Brief History of the OA in the Mount Baker Council BSA
The history of the Order of the Arrow in the Mount Baker Council dates back to November 3, 1945, when Kelcema Lodge #305 was established in the Evergreen Area Council BSA, and Quilshan Lodge #325 was established in the Mt. Baker Area Council BSA. Both lodges were installed by Tsisqan Lodge #253 of the Oregon Trails Council BSA. For fifty years, Kelcema Lodge and Quilshan Lodge were integral to the Scouting program in Northwest Washington in advancing the mission of the Order of the Arrow. Both lodges had an extremely dedicated and loyal membership; were proactive in service to the Scouting program and in the broader community; and were strong supporters of and advocates for their respective council camps of Fire Mountain Scout Reservation and Camp Black Mountain.
Following the merger of the Evergreen Area Council and the Mt. Baker Area Council in 1993 into the new Mount Baker Council, Kelcema and Quilshan Lodges met on June 3, 1995, to establish the new Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge #338. At this first meeting, Lodge members selected the organization’s new name, totem, and Lodge Executive Committee. Kelcema Lodge and Quilshan Lodge held their final lodge events later that year, and Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge was launched in 1996. In the 25 years since then, Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge has continued to grow in size, scope, and impact in advancing the mission and purpose of the Order of the Arrow across Northwest Washington.
The name “Sikhs Mox Lamonti” translates to “friends of two mountains” in the Chinook jargon historically used by Native Americans across the Pacific Northwest. This name was selected by Lodge members in June 1995 in reference to the two BSA council camps—Fire Mountain Scout Reservation in Skagit County, and Camp Black Mountain in Whatcom County—that were brought together as part of the new Lodge and Council.
The octopus is the Lodge’s totem. It recognizes the Giant Pacific octopus–the largest species of octopus and most intelligent of all invertebrates–native to the waters of the Salish Sea. Among some Northwest Coast Native American peoples, the octopus—also referred to as the devilfish—represents transformation, with its ability to change color and shape, and is considered to have powers over the weather, sickness and health. The late Upper Skagit elder and storyteller Vi taqʷšəblu Hilbert relates the story of “Crow and Octopus” (available for reading and listening on the Tulalip Tribes Lushootseed website).
Lodge History Resources
Kelcema Lodge History Resources
Quilshan Lodge History Resources
Quilshan Lodge #325 Facebook Page: This page features historic photos of Quilshan Lodge.