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A change for OA lodges, I got this off our lodge Yahoo group.


reprinted from http://www.oaimages.com/nonumbers.shtml



The Discontinuation of Lodge Numbers


At its December 2003 Planning Meeting the OA National Committee has voted to end the assignment and use of lodge numbers. Lodges will now officially be known by their names, council names and numbers, and council headquarters. This has already been implemented on the National OA website as indicated in the announcement of the 2004 National and Regional officers. In practice, even if not in fact, this went into effect a year before this meeting as the 2003 OA lodge charters did not have lodge numbers on them, only lodge names and council names and council numbers.


No new lodge numbers will be assigned. Lodges will not be renumbered to use their respective council numbers.


Below is the unedited text from a handout distributed at this National OA Committee meeting.



OA Lodge Numbers



Lodge numbers were originally assigned sequentially as the lodges were formed. Therefore, in the beginning there was historical significance to the numbers.


Lodge mergers have occurred many times since 1915. In recent years, merging lodges have been given the option of picking a "new number" anywhere a "number" was vacant in sequence. Some lodges chose one of

their existing numbers, others chose a number to match their council number, and still others chose the lowest or highest vacant number available. Therefore the lodge numbering system is no longer historically significant throughout the BSA.


Even though our OA literature clearly states that there will be only one lodge per council, lodge numbers have made it easier for multiple lodges to exist in a merged council. Because the lodges could continue to be identified separately from their council, it was easy to not merge the lodges. Only through continuous external pressure and intervention have we been able to effect the lodge mergers.


Merging councils adopt one of their current council numbers rather than obtaining a new council number. The council numbering system is universally used throughout Scouting.


For years there has been the impression that lodges were entities unto themselves rather than belonging to their councils. Our vision as Scouting's national honor society is for every lodge to be an integral part of the council it serves.


Having one number for a council and another number for a lodge has generated confusion. This is especially true in the national office, at OA event registration, and all Scouting reporting functions.

Elsewhere in Scouting, reporting is done by councils and registration is done by council contingents.


The original historical significance of lodge numbers is no longer universally meaningful throughout the BSA. The use of lodge numbers has caused confusion. The OA Strategic Plan and the lodge mission statement call for the lodge to be an integral part of its council, not a separate entity unto itself.



Henceforth, report and register OA lodges by the councils they serve. Identify lodges by lodge name, council name and council number. For example:

Kansa Lodge, Quivira Council #198, BSA


This will eliminate the current confusion over one number identifying the council and an additional number identifying the lodge.


It will reinforce the concept that a lodge belongs to the council it serves.


It will be simpler to maintain a single numbering system for reporting and registration purposes throughout Scouting.


It will ease the merger process.


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Interesting indeed...at Tamegonit Lodge's Fall Fellowship they just released a new flap (which I have bought but haven't sewn on yet).


It'll probably be the last edition of the flap that has a number on it...they're going to (if they haven't already) begin making new flaps, because the ones out now are slighty too wide...the new flaps will most likely not have the lodge number on it...*sigh*


I'LL always remember Tamegonit as being lodge number 147, though. :)


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What? Now I'm going to have to change my username. Actually, I think the change is going to be official only. There are so many lodges that go by their number. Does anyone thing Unami is going to stop putting number 1 on their flap? A better solution would have been for the lodges merging to have to choose either one of their current numbers (most would choose the lower one) or be assigned a new one from the back of the pack. Once a number is gone, it is gone (no reassigning).


If national was really having a problem with lodges not merging when their councils do, then they just need to say either merge or we won't recharter you. It shouldn't be such a problem that national would have to take away a great tradition going back almost 90 years.

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The lodge to which I belong here is the result of such a merger and was able to pick up a lower lodge number that was not assigned to any other lodge at that time. This gives a false impression of greater longevity. This is a healthy change.

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It won't really take effect until the new line of 'moichendise' comes through.. "Darn, we're going to have to sell 5 billion new patches over the nexy year."


I wonder if current lodge flaps will become obsolete or improper insignia.

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This will really be a help in my council. The council is 200 and the lodge is 201.


As for everyone needing new flaps, that isn't really an issue. What was once a proper uniform is still one now. The only requirement is that you may only wear the flap authorized by the lodge you are currently a dues paying member of. I suppose a lodge could decide that old flaps may not be worn after a new one has been issued, but I haven't heard of any that do that.


Really this is a logical step in the continued transformation of the OA (which began as a camp based society of honored campers) into a more fully intograted part of the program as Scouting's National Honor Society.

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I find it difficult to believe the part about it being easier to retain separate lodges within a merged council because of the separate numbering system. That sounds like real bureaucrat-speak to me. Are we really to believe that nobody at national has a list of lodges by council? Or that even if they don't, such a list could not be compiled from information in the hands of the regions, areas or other subdivisions? Or even if NO such lists exists, somebody in national has a list of councils with addresses, and somebody else has a list of lodges with addresses, and all they'd have to do is count them up by state and see where the numbers don't match. There might be some cross-state-boundary councils that might create confusion, but how many of those could there be? I'd say that at the absolute most, creating a spreadsheet of lodges by council (assuming it doesn't already exist) would be two days' work, including phone calls to clear up any ambiguities.


The other reason, that the numbers of the lodges no longer have historical significance, at least seems more plausible. It still seems kind of odd, eliminating a numbering system because it has no historical significance. By that line of reasoning you could also argue that the lodge NAMES in merged councils have no historical significance. As far as I know, all the merged councils in New Jersey (and there was a big merger wave in 1999-2000 which eliminated five councils just in my half of the state) now have a new OA lodge that has a name different from the one that existed in any of the predecessor councils. What significance does the new name have? An argument could be made that in order to avoid confusion, the Native American names could be abandoned and the lodges could just be the "Northern New Jersey Council OA Lodge." Not quite as poetic, you say? True, but I guess some people find some poetry in the numbers as well. Someone mentioned Lodge 1, and I agree nobody is going to want to stop using it. Even if national requires dropping the "old numbers" from the flaps, I would be surprised if that council's new flap did not have the numeral 1 on it somewhere.

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"it's amazing how some people obsess over patches"


It is also amazing how some people will obsess over Pokemon cards, Beanie Babies, Hot Wheels, Coca-Cola posters, or stamps. Collectors always seems odd to those who either aren't collectors or those who collect something different. I saw a guy on TV recently who has a collection of 20,000 1 quart oil cans (motor oil used to come in cans not bottles). Strange? Not to him.



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