Facebook: Wenasa Quenhotan 23
Council Website: wdboyce.org
W.D. Boyce Council, headquartered in Peoria, IL, was created in April 1973 from the merger of Corn Belt Council, Starved Rock Area Council, and Creve Coeur Council. At that time, National BSA did not allow more than one OA lodge per council. Potawatomie Lodge #63 (Corn Belt Council), Nee-Schoock Lodge #143 (Starved Rock Area Council), and Kashapiwigamak Lodge #191 (Creve Coeur Council) merged to form Wenasa Quenhotan Lodge #23 after NOAC 1973. Wenasa Quenhotan became a member lodge of Section EC-3B in the East Central region.
The merger of the three lodges was accomplished in a series of 5 official meetings involving the youth members. At the first meeting were Jack Scott (W.D. Boyce Program Director who was appointed to be the first Staff Adviser of the new lodge), Steve Rhodes (last Lodge Chief of 191), and, briefly, James McKean (who had been chosen to be the first Lodge Advisor of the new lodge). The second was between Steve Rhodes, Joe Harrison (last chief of 63), and John Hoenes (last vice chief of 143, sitting in for Rich Hafley, last chief of 143). Both meetings were held at the council office.
The next two meetings included members from each lodge chosen by their chiefs to be on the merger committees. One meeting was held at Camp Ki-Shau-Wau. One meeting was held in Bloomington, though not at Camp Heffernan. At these meetings, proposals were made for the lodge name, totem, flap design, chapter names, call out ceremony, LEC structure, chapter structure, lodge Bylaws, and a slate of officers. The entire membership of the three lodges was invited to the meeting held November 11, 1973, at Bradley University to create the new lodge. Steve Rhodes was in charge of the event and served as moderator. Al Roberts as Council Executive and Supreme Chief of the Fire presided over the business portion of the meeting until the new chief was elected. Then Joe Harrison took over the meeting, at which time the youth members voted on the proposals submitted by the merger committees. Fortunately the whole process went very smoothly, getting Wenasa Quenhotan off to a good start.
No lodge number was picked but upon submitting a charter request, but the lowest number available was requested. Wenasa Quenhotan means “Home of the Founder”. Our lodge totem, an ear of maize, was chosen because of the significance that the corn plays in the economy and livelihood of the area.