Talako Lodge - since 1958
"For he who serves his fellows is, of all his fellows, greatest."
Early Years (1941 - 1957)
Talako Lodge has a history predating it's formation as a chartered lodge in the Order of the Arrow. It's history is intertwined with the summer camps of Marin Council, and was formerly known as the Tribe of Talako and the Tribe of Pahatsi. Marin Council’s first camp in the Sierras was Camp Pahatsi which was leased from the Tahoe Area Council. In 1941, the Tribe of Pahatsi was established. It was the camp staff that led the Tribe which soon grew in complexity and in numbers. During the 1940’s, all Scouts who went to camp were inducted into this organization. They were canoed to the island in the lake and initiated, after which camp projects were performed. The Tribe functioned only at a camp. There were several ranks in the Tribe of Pahatsi. This camp area was in use through 1949.
In 1950, Marin Council acquired Camp Marin Sierra which located off of Highway 20, near Highway 80. Because of this change, a new name was to be selected for the Tribe. The Lodge chose a Choctaw Native American name “Talako”, which pertains to the eagle, it being the highest rank in Scouting and the Nation’s symbol. At this time, specific requirements for membership were established, other than just being preset at camp. An Indian singing and dance group was started and took the name “Antelope Society.” The Tribe continued to provide service to the camp with little outside organization involvement.
Lodge Formation (1958 - 1999)
In the mid 1950’s, the tribe was urged to become chartered with the Order of the Arrow. There was much resistance on the part of the Tribal members, especially from those who held the higher rank. National would allow transfer of rank to honor, but only to the Ordeal and Brotherhood honors. It was not until 1958 that Talako Lodge was chartered by the National Committee of the Order of the Arrow. The first Lodge Chief was Denis Johnson. The Tribe and the Lodge continued to coexist until 1960. During this time period, membership in the Tribe dwindled and finally dissipated. It was then that ceremonies were performed according to the OA practice at Camp Marin Sierra.
Starting in the 1960’s until today, hundreds of Scouts have been called out, became Ordeal members and have given “cheerful service” to their camps, Council, and even other organizations. In 1985, Talako Lodge earned the “E. Urner Goodman Award” (named after the founder of the OA) which was given to the best Lodge in the Western Region at that time.
Talako in the 21st Century (2000 - Present)
In recent years, Talako is very active within the Marin Council and Section W-3N. In 2011 Talako Lodge was the Host Lodge for the Section Conclave. It was located at the Coast Guard base in Petaluma, CA called Two Rock. In 2016 they will once again host the Section W-3N Conclave at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, CA.
Talako Lodge has sent various contingents throughout the years to NOAC which is the National Order of the Arrow Conference. Arrowmen from across the country gather to participate in a week long fellowship conference. In 2012 Talako sent 16 members; Talako’s very own lodge dancer Peter Jankowski participated in the National OA Dance Competition, a first for Talako in well over 15 years. In 2015, during the Centennial NOAC, the lodge sent over 30 members to commemorate the Order.
Throughout the calendar year the Lodge puts on the Pinewood Derby Workshop, the council Klondike Derby, two Ordeals at Camp Tamarancho (another camp owned by the Marin Council), attends the Section Conclave in Sept., participates in the annual Scouting For Food drive, as well as conducts monthly meetings, various outings which all end in Annual Banquet where the next Lodge officers are inducted.