Grand Lodge President, Barbara Wisniewski asked lodge presidents, on a recent zoom call, how to get younger members involved in the organization? The answer is simple. Get new lodge members to join when they are a junior member! Most of us will agree it is easy to get young members to join because the dues are free (unless they want the insurance). They will enjoy attending meetings, if you have some activity for them to do while the meeting is going on.
The success of any lodge junior member program is to have a junior member advisor. Roma Lodge is very fortunate to have Pam Sola as our advisor. Pam also serves as our Financial Secretary, which makes it a bit difficult to be able to participate in the business portion of our meetings while organizing and planning an activity for our junior members. She does an outstanding job. Pam always makes sure the juniors have a project to do, Italian lesson to learn or a craft project to complete. We organize our meeting space to include a couple of tables in the back of the room where the juniors can do their projects while the meeting is going on. They can eat their dinner with their parents and then adjourn to their activity tables to complete their evening activity. With all the things these kids do, such as sports, dance, and school extra-curricular activities it is often difficult for them to attend. However, we have found if parents come to lodge meetings as a family, enjoy a good meal and have activities for their children to do during the business meeting, we have had a lot better participation.
In 1998 there were over 73 local lodges who made up the Grand Lodge of California. That number has dropped to under 40, with a few more lodges on the brink of closing. The average age of our nearly 300 members is 44. Without our junior members, the average is 54. Our trustees average only 45 years of age which is important to keep the future leadership of our organization moving forward. If local lodges are going to prosper it is going to take more emphasis by these lodges to recruit and keep younger members involved. If your lodge is on the decline in membership, it is time to build for the future by getting more junior members!
Roma Lodge and Grand Lodge 2017 scholarship recipient, Sydney Reinart, received her master’s degree in accounting from the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California (USC). She will be going to work this fall with the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) as a staff auditor. She is shown at right with her grandmother and long time Roma Lodge
5051 Mission Street
San Francisco CA 94112-3473
Phone: (415) 586-1316