The Legend of Ani-Lati
As we begin to look at the history of the Ani-Lati Chapter it is important that we look back a few years before its beginning so that we can understand what events caused its creation.
It was on September 19, 1961 when NASA announced that the $60 million manned space flight laboratory would be located in Houston, Texas, on a thousand acres of land to be made available to the government by Rice University. The land, in Harris County, borders on Clear Lake and on the Houston Light and Power Company’s saltwater canal. The laboratory would be the command center for the manned lunar landing mission and all following manned space flight missions. The Johnson Space Center, as we know it now, was established in 1961 as the Manned Spacecraft Center. Not until 1973 was the Center renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson.
As a result of the new space center what had been farm and pastureland south of Houston began to grow into a new community known as Clear Lake City. NASA sub-contractors began to move to the area, thousands of jobs became available and families began to relocate close to these jobs. As the new community and the surrounding area grew, Scouting also began to grow in the area located on the southeast side of Sam Houston Area Council.
As Scouting continued to grow in the area, Sam Houston Area Council saw the need for a Scouting District in this area. It was in September 1964 that the new Bayshore District was born in Sam Houston Area Council. Several units that had been in the San Jacinto District were now within the boundaries of the Bayshore District. These units with a total of 806 youth members became the new Bayshore District. Along with that, a new Order of the Arrow Chapter now exists in Colonneh Lodge.
During this time NASA was working on the Apollo program. This program would result in the first humans landing on the moon in July of 1969. These were exciting times in the world but were especially exciting in our area where so many were directly involved.
When a name was chosen for the new OA Chapter it was fitting that we took a look at what had brought so many of us together in the southeast corner of Colonneh Lodge. Obviously that was the arrival of NASA and the related aerospace business that built or caused the building of the surrounding community and supported so many of our Scouting families. Thus it was fitting that we take the Native American name “Ani-Lati”, meaning in English, “Sky People”.
The area has continued to grow with the addition of many petro-chemical related businesses and the expansion of the Port of Houston in the north and east ends of our Chapter. We find that today not all of our Scouting families are supported because of NASA. We also find it is still important that we remember that our center and our beginning remains the NASA area.