History

Illinek Lodge #132, is one of the oldest Order of the Arrow lodges continuously chartered by the Boy Scouts of America. The lodge was originally chartered on August 20, 1938, in Abraham Lincoln Council, Springfield, Illinois. At the time of the founding of Illinek Lodge, the Order of the Arrow was still an experimental program of the BSA. Several “honor camper / honor scout” societies existed. Many were local to one or two councils and a few like the Order of the Arrow were gaining wider acceptance.

During the earliest years, Illinek Lodge was signified by a Blackhawk totem. This was soon replaced by the Cardinal which has remained through to today. The origins of the name “Illinek” can be traced to the Algonquin Confederacy of our area; a word meaning “men”.

Camp Illinek was founded in the late 1930s on land along the shores of what was then the new Lake Springfield. Our lodge, therefore, took its name from Camp Illinek. Prior to that time, our council met each summer for camp at a property known as Camp Sangamo. During those years, a local Scouting society was formed called the Tribe of Sangamo. Little is known of this society, with only scant references found in period publications. In these early years, our lodge played an active role in the growth of the Order of the Arrow. In 1945, William E. Hoffman became our Supreme Chief of the Fire and concurrently was very active at the National Lodge level. Lodge members of Illinek were chosen to perform the Ordeal ceremony in demonstration at early National Lodge gatherings. By 1948 the BSA had formally recognized the Order of the Arrow as its official honor campers society. During this period, Illinek Lodge served at least once as the “host service lodge” for the National Lodge gathering (what has today become the National Order of the Arrow Conference). Our history is rich in service to Scouting and our community.

The links below will take you to sections which will help you to better understand our history of service. Of course gaps in our story exist, which you can help us to fill in. If you have information, documents or pictures that would help us better tell the story, please contact us.