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History

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 278 History 

In the beginning, between the years of 1930 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. Yosemite Lodge 278 was officially chartered on August 23, 1944. The members of “The Tribe of Yosemite” were blanketed in as charter members to the Lodge.

In March 1945, Bob Potts, Alton Jensen, Bob Crommelin, Ralph Nunes, Dick Jacobs, M.T. Greer, Tom Mott and Gordon F. Hawkins, FSE, made a trek to Mission Council and Area U Fellowship. This was the first Area Conference west of the Mississippi. At that time, the above group was initiated in the Ordeal Ceremony. Alton Jensen was installed as the first Lodge Chief of Yosemite Lodge 278 and was presented with the Lodge’s Charter in appropriate ceremonies.

Yosemite comes from the MeWuk Indian language meaning bear, and the Lodge's totem became a grizzly bear catching a salmon with its paws in a stream. The spelling of the Lodge’s name was changed from Yosemite to Yo-Se-Mite.

As years passed, certain regular functions of the Lodge were initiated and continued. Among these was the Spring Conclave at Camp McBride on Strawberry Lake (Now Pinecrest Lake) at Pinecrest. In 1947 the first Area Conclave in Yosemite Area Council was held in Sonora at Sonora High School. An Indian Parade was held and progressed through Sonora’s main Business District. The Lodge’s Fall Conclave was held to put Camp McBride to bed. At the Annual Dinner the new Lodge Officers were installed.

Several of the Lodge Chiefs became Professional Scouters. Among these are: John McKie 1946- 47 and Merrill Andrews 1947-49. Alumnus Bob Mackie also became a Professional Scouter.

Kenneth Kline, member of Troop 10 Empire, was the 1954-57 Lodge Chief and later the Lodge Adviser. Lowell Bowman was Area 12C Treasurer in 1953 and Vice Chief in 1954. The first Vigil Honor member was Belton Murphy of Merced and the second was Kenneth Kline.

In the 1960 era the Lodge had very active Indian dancing team: Ho No’Vi. The team had performed of various dances at OA events and other public showings.

From its early years, Yo-Se-Mite Lodge has grown in membership by having a continuous and active program. As a member of Area 12C, the Lodge hosted the first Area Conference in 1947 at Sonora High School and the 1953 Area Conference at Camp McBride, with an attendance of 185 members. As a member of Area 12D, 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 1973 the Areas were realigned into Sections. Yo-Se-Mite Lodge became a member of Section W3B. 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.

At the time of the merger, 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 342 History

In the early years of the Council around 1920 (Stockton Council and later San JoaquinCalaveras Council) there were yearly summer camps set up in the Santa Cruz mountains where the present day Henry Cowell State Park is located. Later summer camp was moved to the Dorrington Meadow in Calaveras County. There is evidence that a pre-Order of the Arrow camping organization existed on a yearly basis most of those years but very little is known about it. 

Sumi Lodge 342 was first chartered on June 4, 1946 as Stanislaus Lodge 342. Although the first Lodge name was used for less than a year, officially on January 1, 1948, the name changed to Sumi which means "deer” in the MeWuk language. The Lodge totem is the mule deer which frequents the hills and valleys of the great San Joaquin Basin.

The Lodge's first 7 members were tapped out in early June at Camp Baxter, the old Council Camp on the Tuolumne River. A team of youth Arrowmen with Advisers Turk Greer and Tom Mott from Yosemite Lodge 278 in the Yosemite Area Council inducted these 7 new members at that time. They inducted George Winchester, the then Scout Executive and later on the Regional Staff, and Norman Tanner (West Wind), who remained active as an Area Commissioner with the Council and a Vigil Honor member of the Lodge.

The Lodge's first three brotherhood members were inducted at an Area 12D Conference in the Spring of 1949 at Mather Air Field, Sacramento. In 1954 the first two Vigil Honor members were introduced at the National Order of the Arrow Conference held at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. Those members were Kilburn Doe (Good Medicine) and John Nichley (Good Friend), both of the very large Troop 14, which boasted over 150 youth at that time. 

The Lodge was active from the very beginning, hosting and Area 12C Conference in both 1948 in Stockton and 1955 at the Stockton Fairgrounds. In 1956, the Lodge left Area 12C and joined Area 12D. The Lodge has had delegates at all but one National Order of the Arrow Conferences since 1950.

Sumi Lodge was the first Lodge in Area 12D to have a dance team starting in 1948 and continued for many years (Continuing at least into the late 1960’s) as well as a continually published newsletter. In 1953, the Lodge started construction of its Ritual Grounds and Tepee at Camp 49er, the Councils Camp. The Tepee is 50 feet high and 30 feet in diameter. It was constructed of stucco over natural log poles. However, due to a change in national policies the famous cement tepee that the Lodge was known for was dismantled in 1984 and new more natural ceremonial grounds established. While in Area 12D, the Lodge hosted three more conclaves in 1958, 1964 and 1970 all at Camp 49er. In 1973 the Areas were realigned into Sections. Sumi Lodge became a member of Section W3B. The Lodge hosted the 1980 Section W3B Conclave at Camp 49er and the 1992 Conclave at Oakwood Lake Resort in Manteca.

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.

In the 1950’s the lodge consisted of four Chapters: Delta, Tokay, Yanawanahi, and Pinnawassi. In the late 1960’s six districts were formed and Delta Chapter was broken into two chapters: Kittakima and Kachina and Skull Chapter in the Calaveras District also formed. With so many members attending college during these years, a 7th Chapter, Yokut, was formed. In the 1980’s Kachina and Kittakima Chapters were merged into Tuleburg and later the name was changed to Yacheko Chapter. Also an all LDS Chapter for the Stockton area formed and it was called Amangi Chapter until eventually merging into Yacheko Chapter. In the mid-1980’s, Tokay Chapter changed its name to Mokelkos Chapter.

Prior to the merger the Lodge consisted of four Chapters: Lakasami (Waukeen District), Mokelkos (Tokay District), Skull (Calaveras District) and Yacheko (Big Valley District). The Deer Tracks is the Sumi Lodge newsletter. In its 52 year history, Sumi Lodge has inducted over 138 brothers into the Vigil Honor and over 4,000 Scouts and Scouters have at some time worn the Sumi Lodge Flap. Membership in Sumi Lodge has been as high as 450 members during its lifetime.

Toloma Lodge History

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 Lodge Chiefs, Yo-Se-Mite Chief M. Benjamin Montoya and Sumi Chief Stephen Pearson, 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. In the afternoon Lodge elections were held and Stephen Pearson was chosen to be the first Lodge Chief of Toloma Lodge. Eric Johnson was the last Lodge Adviser of Sumi Lodge and Charlie Chituras who had been the Lodge Adviser of Yo-Se-Mite Lodge since December of 1995 and was the first Lodge Adviser of Toloma Lodge and stepped down in December of 2000.

Traditions of both Lodges were melding to form the traditions of the new Toloma Lodge. The Lodge's name, "Toloma," comes from the MeWuk meaning Lynx. The totem of the Lodge is appropriately Lynx. The Newsletter is the Missing Lynx.

At the time of the merger Yo-Se-mite’s four Chapters (Districts of the same names): Chief Tenaya, El Capitan, Golden Heritage and Wawona; joined with Sumi’s four Chapters: Mokelkos (Tokay District), Skull (Calaveras District), Yacheco (Big Valley District) and Lakasami (Waukeen District), originally creating eight active chapters in Toloma Lodge. As districts merged in Greater Yosemite Council so did chapters. Toloma lodge now is divided into four unique chapters; Sumi, Yo-Se-Mite, Lakasami, and MeWuk. 

Year Lodge Chiefs Adviser Staff adviser
1999 Stephen Pearson Charlie Chituras Kevin Mahan
2000 Garrett Amerine Charlie Chituras Darrell Pederson
2001 Dennis Wiegand Paul Brimingham* Bob Blaeuer
2002 David Mallory Paul Birmingham* Jon Jorgenson
2003 Eric Bubsy Bill Baker/Kris Baltz Jon Jorgenson
2004 Josh Cramer Danny Perdue Dale Foster
2005 Ryan Foster Tom Crist Dale Foster
2006 Mitchell Wallace Tom Crist Dale Foster/Rex Starr
2007 John Armes Charlie Chituras Rex Starr
2008 James L. Serface Charlie Chituras Rex Starr
2009 Shawn Buell Charlie Chituras Rex Starr
2010 Chris Huffman Charlie Chituras Darrell Pederson
2011 Philip Goodwin Charlie Chituras Robin Wilson
2012 Dylan Law Charlie Chituras Robin Wilson
2013 Michael Decker Kris Baltz Tim Long
2014 Brian Escarcega Kris Baltz Tim Long
2015 Kyle Silligman Tim Long Steve Olson
2016 Dalton McCullough Tim Long Dana Barajas
2017 Timothy Costa Daniel Wilson Tim Long

*Membership Revoked