1976 vs 1977 Controversy

There has been confusion about the true start date and chartering of Pa-Hin Lodge. Amusingly, this confusion has led to some heated debates amongst our Arrowmen as to what the actual founding date for the lodge as well as anniversary patches that don't have dates that don't agree.

How Did the Lodge Come Together?

The confusion can be initially attributed to one single source. In 1977 Don Carlson (the first Pa-Hin Lodge Adviser and one of the adult advisers heavily involved in facilitating the merger of the four preceding lodges) and Gene Orson published a booklet entitled “The Legend of Pa-Hin”, which provided a history of the 4 merged lodges. In that book there were 2 typos. One was the misspelling of “Northeran” Lights Council on page 3. The second one was listing the start date of Pa-Hin Lodge as 1976 instead of 1977. This date was repeated incorrectly on pages 7, 9, 13, 17, 21 and 25. There is a correct reference to the merger on page 10: On a Chan-O-Wapi neckerchief description, it says, “issued late 1976 as the last issue of the lodge prior to the merger.” Nobody caught the repeated 1976 error and at least a couple hundred of these books were published. 

Further propagating the 1976 date, the “Blue Book” author obtained this book and used this (and still does) as the source for it’s information where each of the 4 merged lodges are listed as “merged into Pa-Hin in 1976”. 

An additional source of confusion was the list of Pa-Hin Lodge Chiefs that was passed down over the years. On the list Scott Radig of Bismarck, ND is listed as the Interim Pa-Hin Lodge Chief for 1976. How and why Scott was entered on the list is a current mystery. Scott Radig was apparently the final lodge chief for Chan-O-Wapi lodge in 1976.

The error really got legs in 1986, when the 10th Anniversary of Pa-Hin Lodge was celebrated. In 1996, the “20th Anniversary was celebrated (along with a error flap that listed the lodge as having started in 1946). Finally, the correction was made for the 30th Anniversary, and was correctly commemorated in 2007, not 2006. In 2012, we celebrated the 35th Anniversary.

The issue has resurfaced in 2015, the centennial year of the Order of the Arrow. For the centennial national published a book, Bound in Brotherhood,  that includes a listing of all lodges and their founding date. In the book Pa-Hin is listed as 1976. 

How do we know that the true start date was 1977 and not 1976?

  • See the initial paragraph, “How did the lodge come together?” for details (all dates and circumstances are documented)
  • Every one of the 4 merged lodges issued LODGE event patches throughout 1976
  • There are no Pa-Hin patches dated 1976
  • The August edition of the 1976 Minniduta Messenger includes 3 references to the “January 1, 1977” start date of the “new lodge” (unnamed at that time). One of those 1977 references is from the “Northland Trader” column that was authored by none other than “The Legend of Pa-Hin” author and editor, Don Carlson.
  • Minniduta TRIBE newsletters that started in 1977, and report on the first lodge meeting of Pa-Hin Lodge in 1977.
  • Memories from numerous alumni of those merged lodges, who participated in the merger. In particular, Steve Shark, Minniduta Lodge Chief in 1976 and Pa-Hin Lodge Adviser 2010 - 2012.
  • The Pa-Hin name was selected and lodge flaps were ordered in 1976, but the charters of the old lodges did not expire until December 31, 1976. The Pa-Hin flaps were not released for distribution until the February 1977 conclave.