A brief history of Grand Monadnock Lodge

Grand Monadnock Lodge #309 is the result of a growth from the first experimental Order of the Arrow program in north central Massachusetts, to a modern organization which is one of the great strengths of the council which it serves. When Lodge 309 was first formed, the country was at the end of World War II, which had followed on the heels of the Great Depression. Scout wore simple uniforms topped with overseas caps, and lodge flaps were rare. Camping, however, was as central to the Order's program then as it is today.

Grand Monadnock Lodge can trace its lineage back to three original Order of the Arrow lodges that began within a year of each other in the north central part of Massachusetts.

The first of these lodges, Tsutsuid Lodge #309, was chartered on July 10, 1945, by 12 Scouts and Scouters from the Wachusett Council, based in Leominster, MA. The name of the lodge was taken from the abundant New England chipmunks that inhabited the council area. The lodge conducted many service projects and ceremonials in the council's camp, Camp Wanocksett, in Jaffery, NH. Lodge 309 quickly became active in attending Section Conclaves and National Order of the Arrow Conferences.

As Tsutsuid Lodge #309 was born, and began to prosper and grow, a similar program was developing in Leominster's "Twin City" of Fitchburg, MA. On September 7, 1945, Elliot Managam, Scout Executive of the Fitchburg Area Council (and a Chippewa Indian), founded Watatic Lodge #319. Named after a local mountain, the lodge adopted as its totem a black panther at first, and then later, a thunderbird and war shield. Watatic Lodge was known for installing other local lodges and teaching them the Order's ceremonies. This lodge first used Camp Lowe, in Rindge, NH, as it's camp, and then later supported Camp Split Rock in Ashburnham, MA.

As the Order began to prosper in the Twin Cities of north central Massachusetts, slightly to the west the Order gained another foothold in the Monadnock Council, Gardner, MA, which on February 16, 1946, chartered Nikiwigi Lodge #329, at the council's Camp Collier. Tsutsuid Lodge #309 conducted the Ordeal for the first members of this new lodge, all of whom were members of the "Nikiwigi Tribe," which was an early honor camper society. Nikiwigi soon became active and held their own Ordeal on June 21, 1946; and throughout that summer at Camp Collier, elections were held and membership swelled.

Sometime after 1946, Lodge 329 entered a period of inactivity, which ended in 1959. With apparently no remaining active members, Watatic Lodge helped to re-install Nikiwigi Lodge; and in the following years, the two lodges were closely linked. By 1963, Nikiwigi, once again strong, was holding their own ceremonies at Camp Collier.

In 1965, as the Wachusett Council of Leominster and the Fitchburg Area Council were merged into Nashua Valley Council, so were their respective OA lodges. Under the leadership of Managam, the new lodge was to be called Quanopin, after a famous local Indian, and had as its totem Tackqiuwock -- meaning The Twins, in reference to the two strong lodges that gave birth to the new 309. Stronger than before, Quanopin Lodge #309 soon became a leader among its Section (first NE-1A and then NE-1B), as well as gaining national recognition, both for excellent Native American dancing and singing, as well as having one of their arrowmen, David Erb, become National Chief. One of the highlights of the lodge's history was when they acted as the service lodge for the 1993 NE-1B Conclave, which was not only considered among the best ever by members of the section, but had the unique distinction of being one of the few Order of the Arrow events covered by Scouting magazine.

Quanopin Lodge #309 and Nikiwigi Lodge #329 existed together as brothers, with friendly competition, through the 70s and 80s, until the Nashua Valley Council and Monadnock Council were merged in 1993. With the new Nashua Valley Council came a new lodge, Grand Monadnock Lodge #309, named after the world-famous mountain that overlooks the council's Camp Wanocksett in Jaffery, NH. Again, the merger process yielded a stronger lodge than before, and Lodge 309 continues to be a leader among Section NE-1B.

Throughout the years, GML #309 has had key roles in the section, assisting in conclave shows, training, and publications, and has had numerous youth occupy Section offices. Noted Arrowmen Steve Hoff, James Primeau, Chris Hoff, and Marc Smith have served on numerous NOAC staffs in key roles in shows or training; Branden Morris, a 4-term Section Chief for NE-1B served as the 1996 NOAC Vice-Chief for training, and was awarded the Order's National Distinguished Service Award in 1996; and Andy Collins, a 2-term Section Chief for NE-1B Served as the 2006 NOAC Vice-Chief for the Web Site. Grand Monadnock Lodge was the first recipient of the coveted Lodge Spirit and Activity Award ("The Golden Shovel") at the 1997 Section NE-1B Conclave, and plans on holding that distinction for years to come. In 2000, it was once again time for Section NE-1B to be the guests of Lodge #309 (this time as GML, not Quanopin), and 250 Arrowmen from across New England came to Camp Wanocksett again, for what was again considered one of the best NE-1B Conclaves. In January 2001, due to the election of Section Chief Pat Boyd to Northeast Region Chief, Dan Burgoyne, past two-term chief of GML, was elected to the office of Section Chief for NE-1B, presiding over the 2001 Section Conclave. In January 2005, due to the election of Section Chief Dan O'Rourke to Northeast Region Chief, Andy Collins, past vice-chief and webmaster of GML, was elected to the office of Section Chief for NE-1B, presiding over the 2005 Section Conclave, once again being held at Camp Wanocksett.

Today, and looking ahead to the future, GML Lodge #309 continues to be active not only in the section, but also in building upon Lodge 309's rich legacy of service to the council and camp programs of Nashua Valley Council. The lodge continues to be active in camping service and promotion.

Lodge Chiefs of Grand Monadnock Lodge #309

James Keavney, 1993-1994
Joe Ganley, 1994-1995
Chris Herring, 1995-1996
Kris Cullen, 1996-1997
Dan Burgoyne, 1997-1998
Dan Burgoyne, 1998-1999
Chris Burgoyne, 1999-2000
Jeff Bailey, 2000-2001
Bill Marsh, 2001-2002
Matt O'Malley, 2002-2003
Brendan Hurley, 2003-2004
Jim Fancy, 2004-2005
Michael Morin, 2005-2006
Chris Abisla, 2006-2007
Andrew Coleman, 2007-2008
Andrew Coleman, 2008-2009
Josh Champagne, 2009-2010
Josh Champagne, 2010-2011
Ken Goewey, 2011-2012
Chris Cole, 2012-Present

Lodge Advisers of Grand Monadnock Lodge #309

Marc Smith, 1993-2000
Branden Morris, 2000-2008
Matthew Ciampaglia 2008-Present

NE-1B Section Chiefs from Grand Monadnock Lodge # 309

Branden Morris, Jan. 1993 - June 1996
Dan Burgoyne, Jan. 2001 - June 2001
Andy Collins, Jan. 2005 - June 2006