Nampa-Tsi Lodge

Lodge History

A Brief History of Nampa-Tsi Lodge

In 1971, the Great Rivers Council and the Lake of the Ozarks Council received confirmation of the region’s desire for the two councils to merge. The merger of the two councils occurred early the following year. Prior to the merger, both councils had a quite active Order of the Arrow Lodge. It was decided that it would be in the new council’s best interests to pool their resources. This would then allow them to devote all of their efforts toward benefiting the new Great Rivers Council.

Within a few months, Po-E-Mo Lodge #426 and Metab Lodge #216 made their merger official, forming Nampa-Tsi Lodge #216. The name Nampa-Tsi was chosen appropriately, for when the phrase is literally translated, it means “two lodges” or “twin lodges” in the words of our native brothers, the Lenni Lenape. Steve Goeke, the last lodge chief of the Po-E-Mo Lodge, became Nampa-Tsi Lodge’s first lodge chief.

Many traditions from both lodges survived the merger and have helped make the program and experience of the Nampa-Tsi Lodge unique. Many people know that Hohn Scout Reservation at the Lake of the Ozarks was started with the help and dedication of long-time Scouters who used to be members of the Metab Lodge. Many fine traditions were started by the Metab Lodge, including Four Fires, the ceremony where candidates would receive tokens upon which to meditate. Po-E-Mo also had many fine traditions to boast. The Thunderbird call-out ceremony is one of the most vivid Nampa-Tsi traditions: The singing and recitation of the legend of the Thunderbird is a rather moving experience. Another tradition is the camping award totem that troops utilize to show how many nights each Scout has gone camping.

In 1996, our lodge celebrated its 25th anniversary, and in 2006 we celebrated our 35th year of unity. We will continue to push forward into the future – the 50th anniversary is truly within sight; however, we shall always revere the past, for many have walked the winding trails and paths in time before us: To them we are truly indebted. We will forever remember those who bravely blazed the path for us, but we shall also continue to perfect and construct paths for our lodge as we strive to better this, our great brotherhood of cheerful service.

May our lodge always be in fervent accord! Majauchsuwi: Union.

The Legend of the Great Namap-Tsi Lodge

It was long ago, but the great legend must never be forgotten. Who are we without the knowledge bestowed upon us of our brotherhood’s great past? The wind speaks to us. Its gentle whisper through the trees and across the lake tells us to remember: To remember those who walked these hills long before us, as well as what they accomplished for us. This, my brothers, is the very legend that reminds us of our beginning…

In that day, a mighty chief and his nation inhabited one side of a deep, flowing river, while another chief and his nation inhabited the opposite banks. Both nations flourished, for the river brought bountiful harvest. Both chiefs would rise with the sun and each would smile upon his own nation with pride. It was during this time that peace spread throughout the valley.

In all due time, however, these two prosperous nations would meet challenges and tests. The spring brought beauty to the valley as both nations sowed their fields for crops, but the summer brought a sweltering heat and drought. The river desiccated, and the crops in both nations shriveled and died. The herds of the buffalo became scarce, as did the deer. Both nations struggled, for what was once peace that covered the valley had turned into famine and greed. Both nations fell with the setting sun, and the succeeding day would only bring much more uncertainty.

The two chiefs and their peoples were infuriated with one another: One nation held the other to blame for the horrible misfortunes that had descended across the valley. To possibly resolve the issue, the chieftains and medicine men of both nations assembled as one, large council to discuss the matters at hand; however, fury only grew in this council, and the blaming became worse. The chief of the nation on the northern banks of the drought-stricken river declared a war upon the nation to the south; the chief of the southern tribe then declared war on the nation to the north.

From each nation came a large altar of fire that illuminated the evening skies and sent forth black smoke. This sign heralded news that only more challenges and tests were to come as a terrible war was due to also fall upon the valley.

The next day brought what the chiefs had declared: War descended upon the valley. Each chief’s war club was held high as they commanded their nations in battle. Blood quickly filled the once-deep, blue river as many mighty warriors fell. Flaming arrows painted the night skies. For many moons the war was fought, and the altar in each nation continued to burn a thick, black war smoke.

Upon the tenth moon of the terrible war, messengers of the Great Spirit came unto both chiefs as they slept. They urged the two chiefs to meet alone and to discuss terms for ending the hostilities. Both chiefs came together in a large tepee with two red stripes that had been placed at the bottom of the valley by the Great Spirit.

For many hours the two chiefs held a discussion, and the altars continued to send forth the black war smoke as they met. After much contemplation and deliberation, the two mighty chiefs emerged from the tepee and faced one another. The two shook their hands as a sign that the discussion had finally concluded. With this, each chief turned to his respective nation and placed the war club both had at a great height. And then, with immense force, both clubs were thrown to the earth. Turning to one another once more, they took hands and raised them high, showing the sign that peace had been established and that the two had decided to merge into one unified nation, a brotherhood.

White smoke rose from the altars that had once sent forth the black smoke of warfare and death. A majestic thunderbird descended from the heavens, winging its flight o’er the entire valley; a rain began to fall from the heavens as a result, a sign given to the people by the Great Spirit that this was fate.

After putting down their bows and arrows, the people of what were once two nations danced together as one nation in a time of blissful celebration. All of this occurred around what would become known as the Great Teepee.

The river filled completely with the rain, washing away the blood of the fallen warriors. As moons passed, the nation of the valley became prosperous as harvests would come to yield with much abundance. Those who had once been enemies became brothers, and they cheerfully served one another as they built a unified nation. It was for certain that this nation would continue to prosper, and this is true, for many moons have come and gone, and still, to this day, the nation flourishes in a valley that offers peace to its people… The brotherhood of the great Nampa-Tsi Lodge.

The Legend of the Thunderbird

Wakobi, or Brown Bear, was one of the greatest Osage chiefs. As he was near death, he was taken to a peaceful valley in the Osage hunting grounds, where he would spend the days left to him. As Wakobi lay on the hill looking at the sky and waiting, a massive bird flew over his face. Wakobi lost consciousness.

As he awakened, streaks of lightning blinded him, and loud thunder deafened his ears. Again, he lost consciousness and again he awakened. A gentle rain was falling on his face as he lay on the hill, and a band of Lakota was crossing the Osage hunting grounds on their way south.

They came upon Wakobi. Recognizing him, they stopped to offer comfort. He told them of his vision, saying, “As I lay watching the sky, waiting for the Great Spirit, a great bird so large I cannot tell you of its size flew over my face. From his eyes came blinding streaks of light, and as he moved his wings, great claps of thunder shook. On his back, the bird bore a great body of water which spilled over as he flew, causing the rains to fall.” As Wakobi finished this tale, he laid back and joined the Great Spirit in the sky.

The Lakota, hearing this tale, knew it was a great story. They passed the tale on to the inner circle of the Osage Council where it was passed down to the following generations. As the story was retold, the bird grew in greatness until it became the Thunderbird, a great totem to the Osage to be carried in their hearts by all the tribe.

The Song of the Great Nampa-Tsi Lodge

Sing or recite this song with pride following the Official Order of the Arrow Song. When sung, it follows the tune of the United States Navy Hymn.

Hold true the legends of our lodge,
and keep our secrets in safeguard,
for to the Order we shall stand
in cheerful service unto man.
Promote our brotherhood, indeed,
for we are the great Nampa-Tsi.