Puvunga Lodge # 32 is a first-generation Lodge representing the Long Beach Area Council. Formed May 20, 2012, 51 candidates were inducted into the new Lodge (38 youth and 13 adults) at an Ordeal held at Camp Tahquitz and sponsored by leaders of the Western Region and Section W4S. It was the first new charter in 42 years.
Long Beach was also the second-to-last Council in the United States to form an Order of the Arrow Lodge. The reasons for this are complex.
Before they purchased their current camp property in Barton Flats, the Long Beach Area Council’s original Camp Tahquitz was located in Idyllwild. There, the original Tribe of Tahquitz was born in 1925, one of many camp Indian societies that formed through the United States. Camp Emerson, also based in Idyllwild, similarly formed a camp Indian society in the late 1920s and for reasons that are not known, also named theirs Tribe of Tahquitz. When Tahquitz Lodge was formed in 1938, that likely created an issue for the Long Beach Area Council to form an Order of the Arrow Lodge since their original namesake was taken.
The Tribe of Tahquitz was focused on supporting their Summer Camp, Indian Affairs, and camping promotion and service. In fact, most of their values aligned nicely with the Order of the Arrow. Even without an “OA Lodge,” an impressive amount of service was being provided to the Long Beach Area Council and Camp Tahquitz for decades. This is something both the Tribe and the Lodge should be proud of and that service continues today.
In 2011, it was decided that an Order of the Arrow Lodge would be formed, but not at the exclusion of the Tribe. Both organizations would co-exist. Indeed, many Arrowmen are also members of the Tribe. The Lodge takes its name from an ancient Tongva village site that is located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach.
Puvunga has had a close relationship with Cahuilla Lodge, and since the Lodge’s formation, they have teamed up to hold several Lodge Banquets, Fellowships, and other events together.