At precisely "Ten-Ten on Ten-Ten," Toloma Lodge 64 burst into life. On October 10, 1998, at 10:10 AM, Yo-Se-Mite Lodge 278 and Sumi Lodge 342 became one at Camp McConnell in Livingston, California. This momentous occasion was celebrated by the current Chiefs from the two Lodges; each carried a flaming torch from their own Lodge's fire and together used them to kindle the flame that will burn in the Council fire of the new Toloma Lodge for many years to come. Traditions of both Lodges are melding to form the traditions of the new Toloma Lodge 64. The Lodge's name, "Toloma," comes from the Mi-Wuk meaning Lynx. The totem of the Lodge is appropriately Lynx. The Newsletter is the Missing Lynx.
Yo-Se-Mite Lodge History
In the beginning, between the years of 1934 and 1944, an honorary camping society was formed for outstanding campers in the Yosemite Area Council. This society was filled with ceremonies and rituals using Indian lore and thereby called "The Tribe of Yosemite." During Summer Camp of 1944, it was decided to affiliate with the Order of the Arrow. Yo-Se-Mite Lodge 278 was officially chartered on August 23, 1944. The members of The Tribe of Yosemite were blanketed in as chartered members to the Lodge. Yosemite comes from the Mi-Wuk Indian language meaning bear, and the Lodge's totem became a grizzly bear catching a salmon with its paws in a stream.
From its early years, Yo-Se-Mite Lodge has grown in membership by having a continuous and active program. As a member of Area 12-C, the Lodge hosted the 1947 Area Conference in Sonora and the 1953 Area Conference at Camp McBride, with an attendance of 185 members. As a member of Area 12-D, the Lodge hosted the 1961 Area Conference at Castle Air Force Base, the 1965 Area Conference at Camp McBride, and the 1973 Area Conference in Sonora. In 1978, the Lodge hosted the Section W3B Conclave at the Stanislaus County Fair Grounds in Turlock, in 1988 hosted the Section W3B Conclave at Mae Hensley Junior High School in Ceres, an in 1997 hosted the Section W3B Conclave at Modesto Junior College, West Campus.
Yo-Se-Mite Lodge included four Chapters: Chief Tenaya, El Capitan, Golden Heritage and Wawona. The Lodge's newsletter has appropriately named The Bear Facts. The newsletters contain items of interest as well as information on upcoming events and activities for the members of the Lodge. In its 52 year history, the Lodge has inducted 200 Brothers into the Vigil Honor. The success of the Lodge program is shown by the number of participants at Conclaves, NOAC, and other OA sponsored activities.
Sumi Lodge History
Sumi Lodge was first chartered on June 4, 1946 as Stanislaus Lodge 342. The Lodge's first 7 members were tapped out in early June at Old Camp Baxter. Although the first Lodge was used for less than a year, officially on January 1, 1948, the name changed to Sumi which means "deer” in the Mi-Wuk language. The Lodge totem is the mule deer which frequents the hills and valleys of the great San Joaquin Basin.
The Lodge was active from the very beginning, hosting and Area 12-C Conference in both 1948 and 1955. The Lodge's first three brotherhood members were inducted in 1949 and in 1954 the first two Vigil Honor members were introduced at the National Order of the Arrow Conference held at the University of Wyoming. The Lodge has had delegates at all but one NOAC since 1948.
In 1956, the Lodge left Area 12-C and joined Area 12-D. The Lodge was the first in the new area to have a dance team as well as a continually published newsletter. The Lodge ceremonial grounds were completed in 1953. However, due to a change in national policies the famous cement tepee that the Lodge was known for was dismantled in 1983 and new more natural ceremonial grounds established. While in Area 12-D, the Lodge hosted three more conclaves in 1958, 1964, and 1970 all at Camp 49er.
In 1977, the Lodge added another honor to its long list. William "Skip" Breland, a former Lodge Chief, became only the second Western Region Chief as well as the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in the Sumi Lodge. The Lodge also hosted the 1980 Section W3B Conclave at Camp 49er and the 1992 Conclave at Oakwood Lake Resort in Manteca.
The Lodge consisted of four chapters, Lakasami, Mokelkos, Skull and Yacheko. The Deer Tracks is the Sumi Lodge newsletter. In its 51 year history, Sumi Lodge has inducted over 135 brothers into the Vigil and over 4,000 Scouts and Scouters have at some time worn the Sumi Lodge Flap.