Section W6W (Western Region, Area 6, Section W) is comprised of four (4) current lodges, Nebagamon, Papago, Tiwahe, and Wipala Wiki Lodges serving the councils in the greater communities of Las Vegas, Tucson, San Diego, and Phoenix.
The Section’s service area has generally been aligned with the BSA’s organizational structure. Originally part of Area 7, the “Section” was known as Area XII-F through 1972. The first known Area Conference was likely held in 1956. Following the BSA’s 1973 realignment, Section W4C was born. The totem selected was the horned lizard with the name Sinagua. In 1979, following a Region realignment, Section W4C became Section W5A. In 1988, the section reverted back to the W4C designation until another Region Realignment in 2008 formed the present Section W6W. The current totem is “Robbie” the Roadrunner and the name remains Sinagua.
The Section has also expanded and contracted over the years. Gila Lodge in El Paso was briefly in Section W4C, making a section that stretched from Eastern California to Western Texas. Pang Lodge was a member of Area XII-F and W4C before joining Section W4B. Ashie was a member of Area XII-A and W4B, and Tiwahe Lodge was a member of W4B and W4S before agreeing to join Section W6W in 2012.
The first Lodges to be formed in our service area were Victorio Lodge 177 (Cochise Council) in Douglas, Arizona, and Sinawava Lodge 312 (Boulder Dam Area Council) in Las Vegas. Sinawava was disbanded in January 1950 when it allowed it’s dues to lapse.
Nisjaw Lodge 338 was formed in 1946 (Three G Council) in Safford, Arizona, but was disbanded by 1947.
The 1950s saw the forming of stable Order of the Arrow Lodges throughout the current Section’s service area. Ashie 436 (San Diego County Council) and Wipala Wiki 432 (Theodore Roosevelt Council) were both formed in 1950.
Papago Lodge 494 (Catalina Council) followed in 1953 and Chee Dodge 503 (Grand Canyon Council) followed in 1953 and 1954, respectively. Nebagamon Lodge 312 (Boulder Dam Area Council, later Las Vegas Area Council) established a permanent OA presence in Las Vegas in 1955.
The last set of Lodges to join the Section’s service area were Pang Lodge 532 (Yuma Imperial Council, later Desert Trails Council), Na-Ko-Na in 1961, and Salado Lodge in 1965. In the 1965 as well, Victorio would be absorbed by Papago Lodge. By this point, every BSA Council in our current geographical area had a permanent Order of the Arrow presence.
In 1977, Salado Lodge was absorbed into Wipala Wiki Lodge.
In late 1992, Chee Dodge was absorbed into Wipala Wiki Lodge after their council merged. Ashie and Pang lodges also merged to form Tiwahe Lodge 45 (Desert Pacific Council, later San Diego-Imperial Council) after their councils merged.
The current Section’s service area has a long history of service on the National level with numerous DSA recipients and 11 National Officers (Mike Hoffman, Jack Stephens, Mike Southall, Louie Monville III, Scott Beckett, Joe Scionti, Patrick Murphy, Kieran Thompson, Chad Wolver, Joseph Garcia, and Joe Garcia). Being the traditional last Conclave to be held in the country, the Section has made a name for itself because of its successful service history and hospitable Fall climate.
But this history is just the beginning. Over the next century, our members will continue to serve the Order and make our Section proud.
Section History Rewrite
Formation of Lodges
The 1940s and 1950s saw the first major wave of Lodges being created in the Southwest. The earliest Lodge was Victorio 177 created in 1940. Sinawava Lodge 312, a predecessor of Nebagamon Lodge, was chartered in 1945. Other Lodges would soon follow:
- 1950: Wipala Wiki Lodge 432
- 1950: Ashie Lodge 436
- 1953: Papago Lodge 494
- 1954: Chee Dodge 503
- 1955: Nebagamon Lodge 312 (rechartered from the original Sinawava Lodge)
- 1957: Pang Lodge 533
- 1961: Salado Lodge 551 (rechartered from the original Na-Ko-Na Lodge)
1957 – First Area Conference
What is believed to be the first Area XII-F Conference (what is now known as a Conclave) was held at Camp Lawton in Catalina Council.
1973 – Section W4C Is Born
The BSA went through an expansive reorganization in 1973. This included a number of Council mergers creating new Lodges. In addition, the Order of the Arrow went through a reorganization and the traditional Areas became known as Sections. Because of this, Area Conferences became known as Section Conclave. Area XII-F would become Section W4C, although no territory changes were made.
1979 – Change To W5A
There was an area reorganization and our service area changed from Area 4 to Area 5. Hence, the Section’s designation changed from W4C to W5A. Our Section served as W5A until 1988. At that time, our Section reverted back to our W4C designation.
1993 – Arizona Council Merger
In 1993, Theodore Roosevelt and Grand Canyon Councils merged. As a result, Chee Dodge Lodge was absorbed into Wipala Wiki Lodge’s service area.
2008 – Section W6W Is Born
The BSA Western Region was reorganized. While the Section’s territory did not change at that time, the Section’s designation was changed to W6W. The “6” was for BSA Area 6, and the “W” was for the Western portion of BSA Area 6.
2011 – Tiwahe Joins W6W
In 2011, Tiwahe Lodge (San Diego-Imperial Council) voted to join Section W6W to match the BSA Council’s affiliation in Area 6.