Nawakwa Lodge #3, originally named Pamunkey Lodge #3, was granted a charter on November 25, 1919. The lodge bore the name of the Pamunkey tribe that inhabited the eastern regions of Virginia was a part of the powerful Powhatan Confederacy. Using the eagle as its totem, the Pamunkey Lodge continued intermittently until 1944.
In 1944, the lodge was reorganized and rechartered as Nawakwa Lodge #3. In 1951, the raccoon was the totem chosen by the membership and appears on early issues of the lodge patches. The name Nawakwa is from the tongue of the Chippewa tribe. When translated it means, "in the middle of the forest", similar to where the forester finds the best timber.
The lodge totem was changed to the cardinal in 1957, and is still in use today and appears on many lodge neckerchiefs and emblems.
In the early years Nawakwa Lodge performed service projects at the council camps of Shawandawse and Wakoda. In recent history the lodge has provided much service to the current council camps, Camp T. Brady Saunders and Cub & Webelos Adventure Camp, as well as to Eagle Point and Albright Scout Reservation, two council-maintained short-term camping facilities. In addition to service, the lodge has donated over seventy acres of land adjacent to Camp T. Brady Saunders and has provided extensive resources toward expanded camping areas targeted toward Cub Scout activities.
The lodge's first newsletter, The Tom-Tom, was first issued on November 30,1951. The Tom-Tom is still issued on a regular basis to all members and has won several area, section, and national awards since its early start.
In 1951, Nawakwa Lodge bestowed its first Vigil Honor awards on Colonel Joseph Koch and Jim Barber. Both of these Arrowmen contributed tremendously to Scouting in and around the Richmond area and to the development of Nawakwa Lodge.
During Nawakwa's 50th Anniversary year, 1969, they hosted the largest gathering of Arrowmen in the history of Area III-C, at the Area 2 Pow-Wow. Approximately 1200 Arrowmen attended the huge affair held at the Virginia State Fairgrounds in Richmond.
Nawakwa Lodge continues to support the Heart of Virginia Council #602 of Richmond, Virginia, the council's main camps at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland County, and the youth of the council through service projects and new-unit mentoring. With its multi-time national champion ceremonial team, Nawakwa Lodge and the national office produced a ceremonies training film that is beyond comparison. The Lodge Ceremonial Team also played a major role in producing a video about the Order, which was designed to introduce the Order to those who don't understand why they were inducted into the Order.