Lodge History

 When the Connecticut Yankee Council was formed in January 1998, OA members from the two former Council Lodges (Tankiteke 313 and Arcoon 369) formed a lodge steering committee.  Members of the committee were:
 
From Tankiteke Lodge 313:  Bill Chin (Lodge Chief), Steve Cruzan (Lodge Vice Chief Administration), Patrick Sasser (Lodge Vice Chief Program), Nick Bohnsack (Training Chairman), Mark Barney (Pequot Chapter Chief), Bruce Malloy (Past Lodge Chief), and Mr. Bill Fromm (Lodge Adviser).
 
From Arcoon Lodge 369:  David Applegate (Lodge Chief), Jim Christensen (Lodge Vice Chief Camp Promotion), Jeff Berkowitz (Past Lodge Vice Chief Camp Promotion), Brian Harwood (Color Guard Chairman), Eric Boehm (Ceremonies Chairman), Chris Morris (Past Lodge Chief), and Mr. Art Lobdell (Staff Adviser).
 
A total of six meetings were needed to complete the merger between the two Lodges. At their first meeting on February 14, 1998, basic structure of the Lodge was discussed and another meeting was scheduled for March 22. During the second meeting, the committee focused on Committee responsibilities. The third meeting (May 4) the committee made plans for a joint June Ordeal and briefly discussed bylaws and Lodge names. A name was agreed upon during the fourth meeting (August 14) where the committee decided that there would be one Fellowship instead of two separate ones. Bylaws were also written and finalized. At the fifth meeting (August 23), the committee planned the Fall Fellowship and discussed what events the new Lodge would hold. During the final meeting (September 20), the committee made finishing touches to the Fellowship plans.
 
The 1998 Fall Fellowship “In the Morning of a New Day” would serve to be the first event as one Lodge. During the weekend, members of both Lodges enjoyed food, fun, games, fellowship, and brotherhood. On Sunday October 4, 1998, Owaneco Lodge 313 was born. This historic event took place during the first Lodge meeting where the Lodge membership approved the Lodge Name, Number, and Bylaws. The first group of Lodge Officers were also elected at that time. Garland Jackson was elected Lodge Chief. Chapters remained the same within the Lodge to make a total of seven: Achewon (Sleeping Giant District), Keewayden (Lighthouse District), Ockenuck (Wepawaug Valley District), Pequot (Nutmeg District), Powahay (Powahay District), Saganaw (Saganaw District), and Scatacook (Scatacook District).
 
During the Lodge’s first year the Executive Committee worked to mold the new Lodge program. Several changes were made by the Lodge’s Executive Committee to combine the traditions of Tankiteke and Arcoon and adapt a new Lodge program. It was also during 1998 when Ockenuck Chapter re-named itself to the Arcoon Chapter. On the Section level, Jeff Berkowitz was elected as the Section NE-3A Vice Chief and Adam Fromm was elected as the Section Secretary. Jeff later finished the year as the Section Chief when the position became vacant.
 
The 1999-2000 Lodge year began with the election of Eric Boehm to the position of Lodge Chief at the 1999 June Ordeal. Mr. Ralph Deer also replaced Mr. Bill Fromm as the Lodge Adviser. The Lodge continued to sharpen and make changes to the Lodge program. At the Section NE-3A Conclave, Bill Chin was elected as the Section Vice Chief. The Lodge sent two youths and an adult to the first ever National Leadership Summit at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Lodge Chiefs and other youth officers from all across the country met to discuss and plan the National Order of the Arrow program. Bill Chin also attended the event and represented the Section. During the year, seven Chapters became six when Pequot (Nutmeg) and Saganaw (Saganaw) combined to form the new Chief Pomperaug Chapter (Pomperaug District). It was also during the 1999 year that Owaneco Lodge achieved “Honor Lodge” for the first time in its short history.
 
In the 2000-2001 Lodge year, Damien Becroft was selected to serve as Lodge Chief at the June Ordeal. In the summer of 2000, the Lodge went to its first National Order of the Arrow Conference at the University of Tennessee. The Lodge sent a spirited contingent of 16 youth, 6 adults, and 3 youth staff members to the Conference. The Ceremonies Team comprised of Mike McCann, Bob Kravecs, Michael Card, and Rob Emerson was awarded National “Honor” status for their performance in the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony. Bill Chin was also awarded “Honor” status for his performance in the Vigil Honor Ceremony. Later in the year, the Lodge donated $7500 for the construction of new latrines at Camp Sequassen. The Executive Committee also decided to switch the Fall Fellowship and May Ordeal weekends. This switch was made in order to give Ordeal candidates more time to prepare for their Ordeal weekend after their Call Out ceremony during the Spring Camporees. The Lodge’s first Spring Fellowship weekend was held in May of 2001.
 
The 2001-2002 Lodge year saw the election of Bob Kravecs, III as Owaneco’s forth Lodge Chief. The phrase, “Catch the Higher Vision,” was chosen as the theme for the year. The Lodge focused on increasing active membership and improving Lodge events. In addition the Lodge Officers worked to strengthen the core committees of the Lodge. The Lodge sent its first contingent to a National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill.
 
In June of 2002, Bob Kravecs, III was re-elected as Lodge Chief, making him the Lodge’s first multiple term Lodge Chief. The theme, “For He Who Serves His Fellows is of All His Fellows Greatest,” was selected as the theme for the year. The Lodge focused on building the Chapter and Lodge program, increasing Brotherhood conversion, and giving financial support to the Council. In the summer of 2002, a contingent of 13 youth, 5 adults, 4 youth staff, and 3 adult staff members went to the campus of Indiana University for the National Order of the Arrow Conference. Several awards and recognitions were presented at the Winter Banquet. James E. West Fellowships were given to Michael Card for his work on the lodge website and Mr. Robert Cloutier for revamping the membership committee. The Founders’ Award was also bestowed upon Bob Kravecs, III and Mr. Ralph Deer for their exceptional service. The Lodge also attained Honor Lodge status for the first time in its short history.
 
Robert Anstett was elected as Lodge Chief at the June 2003 Lodge Business Meeting. Robert’s leadership redeveloped Owaneco and brought the organization “Onward and Upward” as the Lodge celebrated the 5th Anniversary. At the June 2003 Ordeal, Mr. Ralph Deer retired as Lodge Adviser after 4 years of service in that position. Mr. Mark Clark was announced as his replacement. In the summer of 2003, a contingent of 6 youth, 5 adults, and 2 youth staff traveled to North Carolina for Indian Summer. Also in the Summer of 2003, Owaneco implemented its “OA Day” program at Camp Sequassen resident camp. This program increased Brotherhood conversion and raised significant funds for both the Lodge and camp. Shortly after, Owaneco dazzled Section NE-2C as they hosted a “Lights, Camera, Conclave” weekend. Michael Card served as Conclave Coordinator and brought Owaneco together to provide unprecedented program, activities, and shows to the Section. At the conclave, Bob Kravecs, III was elected to serve as the 2003-2004 Section Chief and Kevin Sylvester was elected as Section Secretary. The Lodge also organized a work party to pain the Council office.  At the 2003 Winter Banquet, the Founder’s Award was present to Dr. Robert Kravecs, Jr. and Michael Card. Brian Golrick and Kevin Sylvester were presented with the James E. West Fellowship Award for implementing the OA Day program at Camp Sequassen. Robert’s term as Lodge Chief proved to be successful as he brought the Lodge closer with the Council.  Owaneco Lodge again earned the National Quality Lodge Award for 2003.
 
In June of 2004, Kevin Sylvester was elected to serve as Lodge Chief. Kevin chose the phrase “Continue Faithfully to Serve” for the theme of the year. In the summer of 2004, Owaneco sent its largest contingent to NOAC at Iowa State University in Ames, IA comprised of 25 youth, 20 adults, 3 youth staffers, and 4 adult staffers. Owaneco’s Quinnipiac Dancers placed third nationally in the Group Dance Competition. Several members competed in the individual dance competitions.  Daniel Fagan placed in the top ten nationally in the Fancy Dance competition allowing him to dance at the NOAC Native American show.  The singing team composed of Tyler White, Russell Olsen, Daniel Velazquez, and David Pabis placed second in the nation in the Northern Style Drum Competition.  Owaneco Lodge also took first place in the National Ultimate Frisbee competition.  The ceremonies team comprised of Kevin Sylvester, Charles Johnson, Sean Murphy, and David Chick, Jr. were awarded National “Honor” status for their performance in the Pre-Ordeal ceremony. In August, Owaneco attended the 2004 Section Conclave where Kevin Sylvester was elected to serve as Section Chief and John Chick was charged to serve as Section Vice-Chief. In accordance with the Field Operations Guide, Kevin resigned as Lodge Chief and Drew Sansevero was chosen to serve the remainder of the term. At the 2004 Winter Banquet, the Founder’s Award was presented to Kevin Sylvester and Mr. Robert Anstett.  The James E. West Fellowship Award was presented to Edward Wolf Jr. for improving Lodge and Section communications. The 2004 year concluded by improving chapter involvement, service to the community, and assisting the Council as they prepared for the National Jamboree.  Another National Quality Lodge Award was earned in 2004.
 
In June of 2005, Charles Johnson was elected Lodge Chief and Mr. David Chick was appointed Lodge Adviser. Charlie and Dave worked to strengthen the Lodge Executive Committee and improve service to the council camps. In 2005, Owaneco introduced an Officer’s Retreat weekend to its program to better build the team of Lodge officers. In the summer, the Lodge sent its second contingent to the National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill. On the Section level, Kevin Sylvester was re-elected Section Chief for a second term.  At the 2005 Winter Banquet, Ed Wolf Jr. and Mr. Bill Chin were presented with the Founder’s Award.  Mr. Chris Fagan, for his years of service as Dance Team Adviser, was given the James E. West Award.  Again, the Lodge earned National Quality Lodge in 2005.  In the spring of 2006, the Lodge also supported help service the Council’s Extravaganza event, strengthening Council and Lodge relations. 

 

Andrew Vill was elected Lodge Chief in June of 2006 and chose the theme "We Are the Present, They Are the Future."  Andrew's goals were to improve Executive Committee accountability and improve the quality of Lodge events.  During Andrew's term, the Lodge started an annual Spring Picnic to serve as a fellowship activity and a kick-off for the Ordeal season.  In the summer of 2006, the Lodge sent a contingent to NOAC.  Held in East Lansing Michigan on the campus of Michigan State University, 42 brothers and 5 staff members attended the largest national conference in OA history.  The Lodge’s Ultimate Frisbee team defended its title and repeated as National Champions.  At the 2006 Winter Banquet, Ryan Murphy and Mr. Robert Emerson were presented the Founder's Award.  Mr. David Lewis was presented the James E. West Award for his continual service to the Dance Team and Achewon Chapter.  The Lodge was awarded the 2006 National Service Grant for the refurbishment of the Hoyt Training Cabin.
 
In June of 2007, Scott Backer was elected Lodge Chief.  On the adult side, Mr. Bill Chin was appointed as Lodge Adviser. “Be, Know, Do" was chosen by Scott to guide the Lodge during his term.  Scott's term focused on inter-chapter activities and preparing for the Lodge’s 10th Anniversary.  During Scott's term, the Lodge supported the Council's can tab collection effort to support Habitat for Humanity.  A redesigned Lodge webpage was launched and an online Unit Elections system was created to allow Troops to schedule elections.  In the summer of 2007, the Lodge sent a small, yet enthusiastic contingent to the National Conservation and Leadership Summit.  The contingent was comprised of 5 youth, 2 adults and 2 staff.   At the Section Conclave, Chris McCloskey was elected to the position of Section Secretary.  At the 2007 Winter Banquet, Zachariah Silver and Mr. Chuck Figlar were presented the Founder's Award.  Mr. David Chick Sr. was presented the James E. West award for his service as Lodge Adviser.  Owaneco Lodge achieved the National Quality Lodge Award for 2007.
 
In June of 2008, Christopher McCloskey was elected Lodge Chief.  With the Lodge’s 10th Anniversary in mind, Chris selected the theme “Looking to the Past, Preparing the Future” for the year.  Chris’ goals included building strength among the Lodge Committees, writing a Lodge Plan Book, improving the Unit Elections process, and celebrating the Lodge's 10th Anniversary.  In the summer, Owaneco Lodge participated in ArrowCorps5.  Owaneco Lodge was recognized as an ArrowCorps5 Trailblazer by sending a total of 32 participants to the program.  Our contingent was among top ten contingent sizes nationally.  The Lodge sent a contingent of 31 members (19 youth/9 adults/2 staff) to the project at Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Lodge members also participated in the Manti-La Sal National Forest project (1 staff) and Mark Twain National Forest (1 participant).  At the Section Conclave, Christopher McCloskey was elected t serve as Section Vice Chief.  After the Section realignment, he was appointed to the position of Acting Section Chief to fill the vacant position.  In October, the Lodge celebrated its 10th Anniversary at a large Fellowship at Deer Lake.  A new an online event registration system was added to the Lodge webpage.  At the annual Winter Banquet, Mr. Robert Cloutier was presented with the Founder’s Award for his dedicated service as Membership Adviser.  Christopher McCloskey was presented with the James E. West Award for his leadership as the ArrowCorps5 Contingent Coordinator.  Owaneco Lodge also earned the National Quality Lodge Award for 2008.  In May of 2009, the Lodge coordinated two major program areas in support of the Council’s ConnJam event.  The Dance Team organized an Indian Village and the Lodge organized a show called “The Echo Project.”  The Echo Project was an original production that highlighted important events from Scouting’s past and challenged participants to write the next chapters in Scouting’s future.
 
Andrew McCloskey was elected as Lodge Chief in June of 2009.  Andrew’s goals included supporting and promoting OA High Adventure and preparing to host the 2010 Section NE-2A Conclave.  In June at the Section Conclave, Christopher McCloskey was elected to the position of Section Chief. In the summer of 2009, 58 members (31 youth/20 adults/7 staff) attended the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Indiana University. At the Winter Banquet Mat Bouno was awarded the James E. West while Christopher McCloskey was awarded the Founders Award.

 

In May of 2010, Mat Buono was elected Lodge Chief as well as a new adviser came along. Mr. Bob Cloutier, previously the membership committee adviser, took the adviser position of Owaneco Lodge.  Shortly after, Owaneco hosted Section NE-2A as they hosted the 2010 Conclave at Camp Sequassen. This year, they explored new boundaries and held an Owaneco first; an Ordeal at Camp Pomperaug in Union, CT. Owaneco also sent their third contingent to a National Jamboree this year. At the 2010 Winter Banquet, Mr. Tom O’Brien was presented with the Founder’s Award for his dedicated services to Scatacook District, the Ceremonies Team, Trading Post and Brotherhood Committee.  In addition, Mr. Lloyd Gallup was presented with the James E. West award for his leadership as the 2010 Conclave Adviser.
 
Nick Wolf was elected  Lodge Chief in June 2011. A week later, at the 2011 Conclave, Owaneco Lodge's very own Dan Gallup was elected as Section Vice-Chief and Neil Patrick Harris was elected as Section Secretary. In addition, former Owaneco Lodge Adviser Mr. Bill Chin was appointed to be the new Section NE-2A Section Adviser. In the summer 2011, 22 members (9 youth/9 adults/4 staff) attended Indian Summer in North Carolina. In addition, 9 members (5 youth/4 adults) took part in Summit Corps, a work project that help construct the sight of the future National Jamboree site in West Virginia known as The Summit. Nicks main focus as Lodge Chief are to create a more youth driven open lodge, Increase ordeal member retention through meaningful experiences from fellowship to program, Boost attendance at all Owaneco Events and ECM’s, Increase Communication through email, social media, the website, and the newsletter, Have all information on owaneco.org updated with the latest from Owaneco Lodge, Increase Promotion of Lodge, Section, National and Council events at the chapter and Lodge level, Run a successful Find-out Fair at each Ordeal and most importantly, Have FUN!!! At the 2011 Winter Banquet, the lodge presented two James E. Wests fellowship awards to Nicolas Cloutier and Nick Wolf for all their work with the Owaneco Shows professional quality videos they produced. In addition, Andrew McCloskey and Wade Anderson were honored with the Founders Award for their continued support and dedication to the lodge. This banquet was also the first one to introduce the Ralph Deer Memorial Service Award which was presented to Neil Patrick Harris, Nicholas Razzaia, and "Uncle" Chuck Figlar.

 

At the June Ordeal of 2012, Jesse Morrow was elected Lodge Chief and Mr. Lloyd Gallup took over the reigns as Lodge Advisor.  That summer, a contingent of 34 Owaneco Lodge members attended the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference at Michigan State University as participants accompanied by 11 more members on staff.  The trip was quite exciting with many accomplishments attained by Owaneco members, including Alex Jagielski and Jesse Morrow placing nationally in American Indian Dance competitions.  Even more impressive was the Owaneco team which was crowned as the National Tug-of-War Champions!  Mr. Michael Card and Mr. Bill Chin both received the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their extensive work on the national level in the Order of the Arrow.  Their remarkable achievements also reflect the growing strength of Owaneco Lodge and its service towards others.  The 2012 year was concluded with successful fall events and an outstanding Winter Banquet with guest speaker Captain Greg Popora who related the tenets of Scouting to the training, discipline, and experience of Navy SEALs.  The awards committee presented the Founder’s Award to Neil Patrick Harris and Mr. William Ference, III.  The recipients of the Ralph Deer Memorial Service Award were Bob Brown, Morgan McMahon, Mr. Michael Kraus, and Mrs. Caroline Jagielski.  The awards committee along with the ECM decided in December to change the James E. West recipients to the two Cub Scouts who passed away in the Sandy Hook tragedy, Benjamin Wheeler and Chase Kowalski.  At the Winter Banquet the Lodge also celebrated its success in reaching the Gold Level of the newly instated Lodge Journey to Excellence program.  The lodge held two efficient ordeals in May and June of 2013, and sent a contingent to the Section NE-2A Conclave at Camp Strang.  At this point the lodge started working on its more long term goals, and recruited for Project 2013 at the upcoming National Scout Jamboree.

 

Neil Patrick Harris was elected Lodge Chief for the 2013-2014 term in June of 2013. Quickly after the election, he announced that the theme for his term will be, “Strengthen the ties of Brotherhood.” His goals for the year encompassed many of the aspects of the Order including giving service back to the Council in the form of a Major Camp Service Project at Camp Sequassen, and increasing participation, strengthening the bonds between one another. At the 2013 annual Section NE-2A Conclave in June 2013, Neil Patrick Harris was elected Section Vice Chief, and Samuel Guerra was elected Section Secretary. The lodge had four of its members serve on the Project 2013 Order of the Arrow Staff at the National Scout Jamboree in addition to 15 more serving in a variety of staff roles and over 125 members experience the Jamboree as participants. The Lodge celebrated its 15th anniversary at the annual Fall Fellowship in October. In December at the Winter Banquet, Sean Nulty and Ms. Carolyn Jagielski were presented with the Founder’s Award. Andrew McCloskey and Mr. William Chin were presented with the James E. West Award. Stephen Rogalski, Jason Savisky, Mr. Michael Kennedy, and Mr. Timothy McCloskey were presented the Ralph Deer Memorial Service Award. For the first time, two brothers were presented with the newly created Owaneco Outstanding Arrowmen Scholarship. Also debuting at this Banquet was the Owaneco Lodge High Adventure Scholarship which was presented to two arrowmen. In 2013, Owaneco Lodge received the Gold JTE Award for the second consecutive year. In February the lodge sent a contingent of 16 arrowmen to the Section NE-2A Project LEAP (Lodge Excellence Assistant Program) which was the largest of any lodge in the Section. In April and May, the lodge worked on completing our Major Camp Service Project which was the constructing of 32 brand new docks for the Camp Sequassen waterfront. The lodge provided funding for the entire project and over 50 brothers helped work on the project. Over the course of three workdays, all 32 docks were completely finished and ready for camp.

 

Daniel Wivagg was elected Lodge Chief for the 2014-2015 term in June of 2014.  At the Section Conclave in August, immediate past chief Neil Patrick Harris was elected Section Chief.  Heading into the centennial year, Daniel chose the words of Allowat Sakima as his theme to guide the lodge: "Preserving the Tradition of Cheerful Service."  The lodge achieved Gold level Journey to Excellence for the third straight year in 2014.  At the annual Winter Banquet, Jason Van Leeuwen and Mr. Lloyd Gallup received the Founder's award.  Neil Patrick Harris and Mr. Wade Anderson were presented with the James E. West Award for their contributions to the lodge program.  Alex Howland, John Markowski, and Mr. Roger Poggio received the Ralph Deer Memorial Service Award.  Once again, Owaneco presented a high adventure scholarship and two academic scholarships at the banquet.  In 2015, Owaneco committed to sending 84 members to NOAC, the biggest contingent ever from our lodge, in addition to 17 staff members.  The ArrowTour program also announced that an ArrowTour bus would be visiting Camp Sequassen in June of that year. During the early months of 2015, nine members were selected to receive the Order of the Arrow's Centurion Award, a centennial-only award created to recognize the hometown heroes of each lodge who have left a lasting impact through their service in the Order's first 100 years. Michael Card, Bill Chin, Ralph Deer, John "Chris" Fagan, Chuck Figlar, Neil Harris, Robert Kravecs, Christopher McCloskey, and Patrick Sullivan were announced as the Centurion Award recipients at the June Ordeal. All of these brothers were chosen because of the unique legacy they each left on Owaneco, and their contributions to the formation of our lodge and towards the fulfillment of our purpose are outlined in our Lodge History book.

 

Daniel McCloskey was elected as the Lodge Chief for the 2015-2016 term in June of 2015. 

 

Anthony Slate was elected as the Lodge Chief for the 2016-2017 term in June of 2016.

 

Kenny Wright was elected as the Lodge Chief for the 2017-2018 term in June of 2017.