The Mongooses (that's the plural) were
born in May of 1971 when a group of twelve friends hiked with Lorin into Haleakala Crater on Maui.
At the end of the trip, they hiked out
through Kipahulu where they watched mongooses rummaging in a garbage
dump. This provoked terminal silliness as they envisioned a grandiose
scheme of building a "Mongoose-land" in Hawaii patterned after
Disney-land in California.
That's how the name Mongoose became
associated with the group and their subsequent hiking and traveling
companions, and why Lorin is considered to be the Head Mongoose.
Thirty nine years later, the Mongooses and their friends are still active to this very day.
( 11/2010 interview with Nora Furuno - Assistant to the Head Mongoose )