Customs & Traditions

Tipisa has a variety of traditions, passed on from year to year. They include:

  • Each Chapter inducts its own members. Chapter Ordeals are the focal event for the community of Arrowmen in each district. Planning and executing an Ordeal is the most important responsibility that a Chapter Chief must fulfill.
  • The Quest for the Golden Arrow is a competition among chapters traditionally held Saturday afternoon during Lodge Fellowship Weekends. Since 1975, the trophy has been a large metal arrow, quadruple-plated with real gold.
  • All patches have a red tipi on them however small or stylized.
  • Tipisa’s Lodge Chief selects the design of Tipisa’s activity patches.
  • Sashes, Flaps, and Handbooks are sold at or near cost. In 1971, the Lodge Executive Committee voted to do this to keep the minimum OA recognition as inexpensive as possible for new Arrowmen.
  • Lodge Officers, especially the Lodge Chief, get thrown into Lake Norris at the end of their term of office.
  • Many Lodges have a Chief’s Bonnet. Borrowing an idea from Timiquan Lodge 340, Tipisa has a Chief’s jacket. The one used since 1979 is a Miccosukee four-banded red satin jacket with a fifth band used for edging. It is the same as what the Seminoles themselves wear to the Green Corn Dance.
  • For Lodge Elections, all eligible voters stand in a big circle. They face inward to hear the candidates. Then, they turn outward and close their fists. To vote for a candidate, they open their hands wide when the candidates name is called. Those with open hands are counted by advisers inside the circle and tabulated by the Lodge Adviser.
  • A Vigil Callout concludes Friday’s Campfire at the Spring Conclave.  When a candidate’s name is called, a “triangle bearer” locates him in the audience and escorts him to the stage. While this is happening, a description of the honoree’s scouting and OA history is heard over the PA system, so those present who might not be familiar with him will still know the quality of the person who is being honored.
  • Since 1971, Tipisa has made annual awards. For example, the Lodge Chief selects the Most Dedicated Lodge Officer and Most Dedicated Committee Chairman, awarded at the Lodge Banquet immediately following his term of office.
  • The Outstanding Service Awards (OSAs) are also given at the Lodge Banquet. The award is for the youth and adult who contributed the most to the Lodge in the past year. Because the award is for a single year at a time, it is possible for an Arrowman to receive it more than once. The adult advisers of the Lodge Executive Committee select the youth recipient and the youth members of the LEC select the adult recipient.
  • The Founder’s Award is a national recognition presented by local lodges. In Tipisa, this award is given only to individuals continuous in services over several years, while many lodges award it as an equivalent to Tipisa’s Outstanding Service Award.
  • The Best All-Around Chapter Award is given to the chapter which provides the more complete and well-rounded program. Areas such as inductions, ceremonies, American-Indian Lore, and communication are taken into consideration.

Adapted from Tipisa Lodge 326 New Member Guide, 2009 printing.