Koo Koo Ku Hoo Lodge History

By Brock A. Niceley

Koo Koo Ku Hoo had been an original charter lodge in old Area III-C. An owl with outspread wings was the totem of Koo Koo Ku Hoo and an Indian in a war bonnet had been the totem of Powhatan. These items were later honored in a service flap issued in 1978.


Tutelo Lodge’s history can be traced to the chartering of Ne-Pah-Win Lodge #161 in the former Piedmont Area (Lynchburg) Council on 7 July 1939. At that time, the council owned Camp Monocan in Nelson County where the present Wintergreen Resort is located. Sadly, many of the old buildings and points of interest have yielded to residential development. The name and its meaning, “Sleeping Indian”, caused some dissatisfaction among the members. In 1953, the name was changed to Koo Koo Ku Hoo, meaning, “Wise Old Bird of the Forest”.

Both lodges served their respective councils and camps with cheerful service and many projects. Camp Monocan became the center of Koo Koo Ku Hoo’s activity and the pageant called “The Legend of the Monocan Indians” became a major boost for Order of the Arrow public relations. They were both represented at area pow wows, conclaves, and were charter members of the new Area III-A when it formed in 1953. Powhatan and Koo Koo Ku Hoo Lodges were strong in Indian dancing and ceremonies. In 1950, Koo Koo Ku Hoo was cited for its fine display of Indian dress and accoutrements at the Area III-A Pow Wow.

The two lodges hosted area meetings at Camp Monocan in 1960 and 1964 and at Camp Powhatan in 1957, 1963, and 1968. They also provided the following area chiefs: 1959: Tom Carroll, 1961: Larry Horne, 1965: Donald Cox, and 1971: Richard Bryant. The job of area chief was similar to that of the present-day section chief, except the area chiefs were appointed, not elected. The lodge chief of the conclave host lodge would become the area chief for that year.

Koo Koo Ku Hoo’s totem was an owl with outspread wings and Powhatan’s was an Indian in a war bonnet. These totems were abandoned when the two lodges merged in 1973 and were replaced by the new totem of three arrows. In the early 1990s, the totem was modified to be three red arrows crossed in the center of a bronze shield. This is the best interpretation of the totem of the Tutelo Tribe, the last known Indians to inhabit the site of Camp Powhatan. Tutelo became the new lodge name, and the lower number of 161 was kept.