1973: The Merger
The name of the merged Lodge, Cahuilla, was announced at the 1973 Section W4B Conclave.
Both Lodges were strong organizations with some differences in how they operated. For instance, Tahquitz limited their Vigil Honor selections and paid the dues for Vigil Honor members for life.
In addition, there were divergent views on insignia. Wisumahi had a freely distributed pocket flap, while the pocket flap from Tahquitz was restricted (not in line with OA policy at the time). The combined leadership opted for a compromise. A “trader” flap would be made available to all while a somewhat restricted Cahuilla rattlesnake flap would be available and that was the one Arrowmen were expected to wear.
The selection of candidates for the Vigil Honor continued to be an issue. After candidates had been severely restricted for years, the Lodge was polarized into separate camps.
A group called Concerned Arrowmen of Cahuilla Lodge put much of this to print and members received mailings about these issues.
Supreme Chief of the Fire John Dudley then elected to require the Lodge to fill their Vigil quota. On May 4, a large portion of the Lodge Executive Committee chose to resign in protest. This marked a low point for Cahuilla Lodge and proof that the issues that arose from the 1973 merger had not been resolved. The protest was also unfortunate, because the Supreme Chief of the Fire has always had the right to make these types of decisions. The Scout Executive approves a Lodge being chartered in the first place.
1978: New Beginnings
New Lodge Doug DeWitt did something few could do before; he unified the Lodge. It helped that he was from Sunnymead (now Moreno Valley), away from the power bases in Riverside and San Bernardino. Many leaders came together and realized that it was time to put old issues away and move forward.
One change that did happen in 1978. Doug realized he was turning 21 and seeked counsel from his Adviser, Marv Goffman. It was decided, to make sure Cahuilla did not have a 21 year old Lodge Chief, that the next elected Lodge Chief, Peter Juran, would take office immediately and his term would run to the next Fellowship. This would be the birth of the September to August fiscal year that Cahuilla Lodge used for the next 24 years.