Santee Fellowship Memorabilia

October 24, 2009


Santee Lodge also has a long tradition of issuing memorabilia for its lodge weekend gatherings called fellowships. These fellowship items make up the bulk of Santee Lodge memorabilia that exists. The items are important because they represent events which actually happened. Unlike lodge flaps, which are used to distinguish arrowmen by lodge and sometimes level in the order, fellowship patches are worn as temporary insignia to commemorate attendance at an event. There is much more diversity in design with the fellowship items. However, a lot of the symbolism of the lodge and Order of the Arrow is still found in them.

Early Fellowship Patches

The lodge moved to making lodge fellowship patches in the fall of 1973. In the summer of 1973 the lodge ran short on the neckerchiefs and some people were upset that they didn’t get theirs. A vote was taken during a lodge business meeting deciding to go with fellowship patches instead of neckerchiefs. Patches were easier to produce as well as being popular with the boys.

Following the vote taken at the summer business meeting of 1973, the first fellowship patch came out in the fall of 1973. The patch says “35th Anniversary” and is an arrowhead shape. From this fellowship up until the spring of 1978 the lodge did not make a patch for every fellowship. The next fellowship patch came out in the summer of 1974. It is called the “Big Red” because of its large pentagon shape and color. This is actually the rarest fellowship patch for collectors.

Fellowship patches followed erratically in the subsequent years. The reason for this was really poor planning. If someone came to a meeting with a design then the executive committee would vote to have a patch. Several times no designs were submitted and therefore no patch was made. There was a patch for the 1973 Fall Fellowship, 1974 Summer Fellowship, 1974 Fall Fellowship, the 1975 Fall Fellowship, both the 1976 Summer and Fall Fellowships, and the 1977 Spring Fellowship. Beginning in 1978, the fortieth anniversary of the lodge, a patch was made for all of the fellowships held during the year.