The 1940's

Blue Heron Is Founded, 1946

During the summer of 1946, Mr. Norman Jones and Mr. Gordon Linsey were visiting Pennsylvania. While there, they noticed a program being carried out by the Scouts of that area. This program was the Order of the Arrow, and on returning to Norfolk, mentioned to the Commissioner Staff of the Order’s work. The Commissioners wholeheartedly approved a recommendation that was sent to the Council Camping and Activities Committee to adopt the Order of the Arrow in the Tidewater Council. In the fall of 1946, a ceremonial team from Octoraro Lodge in Pennsylvania came down to Camp Darden at Sedley, Virginia, and inducted the first nucleus of Blue Heron members.

First Step, 1947

At the first official meeting of the Lodge on January 5, 1947, Mr. A. G. Buckwalter was elected the first Lodge Chief. After the first self-run Ordeal in August of 1947, Blue Heron membership totaled thirty-nine and later by Lodge action, these members were designated as Charter Members. The Blue Heron was selected as the Lodge Totem because the great bird was a frequent visitor to Lake Constance, the lake at Camp Darden. This totem and the first patch incorporating the Heron were selected at an Executive meeting on May 31, 1947. Its design was: a red arrowhead with a white “baby blue heron” superimposed on it. White is the color of young blue herons. With 28 members present, Blue Heron Lodge held it first annual Banquet on December 31, 1947. This set precedence for traditional annual gatherings of the Lodge.

Area IIIA Membership, 1948

The first Area meeting attended by the Lodge was held at Camp Horseshoe, Pa., May 1st and 2nd, 1948, where six of our members received the Brotherhood Honor. At that time an Ordeal member had to be active for at least 18 months in order to be eligible. The Blue Heron Lodge conferred the Brotherhood honor for the first time at Camp Darden on May 15 and 16, 1948. Five of our members received the honor at that time. The Blue Heron Lodge sent five delegates to the National Order of the Arrow Convention at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Indiana, in August, 1948. Since that time our Lodge has participated in every National or Regional Convention with very few exceptions.

Blue Heron Lodge’s first Ordeal ceremony in 1946

Ceremonial Ring at Camp Darden during Blue Heron’s first self-run Ordeal on August 15, 1947

Candidates at Camp Darden during Blue Heron’s first self-run Ordeal on August 15, 1947

Blue Heron’s delegation to the 1948 National Lodge Meeting