Cooler Temperatures, hayrides, brisk morning hikes, garden harvests, and steaming apple pie all signal the change in seasons. The District 5 Board is undergoing changes too. New directors were elected to serve in a variety of capacities at the biennial District 5 Convention. With change comes anticipation, bursting energy, and new ideas. We are fortunate to be members of District 5 where our members realize the value in what we do. Our Board is a link between the International Office and the local lodges. If you have a question or a concern, contact your Zone Director for assistance. Please keep the lines of communication open, as we move forward.
Currently, past directors are finalizing their 2017-2018 reports, and they will soon begin segueing into their new positions. We all appreciate your patience during this time of transition.
New Additions to the Sports and Recreation Line-up for 2018-2020
A tradition of fine food has been our hallmark for many years, and I ask Lodges to consider tweaking the Chili Cook-off Event previously established and make it more relevant for your lodges and members. Sports and Recreation Directors and Cultural Skills Directors could work in tandem to lead members through the Sons of Norway’s Traditional Norwegian Cooking series. The cooking unit has three levels and groups of people could partner to prepare different offerings for a lodge meeting. The first unit is entitled, Favorites, followed by Baked Goods and Desserts, and lastly Meat or Fish Dishes. Members would earn Cultural Skills pins for cooking and baking together. The fellowship and camaraderie provided by such an activity would strengthen the bonds in your lodge, and it could be enjoyable! Members who have already earned their cultural pins for the cooking unit could serve as mentors for others. The unit and its requirements can be found under the Cultural Programming tab on the website. This activity would be a perfect way to involve your youth members; send them a special invitation to join you!
Since the Barnebirkie (Children’s Ski Race) is a District 5 sponsored activity each February, I ask that your lodges consider completing the Baked Goods and Desserts unit at the end of January or during the first three weeks of February. Traditional cookies could be made to satisfy the requirements of the unit. Additionally, favorite family cookies or bars could also be baked with the Barnebirkie event in mind. The 2019 Barnebirke is scheduled during the American Birkebeiner weekend on Thursday, February 21st. * I ask that lodges who are participating in the cookie bake take photos of their event and submit them to me for posting on the District 5 Facebook or webpage. Recognition will be sent to all participating lodges. The lodge who sends the most cookies to the Barnebirkie will receive a special gift from the District 5 Board to be used with their membership.
I will be arranging for cookie pick-ups prior to the event in February, and I will be looking for volunteers to serve on-site in a variety of ways. Monetary donations are also acceptable for the Barnebirkie. If your lodge is located quite a distance from Hayward, WI, consider supporting the young skiers in this fashion.
I have been searching for an activity that is family-friendly and one that would involve multiple generations, as well as lodge members young and older alike. To that end, I propose that all lodges plan a Friendly Five Fisheree! Google, Otter Street Fishing Club, Oshkosh, WI to see what another group does for its community! Your fisheree could be held during the warmer months or in the winter on ice. Look for more information on the District 5 Fisheree to be shared through the Friendly Friday Fifth News in the upcoming months.
Another idea for lodges in the northern climes is to institute a candlelight ski or snowshoe event. Work with a local park ranger to lay a course and set out for an evening of fun. As the Norwegians say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! What a perfect night this would make for hot chocolate and a good movie to follow. Please take photos of your candlelight ski and detail where your event took place. If your members are older and wish to be outside during the daylight hours-please do so. The idea is to provide our members with activities that enhance wellness. Older members could also walk a course in your town. Participating members would earn credit toward a sports medal during this activity, walking for those with snowshoes or skiing. For more information on the Sons of Norway Sports Medal Program, go to Click on the Cultural Programming tab, or type the words sports program into the search box at the top of the page.
Another great activity that brings your lodge attention is the Adopt a highway or bike trail program. Both programs allow your lodge to receive signage for the portion of the highway or trail assigned. Find lodge members who enjoy being outdoors and encourage them to help you with this project. Submit an article to your local newspaper, including pictures.  Blow your own horn, if you don’t, who will? This activity is good for all ages and is a great community service project.
I would like to hear from Lodges who wish to retain the Bowling activity. Interest in that offering has waned in recent years.
Would your lodge be interested in a Kubb Tournament? If so, please weigh-in! We can help you with that!
Please submit other ideas for sports and recreation. Nothing is written in stone and we can easily make changes.
With a change in director, this seems to be the perfect time to institute new opportunities and challenges for our members.
Thank you,

Cheryl Wille-Schlesser

D5 Sports and Recreation Director