The History ofAquehongian Lodge 112,

Order of the Arrow,W.W.W.

 

Dedicated in lovingmemory of all brothers who have been called back home to the creator; and to thosebrothers scattered to the four winds in pursuit of service.

 

It was theseventh Day of June in the year nineteen hundred and thirty eight when thefollowing letter was written to Joe Carstang of 206 Bay Street of StatenIsland, New York:

 

Dear Mr. Carstang:

 

           I am very happy to advice you that the application of your Council for a lodgeof the Order of the Arrow has been favorably acted upon by the NationalCouncil, Boy Scouts of America and the National Executive Committee of theOrder of the Arrow.

 

           I am instructing the National Secretary and the National Treasurer to forwardto you as soon as possible the various pieces of literature and supplies, whichare due your group. They shall also issue a charter.

 

           Sincerely yours,

 

           J.H. Brinton,

           National Chief

           Order of the Arrow, W.W.W.

 

 

Thus beginsthe story of Aquehongian Lodge Number 112.

Just where didit all originate? Of what use is that and subsequent information to the averageBrother today? Perhaps in the coming story, those questions can be answered bythe reader.

 

First, we mustunderstand that the above letter was not the true beginning. It had to beginsomewhere when circumstances led to the formation of a group, and when furthercircumstances evolved that group into the fold of the Brotherhood of CheerfulService. That somewhere, of course, was Camp Aquehonga, Staten Island’s, “LongTerm Camp.”

 

CHAPTER1 1930 to 1940

 

In the early1930’s, Camp Aquehonga offered a host of awards, recognizing various types ofachievement by Scouts during their stay. Among them were the, “Tonka Coo”awards, which were painted on the Scout belt by the person who received them.The particular, “Tonka Coo” of which we shall deal, was known as the, “GoodIndian.”

 

At each awardscampfire, Scouts nominated fellow campers, who had shown a good deal of effort,for this award. As can be imagined there were few in number. Sometimes a Scoutnamed refused the, “Good Indian” on the grounds that he did not think himselfworthy.

 

As the seasonwore on, the camp staff talked a god deal about the boys elected to the, “GoodIndian,” and how they could develop these boys into some kind of group.

 

Joseph D.Carstang, Staten Island’s Scout Executive, was Camp Director; and a fellow bythe name of Frank Gross was the Activities Director. Carstang and Gross talkednow and again of organizing a group something like the Order of the Arrow. Sothe Scout leaders at camp decided to get together in the fall of 1935 at Scoutheadquarters to work on this. Headquarters was then on the top floor of theEgbert Building in Tompkinsville.

 

By May 18,1936as constitution had been drawn up. It was all the result of several meetings inwhich an organization to be known as the, “Aquehongians” was created. They tooktheir name from the camp, which, by the way, had been named for the old Indianname for Staten Island. The constitution itself provided for a Chief, aMedicine Man, a Wampum Keeper, and a Scribe. There were to be the foursub-chiefs, who would represent the four sections of Staten Island. Frank Grosswas to be the first and only chief of the, “Aquehongians.”

 

The aim of thegroup was to recognize good campers, and promote camping at Aquehonga. Mr.Castang had already been connected with the Order of the Arrow, so the,“Aquehonigans” followed the ideals, and the goals of the Order as they werebest understood.

 

In the year1937-1938, it was decided that the, “Aquehongians” apply to join the Order ofthe Arrow. The members of the, “Aquehongians” were then duly informed that allthose who wished to become members of the Order of the Arrow were to report towhat was then known as, “Short Term Camp,” on a weekend late in May for theOrdeal ceremonies.

 

All those ofthe, “Aquehongians” who were able to attend that weekend, therefore became thefirst Brothers of, Aquehongian Lodge Number 112. This was a group of about tento fifteen boys. A fellow by the name of Joseph Weidner was informally chosenas chairman to lead the initiations at Camp Aquehonga during that summer.

 

At this timeFranklin “Pete” Dean was serving as Camp Chalain, and was among the first groupelected during the 1938 season. At the summer’s end, a meeting was held atShort Term Camp for organizing the new Lodge, making the formal application fora charter, getting more information of the O.A. organization, drawing up aconstitution, and holding the first election. At this meeting Pete Dean becamethe first Chief of the Lodge.

 

Most of thatyear was spent in trying to get the charter written and accepted by theNational Council, organizing the ritual materials and the Brothers who wouldserve the ritual team. The Lodge also conduction many visits to Island troopsin an effort to get them to go to Camp Aquehonga.

 

The followingsummer saw the continued induction of campers in the Lodge. The requirements atthe time were rigid. Only those who attended Camp Aquehonga, were Star Scouts,and at least second year campers who had earned the camp emblem, were eligiblefor election into the Lodge.

 

The form ofelection itself is quite different than it is today. Scouts did not attend campby home troops. Some did of course, but the leadership in camp was largely leftto camp staff. It therefore followed that election into the Order was notconducted by home troops, but by, “shelter areas.” The area system was veryeffective. There were three area’s in all; cabins, leantos and tents. Fourshelters in each group with a staff member known as a, “shelter leader.” He wasin charge of the four shelters. This was usually a group of about troop size,(32 Scouts, or so) and was for all immediate purpose the basic unit at camp.Each unit was allowed to elect three or four Scouts.

 

That SeptemberPete Dean was re-elected chief at the fall meeting in short term camp. Annualreports were read, plans for a Christmas party, to be held at what was known asBuntin Lodge, were drawn up, and the Brotherhood Honor was discussed. It wasdecided that procedures for the honor would have to be investigated so theceremony could be conducted properly.

That year wasgood one. The Christmas party was a great success. A songfest was held,refreshments were served, and a “new” color film of the TMR Scout Camps wasshown. In the spring the Lodge held what was to become a regular camp promotionproject, and the first eight members of the Lodge to receive the Brotherhoodwere selected. They were: Thomas Olsen, James Gunther, Eric Martin, JohnMenthe, William Henel, James C. Yorkston, Joseph Weidener, and Pete Dean. Thearrangements for the event were made in conjunction with Suanhacky Lodge fromQueens, whose Brotherhood members conducted the initiations at Buntin Lodge.

 

CHAPTER2 1940 to 1950

 

On a page inthe 1940 Annual Report is a list of the new members who were inducted thatyear. Another problem, that of accepting candidates with valid requirements,became evident in a list of people who were elected to the Order, but who couldnot take their Ordeal as they were not Star Scouts. Among the list of names isthat of Fred Novo-Mesky, who was inducted the following summer in 1941.

 

Fred must havehad a lot on the ball in those days as that September saw his election as LodgeSecretary in the administration of Peter Rossin. The following September of1942, Fred was elected Chief.

 

Thedevelopment of the Lodge was somewhat hindered during World War II, by theabsence of many Brother who were serving in the Armed Forces. During thisperiod, of course, nominations and inductions into the Lodge continued to beheld at Camp Aquehonga. The Annual Dinner in September remained the biggestevent of the year, with elections and installation of new officers taking placeand an otherwise enjoyable way to begin the New Year. This affair was laterexpanded into an annual weekend.

 

It can be saidwith reasonable certainly that the first significant Chief of the post warperiod was Eddie Matthews, serving from September 1945-1946 and from 1947-1948.A committee to revive the Brotherhood Honor was established during his term ofoffice by Brother Lee A. Ellison, the Lodge Advisor, Bill Holmes, Chief in1944-1945 and John Young, Sr. From this committee developed the BrotherhoodLodge, in actuality, a separate entity from the Ordeal organization. This typeof organization was destined to play an important roll in the development ofthe Lodge in the early and middle 1950’s.

 

How this cameabout may be explained through several factors. There was, for example, atremendous social intermingling among the Brotherhood members. This tended toisolate and develop the people who were to be the molders of the 1950’s.

 

Anytime aconstitutional questions or matter concerning bylaws and such was passed by theLodge, it was funneled through the Brotherhood, and then back to the Ordeal.Normally speaking the Lodge accepted the changed of the Brotherhood, if any,almost as a matter of form. From this stems the concept of the division of thelodge into three separate categories. There were no Vigil Honor Members in theLodge at this time.

 

It was in 1949when John R. Young Sr. was inducted as the first Vigil Honor member from thisLodge. Joe Carstang had been a Vigil member since 1927, when he was Treasurerof the National Lodge of the Order. The common story is that he was one of theoriginal eight, among whom was E. Urner Goodman, Joe Brunton, and Albert C.Nichold, to receive the Vigil Honor.

 

Jesse Metzsucceeded Edward Matthews in 1948, during whose term of office representativesfrom the lodge attended their first National Meeting. The meeting was held atthe University of Indiana, Bloomington. In attendance were Ed Matthews, JesseMetz, Roland Nesslinger and Henry Shine. During that summer, Lou Shielty, chiefof the Brotherhood and members, traveled to Oneonta, NY to induct a newBrotherhood Lodge where Lee Ellison had his summerhouse.

 

In Septemberof 1949, Lawrence Soldovieri succeeded Jesse Metz.

 

CHAPTER3 1950 to 1960

 

At the startof the 1950’s, nearly all activities of the Lodge were still centered at CampAquehonga. The activities of the Lodge on Staten Island consisted of an annualmeeting, a Christmas Party, and a spring meeting, prior to going to camp. Theorganization of the Lodge included a Chief, Secretary, Treasurer and fourcommittees: Social, Service, Costume, Ritual.

 

Soldovieriapparently accomplished a good deal in reorganizing the Lodge and itsactivities, as he was re-elected in 1950. He was the first Chief to hold morethan one term consecutively. Matthews, has two terms before him; but they weresplit. Richard Jones served as Chief in between his first and second term.

 

At the requestof the National Organization, and with the cooperation of Greater New YorkCouncils, the Lodge created an Elections Committee. This was in essence, anexperiment of National, which wanted to see this new type of Committee at workfor a year before official sanction, and recommendation to other lodges.

 

At this pointSoldoviere saw fit to shift the elections from Camp Aquehonga to Staten Island.This particular shift, more than anything else was probably responsible for thetremendous upsurge in Lodge activity during the 1950’s.

 

So for now,Soldoviere had quite a record under his belt. The great movement of activitiesto Staten Island, a definite recognition of the Brotherhood Lodge as central tothe maturing development in the organization, and induction of the first VigilHonor member, John Young. He didn’t stop there.

 

In his secondterm of office, the idea of a lodge neckerchief was introduced and work beganon its design. A Tap-out circle was constructed at Camp Aquehonga, which latercame to be known as the Pioneer circle. It should be noted here that some ofthe most spectacular Tap Outs ever seen at Aquehonga were conducted that year.

 

Inappreciation to Soldovieri’s endeavors as Chief, and later as an active adult,the 1955 Annual Report was dedicated to him with theses words, “ His keen andactive mind foresaw the great development of the Lodge, and his devotion to theorganization had been an inspiring example to use who have followed him. Thisreport stands in tribute to him.”

 

In 1951,Richard P. Filos succeeded Lawrence Soldovieri.

 

Filos wasanother fine Chief, generally continuing the policies of Soldoveiri. Hissignificant contributions included completion and issue of the first Lodgeneckerchief patch. In 1952, Filo’s second term of office, saw the first attemptto create the group system, a brainchild of John Braniff. It began with theorganization of the Honor’s Group. At this time, the Lodge had five committees.The Honors Master took under his wing, Ritual, Elections and Costumes. Shortlythereafter the Costume Committee dissolved and was incorporated as the RegaliaDivision of the Ritual Committee. The First Honors Master was John Braniff.

 

Also duringthis term, the first Lodge Publication was published, the Vigil Honor Committeewas created, and the initiation of the Camporee Tap out began.

 

Russell Langsucceeded Filos in 1953.

 

Lang was notedfor the creation of the position of Vice Chief. The early June election ofLodge Officers, was also put into place here. Also this is where the firstAnnual Weekends were seen in the month of September. This however, couldn’thelp the problems, which arose on that Annual Weekend.

 

The new Chief,Jim Hamilton, never arrived for his installation. The first Vice Chief ever tobe subsequently called upon, Bill Elliot, refused to take the position ofChief, and so a special election was hurriedly called. Bill Core, who waselected in the special, served thirty days, and went off to the Air Force.

 

Anotherspecial Lodge meeting was then called, and Carstang and Ellison placedBraniff’s name in nomination. That’s how the Lodge had a Chief and how the,“Year of the Three Chief’s” got its name.

 

Braniff waselected and his first act was to create a Lodge Activities Group. The Social,Service and Publications Committee’s, where incorporated under this group. Inaddition, Jim Cawl revived the Lodge Newsletter.

 

The foremostproject of the Service Committee in conjunction with the entire Activitiesgroup was the introduction of the Junior Leader Training Course. This mammothproject was completely organized and run by Aquehongian Lodge 112.

 

In Septemberof 1956, John Braniff succeeded Jerry Everson as Lodge Chief.

 

Everson’s wasalso a good year. A few of the most significant contributions of hisadministration were the pictographs of the legend, the greatest treasure in thelodge’s possession, which were made by Walter Vines with the assistance of LeeEllison. Also, the Elections Committee was going full swing that year.

 

In Septemberof 1957, the great, “giver” to the Lodge, Joe Carstang, the Islands ScoutExecutive since the 1930’s retired; along with Lee A. Ellison, the great,“supporter” Lodge Advisor since 1940.

 

How the Lodgefelt about these two latter people is best expressed in the dedication of the1956-1957 Annual Report.

 

“…these menhave announced that this coming year will be their last active one. Long beforewe were born, these men were active in Scouting Circles.

 

Their everydaylives have personifies the high ideals of our Order-brotherhood, cheerfulness,and service. The Aquehongian Lodge is proud to dedicate the 1956-1957 AnnualReport to the Grand Old Men of Scouting: Brother Joseph D. Carstang and BrotherLee A. Ellison.

 

James Cawl waselected Chief for the 1957-1958 term. Cawl was mingled with the members of theLodge as no immediate predecessor had ever done before. The first LodgeWeekend, purely for the purpose of fun and fellowship was conducted during hisadministration.

 

To fill theplaces vacated by Carstang and Ellison came a new comer to the scene. FrankKopecky became the Scout Executive, and Charlie Richards became Lodge Advisor.

 

In Septemberof 1959, Walter Vines succeeded Jim Cawl as Lodge Chief.

 

In the winterof 1959, the first large successful weekend, in keeping with the precedentbegan by Jim Cawl; took place at Blockhouse in Ten Mile River. That weekend maywell be noted for several hard to forget events. Advisor Charlie Richards, forexample, hiked a few miles in a business suit when his car got stuck. JoeCarstang attended also. Here was one Scouter who really mixed with the boys;sleigh riding, belly whopping down the hill around the back of the Blockhouse,over sixty years old.

 

CHAPTER4 1960 to 1965

 

Wayne Fulchersucceeded Walter Vines in 1960. Fulcher like Vines was to serve two terms.Activity was a numerous and diversified as ever they had been, and it seemed,on the surface at least, that the 1960’s would be golden years for AquehongianLodge 112.

 

Jim Currysucceeded Wayne Fulcher in September of 1962. Curry’s administration saw thecommission and completion of the painting, “The Higher Vision” which likenothing before or since, except perhaps the ceremonial skins by Walter Vines,gave the Lodge national recognition.

 

This was aproject totally undertaken by the Vigil Honor organization. The money tocommission the painting, the work involved to give it its historicsignificance, and the presentation of the painting to the National Museum inNew Brunswick, was all the work of the Vigil Honor. The personalities mostdirectly involved were John Braniff, and Fred NovoMesky; as co-chairmen of theproject. This project marked the last thing the Vigil Honor did as a separateorganization. Right up until this time, they had operated their own meetings,socials, projects, and elections. Ralph Hoffman succeeded Charlie Richards asAdvisor.

 

In 1963, DonNaiman as Chief succeeded Jim Curry. He quickly set about a five man VigilCommittee, as electors for the honor. This task was in full accord with the newAdvisor and the Scout Executive.

 

After severalmonths, Don Naiman resigned as Chief, beginning another, “Year of ThreeChiefs.” Vice Chief Peter Paril, succeeded him.

 

Paril wasdrafted; and the Executive Board held a special meeting, where John Pein waschosen to fill out the remainder of the year as Lodge Chief.

 

The Lodge wasin the midst of terrible political trouble due to a conflict between themembers of the Vigil Honor and the administration. Ralph Hoffman did his verybest to keep the Lodge from folding.

 

In September1964 Joe Rentkowski became Chief of the Lodge. Rentkowski was a controversiallodge Chief, though he was a successful one. The new lodge letterhead, designedby Eddie Devito, came out in his administration to replace the old, more formalone that had been with the lodge since its inception. Both the Activities andthe Honors Groups regained some of their old flavor, and the lodge was keepingmost of its inductees again.

 

Charles Blaichwas inaugurated in September of 1965. Charlie was a “diplomat” needed to getthe lodge through this sensitive time. Al Pein succeeded Ralph Hoffman asAdvisor in 1965.

 

CHAPTER4 1970 to 1980

 

DouglasSundstrom was elected Chief in 1971,replacing John Ruggerios. With a strongfoundation laid in place by the Chiefs of the 1960’s, Doug led the Lodge to agood year. It must be noted that the administrations of Palisay, Birsltler,Auer, Mazzella, Wincelowicz and Ruggiero were responsible for unifying the lodge.An apology is extended to those above named chiefs, as the author is not awareof their individual achievements.

 

During the1972-1973 Scouting year, there were 2 Chiefs, Philip Dunseath and James Whaley.The 35th Anniversary dinner was in the spring on 1973.Held at thePavilion on the Terrace, the highlight of the Dinner was a speech by NASAAstronaut along with a video address by Dr. E. Urner Goodman. Thanks for thissuccessful even go to three past Chiefs, Birslter, Rentkowski and Sundstrom.

 

Robert Koethwas succeeded by James Whaley in 1973 as Lodge Chief. During the years of1974-1977, due to pressure by GNYC to standardize our lodge calendar to followthe calendar year and not the Scouting calendar; Robert Wedinger and JamesKoeth were both Chief for 18 months. Bob and Jim referred to themselves asCo-Chiefs, each being the others right-hand-man.

 

Standardizationcaused installation and Annual day meetings to be held in January. It alsocaused problems for the chairmen as they were starting up in the middle of theyear. Within three years, with the installation of James McInerney as Chief, wewere back to following the Scouting calendar.

 

During theWedinger-Koeth years, the Lodge returned to Fins, Furs and Feahters for itsWinter Weekend. During the floods of 1976, the Lodge was called out to help theRed Cross when there was heavy flooding on Staten Island. Brothers distributedemergency equipment and surveyed flood damage. It was also these years that theChief became a member of the Staten Island Council Executive Board. These yearsalso saw the much-needed repairs of the Aquehongian Trail. Two othersignificant events were the installation of Nat Jerlin and Ralph Hoffman aslife members of the lodge, and the 50th Anniversary hike to Ten MileRiver.

 

In 1974 RobertOwens replaced Joe Rentkowski as Advisor. George MacDonald replaced Owens laterthat year. George served two years uintil he felt he needed to give more timeto Troop 46, of which he was Scoutmaster. During the later part of 1975, FrankGordan accepted the position of Lodge Advisor on a temporary basis. Thistemporary job lasted over two years.

 

JamesMcInerney was elected Chief in Spring of 1977. The four officers-elect of theLodge, James McInerney-Chief, Frank Resta-Vice Chief, Richard Ryan-Secretary,and Rick Wedinger-Treasurer; all attended the National Conference at theUniversity of Tennessee. Mr. George Davis provided transportation to theconference. Three of these four boys went on to become Chief.

 

Frank Mullanefollowed Frank Gordan as Lodge Advisor in 1977. Frank Resta moved up from ViceChief to Chief. During Frank’s adminstration the Lodge became a NationalStandard Lodge.

 

CHAPTER6 1980 to 1988

 

1979-1983 sawRich Wedinger installed as Chief followed by Rich Walsh. During Rich Walsh’sterm, George Rice served as Advisor. 1981 brought with it a new Advisor andChief. Steve DeQuinsio became Chief, a position he would hold for two years. Inthese years the Dance Team bloomed into a fine squad under the direction ofGregg Scott and Al Seletti. Robert Herman became Lodge Advisor, a position hewould hold until 1987, with a one year sabbatical when Martin D. Poller wasAdvisor. Steve’s administration laid the groundwork for the 45thAnniversary Dinner.

 

In Septemberof 1983, James Brennen became Chief. He hosted the 45th AnniversaryDinner and what was to be the last Ordeal held at Pouch. GNYC required allOrdeals to be held at TMR, fortunately this policy lasted only one year.

 

WilliamTrapanni became Chief, with the resignation of James Brennan. Bill and hisadministration hosted the 1983 Section Conclave at Camp Keowa. The Conclave wasa complete success. 58 Brothers staffed and hosted an event with over 350Arrowmen from the Section. This was a very proud weekend in our history. AsChief Bill also revived the Ritual Team under the chairmanship of SteeleArbeeny.

 

Joe Prefer waselected Chief in 1984, and re-elected in 1985. In 1984 Joe and Steele attended theNational Leadership Seminar. The discussed topics included Lodge organizationand Lodge-Section relations.

 

It was thenwhen Martin D. Poller took the held of the Lodge as Advisor. John Hoougis waselected Chief for that year, however Steven Moser, Jr, finished out John’sterm. This was the year the adminstration reinstated the group systemadministered by John Braniff earlier in our history.

 

The nextchange in power officially made Steve Moser Chief, and Robert Herman Lodge Advisoragain. It was this year that Berlin Lodge burned down. Vigil Honor BrotherRobert Chiusano undertook the task of rebuilding Berlin. Ground was broken inApril of 1987, Mr. Chiunsano’s determination serves as an inspiration to usall.

 

Mitchell Slepianwas elected Chief in1987. At this time Fran Harty replaced Bob Herman as LodgeAdvisor. During Mitch’s term new totem poles were carved and erected at theentrance to Pouch Camp. Another totem pole suggestion by Frank Mullane;designed Frank Gordan, and carved by Don Kelyenmeir and Bernard McQueeney,incorporated the totems of the 5 GNYC Lodges. That year, Vice Chief VincentLaPadula was elected Section Vice Chief.

 

CHAPTER7 1988 to 1993

 

Following our50th Anniversary banquet, the Lodge’s success continued under MitchSlepian’s second term as Chief. That year John Gualtieri, a member of theBrotherhood Committee made over 40 shields by hand for Allowat Sakima, Meteu,Nutiket, Kitchkinet, and many other shields. Mitch appointed Michael M. Parisito take over the Honors Group as Honors Master. Mike immediately implementedthe Elangomat program to replace the taskmaster system. In 1988 the FoundersAward were given to Frank Gordan and Steele Arbeeny.

 

KeithChristensen from Troop 56 followed Mitchell as Lodge Chief in 1989. AlthoughMichael Parisi was elected Vice Chief; Keith saw fit to re-appoint him asHonors Master. He also appointed Steve Moser, Jr. as Activities Master. Thecontinued success of the Elangomats and the activities group new found enthusiasmcoupled with the brotherhood committee’s untiring efforts enabled the lodge toachieve National Honor Lodge, a feat left unaccomplished in prior years.

 

Our firstwoman brother, Gladys Schweiger achieved ordeal membership on June 23,1990. Inorder to celebrate the Order’s 75th Anniversary, the Lodge went tothe National Order of the Arrow Conference in 1990. After spending five days atthe Univeristy of Indiana, the group then toured Niagara Falls. In 1989, theFounder’s Award was given to Frank Mullane and Vincent LaPadula.

 

Keith wasinstalled to his second term in September of 1990. Fran Harty retired as LodgeAdvisor after five years of service in December of 1990. George Davis wasappointed Advisor by Supreme Chief of the Fire Robert Marinucci on January1,1991. Marinucci was later forced to temporarily remove Keith as Chief of theLodge due to an unstable political climate between the Lodge ExecutiveCommittee, George and Keith. He was later reinstated and completed his term ofoffice in September of 1991.

 

Mike Parisiwas elected Lodge Chief in 1991. His first action was to implement the newnational program called Arrowmen Sharing Knowledge. The ASK program targetedthe 18 to 30 year old members of the Lodge. These are people who have lefttheir active positions as chairmen, and are not yet advisors. Mike alsoimplemented a group called the Pioneer Service Corp. They are also a group ofadults whose purpose is to take on large service projects in Pouch Camp.

 

During Mike’sfirst term, he put forth an effort to expand the Executive Committee. Severalnew positions were created, including a fundraising chairman and aquartermaster. In the summer of 1991 several advisors, including George Davis,attended the National Order of the Arrow Training at Philmont ScoutReservation. The 1991 Conclave was held at Camp Pomperague. Because the eventwas B.Y.O.T. (bring your own tent_, and the lodge members wouldn’t get theiruntil 10pm, the delegates stayed in a hotel for the weekend. It was said to be thebest conclave ever to that point. George Davis later resigned in January of1992.

 

Appointed inhis place in March of 1992, was our first woman member, Gladys Schweiger. She,along with Mike again made a push to increase the activity and size of the LEC.The committee soon grew to forty plus members, with a meeting attendance ofabout 95%. The expansion of the shield program, along with the inner circlegrew beyond belief.

 

In Septemberof 1992, Mike was installed to his second term. This year was the first inwhich Pouch Camp was closed in order for us to run our ordeals. This provedvery effective and helped us have one of the greatest ordeals ever. Due to theendeavors of the Brotherhood Committee, now chaired by Mike Gioia and advisedby Frank B. Gannon, we were able to make the highest brotherhood conversionrate in the section. 59% of the previous years Ordeal class converted. We alsobegan an activity on the Wednesday in the seventh week of summer camp atAquehonga. We proclaimed it “OA Day” and it consisted of a campfire at nightfor the entire camp, followed by a cracker-barrel for all adults. Frank Gordan,long time Vigil Advisor retired in1992, and the Founders Award was given toMarty Poller. In the spring of 1993, new headdresses, and new clothes werepurchased to go with our new woodlands costumes.

 

In the fall of1993, tradition was broken for the first time yet again. On September 12;Michael Parisi was installed as our Lodge Chief for his third term. This issomething that has never happened before in our lodge, and is very rare inothers. Our Founders award recipients under at the 55th AnniversaryDinner were Michael Parisi and Edward Regis.

In 1994 PeterPetrone, who was previously Honors Master during the latter part of the ParisiAdministration was elected to the position of Lodge Chief. On July 25, 1994past Lodge Advisor Fran Harty received the Founder’s Award. Aquehongian Lodge,during Peter’s Administration, hosted the 1995 Section Conclave at Camp Alpine.The patch design for the event represented the image of the painting "TheHigher Vision.” The Conclave was a tremendous success having raised enoughmoney to help finance the Conclave for the following year. Upon completion ofhis term Peter Petrone along with long time Brother Rudy Lazides, received theFounder’s Award.

In Septemberof 1995, Brian Dannecker became Lodge Chief. Brian would run and win thisposition again in 1996 and 1997. However, he would not complete his final termbecause he had run for the position of Section Chief, and won. Brian would goon to win his secondelection for theposition of Section Chief in 1998. In 1996 Aquehongian Lodge sent a contingentof fourteen members to the National Order of the Arrow Conference inBloomington, Indiana. The Founders Award Ceremony on July 20, 1996 honored tworecipients, Mitchell Slepian and Keith Santero. The year 1996-1997 also boastedan eighty- percent Ordeal to Brotherhood conversion rating led by Chairman EricOdegaard and advisor Keith Christensen. Michael Andersen, who previously servedas vice chief, completed Brian’s last term as Lodge Chief. On October 12, 1997Michael Andersen and Keith Christensen received the Founder’s Award. In Augustof 1998 the Andersen Administration sent a contingent of twenty nine brothersto the National Order of the Arrow Conference at the University of Iowa in AmesIowa, including five brothers whom all held staff positions. On Sunday September 13, 1998.EricOdegaard from Explorer Post 841 was installed as Lodge Chief. Michael Selowentchichfrom Troop 8 was elected Vice Chief of Administration, Patrick Hagan fromExplorer Post 841 was elected to Vice Chief of Operations, Michael Armato fromTroop 43 was elected to Treasurer and Bobby Anfang from Explorer Post 841 waselected to Secretary. Bobby was very familiar with his duties because he hadheld the same office for the two previous administrations. The followingweekend Odegaard along with ten brothers attended the National LeadershipSeminar held at Camp Alpine.

The Sixtieth AnniversaryDinner Celebration was held at Colony hall on the grounds of Sea View Hospital.

Following the60th Anniversary Dinner, The Lodge held it’s first annual Pig RoastDinner, where the Totem Poles that were once in front of Berlin Lodge with theTotem’s of the five G.N.Y.C. lodges were retired by the ceremony team in theproper Indian tradition. The Pig Roast was an idea of Michael Gazinski, who wasthe Commissary Committee Chairman at the time. Vice Chief’s Pat Hagan and MikeSelowentchich put together the ceremony for the Totem pole burial. There was aBrotherhood Day in April, where 33 brothers have made their Brotherhood. A verysuccessful Ordeal was held in June, ran by Honor’s Master John Alteri, Jr. Onthat Sunday of the Ordeal, John Alteri, Jr. from Troop 8 was elected Chief;Chris Brighina of Troop 80, was elected Vice Chief of Administration; MattSmith from Troop 13, was elected Vice Chief of Operations, Brian Levinsky alsoof Troop 8 was elected Secretary; and Michael Armato Troop 43 was re-electedTreasurer.

 

ThatSeptember, Lodge Advisor Gladys Schweiger of Troop 43, retired from herposition as the first female Lodge Advisor after seven years of service. RonCullenen of Troop 13 assumed the position. Also, Supreme Chief of the Fire MikeMahon appointed Ken Danielson as the new Staff Advisor. Mahon served in thatposition in the later part of the prior Administration due to Marcel Cinquina’stransfer from Greater New York Councils to Cradle of Liberty Council inPennsylvania. The Alteri administration brought the creation of the BrotherhoodWeekend, held at Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, NY. The Ordeal washeld in June where 70 new brothers were inducted into the Lodge. Also, fourbrothers John Alteri, Jr., Michael Selowentchich, Taube Olsen, and ThomasHammer Sr. took their Vigil on the weekend of the Ordeal. On that Sunday of theOrdeal; Rob Giorgio of Troop 8 was elected Chief, Tom Rubino, Jr. of Troop 8was elected Vice Chief of Adminstration, Erik Johnsen of Troop 13 was electedVice Chief of Operations, Neil Smith of Troop 2 was elected Secretary, andMichael Armato of Troop 43 was re-elected to a third term as Treasurer. Thatsummer twenty brother’s attended the National Order of the Arrow Conference inKnoxville, TN.

 

On the Lastweekend of August 17 brothers attended Conclave 2000 in Camp Kiwia, which is inthe Ten Mile River Scout Reservation of Greater New York Councils. At thatConclave, past Lodge Chief and Vigil Honor member, John Alteri Jr. was electedVice Chief of the new Section NE-2C. The Next year, 2001; Aquehongian Lodge 112would host Conclave 2001. Brian Levinsky of Troop 8 was appointed the ConclaveCoordinator, Monique Kusick of Troop 77 served as Brian’s Advisor. During MidYear, in the 2000-2001 Giorgio Administration; Staff Advisor Ken Danielson leftthe Scouting Profession; being temporarily replaced by Mike Mahon, SupremeChief of the Fire. Vice Chief Thomas Rubino Jr., past Secretary Bobby Anfang,Treasurer Michael Armato, Andy Selowentchich, Peter Gioia Sr. and Chris Kilpertwere chosen for Vigil at the March Lodge Meeting; and became Vigil HonorMembers the following June. By-laws were updated, and officer nominations werealso held at the March Lodge Meeting.

 

The Ordeal washeld on the Second Weekend in June, where 46 brothers were inducted into theOrder; including one Scouter from England, Mr. Stu Matthews, which shows thatScouting and the Order of the Arrow is a world wide Brotherhood. Also the LodgeOfficers were elected for the 2001-2002 fiscal year. Re-elected Lodge Chief wasRob Giorgio of Troop 8; Michael Armato from Troop 43 was elected Vice Chief ofAdministration, making this his fourth consecutive year as an officer; ErikJohnsen., of Troop 13 was re-elected Vice Chief of Operations; Michael Gazinskifrom Troop 24 was elected Lodge Secretary; and Joseph Pecciachia of Troop 41was elected Lodge Treasurer. Chief Robert Giorgio, immediately following theOrdeal; went to the Order of the Arrow Trail Crew in Northern Minnesota;getting a taste of Arrowmen from around the country.

 

ThatSeptember, Aquehongian Lodge 112, was the Service Lodge for the SectionConclave. Brian Levinsky, who served as Conclave Coordinator; and ConclaveAdvisor Monique Kusick of Troop 77, headed the Committee up. Also at theConclave, John Alteri Jr. was re-elected Section Vice Chief.

 

Rob Giorgioresigned as Lodge Chief due to a heavy college workload; and Vice Chief MichaelA. Armato took over as Lodge Chief for the remainder of the term. DuringArmato’s term in office, funds were raised to rebuild the Camp PouchAmphitheater. We also continued to have our Brotherhood Ceremony at TMR, andran a successful Ordeal. At the March Lodge meeting Lodge Associate AdvisorDave Edelman and Lodge Chief Michael Armato were presented the Founder’s Award.That June Treasurer Joseph Perchiacca of Troop 41 was elected Lodge Chief,Joseph Vaccaro of Troop 8 was elected Vice Chief of Administration, AndrewMontero of Troop 77 was elected Vice Chief of Operations, Eric Becker of Troop8 was elected Secretary, and Jared Vega of Troop 24 was elected Treasurer.Also, that June Monique Kusick, Rob Giorgio and Brian Levinsky took theirVigil. Later that August, 20 Brothers attended the National Order of the ArrowConference in Bloomington, Indiana; where they were presented two framedpaintings of, “The Higher Vision” hand signed by Joseph Cestari, the painter ofthe work. In order to honor the Lodge even more for their contribution to theOrder of the Arrow; we were given number 112, in honor of our Lodge number.

 

Chief JosephPerchiacca’s administration oversaw the planning of our 65thAnniversary Dinner. In addition a very successful Ordeal and Brotherhood Questwere held. In June of 2003 Chief Joseph Perchiacca was re-elected, DanielSullivan of Troop 41 was elected Vice Chief of Adminstration, Andrew Montero ofTroop 77 was re-elected Vice Chief of Operations, Michael Levinsky of Troop 8was elected Secretary, and Jared Vega of Troop 24 was re-elected Treasurer.That June Joseph Perchiacca, Erik Johnsen, and Brenda Gazinski took theirVigil. Four brothers attended the Indian Summer, in North Carolina that summer.It was a national seminar geared towards ritual and dance teams.

 

The 65thAnniversary Dinner will be held on November 8,2003 at the CYO Center at MountLoretta. Two Founders Award recipients will be presented as well.

 

The Brothersof Aquehongian Lodge 112, have a very rich history. Well numbers havefluctuated based on scouting over the years; we always remember that we arehere for service to our fellow men. Surely the history of our Lodge shows wehave done just that. As we move into the new millennium; we look forward toanother 65 years of service to Scouting and to society.

 

 

 

Written By

Michael A. Armato-Wulaptonaelchukquonk

&

Monique Kusick- Ganschelalogen