History of Aal-Pa-Tah
Aal-Pa-Tah Lodge was founded in 1942 and the name originates from the Seminole language, meaning “Alligator”. Our lodge currently consists of 6 chapters, from the northern border of Indian River County to the southern border of Palm Beach County, and west through Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry Counties. When our lodge was founded there were only 2 or 3 chapters, which consisted of the area immediately north and within Palm Beach County but at one time included as many as 9 chapters. Aal-Pa-Tah Lodge belongs to Gulf Stream Council in Section S-4 of the Southern Region. Our council camps include Camp Oklawaha in Sebastian, Camp Tanah-Keeta in Tequesta and Camp Dark Hammock located in Okeechobee County. Our Lodge is proud to have been host to 8 Area/Section Conferences over the years, those being in 1953, 1962, 1972, 1981, 1988, 1997, 2004, 2011, and 2019. We have also hosted two Section Seminars in 2000, and 2014.
Our lodge newsletter has a long history, dating back to the 1950's when it was originally titled “The Tipi”. It stayed in this format until the late 90s, at which time it was renamed “The Gator Tales”. In 2012 the Gator Tales became a full color publication for the first time.
Throughout our history, Aal-Pa-Tah has produced more than 11 outstanding youth who have gone on to serve as our Area or Section Chief, the most recent being Gregory Yentz in 2016 and 2017. In 1986, Kelly Landers became the first brother from Aal-Pa-Tah Lodge to receive the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award granted by the OA. In 2012 the Lodge had two additional recipients, Elam Patterson and Richard Fore, and a fourth recipient in 2015, Barry Ekle. Presently, we have had 49 Founders’ Award recipients, 31 recipients of the James E. West Fellowship, and over 237 members who have received the Vigil Honor.
Our lodge has won numerous awards and recognition over the years in numerous categories, including Dance, Ceremonies, Spirit, Best All Around Lodge and of course a recent 5 year undefeated run of Section Dodge Ball Champions culminating with a win as National Champions at NOAC 2012. Also in recent years we have won on the Section level, Best Website and Kings Cup 2012, The Best Spirit Award in 2013, and Best All Around Lodge in 2012 and 2016.