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Tamet Lodge - Pins, Medals & Necklaces  

 Universal Arrow Pin
         Red & White arrow pins, also known as Universal arrow pins, were official OA insignia for all Arrowmen around the country. In the 1940's, Local Lodges purchased the pins through the National Order of the Arrow secretary and later from National Supply of
Arrow pin purchased by Tamet Arrowman in mid 1940's.
the BSA. Universal arrow pins were worn from the button of the right pocket flap of the Scout shirt. Tamet Lodge first offered them for sale in December, 1943.

                     Excerpt from Tamet Lodge Tom-Tom
                                  December, 1943 p.2

          Mid 1940's versions of the pin have the arrow pointing towards the wearer's left shoulder. The direction of the arrow was changed to point towards the right shoulder in the 1950's.. These pins were common for uniform wear by all Tamet Arrowmen through the merger of the Lodge in 1972.
    Past Chiefs' Pins
   1951- Mid 1950's
          Tamet Lodge's first pin was created in 1951 as an award for past lodge chiefs. The silver Thunderbird appears to have been the idea of Tamet Lodge lay adviser Proctor Weir. Pins were awarded to the former chiefs who were still active in 1951 and to each chief through 1959. During the 1960's, past officers were awarded medals. 
          Thunderbird pins were meant to be worn on the OA sash above the top bar. The original Thunderbirds were made of silver and had spin-lock pin backs. Sometime in the late 1950's, a stamped nickle Thunderbird was used. This version of the pin had extensions on each wing that passed through the sash and were bent to affix the pin.


  Silver with spin-lock pin clasp. Hallmarked "STERLING".

Late 1950's

Stamped nickle. Bent clips
on outside of each wing.
Stamped "SILVEL"

    Jack Halloran
wearing his past chiefs' pin on OA sash in 1957 Photo


Original Design and Translation of Symbols for Past Chiefs' Medallion (Pin)
February 24, 1951

           This drawing with notes was made by Lodge Advisor, Proctor Weir Sr. It is on an irregular piece of white butcher paper that is cut from a larger piece of the type used to cover the long dinning tables used at Tamet Lodge dinners at Camp Josepho. It is believed this drawing, complete with notes and food stains, was made directly on the paper covering of the head table at the February 24, 1951 election banquet.

        From the notes:  Pin -To remind of Service to Tamet Lodge • Thunderbird - a symbol of strength & power • Tamet sun on chest • Lines around sun - Necklace worn as Lodge Chief • Points on shoulders - 12 points of Scout Law •  Diamond on left wing - Service • Diamond on right wing - Leadership • Oval on left wing - Knowledge • Oval on right wing - Truth • Circle on left wing - Compass • Circle on right wing - Mariners point of compass, "Polaris" • Wing tips and tail - 3 points of Scout Oath: duty to God, Country, Self.
         It is also noted that initially, there were four pins awarded: Jack Davies; Dick Rice; Ray (Loren) Tarvin (who had already received his pin); and outgoing Lodge Chief Cal Wheelock.

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Other Pins  

 Ritual & Chief's Pin
Early-Mid 1950's
  Past Chief's Lapel Pin
Early 1960's

Commemorative Pin

Silver with turquoise.
Hallmarked "STERLING" on the back. Spin-lock pin clasp. Documents indicate the pin was worn with the hatchet head facing down on Ritual & Chapter Chief's necklaces. (see original drawings below). This pin was removed from one of those original necklaces in the 1970's.
Brass with painted details.
Screw back. Tamet lapel pins first became available in the early 1960's.
The exact purpose of these pins is unclear but it appears they were used
as a token of appreciation for outgoing Lodge Chiefs and possibly advisors in place of the Silver Thunderbird pins
of the 1950's
Cloisonne with squeeze pin back.
Dated 1942-1972. This pin was not issued during the existence of Tamet Lodge but became available during the 1970's as a commemorative of the Lodge.

Officer Necklaces

          Also in February, 1951, Proctor Weir Sr. penciled a drawing of two necklaces, one for the sitting Lodge Chief and a second for the Lodge Ritual Chief. It is believed these necklaces were 'on-hand" before the drawings, which only served to explain the symbolism assigned to the various components. The Lodge Chief's necklace was to be worn by incoming 1951-52 Lodge Chief, Jack Halloran, while the Ritual Chief's necklace was to be worn by Bill Douglas.
          Weir made a second drawing around the same time showing the necklace with the upside down tomahawk pin labeled as being for Chapter Chief's with a "(3)" notation, likely meaning for each of Tamet Lodge's three chapters at the time. It was in 1952 that Tamet Lodge changed its bylaws, altering its structure from three Camp Chapters at Josepho, Emerald Bay, and Wolverton to three District chapters. The District chapters were originally pairs of the Council's six districts combined to create three chapters.
          By the late 1950's, each of Tamet Lodge's then seven District Chapters, all known by Indian names, used necklaces for their presiding Chapter Chiefs. Examples of these necklaces can be seen at  >
 Sioux (Beverly Hills); Comanche (Westwood);  Mohawk (Culver Palms). 

          The Lodge Chief's necklace was passed down from Lodge Chief to Lodge Chief for the next twenty years until the merger of Tamet Lodge with Walika Lodge in 1972. One example of the Ritual Chief's necklace was seen as late as the 1970's.

Paul Jordon
1955-56 Lodge Chief
wearing Lodge Chief's Necklace.

Original Design and Translation of Symbols for Chiefs' Necklaces
February, 1951

First Drawing
Lodge & Ritual Chief's Necklaces
Second Drawing
Lodge & Chapter Chief's Necklaces

Special Notes: These two original drawings provide special insight into the meaning of the necklaces and the person who designed them.  First, they speak to the importance placed on symbolism by the earliest members of Tamet Lodge. Secondly, they also show challenges with spelling as evidenced by the misspelling of TAMET (sp TAMUT) and obliteration of
, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui
the three "W's" of W.W.W.

Vigil Triangles  

          Beginning in the later 1950's, metal triangles were made for Vigil Honor members of Tamet Lodge to be affixed to their
wooden signature plaques that decorate the inside perimeter of the lodge at Camp Josepho. By the late 1960's, transfer of the triangles to newly elected Vigil Honor members evolved into its own special tradition. Following the annual election of the new Vigil Honor members, existing Tamet Vigil Honor members passed  triangles to the newly elected candidates. Transfers took place in person at the candidates home, at camp or at a meeting, by placing the triangle in the palm of the hand and offering the "Vigil Honor handshake" while informing the candidate of their successful election into the ranks of the Vigil Honor in Tamet Lodge.

  Late 1950's     1960's-72   Post -1972 
Brass cut from an old sign. Three Arrows were painted with a varnish such as to become faintly visible as the brass tarnished.
    Stamped aluminum in a 3-dimensional pyramid shape. Slightly serrated edges.

  Sheet metal with engraved arrows. These triangles have been used in recent years to restore Tamet Vigil Honor member plaques missing triangles.

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Past Chapter Chief Medals

          In 1960, Tamet Lodge began purchasing award medals from BSA National Supply. The medal depicting a chief in full bonnet was produced by the J. E. Caldwell Co., the official jeweler of the Order of the Arrow, and were suspended from a red and white ribbon, the colors of the Order of the Arrow. Tamet Lodge awarded  these medals to past Chapter Chiefs upon the completion of their terms in office.
 Outgoing Chapter Chiefs 1960-65
  Awards Table
Tamet Lodge Banquet, February 17, 1962

  Silver medal hallmarked "STERLING"
        Seven Past Chiefs' medals for seven outgoing chapter chiefs can be seen at the front of the table along with a chapter chief necklace. Also seen are award trophies for outgoing officers including a trophy with a totem pole ornament for the outgoing Lodge Chief, Marc Medoff.


  Origins of Past Officers Medals   Excerpt from Chiefs' Council Meeting Minutes
December 17, 1964
          On December 17, 1964,  the Chiefs' Council approved purchasing four different medals in addition to the Chapter Chief medals. The new designs were to be awarded to the outgoing Lodge Vice chief; Ritual Chief; Treasurer; and Secretary.
         The order can be documented to pictures of J. E.Caldwell Co. stock medals in an old OA handbook that, unbeknownst to the Chiefs' Council, were no longer in production. When the order could not be filled, it is thought that a Tamet sun design was submitted to the manufacturer as a substitute. A system using different colored ribbons distinguish between the various offices.


Past Officer Silver Sun Medals

Tamet Silver Sun medals were awarded to outgoing Lodge officers and Chapter Chiefs for five years.
Different colored ribbons were used to signify different offices:
Red/White-Lodge Chief •  Purple-Vice Chief •  Green/Yellow-Ritual Chief • 
-Treasure • Yellow-Secretary • Red-Chapter Chief
In certain circumstances, ribbon colors were combined when a past officer held two offices in the same year.

NOTE: Beginning in 1970, outgoing Tamet officers were awarded purple bordered multi-colored flaps.

    Lodge Chief
Red & White Ribbon

Lodge Chief
Year Unknown 
White Ribbon with
Red Applique Ribbon
Lodge Chief
Red Ribbon with White Center Stripe

The limited supply of Sun medals had nearly run out
by 1969. That year, outgoing officers who had been awarded medals in previous years were only given new ribbons as replacements
  for their existing medals.
(Image courtesy of
Barney Mann)
      This recent discovery is a mystery. Not only is the red side of the ribbon on the right hand side instead of the left, but there are actually two ribbons. The red ribbon is sewn to an all white ribbon. No other example of an all white ribbon is known.

NOTE: Beginning in 1970, outgoing Tamet officers were awarded purple bordered multi-colored flaps.

          Lodge Vice Chief
Purple Ribbon
 Lodge Treasurer
  Green Ribbon

 Lodge Secretary
& Chapter Chief

  1968 - Yellow Ribbon
with Red Bar  


(Image courtesy of
Bill Topkis) 


(Image courtesy of
 Barney Mann)


Past Area XII-E Chief Medal  
Awarded to Keith Bair, April 17, 1966

Between 1946-72, six Tamet Lodge members were elected to the position of Area Chief::
Lodge Founder Jack Davies; Loren Tarvin; Caroll Hood; Paul Doose; Keith Bair and Tom Conrad.
During the 1960's, Area XII-E awarded past chiefs a sterling silver Thunderbird (the symbol of Area XII-E)
suspended from a silk ribbon. 

      Hallmarked "STERLING" 

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