Machek N’Gult Lodge was formed in the Oakland Council. So to talk about the history of Achewon Nimat we can’t forget about the hundreds of arrowmen and thousands of scouts that actually started the journey 70 years before us in the lodges of Machek N’Gult and Royaneh and the councils of Oakland and San Francisco.


Although our lodge is now called Achewon Nimat (meaning Brothers Together), our real beginnings in the Order of the Arrow started at a camp in the hills of Oakland called “Dimond” and at a camp near Cazadero called “CC Moore”. Here then, is the story of Achewon Nimat Lodge 282.



The Story of Achewon Nimat:

With the merging of the Oakland and San Francisco councils now complete, the merging of the two Order of the Arrow Lodges of the former councils was set in motion.  During the course of the year, discussions were held at the executive level of the lodges to talk about the process of combining the two lodges.  One of the early decisions agreed upon was to break the new lodge into two chapters, the East Bay chapter (Machek N’Gult) and the West Bay chapter (Royaneh).


As was indicated earlier, the first meeting & banquet of Achewon Nimat lodge was held on Sunday afternoon, December 13, 1964 at Goodman’s Restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square.  The cost of the event was $3.75 and even included your dues for 1965.  The luncheon of Chicken, potatoes, rolls, salad and dessert marked the official start of the new “as yet to be named” lodge of the San Francisco Bay Area Council.


The banquet dinner was served at 2:00 pm but prior to that both Machek N’Gult and Royaneh held their own final business meetings at 1:00 pm.  Following the dinner, a special lodge meeting was held to vote for the new combined lodge chief and his officers.  Before the elections it had been previously decided that the first lodge officers for chief and treasurer would come from the Machek N’Gult chapter and the officers for vice-chief and secretary would come from Royaneh chapter.  The following year in 1966 the order would be reversed where Royaneh chapter would nominate the lodge chief and treasurer and Machek N’Gult would nominate the vice-chief and secretary.  It wouldn’t be until the lodge election of 1967 that the positions for the lodge were fully open regardless of their previous lodge affiliation.


With the merging of the two lodges, plans were made for the first Lodge business meeting to vote on many items.  On Sunday, February 28, 1965 Lodge Chief Bill Garvine called to order the first official business meeting of the new lodge.  The meeting was held on “neutral” territory on Treasure Island where the lodge rules were discussed and adopted.  The bylaws of Machek N’Gult were modified to reflect the new lodge and these bylaws were used as the basis for Achewon Nimat Lodge.  The signatures of the following Arrowmen are included on the original copy of the approved Lodge Rules:  Jeff Baechler (Royaneh Lodge Chief - 1964), John Nichols (Royaneh Lodge Chief - 1963), Dennis Haw (Machek N’Gult Lodge Chief - 1964), Don Wilkinson (Machek N’Gult Membership), Paul Meier Sr. (Machek N’Gult Lodge Chief - 1947), Ralph W. Benson (Staff Adviser - 1965), Rear Admiral Don Mckay (Lodge Adviser - 1965).


More importantly the name and totems for the new lodge was also selected and agreed upon.  The name chosen was “Achewon Nimat” which stands for “Brothers Together”.  A design for the pocket patch was also selected at this meeting.  That first patch issued by the Lodge in May 1965 contained a dark blue sky as a nod to Machek N’Gult, a snow capped mountain representing Camp Dimond-O, tall Redwood trees from Camp Royaneh and water signifying the Pacific Ocean.  Paul Meier Jr. (whose father Paul Sr. was the first lodge chief of Machek N’Gult in 1947) came up with the lodge name as well as the pocket patch design.


(Part 2 - click here)

Copyright © 2006-2017 Achewon Nimat Lodge 282, San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, All Rights Reserved

1001 Davis Street, San Leandro, CA  94577-1514, (510) 577-9000  |  Site Map  |  Site Info and Policies  |  Contact Webmaster