The first new Sons of Norway lodge to launch in eight years, Viking Mountain Lodge 3-690 is located near Sherman, Pennsylvania. Their meeting place is Land of the Vikings (LOV), the District 3 recreational center set on 150 acres of wooded hills and surrounded by 5,000 acres of state game land.
Longtime LOV co-managers Richard and Beverly Budrick decided an on-site lodge would be a perfect way to serve the locals who were already attending their annual Lobsterfest and numerous Norwegian activities year-round. With guidance from District 3 Vice President Stephen Helmold and fellow LOV board members, they started planning last year and will hold their official Institutional Meeting on October 5th.
They will host a celebration dinner at LOV, joined by district and international dignitaries. To others interested in starting a lodge, Bev says, “It is a lot of work, but will be well worth it.”
Shawnee Skogen Lodge 5-689
After moving from Arizona to the Shawnee Forest area of southern Illinois in 2016, former District 6 Secretary Wendy Winkelman and husband Bill Bultinck decided to fill a geographic vacancy by starting their own lodge. To generate publicity, they advertised in the local Farm Bureau magazine and hometown newspaper. They also created and continue to maintain a very active Facebook page.
Since their first meeting in July 2018, they have held monthly gatherings including a lefse-making session, a Syttende Mai picnic and a Julebord party. Members meet regularly at Hedman Vinyard, a nearby winery and café, and are now preparing for their Institutional Meeting on November 17th. After becoming an official Sons of Norway lodge, Shawnee Skogen 5-689 plans to continue hosting monthly meetings with Scandinavian flair and collaborate with several Scandinavian organizations in nearby St. Louis, Missouri.
When asked for advice to anyone wishing to start a new lodge, Bill said, “It is important to develop a base of active members. Get your members involved!”