In the beginning, a group of Scouters approached E. Merle Hildreth, the Council Executive with the thought that the Order of the Arrow could find a place in Mohegan Council. With the approval of the Camping and Activities Committee, Richard (Dick) George was appointed our first volunteer advisor. Professional Scouter, Jim Mollar, balanced out the team.
On March 12, 1957, the first meeting was held at the Council Office on Main Street. Dick George, with three of the ten of the Founding Committee (Art Lovell, Dick Bates, and Roger Levesque) planned out responsibilities and roughed out how to get members into the Order. After this meeting, elections were held in pioneer troops throughout the Council. The result gave us our charter members: Jerome R. George, Michael Petrowicz, Robert Wilson, Charles Carlson, Dana Jackola, Earl C. Scott, Bruce R. Jerrie, Howard Carlson, Richard Mercandante, William J. Thompson, Pierre Augher, George Avakian, and George Baxter.
On April 26 and 27, 1957, Allogagan Lodge 83 from Springfield, Ma, helped our brothers run their first Ordeal at Treasure Valley. The project on that Ordeal was to clear a 35-foot circle in the pine grove at the site they selected for the Lodge Ring. They finished the project and built a stone fire pit which still stands to this day. The brothers from Allogagan worked side by side with the candidates and by doing so, inspired the new members with them in the ideals of the Brotherhood. At the Ceremony that night, Scout Richard Mercandante became the first Brother of Pachachaug Lodge 525, and rightly so, as he was chosen as our first Lodge Chief.
This is truly where our Lodge began for on Sunday after the Ordeal, the Lodge name was chosen: PACHACHAUG, Indian for TURNING POINT. This signified that membership in the Order and the Lodge is one of the turning points in a boy’s life, as it pledges him to dedicate himself to be unselfish in service and devotion, so far as in his power lies. Four Ordeals were held in 1957, our first year. We fulfilled the requirements for our charter, and were granted it by National on June 4, 1957. In our Ring, proud Arrowmen now sat through Ordeal ceremonies wearing the headbands and feathers of Native American traditions.
Mohegan Council had set aside $250 as a budget for our Lodge and our expenses were $175. Dues in those days were $1 per year.
So, our first year passed, with the guidance of Richard Mercandante, Secretary Bill Thompson and Treasurer Charles Carlson. This year also brought us the Thunderbird, our Lodge totem and the symbol of our Lodge spirit, chosen in a Lodge contest. And now, over 55 years later, our Lodge still has that same spirit of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness and Service.