In 1939, the Alabama Lodge 179 was created for the Montgomery Area Council. The charter members were Griffin Key, Robert W. Lundquist, Robert C. Lundquist, Robert V. Mullen Jr., and Robert Young. The 4 youth were from Troop 6 in Montgomery and Mr. Lundquist was the Scout executive. Cherokee Lodge 50 of Birmingham, Alabama inducted them on September 2, 1939. Their induction was held at Camp Andrews during Area G conference.
The lodge was formally chartered on June 25, 1940. The totem chosen for the lodge was an arrowhead with an “A” superimposed. The formation of the lodge was greatly helped with Charles B. McKee’s assistance. McKee transferred from Quapaw Lodge 160 in June 1942. The lodge’s first Ordeal was held on June 26, 1940 at Camp Rotary on Lake Jordan. The staff of Camp Rotary elected Stevie Adair, Benson Cain, Billy Cater, Calvin Crow, Mac Harris, Dan Hagood, Hugh Mauldin, Ed McGhee, Jim Mills, Billy Norman, Gordon Peerman, Jim Price, Stuart Stephenson, Jack Walters, and Bill Winston. The lodge’s second ordeal was held a week later on July 2, 1940. The ceremonies for these ordeals were held on July 3 and 4, 1940 at Camp Spring Villa. Another Ordeal and ceremony were held at Camp Rotary November 29 to December 1. The lodge’s first regular ceremony ring was in the woods next to Camp Rotary. There were no other lodge activities in 1940.
Due to a change in Scout executives, the lodge was not very active in 1941. Lodge members did assist the staff at summer camp. A summer pilgrimage was held at Camp Rotary. From 1941 to the 1970s a pilgrimage was a summer fellowship, not the ordeal weekend we have today.
1942 saw the Alabama Lodge’s first Brotherhood members: Robert W. Lundquist, Robert C. Lundquist, Hugh Mauldin and Robert Young. These became the lodge’s first degree team. The degree team, on August 8, 1942, inducted the sixteen charter members of Cowikee Lodge 224 of Dothan, Alabama at Camp Rotary on Lake Jordan. Lodge members began to serve the council in the lodge name by assisting with camporees and courts of honor. A summer pilgrimage and Christmas banquet were held this year.
In 1943 the lodge made camp improvements, continued to assist with camporees and courts of honor, served on summer camp staff and held camp promotions. A summer pilgrimage was held.
An annual banquet was held December 30, 1944 with 44 members present.
1945 saw Ordeal initiations at the end of each of the 6 weeks of summer camp. The lodge painted boats, built council ring benches, improved the OA ring and made other general camp improvements at Camp Rotary.
At some time during the 1940s, the lodge totem was changed to the right profile of a Creek Indian wearing a single feather. At the January 28, 1946 council executive board meeting, the council name was changed from the Montgomery Area Council to the Tukabatchee Area Council. A summer pilgrimage and annual banquet were held this year.
A summer pilgrimage and annual banquet were held in 1947.
On May 21-22, 1948, Alabama continued the trend of helping other lodges. Eleven members from the Alabama Lodge inducted the twenty-four charter members of Yustaga Lodge 385 of Pensacola, Florida at Camp Big Heart. The only lodge activities this year were Ordeal initiations. In late 1948 the lodge discussed changing the lodge’s name to Alibamu. The name was officially changed sometime in early 1949. The name Alibamu is taken from the Alibamu tribe of Indians who lived in the council’s territory. The word is most likely of Choctaw origin and came from “Alba ayanulo,” which means, “I make a clearing.” The Alibamuans were a Muskogee tribe formerly living on the banks of the Alabama River. They later became a member of the Creek Indian Confederation.
Early 1949 saw the lodge’s first emblem, a white round with the totem and lodge name in black. The construction of the council’s new camp, Camp Tukabatchee, was underway in 1949.
Twelve youth members of the lodge attended an area conference at Camp Pellissippi April 29-30, 1950. In February 1950, the idea of a lodge neckerchief was brought up. The neckerchief was first sold on July 30, 1950 at the lodge’s tenth anniversary pilgrimage. The neckerchief was a white scarf with the Green Round patch sewn on. You had to be Brotherhood to buy a neckerchief and you could purchase as many as you wanted. There were 43 Arrowmen in attendance at the 1950 pilgrimage. The lodge received its tenth anniversary patch just in time for the 1950 National Scout Jamboree. This patch was sold for a mere $0.25 at the 1950 pilgrimage. Lodge Chief Lloyd C. Warr and one other Arrowman attended the 1950 National Order of the Arrow Conference. It was in 1950 that John Dowe and Robert C. Lundquist Sr., became the first Arrowmen to receive the Vigil Honor from Lodge 179. Their ceremony was on August 9, 1950. On the same day, the plug was placed in Lake Mildred at Camp Tukabatchee. Less than a year later they would see the first Scouts enjoying the new camp. At this new camp, ceremonies were held in the gully behind the parking lot.
Lodge members served on the camp staff at Camp Tukabatchee and Camp Atkins in 1951. The lodge presented the campfire program twice a week at both camps.
Construction of the Charles B. McKee Order of the Arrow Lodge was begun in 1952 and completed in 1953. In 1952, Charles B. McKee became the editor and publisher of the Quiver, the Area V-a newsletter. He held these positions until 1960 when the newsletter was canceled. The lodge hosted the first Area V-a Conference May 16-18, 1952. There were 100 in attendance at a cost of $3.50 each. In August 1952, lodge members traveled to Tuscaloosa to induct the charter members of Aracoma Lodge 481. This was the third lodge that Alibamu is grandfather to. The lodge conducted the summer campfire programs at camp once a week and continued to promote camp and help with camporees. Lodge members attended the national conference this year. This year a summer pilgrimage, fall fellowship and annual banquet were held.
The Carver Chapter for black Scouts was mentioned in lodge records for the first time in 1953. We believe the Carver Chapter was the first chapter for black scouts in the South. This chapter, which held its activities at Camp Atkins, had four Vigil Honor members. Ernell Hill was the Field Executive in charge of the Carver Chapter. Due to their inactivity, the Cholocco Litabixie Chapter absorbed this chapter in 1998. The dance team performed at Camp Atkins and Camp Tukabatchee. These performances created considerable interest in the OA and were an incentive for non-members to become Scout campers and First Class Scouts to be eligible for OA membership. During this era lodges could still add requirements to the election criteria for membership. Our lodge had a First Class rank requirement. In 1953 an outstanding camper of the week medal was presented by the staff based primarily on service, spirit, interest and cooperation. A service award was also presented to the staff member of the year. Campers voted during the summer and the staff member receiving the most votes was presented an engraved Scout statuette at the annual banquet in December. A pilgrimage was held this year, but a fall fellowship was not.
Four lodge members attended the 1954 National Order of the Arrow Conference in Wyoming. Lodge members served on the staff at both camps and at the annual council camporee. Bird feeders were installed and other conservation projects were completed at camp. The summer pilgrimage was held as well as an annual banquet and dance.
1955 saw yet another major change in the lodge totem. The totem was more detailed and cleaner looking. Lodge members built tent frames at camp. A pilgrimage, fall fellowship and banquet were held. The lodge conducted camping training for Girl Scouts this year.
The first lodge rules were written in 1956. A pilgrimage, fall fellowship and banquet were held. Girl Scout camping training continued this year and the lodge assisted in a Civil Defense demonstration. The dance team performed 9 times that year at summer camp, NOAC, the area conference and at the YWCA camp.
The summer pilgrimage, fall fellowship and annual banquet were held in 1957. The lodge continued to help the Girl Scouts, promote camping and use the dance team for promotion.
In April of 1958, the lodge’s first flap shaped patch was issued. Lodge members could purchase two per year. Brotherhood members could purchase 1 matching neckerchief per life. Tom Maynor was the deputy national conference chief of training at the 1958 NOAC. Thirty-eight Alibamu Arrowmen attended this NOAC at the University of Kansas.
Area V-a held its National Order of the Arrow Training Course at Camp Tukabatchee April 18-19, 1959. This was a forerunner to the NLS. Alibamu hosted the course at a cost of only $5. The lodge built a new chapel area at Camp Tukabatchee. The lodge sponsored a JLTC course this year and at some point from 1956-1959 sent a group to Schiff Reservation for a JLTC course.
During the 1960s, the lodge strengthened its standing as a leader by conducting two major service projects. In the Alibamu Voyageur Treks, the lodge donated canoes and equipment to a council-wide canoe program. In the treks, lodge members led Scout groups down the Alabama River. In the other service project, the lodge planned, built, marked, ran, and maintained the Horseshoe Bend Trail. The Horseshoe Bend Trail is listed in the “Campways of the Boy Scouts Atlas.” Built on the site of one of several well-known local battlefields, the trail incorporated both history and hiking into one event that still draws many Scout groups from around the region. The lodge no longer runs this trail. The trail was formally dedicated on August 26-27, 1960 as part of the fall fellowship with 34 Arrowmen present. The Towassi Chapter dance team performed two or three shows at the South Alabama Fair that fall. Six attended another Schiff JLTC course. The lodge purchased and installed new lights and a sound system at the council ring. Lodge members performed a different program at each campfire for all five weeks of camp that year. November 12-13 members of Achunanchi Lodge 135 attended a Lodge Officer Training Course at Camp Tukabatchee.
The lodge issued a philatelic cachet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the start of the civil war. These sold for 20 cents in 1961.
March 11-12, 1962, the Sagahatchee Chapter built a bridge on the Horseshoe Bend Trail. The Horseshoe Bend Trail medal was designed at fall fellowship that year and was sold for $1.20. The 100th hiker hiked in November. At conclave the lodge won the William H. Edwards Award and the dance team won the Feather Award. There were seven weeks of camp in 1962. Felix Steele was selected as Honor Staff member. The lodge chief’s John Dowe award medal was first mentioned in a newsletter this year. A Where to Go Camping Guide was published.
Nine lodge members attended the 1963 National Order of the Arrow Conference. John Dowe received the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) that same year. Several trails were built at camp this year as well as a JLTC training site. There were seven weeks of summer camp and Loy A. Singleton Jr was selected as the Honor Staff member. The Alibamu Voyageurs program was started this summer. Eleven went on the first trip in six canoes at a cost of $2 each. There were 57 total participants in 1963 with six segments awarded for multiple trips. That summer the Horseshoe Bend Trail saw its 1500th hiker. On April 20, over 80 members of the dance team performed at the council Scout circus. Sometime around now the Pilgrimage became an Ordeal instead of a fellowship. The Carver Chapter inducted 20 members this year. The lodge earned the William H. Edwards Award at conclave.
In 1964, the lodge received Area V-a’s E. Urner Goodman Award. This award was given to the lodge in the area that best promoted Scout camping. This award was given until 1969 when it became a national award. Perhaps John Dowe gave the idea to the National Committee. Lodge flaps were restricted to two per year. The lodge participated in or hosted an Indian lore exhibit at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in April. There were eight weeks of summer camp. The lodge presented a totem pole to the camp. The staff members of the year were Jack Friday and Joe Clay Dean. There were 39 Voyageur participants. 1964 saw the start of having an Ordeal weekend before camp. Mr. Bill Crane took ten Arrowmen from the Cahaba Chapter to the World’s Fair in New York as part of the service troop and to dance.
The lodge received the Order of the Arrow’s Golden Anniversary Award in 1965. Charles B. McKee received the DSA the same year. The Order’s 50th Anniversary Award was earned by 47 lodge members. Ten new totem poles were presented to camp that summer. The staff member of the year was Bill Hare. The lodge’s 50th Anniversary project was a 16’ x 24’ shelter built at Eagle’s Nest at Camp Tukabatchee and was named “Arrow Camp.” There was already talk of a “New Camp” in 1965. The lodge helped host the Explorer Aquatics camp at Camp Talisi on Lake Martin August 8-13. A new Where to Go Camping Guide was published. Explorer Scouts were added to the Taskigi Chapter this year and an Ordeal was held at Camp Atkins August 12. In November the lodge participated in another Indian Lore exhibit at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The 25th anniversary patch was issued at the May 15 Horseshoe Bend Trail workday. Lodge dues were $1.50.
There were eight weeks of camp in 1966. Towassi Chapter formed a dance team called the Nendawen Dancers. The first Allogagan fellowship was held this year.
There were four weeks of camp in 1967. Frank Caskey was the staff member of the year. At conclave Frank Caskey won the dance award. The Allogagan fellowship was held June 3, Ordeal July 7-8, Pilgrimage August 4-5, fall fellowship September 30 and banquet at Gunter was December 19.
Six Arrowmen represented the Alibamu Lodge at the 1969 National Order of the Arrow Conference at Indiana University. On November 22, 1969, the lodge hosted the Lodge Officers Training Course (LOTC) at Alabama Christian College in Montgomery. This was similar to today’s Section Officers Seminar. The 30th anniversary 1969 patch was the fall fellowship patch and was sold for $1. Lodge flaps were restricted to one per function. There were eight weeks of summer camp. At conclave a lodge member found Mr. Axe.
At the 1970 conclave, Joe Crawford placed 3rd in the dance competition and Robbie Toles found Mr. Axe. The lodge placed 2nd in the archery competition. At fall fellowship, 30th anniversary patches were sold for $1 and 600 30th anniversary mugs were also sold for $1. A LOTC was held this year.
Roy Nix found Mr. Axe at the 1971 conclave. The lodge placed 2nd in the Olympics and received the William H Edwards Award. Robbie Noles placed 3rd for the Morgan Weed training award. George Eskridge was 3rd in the dance.
Beginning in 1972 lodge flaps were no longer sold through the mail. At conclave Michael Hicks found Mr. Axe and George Eskridge placed 1st in the dance competition. A LOTC was held this year.
Another LOTC was held in 1973.
In 1975, two new trails, the Environmental Trail and the Battlefield Trek, were added to the Horseshoe Bend Trail area. These trails are still in existence, but the Alibamu Lodge does not run them.
Another LOTC was held in 1976.
Sometime between 1977 and 1980 the vice chief position was split into 3 offices. The single vice chief position was reinstated in 1992.
Alan B. Cooper was elected to serve as the 1981-1982 Southeast Region Chief.
Alibamu was the service lodge for the 1984 National Leadership Seminar held at Maxwell Air Force Base August 2-5.
For the 1985 Philmont Order of the Arrow Trek, Steve Sellers was the Conference Vice Chief of Publications. He was awarded the DSA the next year. In 1985, the HAM Murray Award was established to recognize outstanding service to the lodge as well as living by the ideals of the Obligation by a youth Arrowman.
At the 1986 conclave, the ceremony team placed first in the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony. The team placed 16th at NOAC.
The lodge attempted to undergo reorganization in 1987. The lodge dissolved all existing chapters and their activities. Dues were $4 this year. The lodge placed 1st in the team dance and 1st in the Pre-Ordeal.
At the 1988 conclave, the ceremony team placed first in the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony. The lodge ceremony team placed second in the nation at NOAC. Mathew Honan was selected as the best Meteu at the conference. Nine lodge members attended this conference. In October 1988, the chapters were reinstated for the following year.
The ceremony team taught a seminar on ceremonies at the 1989 conclave for which they won the Morgan Weed Award for best seminar. The dance team placed 4th and Mack McCormick placed 2nd in the individual dance. Joan Hinkle became the first female Arrowman in the lodge this year. She received the Brotherhood Honor in 1990 and on October 16, 1994 she became the first female Vigil Honor member in the lodge. In September the LEC discussed the Elangomat system and planned to use it for the first time in 1990.
At the 1990 NOAC the Pre-Ordeal team placed 35th out of 500+ teams. Sean Ingram was the 33rd place Allowat Sakima, Steve Johnson 40th Meteu, Terry Turner 43rd Nutiket and JD Giles the 18th Kichkinet. Twelve members earned the Order’s 75th Anniversary Award this year.
In 1991, NLS was held at the University of Montevallo and sixteen lodge members attended. Lodge dues were $6. At conclave the lodge won the spirit award, was 2nd in the Pre-Ordeal and 2nd in the team dance.
The lodge was the 1991-1992 SE-3 Best All Around Lodge. Also at the 1992 conclave the lodge placed 1st in ceremonies, 1st in newsletter, 1st in publications, 2nd in Quest, 2nd in demonstration, and 2nd in the spirit award. At the council camporee the lodge set up an area with tipis and other OA items. At NOAC the lodge silkscreen pieces of felt at their Founder’s Day booth.
In 1994, Alibamu hosted the SR-8 Conclave at Camp Tukabatchee. There were a record 536 Arrowmen at the 43rd annual conclave. This conclave was the first in section history to offer unlimited delegations. 112 of those Arrowmen were from Alibamu. At conclave Steve Johnson was the Morgan Weed Award best trainer. The lodge placed 1st in OA Jeopardy and 3rd in volleyball. Thirteen lodge members attended the 1994 National Order of the Arrow Conference where the Brotherhood team was a national standard team. Four brothers attended NLS in Covington, GA. The lodge hosted a full service corps at the council camporee. The lodge donated $5000 to the council’s Friends of Scouting campaign. The Awullsu Chapter went on a campout to Shiloh Military Park August 5-7.
1995 was the Order’s Year of Service. Alibamu was selected to receive a $5000 grant and that money was used to build the quartermaster’s building at Camp Tukabatchee. At conclave the lodge won the Morgan Weed Award for best display. Lodge dues were $7.
Sixteen lodge members attended the 1996 National Order of the Arrow Conference. Justin Saunders participated in the Order of the Arrow Trail Crew at Philmont. The same year Jason E. Peoples was elected to serve as the 1997 Chief of the Great Southern Region. The lodge placed 4th in the Best All Around Lodge competition for 1995-1996. At conclave the lodge placed 2nd in Wischixin, 2nd in publications, 2nd in volleyball, 3rd in culinary delights, and 3rd in demonstrations. A full service corps was present at the council camporee. The ceremony team switched from Plains to Creek style outfits.
At the 1997 conclave, Alibamu placed first in OA Jeopardy and second in Wischixin. Mike Bazonis, Darrell G. Cardwell and Will Parker served on the 1997 National Scout Jamboree Order of the Arrow Service Corps. Andy Akin and Will Parker participated in the OA Trail Crew program. 1997 saw 77 new Ordeal, 18 Brotherhood, and 6 Vigil inductions. The lodge had a membership of 264 for 1997. At conclave the lodge placed 1st in OA Jeopardy, 1 in newsletters, 2nd in Wischixin, and 4th in volleyball.
74 Alibamuans attended the 1998 conclave at Camp Maubila where they won the SR-8B Spirit Award, placed 1st in OA Jeopardy, and 2nd in publications. Will Parker, Jason Johnson, Justin Saunders and Mark Nichols served as Trail Crew foremen in 1998. 9 Lodge members attended the national conference this year with an additional 6 serving on staff. The Lodge had 335 members in 1998, which included 113 new Ordeal members, 35 Brotherhood inductions, and 6 new Vigil members. We hosted our first council camporee this year. Chaired by Darrell G. Cardwell this camporee was the best this council had seen in many years. We were a National Quality Lodge for 1998.
Alibamu was the SR-8B Quest Champion for 1999, placing first in 3 of the 4 events. 92 new members were inducted bringing our total Lodge membership to 325. Twenty five brothers sealed their membership by obtaining the Brotherhood honor, and 6 brothers received the Vigil Honor. Brady Bosarge and Troy Johnson participated in the OA Trail Crew program at Philmont. Will Parker continued a strong tradition of leadership in our lodge by serving as National Chief for 1999. At conclave lodge members wore custom made Alibamu neckties.
In 2000, the lodge changed our name back to the Alabama Lodge for our 60th anniversary. This was to be a 1-year name change. We took 40 lodge members to conclave where we won the SR-8B Spirit Award. 13 lodge members attended this year’s National Conference at the University of Tennessee. Will Parker received his Distinguished Service Award at this year’s NOAC. Andy Akin served on staff for the OA Voyage program at Northern Tier Canoe base in Minnesota.
In 2001, the lodge returned to the name Alibamu. Along with the name change we issued Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil flaps. The Lodge was the Wischixin champ and the SR-8B Spirit Award winner for the second year in a row. Lodge members wore Superman style capes with an “A” on them. These were a hit with the other lodges and helped us to win the spirit award. The lodge completed the seating area at the council ring. We obtained the National Quality Lodge Status for the first time since 1998.
The lodge won the Wischixin championship at conclave again in 2002. The lodge had a record 134 members at this year’s conclave and those lodge members performed 2742 hours of service preparing for conclave. Our spirit items at conclave were neon colored “gangster” hats. We placed 1st in publications and 2nd in the Pre-Ordeal competition. Andy Akin served as the assistant director at the OA Northern Tier Wilderness Voyage program and Walker Cyrus was a participant in the program. The lodge took 20 members to NOAC in 2002 and had another 6 members on staff. In 2002, Terry Honan became the 8th lodge member to receive the Distinguished Service Award.
2003 was a great year for the lodge. We were once again a National Quality Lodge. This was made possible by great lodge attendance this year. As an incentive to get guys to go to conclave, Lodge Adviser Jim Hinkle agreed to get into a dunking booth at the lodge fellowship if 50 or more attended conclave. At this year’s conclave, Alibamu came home with almost everything. We were the Wischixin champs, won Lodge Feud, placed second in Volleyball and won the overall Quest. The Pre-Ordeal team placed third and the Brotherhood team placed second. Allen Price was the Best Brotherhood Nutiket. The lodge placed first in publications, third in North Cup, and Jimmy Rittmann found Mr. Axe. All of the accomplishments lead the lodge to win 2003 SR-4N Best All Around Lodge. Jordan Arkle and BJ Haisten represented the lodge at Philmont for the OA Trail Crew program. 4 delegates attended the Indian Summer in North Carolina. We had 341 dues paid members, 83 new members, 34 Brotherhood inductions and 7 new Vigil members.
The lodge program was just awesome in 2004. The year began with the lodge taking 50 members to conclave where we were the Best All Around Lodge for the second straight year. We placed in everything except soccer and training – spirit award, North Cup 2nd, publications 1st, Quest overall 2nd, Wischixin 3rd, volleyball 1st, tug-of-war 3rd, OA Jeopardy 2nd, golf chip 1st Mr. Alfred Morelock, Pre-Ordeal 2nd, Jay Hartin best Pre-Ordeal Meteu, and Brotherhood 3rd. The lodge took 13 delegates to NOAC and had another 4 on staff. Mrs. Joan Hinkle wrote a call-out ceremony for the lodge. This ceremony was entered into the national competition at NOAC where it placed second. We ended the year with 331 dues paid members, 58 new members, 21 Brotherhood inductions and 6 new Vigil members.
We returned to National Quality Lodge status for 2005. We had 337 dues paid members, 76 new members, 31 Brotherhood conversions and 7 brothers obtained the Vigil Honor. Alibamu was the SR-4N Best All Around Lodge for the third straight year. The 10th conclave hosted at Camp Tukabatchee was held this year. We picked up the conclave because of Hurricane Ivan the previous fall. We won Wischixin as usual. Other competitions included: website 2nd, publications 1st, scrapbook 1st, planbook 1st, newsletter 2nd, food competition at breakfast 1st, North Cup history display 3rd, Pre-Ordeal 2nd, Brotherhood 2nd, best Pre-Oreal Meteu Jay Hartin, best Brotherhood Kichkinet Trey Musgrave, and chariot race 3rd. Jon LaMarque was a part of the OA’s Twelve Cubed program at the National Jamboree. Josh Lawrence, Kevin Terry and Matt Hatcher were participants at the OA’s first Ocean Adventure program at the Florida Sea Base.
2006 saw the lodge achieve National Quality Lodge status for the second year in a row. We had 339 dues paid members, 73 new members, 29 Brotherhood conversions and 5 brothers obtained the Vigil Honor. 39 lodge members attended conclave where Larry Newton was re-elected to serve as section chief. Alibamu won our 7th Wischixin title in 11 years. Alibamu was the best trained lodge, 1st in publications, 2nd in quest, and had the best Brotherhood team at conclave. Trey Musgrave was selected as the best youth trainer. The lodge held its first merit badge day at Huntingdon College with over 100 youth participants. 12 lodge members attended the national conference at Michigan State University along with 5 on staff.
Larry Newton served as the national vice chief for 2007. Joshua P. T. Smith was selected as the best youth trainer and the lodge was the best trained lodge for the second year in a row. We placed third in the North Cup competition, second overall in publications, third in OA Jeopardy, first in volleyball, and second in tug of war. The section Wischixin championship was won by the lodge for the last time. The council of chiefs got rid of the game for 2008. Matt Chandler was the best Brotherhood Allowat Sakima and Trey Musgrave best Brotherhood Meteu leading the lot to first place Brotherhood. A second successful merit badge day was held with nearly 150 participants. The lodge continued with its council beaver day at Camp Tukabatchee. 6 members attended the National Conservation & Leadership Seminar in Indiana. There were 341 members including 77 new Ordeal, 47 new Brotherhood, and 5 new Vigil Honor members. A record 45% of eligible members obtained their brotherhood helping the lodge to obtain National Quality Lodge status.
2008 was a great year for the lodge. Attendance at lodge events was at record levels for the previous 20 years. At conclave the lodge was the best trained lodge yet again. In the Brotherhood ceremony, Dan Hatcher was the best Kichkinet, David Ehrlich best Nutiket. They helped the team win first place in the Brotherhood competition. Dan Hatcher was also the best Kichkinet in the pre-ordeal ceremony and Dustin Denham the best Meteu. We were second overall in the Quest where we placed first in OA Jeopardy and Tug-of-war. The adults won the dodgeball tournament. We placed in the top three of each of the publications competitions including first in website and newsletter. With all of this success the lodge was tied for 2007-2008 Best All Around Lodge. Lodge Chief Matt Chandler was elected to serve as 2009 SR-9 Section Secretary. National Quality Lodge status was achieved once again. Another Brotherhood conversion record was set with 50% of those eligible obtaining their Brotherhood this year. 25 lodge members participated in the OA’s ArrowCorps5 trail building program in Wyoming. David Dowty worked at all 5 ArrowCorps5 sites that summer. Andy Akin was an assistant director at the Wyoming site.
Participation in 2009 continued at the same levels as the year before. At the first SR-9 conclave, Jonathan Warren placed first in the fancy dance and Ben Chappell second. Ben Chappell was first in fancy dance regalia and Nathan Mooney was third in grass dance regalia. The Pre-Ordeal ceremony team was an honor team. The lodge also received the conclave spirit award, the section honor lodge award, and third in website. At NOAC, lodge members placed fifth in dodge ball and were tied for first in Ultimate Frisbee. The region dodge ball game featured teams of 300 Arrowmen. Our own Michael Simmons struck out the Western Region chief to win the tournament for the Southern Region. Alibamu.org was selected as a national honor website. Larry Newton received his DSA at this NOAC. The lodge committed to collecting 50 tons of food by the end of 2010. As of the end of 2009, nearly 21 tons had been collected. The year ended with the lodge achieving National Quality Lodge status for the fifth year in a row and a Brotherhood conversion rate of 35%.
The lodge celebrated its seventieth anniversary in 2010. Great leadership led the lodge to National Quality Lodge status. One of the biggest accomplishments of the year was the completion of the Scouting For Food 100,000 pound goal. A total of 115,308 pounds were collected over two years. The largest conclave in camp history was held at Camp Tukabatchee with 650 in attendance. Ben Chappell placed second in fancy dance regalia. The drum team placed third. In the admin events, we placed second in the display, second in newsletter and first in camping guide. The Brotherhood team was deemed an “Honor Team.” Michael Simmons and Austin Yost participated in the OA Trail Crew program at Philmont. Steven Easterling and Tepper Middleton went to Northern Tier’s OA Canadian Odyssey. The year ended with 353 members including 62 new members, 38 new Brotherhood members and 5 new Vigil members. The Brotherhood conversion rate was 44%.
Lodge members donated $700 to the Southern Region’s ReliefCorps program in 2011. This was the largest cash donation to the project that benefited the American Red Cross after the April 27 tornados. At conclave Ben Chappell placed second in the fancy dance regalia. The summer camp staff at Camp Tukabatchee featured 44 OA members out of 48. Twelve members attended the SummitCorps program in West Virginia. The year ended with 354 members including 63 new members, 21 new Brotherhood members and 8 new Vigil members. The Brotherhood conversion rate was 30%.
2012 was a record breaking year for Alibamu. Event participation was at levels not seen since the 1960s. Membership numbered 358 with 89 Ordeal, 42 Brotherhood and 5 Vigil inductions and a Brotherhood conversion rate of 51%. The lodge sent 31 Arrowmen to NOAC. At conclave we were the best trained lodge and placed first in these competitions: dodgeball, quest, Wischixin, admin events, website, camping guide, display. Matt Harris was the first place Fancy dancer. All of this led to us being the 2011-2012 SR-9 Best All Around Lodge. William Mitchell was elected to serve as the 2013 section secretary.
2013 was another successful year. We ended the year with 359 members including 57 Ordeal, 28 Brotherhood and 7 Vigil inductions and a Brotherhood conversion rate of 31%. Matt Harris and Landon Hall served on the OA’s Project 2013 staff at the National Scout Jamboree. At conclave we placed first in Wischixin. For the second year in a row we were the SR-9 Best All Around Lodge (2012-2013). William Mitchell was elected to serve as the 2014 section vice chief.
“More than ever before” was lodge chief Matt Harris’ slogan for 2014. There were 365 members for the year which was the most since 1990’s 412. Four lodge members attended OA high adventure programs at Northern Tier and Sea Base. At conclave the lodge was the Best All Around Lodge for the third year in a row (2013-2014) as well as a Section Honor Lodge. The lodge was the spirit award winner as well as placing in most of the competitions. First place: attendance, C-Pro attendance, Tailypo booth, Twitter, Facebook, Risk tournament (Jadon Downs), Wischixin, Quest overall. Second place: best trained, newsletter, tug of war, dodgeball. Third place: planbook, website, admin events overall. Matt Harris was elected 2015 section secretary. A lodge trip to the Pensacola Naval Air Museum and USS Alabama was held in July.
The lodge celebrated our 75th anniversary in 2015. The lodge’s first anniversary neckerchief was issued at conclave. A record 77 brothers attended conclave where the lodge completed its fourth Best All Around Lodge title in a row. We continued our success with the conclave competitions. First place: Tailypo overall, Wischixin, Twitter, website, and admin events overall. Second place: Tailypo booth, display. Third place: attendance (distance), CPro attendance (quickest to goal), Facebook, planbook, newsletter, most spirited, adult ribs cook off (Alfred Morelock). Mark Andrews, Logan Hicks, Matt Scheierman, and Mac Thompson placed second in the Pre-Ordeal competition and were an honor medalist team. Hunter Gay, Matt Harris, and Ryan Jones attended OA high adventure programs. Alibamu did our part in making the 2015 NOAC the largest ever. We sent 53 delegates and had 9 on staff. Fall fellowship was the official 75th anniversary event. Fourteen former lodge chiefs were in attendance. We ended the year with 369 members including 69 Ordeal, 27 Brotherhood, and 7 Vigil inductions.
Our lodge continues to be very active in section leadership. Alibamu has had seventeen section chiefs and is the home of four national officers. But the amazing thing is that despite the many people who are active on the section, region, and national levels the lodge still maintains top rated programs. We also sponsor an Order of the Arrow night at summer camp. Each year the lodge has two ordeals, a fall fellowship, an annual banquet, and we send enthusiastic contingents to conclave. Every other year we send at least ten Arrowmen to the National Order of the Arrow Conference as participants and for the last several conferences, we have had at least four Arrowmen serve on staff as well.