Our Lodge, bearing the national registration number 560, was one of the last Lodges to be chartered, although the Piedmont Council had been in existence since the early days of Scouting. Because the council leadership at that time was not well disposed towards the OA it was 1964 before our lodge was chartered and organized.
On August 15, 1964, the first business meeting of the Piedmont Council Order of the Arrow Lodge was called to order by Mr. A.C. Bowman. During this meeting, training was conducted, officers were elected, committees were appointed, and the Lodge name and totem were chosen.
At 4:10 PM, the group assembled and the Lodge officers were nominated. After the nominations, the Lodge name committee met to consider the suggestions for a lodge name, and after supper, officers were elected as follows:
- Lodge Chief — Dave Cone, Gastonia
- Lodge Vice Chief — Flay Anthony, Bessemer City
- Secretary — William Poston, Mooresville
- Treasurer — Nick Posey, Statesville
- Historian — Dave Kelly
After officer elections, the Lodge name committee submitted three choices for selection by the Lodge:
- Kanoneski Amaiychit, which means Water Spider
- Tsungani, which means Excels Above All
- Eswau Huppeday, the Catawba name of the Broad River
After a vote, it was declared by a wide margin that our Lodge name would henceforth be Eswau Huppeday.
The Lodge continued to grow. The Lodge attended it’s first Dixie Fellowship at Camp Coker near Florence S.C. on April 23-25, 1965, where Eswau Huppeday won the Camping and Camp Promotion Discussion award. On April 22-24, 1966 we hosted our first Dixie Fellowship at old Camp Schiele in Tryon. We hosted the event at Camp Schiele again in April of 1971 and 1978.
More growth took place as our first Vigil Honor members were selected in December of 1970. They were A.C. Bowman and Tom Jackson, who helped found the Lodge, and served as Lodge Advisor, and Lodge Chief, respectively.
At the Dixie Fellowship in 1973, the Lodge entered its first Dance Team competition after some years of individual regalia entries, placing a surprising second. We competed again in 1974, placing third with the Hopi Butterfly Dance. We did not compete again until 1977, at which time we placed first in group dance with the Jemez Flower Dance. In 1978, we won with four Seminole social dances, and in 1980 with four Cherokee animal dances. After winning the title three consecutive years, we retired the Dance Team Plaque in 1979. In 1981 we placed second in the Dance team competition, then returned to our winning ways with a first place finish in 1982 at the Dixie Fellowship. Eswau also added a second place in overall outfit competition in 1978 and first place in 1979, 1980, and 1981. We also added many place finishes in the individual Outfit and Dance competition in 1979, and a first in the Training Award in 1980.
In 1982 sections were realigned and Eswau joined Section 7. That year we attended the Conclave in North Carolina as well as the last (for us) Dixie Fellowship. The same year we won second place in the Dance Team competition. In 1983, the ideas originated as Eswau won the Spirit Award, using a Think Pink theme. We also won the Section Camp Promotions Award, and the Dance Team Plaque. Our Lodge placed third in the nation in Dance Team competition at the National Order of the Arrow Conference that year. In addition, one of our dancers, Kevin Gantt, placed second in the nation in Old Style dancing. Our Lodge was also presented the E. Urner Goodman Camp Promotions Award.
In the following years we followed up the now legendary Think Pink with Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Orange Your Glad You’re Eswau, Surfin, Eswau Pirates, and Dinosaurs. Eswau also hosted the National Indian Seminar in 1984 at Camp Bud Schiele. In 1986, Kevin Gantt finished first once more in individual old style dancing and he tied for first in the nation at the National OA Conference. These winning ways have continued with the Dance Team placing first in the Section competition for eight of the past nine years (we did not compete in 1985), and second in the nation at both the 1988 and 1990 National Conferences. Our performance in the 1988 competition also won us the honor of helping to staff the OA Indian Village at the 1989 National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Individual dancers also excelled with Darin Gantt following in his brother’s footsteps by winning first place in the old style dancing competition at the 1990 NOAC.
Eswau Huppeday celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1989 and had a year-long celebration in 1994 to commemorate its 30th anniversary. Also in 1994, Eswau joined the new SR-7 region after sections were realigned in 1993. Our dance team finished first in the section at the first SR-7 Conclave in 1994 and our ceremonies team competed as well.
Also in 1994, Eswau Huppeday Dance Team again competed at NOAC and finally, after many years of hard work and focused effort, took the title of National Dance Team Champions. Additionally, many team members excelled in individual grass dance competition. Most notable were Jason Pope, Chris Manuel, and Danny Thain.
In 1995, 1996, and 1997 we have again taken the first-place title for team dance at the SR-7 Cardinal conclave, setting the stage for more years of uninterrupted success. In 1996, 1998, and 2000 Eswau once again claimed the title of National Champions of team dance at NOAC.