Memeu Lodge 125 History
Memeu Lodge 125 was formed as part of the Schuylkill County Council on July 30, 1938. George Keller, Schuylkill Haven, a Scoutmaster and then Camp Director of the Blue Mountain Scout Reservation, was the first Lodge Adviser. He and Rev. Felix C. Fink were chartered members in the Lodge; Don D. Rankin served as the Council Scout Executive.
Memeu Lodge operated with five chapters: Tulpehocken (Pine Grove and West Schuylkill County), Central (Pottsville), Fort Franklin (Eastern Schuylkill County and Carbon County), Great Northern (Frackville and Northern Schuylkill County), and Fort Lebanon (Schuylkill Haven and Southern Schuylkill County).
Early on, Memeu Lodge established the Annual Fellowship Feast. Each year, usually over the Christmas Holidays, the feast was held with each chapter taking it’s turn to host. The fests were attended by quite a few of the members, and never was the feast canceled due to lack of interest. It was also the highlight of the Fellowship Feast to tap out the new Vigil Candidates for the ensuing year. The program consisted of a speaker and entertainment by the youth of the Lodge.
Schuylkill County Council, B.S.A. officially became the Appalachian Trail Council in 1940.
John S. (Jack) Hill, a Scoutmaster from Pottsville, took over the position as Adviser of Memeu Lodge. This step would last for twenty-four years. Most of the decisions that affected Memeu and it’s functions were made when Jack was the adviser.
In the late 1940’s or early 1950’s, the dance pavilion at the Manila Grove picnic grounds in Coaldale was dismantled and taken to the Scout camp and reassembled as the Blue Mountain Scout Reservation Dining Hall (today the Cub Day Camp hall). Memeu Lodge took on the task to dig out the cellar to provide storage for the camps supplies and equipment. Taking the burden off the camps lodge buildings to be freed to winter camping.
Memeu Lodge hosted the 1952 Section 3-A Pow-Wow at Camp Nisatin.
Memeu Lodge was assigned to Area 3-D in 1953, an association that would be held until 1970 when they would rejoin 3-A as the with Minsi Lodge occurs at the 1971 Conclave.
The late 50’s, the Memeu Lodge established a program to raise funds for the purchase of a camp canoe and rowboat for the waterfront. The Lodge started numerous hoagie sales to alleviate the costs. Each Chapter held it’s own sale and on a date throughout the Lodge, the hoagies were made in each Chapter and delivered to the purchasers.
Memeu also broke ground to build a Camp Chapel. This project took three years to complete and the work was done on OA work weekends. Money for this chapel was raised from the very famous hoagie sales, a chicken Barbeque at camp, and the selling of individual cinder blocks at camp on parents night for twenty-five cents each.
The chapel was completed in 1961 and at the dedication in August, 1961, the Lodge issued a silk screened neckerchief with a reproduction of the chapel on it.
In the early 60’s, Memeu Lodge came up with the ideas and principles of the bead system, and the same identical system was adopted by Kittatinny Lodge and is still used today. It was and still is a system of recognition of attendance to Lodge functions. The colors are the same also (red, yellow, brown, green, black, and finally white).
In 1971, Appalachian Trails Council merged with Daniel Boone Council, which required the respective Lodges (Memeu and Minsi) to engineer a successful merger. At the time, Minsi membership numbered 1154, and Memeu membership numbered 300.
A Lodge Merger Committee consisting of 8 members from each Lodge would decide on the new name of Lodge 5 in 1971. It would be Kittatinny, the Endless Mountain.