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Report from the District President Autumn 2014

District 5 held it’s 2014 Convention in Delevan WI on June 27 and 28. The D5 Lodge elected it’s International delegates as well as a new D5 board and new officers. There were a number of changes we initialed and continued at this convention:

Classes: We started classes and workshops at our 2012 convention, and expanded the offerings at our 2014 convention. These classes and workshops included: rosemaling, flat plan figure carving, and genealogy. The classes seemed to be well received. Besides the classes and workshops, we offered several one hour talks.

Folk Arts Competition: We modernized our folk arts competition by eliminating professional versus amateur status and began using beginner, intermediate and advanced levels based on competition results. We also started a medalist program, with 4 people receiving the bronze medal.   

Chicago Room: This is a variation on ‘the never ending conversation,’ where different individuals lead discussions of various topics.   

Business Meeting: The business meeting at times became contentious due to the use and interpretation of parliamentary procedure. We will have to work on re-establishing our fraternal camaraderie.

Our D5 delegation to the International Convention had a good time rowing Viking boats, tasting Hagar beer, as well as participating in conducting Sons of Norway business in August in Jacksonville FL.

Due to health issues our treasurer, Adrian Johnson, resigned. As a temporary measure, our old Treasurer, Duane Kittleson, agreed to keep the accounts and books until a new treasurer steps forward. Our secretary and youth director will write checks until we have a new treasurer.

We conducted our October Board Meeting in Mount Horeb WI on Oct 4 and 5. The new board seems enthusiastic, with many new ideas. We started working on several areas:   

Adjunct Board Members: I have initiated an adjunct board member program by adding adjunct members to several different committees including membership and youth. This will allow us to tap retired board member expertise, and involve new people in board business, training the next group of board members.   

District 5 Convention 2016: We did not receive any bids to host our D5 2016 convention. A group of individuals is organizing the 2016 convention to be held in central WI with the help of the central WI lodges.   

Strategic Planning: Under our capable VP Diane Husselt van Dinter, we will use the International strategic planning as a basis for moving D5 forward, that is setting our goals and mapping out how we will achieve those goals. Already we have identified a gap in membership in the 25 to 45 age group, and we will look more closely at how we can involve people in this age range in D5 activities.  

Retreat: Our sports director is exploring a cross country outing which we can combine with leadership and officer training.   

Kubb Tournament: I have challenged our district to hold a district wide Kubb tournament to be completed at our D5 2016 convention. Maybe our champions could then take on other districts at our 2016 International convention?   

Youth Trip to DC: Our youth director is exploring a trip to DC to explore our Scandinavian connections. This may be directed toward youth and/or adults.

D5 covers a large geographic area. Some of our lodges feel far from the center of population of the district. We stared an OutReach Program a couple of years ago, starting with our TN lodges. Each year this program initiates a new contact. So far these contacts have become a continuing interaction, so I think this program shows promise.   

TN: Last year we visited our Nashville lodge. This year we are visiting our Oak Ridge lodge.
Two lodges celebrated their 45th Anniversary, one in Appleton WI and the other in MI. Board representatives were at each celebration.
Our Circle City IN lodge is participating in an International Festival for Students. We are making plans to include D5 participation.

Several years ago we started a Traveling Viking Chest. The chest, inspired by the Mastermyr chest, travels from lodge to lodge with our zone directors. Each group is charged rent, that is they add an object to the chest each time the chests visits their group. This program is progressing and is well received.

We have several challenges in District 5 which I talked about above. Our new board seems enthusiastic and capable, with new ideas, so I am optimistic that we will move forward over the next two years.

Hilsen, Owen Christianson, District 5 President