Friday, May 25, 2007

What Made "U" Collect A Specific Lodge?

Patch collecting changes or evolves as interests in the field change from person to person. Ever sit back and thank how it all begin...or even how it will all end? Did you expand your collecting interests? Did you narrow your collecting interests?...perhaps a combo of both?

What made you collect a specific lodge or council? A common answer might be because you yourself were once a member in said lodge/council or now perhaps have a son in a certain council/lodge.

As collection expands so do the reasons whether they are odd or obvious. I collect Black Eagle Lodge #482 because it was the lodge I was inducted by. I collect Lodge #406 Chickasah because it was the lodge my father was inducted into. Since it merged back in 90's, I also collect the successor...Lodge #558 Ahoalan-Nachpikin. After a while, needs of the above lodges slowed down and added Lodge #52 Moswetuset to my collection interests because I liked the odd-shaped Lobster patches.

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Since the addition of Lodge #52 Moswetuset, I have added only one new lodge to my collecting interests. It is the first new lodge added to my collection since moving back to the states, at the end of 04, and it all started by chance.

I attended my first lodge function since moving from Germany with Ahoalan-Nachpikin #558 at an annual LOAC function. There I met several folks I have talked with by E-Mail for years and it was good to put faces to all the folks I have never met before. There I met Chuck Schadrack and we got talking about patches. Turns out he collects a lot of Chickasaw Council and District patches from the area and my grandfather just so happened to give a large sack full of Chickasaw patches. I told Chuck about these patches and he was excited to hear my tale. I did not bring the sack to that function because I had no idea that anyone was so interested in those kind of patches. I told him I would bring them to the next event of Lodge 558 that I could attend, and I did, but before that he told me to look through his dupes and pick up any patches that caught my interest...

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I was digging through Chuck's dupes and discovered a bunch of old Ittawamba Lodge #235 flaps. They had that old thick swiss look to them that many collectors like...*wink*. I picked up 7 or 8 of these flaps and was immediately tickled with excitement when he basically said he was glad to help. Chuck gave them to me in the hopes of getting first dibs on my Grandfather's old stuff. He got his wish and was pretty stoked like a pirate digging through a treasure chest full of booty. He had to wait almost a whole year for his side of the trade and that is something I believe most other collectors would not have done in his place.

I was shocked at the difficulty and even value held by some of these old 235 patches when I first started to research lodge #235 which has now become my latest addition to my collecting field. Lodge #235 issues more patches than I can keep up with and is proving to be quite a challenging lodge to collect and it is all thanks to a few dupes laying in Chuck's bag.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Buy Your R/W Denmark Strip for only 15¢

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The article above reads as follows...

"The Executive Board of Transatlantic Council has approved the wearing of local council shoulder insignia by the entire council membership in place of the community and state strips.

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The council strip (cat.#157) contains the name of our council and the country in which your unit is located. Council strips are now available for Italy, Libya, Spain, France, Germany, Morocco, Great Britain, Austria, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. They may be ordered in any quantity at 15¢ for immediate shipment from the council office."

Of course, this article is about 40 years old. It is interesting to note that there is no mention of an England Council Strip, but Great Britain instead, which makes me question exactly when and by who created the England strip. The R/W England strip is highly sought by Transatlantic collectors. It is safe to say that the England Red and White had to be made after the 1960s.

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Both of these Red and White Council Strips easily sell for over $1000 but recent appearances of both on Ebay have seen those values exceed by more than double. Not bad for a piece of cloth that sold originally for 15¢

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Did You Know...?!

I was reading through my old Transatlantic Council newsletters called, "Transatlantic Trails!" If you happened to have any historical paperwork from the council please feel free to email me. I would like to obtain a copy. The same goes for all paperwork from the lodge and chapters such as newsletters and fliers.

Below is about the oldest piece of history I have from the council. Posted for your viewing pleasure is Transatlantic Trail #1 issue from December 1955.

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Below is the first evidence I have of the council's breakdown of districts. Only one of those districts exist today by the same name.....Mediterranean District.

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Black Eagle Lodge in the early 1950's was apparently an unorganized mess. The history of the lodge can be traced back to 1952; however, the first annual lodge event did not take place until Feb 17-18 1956. The article below states...

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"The first annual meeting of the Order of the Arrow, Black Eagle Lodge, will be held on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18 at Chiemsee Leave and Rest Cent.

The meeting will start at 19:30 Friday and close at 22:00 Saturday. Saturday afternoon will be free.

Resverations must be made in advance at the Council office in Heidelberg.

Order of the Arrow members from other Lodges in the States are invited to attend.

Enclosed in this issue of the Transatlantic Trail is a special notice of this meeting. Unit leaders are asked to pass this world along to any Order of the Arrow members in their Units."

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Almost...But Never Was (Part 2)

Al Opstal, former lodge adviser, used to assist and take part in patch design/creation of fellowship patches for Black Eagle Lodge 482. If and when scouts did not come up with a theme or design, Al would seek the guidance of Tom Slavicek. Tom has created several fellowship patches for Black Eagle Lodge. Eventually, Al PCS'd back to the United States and the Fall Fellowship patch design for 2001 went with him. It was one of many patches Tom designed at the request of Al.

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The patch that took its place was rather unpleasant. The multi-purpose patch was used for over 3 different lodge functions. It was designed by Peter Amrphol. The lodge apparently used it as a quick fix and to keep costs down on patches.

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Sadly, after Al's departure Black Eagle really has abandoned keeping a steady theme to fellowship patches. The designs have been from mild to wild with no basis of coherent logic. In 2005, the fellowship showed signs of returning to traditional standards but it did not last. While this change is not necessarily a bad is different from that of which I remembered.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Stars and Stripes Honors Scouts with Special Edition

The Special Boy Scout Edition 1963 from The Stars And Stripes about Transatlantic Council. Pictured below are a couple snap shots from the special edition. Highlight of the article is Transatlantic Council reaching all time high in membership.

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The council use to have support from top rank generals and what seemed like unlimited military support. Today, the council takes support from anyone that is willing to offer a helping hand.

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I thought some of you might enjoy the picture of Checkpoint Charlie with various Scouters pictured above.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Are You A Flapper?

I was reading some articles from "The Totem" which is the newsletter for Black Eagle Lodge. It is only available now online. It was once taken to a press to be printed and mailed out through a list but those days are sadly gone.

I do not know who wrote this article or where it came from but I always loved it. I will post a couple of paragraphs to shorten the read.

What's A Flapper?

A "Flapper" is someone who has been Tapped Out. Gone through the Ordeal, and then forgotten about his Obligation. Maybe he has attended an OA function or two, but most probably he's never has any other dealings with the OA. Oh, you can be sure that he'll wear his Ordeal sash to all troop Courts of Honor and take it to the summer camp, but he's one of those guys who is "too busy" to join his so called Brothers when off to attend the Rededication Ceremony.

Sure, he always wears his OA pocket flap - that's how he gets his name. He wears the flap and he flaps his lips about the membership in the OA, but his words are hollow. His words are hollow because actions speak louder than words and his words are heard only by the few, while his actions are seen by all. A "Flapper" has "done his time" so when it comes to gathering firewood, cooking, cleaning up, helping young Scouts learn Scoutcraft, and providing leadership by example, you'd better look for someone else. He'll strut around like a peacock with his lodge flap and his OA sash, but he'd never stop to help his fellow Scouts and get his hands dirty.

Have you remembered your Obligation? Or are you a "Flapper"?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Treasures At Coberly's (Black Eagle Lodge Part II)

The amount of treasures that live in Coberly's home seemed almost endless. It is worthy to consider turning all those scouting goods into a personal museum if probably organized and put out on display.

Dan Coberly was generous beyond all belief and parted with a piece of Black Eagle History that I have never seen before. He gave me a Black Eagle Lodge Loincloth. The picture does not do it justice. The loincloths are made from layer and layer of cloth through a method of select cuttings, sewn patches, and various threading. It is truly a work of art. The one Coberly gave me is similar to the one pictured below with a dark purplish background but is far to big for me to scan.

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Dan was kind enough to provide the history behind these loincloths. "During the 1970's, we ordered a few loin cloths like these from using molas made in Panama CZ, similar to the ones from Chiriqui Lodge in the 1960's. They were made by Kuna/San Blas Indians and came in different designs with chapter and lodge totems." These loin cloths appeared to be originally made for the Ni'na Caw Yu Chapter for Black Eagle Lodge 482.

Truly, a unique piece of history that I plan to treasure.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

What Happened to Collectible OA and Council Pins???

I suppose things come and go in terms of style, but whatever did happened to OA and Council pins? I always thought pins were a nice addition to collections but they seem to be mostly ignored. They appeared to be on a decline long before since I started collecting. I am always on the lookout for Black Eagle Lodge pins, Transatlantic Council pins, Chickasaw Council pins, and lodge 406 and 558 pins. I have been collecting them for almost as long as I have been collecting the patches to these lodges and councils.

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The first time I saw anyone collect pins with any certainty was at the 1997 Jamboree. I saw a few people actively looking for lodge flap pins; however, I saw more people trying to dump collections of pins at the 1997 Jamboree.

I rarely see people ask or offer pins for trade these days. I suppose they are like woven flaps. They are some of the most beautiful and yet simplest patches but wovens made today are not the same as those made from the past. Perhaps the same is true with pins...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Blast From The Past...Back Eagle Conference 1970 Camp Dahn

I was digging through my cabinets at home and came across some old photos from a Black Eagle Lodge Fellowship held at Camp Dahn sometime in September 1970. I originally discovered them digging through lockers at my scout hut on Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg, Germany. I took them fearing they would end up in a trash can one day. The set was numbered up to 16 but when I got my hands on the pictures only 9 remained and I will share a few of them with you all.

The photos were all taken by SP/5 Tucker from the 69th Signal Co. at the time.

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Active voting participation to elect officers of Black Eagle Lode is one of many events taking place at Camp Dahn, Dahn, Germany, during the Black Eagle Lodge Conference.

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Robert Nett, newly elected chief of the Black Eagle Lodge, Order of the Arrow, is shown here in full Indian outfit while addressing the lodge.

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Here a scout trains other lodge members in one of many scout led training sessions. Scouts from all across Europe and England met at Dahn, Germany for the annual Black Eagle Lodge Conference.

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An Eagle Scout is shown here leading a discussion with scouts from the Transatlantic Council of the Boy Scouts of America. His classroom is held in an Army field tent at Dahn, Germany.

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A member of the Boy Scout Indian dance team shown dancing the Eagle Dance for German children and adults in Dahn, Germany. The Indian dancing was part of the many activities in a week-long Boy Scout Conference held at Camp Dahn in Dahn, Germany.

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Order of the Arrow Scouts gather around the traditional flaming campfire which highlights evening Indian Folk-lore dances.

If were a Black Eagle member during this time perhaps, just perhaps, you will find yourself here and remember the good times you had during this event. ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Almost...But Never Was (Part 1)

I was flipping through my Black Eagle collection today and discovered something I had forgotten about for a while. Ever wonder how many patches are designed these days but never see the light of day? Well, many years ago my father and myself decided to design a patch for the lodge. I have no idea if our intention was to make a new service flap or a patch for NOAC as a fund raiser. It never made it past the design phase. We sent in a picture of an eagle and basic requirements of what was to be on the flap. I do remember we wanted the American Flag background. It turned OK but we were hoping for a lot better since we sent it into a patch company so that they could design it in a more professional format. Instead of getting a whole eagle like we expected we only got an eagle head on the flap. I think we paid about ten dollars or perhaps twenty dollars for them to do this design. Below is what we got in return...

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We submitted it to the lodge and sadly the designed was turned down. Turns out a few other designs were tucked away in folder at this meeting as well. I believe it was for the 2002 NOAC time frame but could of been around for the 2000 NOAC as well. The lodge asked for people to come up with designs which happens to be a rarity in Black Eagle. I gave it a lot thought and even took it to a professional designer and the LEC spent what felt like less than a minute deciding its fate.

I was crushed by that outcome and despite my love for patches I vowed to myself to never design a patch for Black Eagle again. Turns that statement would hold mostly true. It wasn't until we got some cork material to make some cork flaps that we decided to take a stab at patch making. We were not going to make the same mistake again. Instead of coming with an original design, Dan Coberly, my father, and myself simply decided to go with the Eagle from the old W-1 flap. It turns out keeping the design simple allowed the cork background to stand out even more. The elders in the lodge were mostly aware of the cork flaps but I do not think they were ever really voted on. I stopped attending LEC meetings years ago so I have no idea. It was one of many issues to be adopted by the lodge after they came into being. They were quite popular and another cork flap was made so that more members could have one. My father paid for the materials and donated all money he put into the cork flaps to the lodge. The flaps were pretty popular inside and outside the lodge. My first design was a second ended up being pictured in the Blue Book. :)