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2021 Cahuilla Lodge Zoom Vigil Breakfast

On April 3, 2021, Cahuilla Lodge hosted a Vigil Breakfast over Zoom.  Over 50 members and alumni participated.  Eight decades of Arrowmen were in attendance.

The annual Vigil Breakfast was started by Bill Woodward as a way to get together friends from his original Lodge, Navajo # 98. Navajo became a part of Cahuilla Lodge in 2006. After Bill’s passing in 2018, the Lodge decided to name the annual gathering in his honor.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought most in-person meetings to a halt. Like many other Lodges, Cahuilla began meeting over Zoom. That also created an opportunity to seek and connect with alumni from Cahuilla and it’s 4 predecessor Lodges throughout the country.

Arrowmen participated across 4 time zones. Our distance champion was 1988 – 1989 Lodge Chief, Stefan Gogosha, who is an Environmental Specialist on Alaska’s North Slope. He participated, 3,841 miles from our Council Service City of Redlands, California.

I lost touch with the Lodge after going out of state for college. The Vigil breakfast gave me a chance to see old faces and hear old stories about the Lodge through the decades. Cahuilla was formed from three other lodges and that history wasn’t discussed while I was active. This weekend brought together Lodge Chiefs from those lodges and it was interesting to hear about Cahuilla’s roots.

Stefan Gogosha, 1988 – 1989 Cahuilla Lodge Chief

Overall, 20 Past Chiefs were in attendance, spanning from 1959 to 2021. One highlight was watching the first Co-Lodge Chiefs, Ken DeWitt and Jon Nelson, discuss the original 1973 merger. They had not spoken in 47 years and the excitement and enthusiasm was obvious.

While celebrating our traditions was an important theme of the event, it was noted that change is constant, change is good, and the ability to adapt is what makes for a consistently successful program.

The Vigil Breakfast is an annual event, but the alumni were so excited, they requested that Cahuilla Lodge hold more frequent get-togethers. Already, there are ideas on holding informal discussions of past events, focusing on decades, and discussing the culture and value of our four predecessor Lodges.

The global pandemic has changed the program. With some creativity and adapation to new circumstances, Cahuilla Lodge has found a way to widen the circle to our current Arrowmen, while bringing energized alumni who are too distant to participate in person.

When the pandemic is over, Cahuilla Lodge will return to in-person events. The 2021 Zoom Vigil Breakfast, though, showed that meeting over video is a new tool in our toolkit, and that people throughout the country connected to the Order of the Arrow program are excited to be a part of it.

Last updated: April 6, 2021 at 14:00 pm

Last updated: April 6, 2021 at 14:00 pm