Wiatava Lodge has been a recipient of the National Service Award for the past 7 years
Wiatava Lodge #13 was formed in 1973 to serve the Orange County Council in Southern California, but the history of our lodge begins long before that. Like many councils, the Orange County Council originally had its own honor camper society, known as the Tribe of Gorgonio. It was founded around 1927 at Camp RoKiLi, the council summer camp at Barton Flats in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Wiatava Lodge #13 was officially formed on January 1, 1973. The lodge chose local Indian traditions for both its name and totem. Wiatava is the Cupeño Indian name for Lost Valley, and means place of the oaks. Our totem is the cogstone, an ancient and mysterious artifact, found mostly in archaeological sites in and around Orange County.
Rather than keeping the number of either of our predecessors, Wiatava Lodge asked the national office for the lowest number available at the time, and thus became lodge 13.
Spring Ordeals were held at both Lost Valley and Camp Ahwahnee in 1973, and the first lodge Pow Wow was held at Lost Valley that fall. The Pow Wow alternated between the two camps until 1978, when Camp Ahwahnee was closed. Since then, all our Pow Wows have been held at Lost Valley.
The district chapters have remained an important part of our lodge operation, though their names and boundaries continue to shift as the council membership changes.
Over the years, Wiatava has built a national reputation, usually sending one of the largest contingents to the National Order of the Arrow Conferences. Our lodge has also provided a National Chief of the Order of the Arrow – Evan Chaffee (2007) – and a National Vice Chief – Larry Brown (1979-80) – along with numerous section and regional officers.