The Friendly Fifth

History of Lodges

Vakkertland 570
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Vakkertland Lodge 570 received its charter on June 17, 1978 with 213 charter members. We chose our name because 'Vakkertland" means "beautiful land", which describes our surroundings.

That first meeting and all subsequent meetings have been held in Wisconsin Dells, the city with the greatest Norwegian American population in our area. General meetings are held on the second Saturday ofthe month with the Board of Directors meeting on the third Tuesday in member's homes.

After meeting for some time in the Wisconsin Dells Grade School, it was decided to rent the meeting room ofthe Wisconsin Dells Municipal Builing for the business meetings. This has been very satisfactory because we have storage space for our flags and lodge paraphernalia.

We feel our situation is a bit unique in that our membership is drawn from a large area, some as far as 60 miles from Wisconsin Dells. Our membership is about 180, and our average attendance is about 60, due to the distance to be traveled to come to meetings.

We find our most popular programs have been a potluck supper followed by a speaker. The AFS students from Norway have always been a delight, and a big drawing card to get the membership out. Every effort is made to have dinner meetings in the outlying areas at least twice a year so we can have camaraderie with our members not able to travel to the Dells.

Our programs have been interesting and varied, helping us learn a lot about our heritage. We have sponsored language two different times, and had an extensive rosemaling class conducted by Avis Thompson of Fossen Lodge. A great effort is made to sponsor at least one bus trip each summer, often taking the place of our July meeting. We have traveled to Decorah, IA; Minneapolis, MN; and Door County, WI. Usually about 50 members participate in these trips. Because of our location we have been able to rent a large sight-seeing boat to tour the beautiful Wisconsin River on occasion.

Charitable projects have included the Vinland Health Center and contributing to the Tubfrim project for the handicapped children of Norway. We are now interested in supporting the Ski for Light Program and have recently had speakers give us more information on that program.