It’s a fact: Not all Sons of Norway members have access to a lodge, the central place to gather and experience the fellowship that is at the heart of our organization. Many members may live in communities where the nearest lodge is quite a distance away, making it too difficult or time consuming to travel to a monthly meeting or event.
If the absence of a lodge means you’re not enjoying your membership as much as you could, consider starting one of your own. The process of starting a lodge is the ultimate way to connect with the organization and develop bonds with your fellow members that will last a lifetime. It’s not as daunting as it seems either; Sons of Norway has a network of leaders and staff who can guide and support you through the process.
To get started, first consider the following criteria.
Where is the nearest lodge?
For the best chance of success, a new lodge should be at least an hour from the nearest existing lodge. Any closer, they run the risk of recruiting members from each other, which hurts both lodges.
Are there other Norwegian institutions nearby?
If your community has a Norwegian group that already meets, a Norwegian Seaman’s church or even a university with a Norwegian studies program, it might be an ideal place for a lodge.
Is Sons of Norway licensed to sell insurance in the area?
You’ll likely have to check with Sons of Norway Headquarters on this. The ability to sell insurance products means you’ll have the support of a Financial Benefits Counselor (FBC), making the process much easier. An FBC is a great asset: They bring a great deal of knowledge about the organization, have an awareness of available resources, and they’re helping hand at an event or meeting.
Does your community have a Norwegian or Scandinavian population?
Until recently, the census gathered demographics about people, including their heritage. Much of this information is still relevant and can help you decide whether there are enough Norwegians or Scandinavians in your community to support a lodge.
These tips will help you determine whether establishing a lodge is practical in your community, but they are no means set in stone. If you think your city might make an ideal location for a new Sons of Norway lodge, contact Sherry Gorse, Membership Services Coordinator, at [email protected] or (800) 945-8851.