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The History of Ta Tanka Lodge

For fifty years, the Ta Tanka Lodge has been "cheerfully" serving the San Gabriel Valley Boy Scout Council. First chartered as an Order of the Arrow Lodge on May 31,1952. The membership of 120 Arrowmen chose the Sioux word "TA TANKA" meaning Bull Buffalo as its name. They chose as their totem a White Buffalo. The number 488 was assigned by the National Order of the Arrow Secretary. Prior to 1952, the San Gabriel Valley Council had it's own "Tribe of Torqua". A special group of honor campers who attended summer camp at Camp Cherry Valley, on Catalina Island, California. The "Tribe" was instituted by Council Executive, H. Benjamin "Skipper" Robinson many years before. As a result, forming an Order of the Arrow Lodge took some time and met with some resistance.

By the fall of 1952, the Lodge adopted it's constitution, conforming to that prescribed by the Order of the Arrow Handbook. Nearly all of the members were placed on various committees to help the Lodge get on it's feet for the first time. In 1953 the Lodge issued its first patch, a 3" round with a blue border, red letters, and white buffalo on a field of blue,(R-1). In the first year, the Lodge had no Chapters or "clans", but was divided into three geographic areas to better serve its membership. As the Council grew it divided into Districts and the Lodge changed it's clans or Chapters to align with the Districts. Ta Tanka Lodge, now celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2002, is served by five Chapters, covering each of the Districts in the Council.


The majority of the preceding history was quoted with the permission of the author, and taken from:

Patches & Pins - A History of Ta Tanka Lodge
Second Edition
By Bob McMurtrey, Vigil, Teton Dakota Chapter
© 1995