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Unami Lodge One, Founding Lodge of the Order of the Arrow

Delmont Lodge History

Information taken from We Who Bear the Obligation…the 50th Anniversary History of Delmont Lodge #43 by Michael G. Comfort, c. 1979.

After disappointing results from two previous attempts to institute a Scouting “honor society” at Camp Delmont, camp leaders and Scout executives were looking for another “honor” program to take their place.

From 1916 until 1957 Delmont was the primary camp of The Delaware and Montgomery Counties Council (until 1996, the Valley Forge Council, a shorter name that was adopted in 1938). On July 9, 1929, under the leadership of Camp Activities Director Jack Foster, (a member of Unami Lodge #1 since 1928), and with the assistance of Henry M. Fawcett and Russel H. Moll, (the latter of Minsi Lodge, Reading, PA) Delmont Lodge was chartered as the forty-third Lodge in the Order of the Arrow (then called the Wimachtendienk, W.W.) and was known as Delmont Lodge #43.

The lodge was named after the camp, a name that was derived from the first two syllables of the counties making up the council. It was the winning entry in a contest to name the camp, conducted in 1913, and was submitted by Scout “Reds” Gillespie of Bala Troop One. For his creativity he won a free week at camp. (In 1913 & 1914 Camp Delmont was held on White's Island in the Delaware River near Yardley, PA. In 1915 it was held on Pioneer Island, located in the Schuylkill River, near Linfield, PA).

In its first year of existence, Delmont Lodge inducted 71 candidates into its ranks as Ordeal members. Henry M. Faucett was member number 1 of Delmont Lodge and Jack Foster was the first Chief. The first Arrow Ceremonial ground was near the old rifle range in back of Camp Long. On April 26, 1930, following the National Lodge's institution of the Brotherhood and Vigil Honor Degrees, Delmont's first Brotherhood was conferred upon 40 brothers at the Norristown Scout Cabin.

In selecting one of the many totems available, Delmont Lodge selected the cabin as the most appropriate totem. The exact cabin chosen for this honor was situated in what later became Camp Wilbur, and was the first memorial structure built at Delmont. Having been built before Camp Wilbur was created, it was originally used as a first aid shack and housed the doctor when he was in camp. Constructed of cedar, the cabin was referred to in national camp publications. It was highly advertised and was considered by many as a high mark in camp cabin construction. The cabin was built in memory of William C. Saville, Scoutmaster of Highland Park Troop 1 in 1928. He was born in 1895 and died in France in 1918. The cabin was built and dedicated to Mr. Saville because he helped open Camp Delmont.

In 1949, by arrangement with the Council Camping Committee, “Tops'l”, a cabin on the east ridge, was set aside as a Lodge House. A new ceremonial site was built near it at that time. Tops'l was an appropriate place for ceremonial teams to prepare for Ordeals, or for meetings of chapters and committees. Tops'l was used during the winter months by the various chapters of the Lodge, each chapter being assigned a particular weekend. When in camp, each member performed some work for the good of Delmont Scout Reservation (the name changed in the late 1950's).

Once again, in 1960, the Arrow Site was moved to its present location, just above the Schweiker Memorial Lodge. It was also in 1960 that Mr. Malcolm Schweiker gave the small cabin located at the foot of the hill below the lodge to the Order of the Arrow for their use in preparing for ceremonies etc.

In 1960 Delmont Lodge was the host lodge for the Area III-A Conference, where plans were laid and carried out to make the Order of the Arrow the means by which camping would be promoted throughout Scouting.

In 1964 plans were drawn up to renovate the present Arrow Site for the Area III-A Conference to be hosted by Delmont Lodge at Delmont Scout Reservation in 1968. The project was completed just prior to the conference with all work having been done by the brothers of the Lodge. The new site was officially dedicated at the 1968 Area III-A Conference by our founder, Dr. E. Urner Goodman.

The ceremony site at Resica Falls has always been located in the same place, although it has been improved upon over the years. It took on its present look in 1973 in time for the Area 3-A Conference, when it was officially dedicated by Dr. Goodman. Today it is preserved in memory of the 67 years of service members of Delmont Lodge gave to the old Valley Forge Council and to both Delmont and Resica Falls.

Valley Forge Council and Philadelphia Council merged in 1996 to become the Cradle of Liberty Council. Later in the year Delmont Lodge merged with Unami Lodge #1. The new lodge retained the Unami name and number.

See Unami Lodge's History.

See a list of Delmont Lodge Chiefs.

Last updated: April 07, 2013


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