From 1926 to 1941, Camp Audrain near Echo Summit served as the summer camp for the Golden Empire Council. The camp honor society used at Camp Audrain was called the Tribe of Tahoe. Members included Braves, Warriors, Medicine men and Chiefs. The Tribe of Tahoe conducted all of its activities at camp, so when Camp Audrain was closed because of World War II, the Tribe of Tahoe was effectively disbanded.
In the fall of 1946, Field Scout Executive Jim Wright called a meeting of Perry Baker, Karl Kuhn, Charles McClung, Frank Palmer, Del Springer, and Charles Thomas, adults who were all Chiefs in the Tribe of Tahoe. At this meeting, the Order of the Arrow program was introduced and explained. The organizing committee learned that National leaders were recommending the program to all Councils. The committee decided to adopt the Order of the Arrow as our Council's honor camping society, and began work in forming the new lodge.Steve Cannon, Bob Martin, and Norman Kuhn, all young men, were selected as the Lodge's first candidates, and that fall went throughout their Ordeal at a Stockton Conclave. In the Spring of 1947, the six adults on the organizing committee with other young men, underwent the Ordeal.
The new Lodge chose the leaping Chinook salmon as its totem and the name Mayi, which means Salmon in the language of the Maidu. The name and totem were chosen because they would be representative of the Indian background of the area, the Salmon being a principal food source of the native Maidu Indians.
Mayi Lodge grew quickly as more units elected candidates and the Scouting program grew overall in members. The Lodge organized 2 Ordeals a year, one in late spring, and one in early fall. As more candidates were elected, it was decided to split the spring Ordeal into 2 and add more spring Ordeals.
In the early years, members concentrated on activities utilizing Indian Lore such as ceremonies and dancing. Ml members built complete outfits, typically of the Plains Indian variety. Indian dancing was a primary activity for the Lodge and Chapters.
Mayi Lodge strived to make the operation of Area 12-C successful in the1950's. Our members served as area officers and advisers and the Lodge hosted five area conferences (1954, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1969). The Lodge also held several Lodge-wide activities beginning in the late 1950's, including the Father and Son Dinner (now the Lodge Dinner), the Camp rally and the Arrowmen's Ball.
In the 1960's our Lodge became increasingly concerned with meeting the goal of camp promotion. Lodge leaders organized projects providing service to the camping program, and produced camping promotion aids like the cooking contest, "Where to go Camping booklet," and the camp promotion slide show.
The merger of Canaku Lodge #511 into Mayi Lodge pushed the size of the Lodge to a peak of 20 chapters and over 1600 active members. Then membership in the Lodge and Scouting began to drop Chapters which were split were merged again. The membership drop was so great that it reached a low of about 500 members in December 1976.
In the mid and late 1970's, Mayi Lodge started to improve its program in three areas: induction, training, and communications. In the induction process, unnecessary ritual was replaced with a more meaningful Ordeal. A comprehensive training program for Chapter leaders was created in 1977 called Takachsin training. Communications were improved through the improvement of the Mayi Lodge newsletter, Smoke Signals, which became better written, more frequently used and more attractively designed.