Twenty-eight years after the San Francisco Council was organized, the Order of the Arrow in San Francisco was officially established on November 29, 1944. This took place at the monthly executive board meeting held at the San Francisco Council office at 105 Montgomery Street, when a motion was made by board member William Wollner and approved by the board to apply for a national charter to form an Order of the Arrow lodge. Mr. Wollner indicated that there would be a chapter at both Camp Lilienthal and Camp Moore (formerly Camp Royaneh) and made up of honor campers. The chapter at Camp Lilienthal would be known as the “Lamat” tribe and the chapter at Camp Moore (Royaneh) would be known as the “Maidu” tribe. The purpose of the Order of the Arrow as stated at the meeting was for Camp promotions. The application fee for the Order of the Arrow charter was a mere $10.00. Royaneh Lodge would become an official Order of the Arrow Lodge of Section 12-B on February 25, 1945 when National approved its charter and assigned the number 282. The numbering of the Lodge was based on the sequence order of when the Lodges was chartered and not founded. All persons who held membership in the lodge prior to February 25, 1945 were known as Charter Members. As a service organization the roots of Royaneh Lodge date back to 1943.
Arthur Myer, the first Eagle Scout in California (where he received the award in 1916 from the Bakersfield council) and a member of the San Francisco Council since 1923 helped organize the new lodge. Six years earlier in 1938 the council had renamed Camp Royaneh to Camp Moore in honor of Charles C Moore, the former President of the San Francisco Council and Vice President of the Boy Scouts of America. During this timeframe from 1938 until the early 1950’s, the San Francisco council simply referred to their two permanent Scout camps (Moore and Lilienthal) as “Royaneh camps”. Because the new lodge would have chapters at both Scout camps, the name chosen for the new lodge was “Royaneh” to reflect the reference that the council used in 1944 for their camps. Royaneh Lodge was not named after Camp Royaneh as it technically did not exist in the 1940’s.
The name Royaneh though came about in March of 1925 when SF Scout Executive Raymond O Hanson held a competition among the scouts to name their new summer camp in Cazadero. A scout by the name of George Hart from San Francisco Troop 54 won the competition by submitting the name “Royaneh” for the new camp. George indicated that the meaning of the word “Royaneh” came from the Iroquois Indians that meant “camp of joy” or “Meeting place of the tribes”. So the best translation, based on the interpretation of the boy that came up with the name Royaneh and also used for Royaneh Lodge Order of the Arrow means “Meeting Place of the Tribes”.
According to the Royaneh bylaws the totem used by Royaneh Lodge was a yellow arrowhead with the blue profile of an Indian chief centered upon it. The totem is similar to the Indian head that was also used at both Camp Moore and Camp Lilienthal at that same time. The Indian head patch used at the two camps was a left facing Indian head, but the Indian head used by Royaneh lodge would be a right facing Indian Head (possibly to distinguish it from the camp or the OA saying “it is only right”). Before the Lodge was officially formed, the early members used the standard camp patch. The newsletter of Royaneh Lodge was known as the “Royanehan” and was first published in February of 1945 when the lodge received its charter. In July 1947 members of Royaneh Lodge inducted the first 5 members of the Oakland Area Council into the Order of the Arrow. Three months later in October, Royaneh Lodge would hold the first ever ordeal ceremony for the Oakland Council when 25 members became ordeal members.
Documents from 1949 indicated that the lodge held five conclaves (lodge gatherings) each year. The fall Business Conclave was held in October, the camp promotion Conclave was held in November, the annual banquet was held in January, the Camp Kick-Off Conclave was held in May and the Order of the Arrow day was held in July up at Camp Moore (Royaneh). Two of the five conclaves were social gatherings (Banquet & OA day) where lodge business could not be conducted. In November of 1950 at the fall business conclave the decision was made to get neckerchiefs for Lodge members. Initially 60 neckerchiefs were ordered at $1.35 each.
In January of 1952, Royaneh Lodge had the honor of inducting a new lodge into the Order of the Arrow during ceremonies held at Camp Lilienthal in Marin County. Thirty seven arrowmen from the Mt Diablo Council were inducted into the order of the arrow for a new lodge that would be known as OO-Yum-Buli lodge 468 (merged with Swegedaigea #263 in 1994 to form Ut-in Silica Lodge 58). Arthur Myer one of the founding members of Royaneh lodge lived in Berkeley and also helped to organize Oo-Yum-Buli as well as being a member of that lodge.
According to the Royanehan newsletter, a silver gavel was used by the lodge chief to conduct business. In 1954, Ed Dike was the first person in Royaneh Lodge history to be honored with the Distinguished Service Award. The “DSA” is the highest honor that the National Order of the Arrow can bestow upon a member. Ed Dike was the nature director at Camp Moore/Camp Royaneh for many years as well as being a leader with Royaneh Lodge. Five years later in 1958 Royaneh Lodge would dedicate the new Chiefs Room at Camp Royaneh in his honor. During that same year, Royaneh Lodge chief Ross Heil designed the first pocket patch known as the F1. Until that first pocket flap was released, neckerchiefs with patches indicated membership in the Royaneh lodge. Ross Heil would later become the section chief in 1960. Larry Teshara, Royaneh Lodge Chief from 1962, was elected National Deputy Chief of the Order of the Arrow in 1963.
Twenty years after it was formed in 1944, the last official business of Royaneh Lodge took place on December 13th, 1964 at a joint banquet and business meeting held at Goodman’s restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square. Royaneh Lodge 282 and Machek N’Gult Lodge 375 would merge to form the new lodge of the SFBAC.
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