The 1980s – A New Camp
Keeping Busy, 1981
During 1980, the Lodge participated in the SE-1 Conclave and also held the annual Fall Fellowship and Christmas Banquet. At the 1981 Conclave, the Lodge won first place in volleyball competition and the thirty-five (35) delegates to the Conclave enjoyed the weekend at Camp Rock Enon. Our Lodge was not able to send a delegation to the National O.A. Conference in Austin, Texas, however, one of our Brothers, Danny Phillips, was able to attend and took first place in the 6K NOAC Run. 1981 was the 35th Anniversary of the Lodge and at the Fall Fellowship; a special designed octagonal back patch was available to all members in attendance. The back patch is similar to our standard back patch, but with a white border and the words, “35th Anniversary” embroidered in the field. 1981 was also the 10th Anniversary of our Christmas Banquet, which was held at the Azalea Gardens Moose Lodge in Norfolk. That summer, at the 1981 National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, the lodge introduced a special flap not for uniform wear, but for trading.
Moving on Up, 1982
January 1, 1982 was a turning point in SE-1 history. For that date marked the end of Section SE-1, which was divided into two new sections 8 and 9. Blue Heron Lodge now is in Section SE-8. However, in April 1982, 35 delegates attended the last SE-1 Conclave on Rodney Scout Reservation. Our team won first place in the Camp Promotion Competition and The Drumbeat took third place in the Newsletter Competition. The old SE-1 divided to retain offices, in order to complete their planned program during the 1982 season. Gary Brinn was elected as Secretary for the 1982 year. Later that summer, the Lodge sent a delegation to the National Leadership Seminar at Wake Forest University. In the fall of 1982, SE-1 continued its program with an Indian Seminar at Camp Powhatan with the Blue Heron Lodge Dance Team taking first place and Scott Staley taking second place in the individual dance category. The Lodge Ceremonial Team also received a third place finish in that competition and Jack Markowitz received third place for the pre-ordeal in the individual competition. Also in 1982, the Blue Heron initiated a Lodge Honor Patch which was first presented to those brothers who qualified at the 1982 Christmas Banquet, at the Portsmouth Moose Lodge. The Lodge also held a very successful Fall Fellowship at Camp Kiwanis, Pipsico Scout Reservation.
Getting Noticed, 1983
In 1983, Jerry Pifer was elected as Section Chief for SE-8. The Lodge also sent a contingent to the National O.A. Conference at Rutgers University and of the Treasure Island Encampment the weekend prior to the Conference. A number of our brothers were participants in the O.A. Show, including Bruce Sanders, Carl Luckert, Robbie McGhee, William Thompson, Billy Knox, Gene Phelps, Bill West and Brad Shaw. During the year 1983, under the leadership of our Historian, William A. Thompson, III, the O.A. Museum was relocated from the second floor to the Colgate Darden Room on the first floor of the Manor House. All exhibits were reworked and enlarged, with the grand opening on September 12, 1983, during the Fall Fellowship. Two of the original members were present for the occasion. Wayne A. Everett cut the official ribbon and A.G. Buckwalter (First Lodge Chief) made presentations of his peace pipe and Vigil bonnet to the museum. The Lodge also held its Annual Christmas Banquet at the Portsmouth Moose Lodge. The Banquet was attended by approximately 200 Arrowmen.
Changing with the Times, 1984
In 1984, a delegation of 48 Arrowmen attended the SE8 Conclave at Camp Rock Enon. Brothers particularly enjoyed carving a totem pole which was permanently erected in camp. Jerry Pifer was re-elected Section Chief and Si Simons became the Section Adviser. This year also marked the beginning of a significant move from Chapter conducted ordeals to combined Lodge Ordeals. Unit Elections and Tap Out ceremonies would still be conducted on a chapter basis. During 1984, the Lodge approved the use of a new honor flap to be worn by Brotherhood and Vigil members. This flap is similar to our original flap, except it has a white border. Also that year, all restrictions were removed on the purchase of member flaps, except that Ordeal members may not buy the honor flap. The 1984 Fall Fellowship was one of the best attended in Lodge history. With outstanding competition in volleyball, tug-of-war, greased pole climbing and ceremonial team competition with archery and rifle shooting on an individual basis. Good fellowship was enjoyed by all. Jeff Irving stepped down as Lodge Adviser and Bill West was appointed as the new Adviser.
Candy Bar Services, 1985
The Christmas Banquet was held at the Portsmouth Moose Lodge, with Charlie Sullivan (National O.A. Committee member) as the guest speaker, and the Miss Blue Heron Pageant which had been held in alternating years. To raise funds the maintenance of Camp Kiwanis, our 1985 Chief, Ray Phelps, started selling stock in the “Kiwanis Maintenance Association.” The Lodge also sold candy bars to raise funds for the new summer camp planned for Camp Lions. Forty-one Arrowmen attended the 1985 SE8 Conclave at Camp Siouan. Brothers learned much from the training sessions on camp promotions, unit elections, communications, costuming, ceremonies, induction and lodge officer training. William A. Thompson, III was elected Section Secretary. After six chapter Ordeals in the Spring, brothers of the lodge had a busy summer. Many went to the Nation Jamboree, at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia with a special Jamboree flap to trade. Other brothers joined with two members of Kecoughtan Lodge and four from Tutelo Lodge to attend the first National Order of the Arrow Philmont Trek. Paul Eddy, Gene Phelps, Paul MacDonald, Bill McClung, Randy Mosely, Rue Stuteville, Lee Walters and Bill West had a great time on the van trip out and back, as well as hiking the trails. The 1985 Fall Fellowship and Lodge Fall Ordeal were held at Camp Kiwanis with good attendance at both. We completed the year with the Christmas Banquet at the Portsmouth Moose Lodge. Bob Cree, the new Supreme Chief of the Fire, was the guest speaker.
Four Decades of Memories, 1986
1986, the 40th Anniversary of our Lodge, was a great year. We began the year with the first Lodge Freeze-o-ree at Pipsico. In prior years we had Chapter Freeze-o-rees. This was the first year of the Powhatan Chapter, which was formed from the merger of Nottoway and Ski-Co-Ak Districts. In the spring, we issued two new flaps with light gray blue herons on them, one with a red border and the other with a white border. The basic design remaining the same. The Lodge also sent a delegation to the 1986 National Order of the Arrow Conference at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The big event for the year was the Fall Fellowship with games, movies, bead and feather work, teepees and fun for all. Twelve of the past Lodge Chiefs attended the fellowship. Also our Section Chief and a delegation from our Mother Lodge, Octoraro, were in attendance. The Lodge received a print of a blue heron from the Council President for their Pledge of over $5,000.00 to the Camp Lions Building Fund. The 1986 Conclave at Camp Powhatan was held in October because of fire danger during April. Forty-two Arrowmen from the lodge attended and Blue Heron took first place in volleyball and publications. Blue Heron started work on the clearing of camp sites for new Camp Lions during the Fall Ordeal. Our booth for the Scout Show was set up to show the Council the design for the new camp buildings. We ended the year with our Christmas Banquet at the Portsmouth Moose Lodge. At the Banquet, we presented our first Founder Awards to Nick Cordovana and Wayne Everett.
A New Camp, 1987
During 1987 the major work of the Lodge was in Camp Lions. Each Chapter selected a troop site to clear and all Ordeals took place in Camp Lions working to clear sites. Under the direction of Percy Hughes, we started to rebuild the Chapel. Work days were held one weekend each month. Merrimac designed two Chapter flaps to sell as a fund raiser for the Camp. These flaps were copies of the original flap, only they had silver and gold borders. The SE8 Conclave was held at Camp Chickahominy and even with a weekend of rain, we still had good training sessions and were able to provide a totem pole for the Camp. David Shapiro was elected Section Chief.
Twelve brothers attended the National Leadership Seminar in High Point, North Carolina at High Point College. The Lodge completed 1987 with its annual Fall Fellowship at Camp Kiwanis and Christmas Banquet at Currituck County High School, Barco, North Carolina.
Unleashing Lions, 1988
1988 was a busy year in the history of Blue Heron Lodge. We changed the Freeze-o-ree to a winter camping month, where any troop, when camping during the month, could purchase a patch. The Lodge worked most weekends during the first five months of the year, as there was much to be completed before summer camp was ready. The Lodge also spent over $12,000.00 on the new camp, including the rebuilding of the Chapel, building the Fire Ring, new flag poles, a sound system for the new Dining Hall, power and water to the Fire Ring and reworking the Harold V. Pace O.A. Shelter, as well as working under the leadership of John Barnes on the new tent platforms. Not only did the Lodge help build the new summer camp, but we hosted the 1988 SE-8 Conclave in our new camp, in April. Building a totem pole for camp during the Conclave was also accomplished. The Lodge took first place in volleyball. The Lodge was very proud to have past National Chief Jeff Moser as our guest for the weekend. Six brothers attended the National Order of the Arrow Conference in Fort Collins, Co.
New Faces of Leadership, 1989
After a busy year, it was nice to have fund at the Fall Fellowship in our new camp. Bill West stepped down as Lodge Adviser, turning the job over to William A. Thompson, Jr. In 1989, Blue Heron Lodge sent a delegation of more than 80 people to Camp Brady Saunders for SE-8 Conclave, hosted by Nawakwa Lodge. Our members helped to carve an Order of the Arrow totem pole for the camp and won the volleyball competition. Linwood Phelps was elected Section Chief. The Lodge held two very successful Ordeals and inducted over 150 new members. Swelling the membership to over 825 people for the first time in many years. The Fall Fellowship was well attended with a new set of Lodge rules being approved, after much debate. The Christmas Banquet was held for the first time at the Webb Center at Old Dominion University.