Ouxouiga (pronounced "Oss-wee-guh") Lodge #264 was the Order of the Arrow lodge of the former Attakapas Council of the Boy Scouts of America, serving the five parishes of central Louisiana and headquartered in Alexandria. The lodge was founded in 1944 at Camp John Evans in Longleaf, Louisiana and was immediately integrated into council operations. Arrowmen served in vital roles at council functions and were critical in establishing and staffing the council's newly-minted Camp Attakapas ten years later. The lodge and camp would be intimately connected for the next fifty years.
The classic Ouxouiga thunderbird was designed by lodge brothers at Camp Attakapas in the late 1950's, combining the arrow and arrowhead as well as elements from Order of the Arrow ceremonies. It first appeared on the lodge's insignia in 1959.
Among many highlights in the lodge's proud 60-year history were being the first lodge in Louisiana to be awarded the Order of the Arrow's National E. Urner Goodman Camping Award and initiating the first members of other Louisiana lodges including Quinipissa Lodge #479 headquartered in Baton Rouge. Ouxouiga played host to numerous section conclaves and other area and section events and saw numerous members elected area and section chief, among other positions, including the historic first ever African American section officer in the state of Louisiana.
Then-Lodge Chief Raymond Odell "taps out" new candidates for membership in the Order of the Arrow at Camp Attakapas.
Ouxouiga's members included section advisers, members of various BSA national committees, Distinguished Eagle Scouts and Silver Buffalos, as well as scores of lodge alumni spread across the state, country and world who are thriving and doing great things with their lives, including continuing to volunteer in Scouting.
In 2003, Attakapas Council merged with Ouachita Valley Council to form the Louisiana Purchase Council and a year later, the two lodges also merged. In 2006, this alumni group was formed as a forum for former members of the lodge as well as family and friends with fond memories of it. In the intervening years, lodge alums used the group as a way to connect and also give back to the council, collaborating with the Louisiana Purchase Council on multiple projects and cultivating a positive relationship with the new council.
Louisiana Purchase Council Executive Committee members and Ouxouiga alumni Jay Bolen and Rev. Bob Vincent join then-Council President Kay Shipp, then-Scout Executive David Sorrell and Emile Oestriecher (former lodge and section adviser) in signing the papers to purchase Camp Attakapas.
Lodge alumni were instrumental in the deal to purchase our beloved and long-leased Camp Attakapas in 2011 and 2012, and in those years the alumni group worked closely with the council executive committee to sponsor three historical patches raising funds for the camp and honoring two of the lodge's former key leaders, longtime Lodge Adviser Wayne McConnell and longtime adult leader Steve Clark, who had passed away in the lodge's final year of operation.
Our group looks forward to many years of fellowship as well as cooperation with the Louisiana Purchase Council to honor the memory of the old lodge as well as to promote involvement in and support for Scouting throughout our community.