Scout Honor Societies

Aquehongians - From the History of Aquehongian Lodge 112, Staten Island, New York:

In the early 1930ís, Camp Aquehonga, at the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in Narrowsburg, New York, offered many awards recognizing various types of achievements for Boy Scouts during their week long summer camp stay. Among them was the Tonka Coo award, which was known as the Good Indian. The boy who received it so that he may be recognized appropriately painted this award on his scout belt.

The Tonka Coo was given to the deserving Scouts at the Awards Camp Fire at the end of each summer camp session. As the seasons wore on, the Camp Staff talked a great deal about the boys who had earned the title of Good Indian and came to the conclusion that all the recipients should be formed into one recognizable group.

Joseph D. Carstang, Staten Islandís Scout Executive, was Camp Director and Frank Gross was the Camp Activities Director. In the autumn of 1935 Carstang and Gross were aggressively exploring the ideas about organizing all the Tonka Coo recipients into a group similar to the already existing Order of the Arrow.

During the spring of 1936, a constitution for this new group had been completed and the name that was chosen for this group was the Aquehongians. Their mission and purpose was to recognize all excellent campers and promote the use of Camp Aquehonga to all Scout Troops on Staten Island. The Aquehongians led by Chief, Frank Gross, became a part of the campís summer program and was based loosely upon the principles of the Order of the Arrow, introduced by Carstang, who already retained membership, and was Treasurer to the National Order of the Arrow Lodge in 1927.

In the latter part of 1937 and the beginning of 1938, the Aquehongians decided to apply for membership in the Order of the Arrow, and on June 7, 1938 the Aquehongians were granted their charter. The Ordeal Ceremony to induct the initial members of Aquehongian Lodge were to report to what was then known as "Short Term Camp" now known as High Rock Camp. Later that summer the initial members held inductionís at Camp Aquehonga, which was led by Joseph Weidner.

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