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Report from the District Secretary Winter 2015

Change- Where would we be without it? If our lodges don’t change, we become stagnant and our membership numbers and participation reflect it. If we don’t change individually, we become complacent and happy with things “just the way they are”.

Sons of Norway offers many ways for us to address and implement changes. That doesn’t mean we have to throw away or stop all current activities. But it does mean that we need to take time to evaluate what we are doing as a Lodge, District and International; how our lodge operations are handled; how we recruit, retain and engage members in Sons of Norway; and how we as individuals make the most of our membership. In our lodge, we continue to remind ourselves that we must take care of all members- those that are older who have been with us over the years, our new members that are just joining, those that can participate in events, and those that are homebound or live farther away. All are important!

To help address and learn about changes, I encourage you to consider the following:
Help your members learn how to log into the Members Only Section of the website and check their contact information. By doing so, they will learn how to update their information and it provides an excellent opportunity to explore the resources on the International website.

 For Lodge Secretaries: The Webinar for all lodge secretaries to learn more about the event and hour tracking website will be held January 22nd, at 7:00 pm Central time. Look for an invite to arrive by email from Sherry Gorse of Membership Services. Also, the AFA suggests that you use Google Chrome or FireFox when accessing the site. There have been some problems when using the Microsoft Browser.

Read the Sons of Norway Viking Resource- this is produced bi-monthly by the home office. You can get an email notification of its availability and back issues are in the Members Only section of the website. It is literally full of excellent information that will keep you current about new activities, reports and opportunities.

Read the board minutes and other reports in The Viking. They are published to help our leadership understand what is being handled above the lodge level.
Involve your zone directors! Even though I am also a District Board member, I still rely on my zone director to remind me of deadlines, to help us with issues, or to brainstorm ideas. If you haven't been contacted by your zone director, then invite them to a lodge meeting or activity and discuss what your lodge's needs are. We are there to help you!

Use the “Healthy Lodge Checklist” with your officers to review your lodge operations. It is an excellent tool that can be used to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and areas you can focus on for the year. The checklist can be downloaded from the Members Only Section (Under Management- Forms).

January is a time for:
Appoint your audit committee so they can help complete your D17 and Lodge Achievement Forms. These are due March 1 and financial information from the audit is needed for both and your auditors must sign the D17 form!

Set your goals for 2015 for your lodge!

Conduct lodge officer training if you elected officers this year. Do all officers know where to find the Guide for Leadership?

If you haven’t acquainted yourself with your zone director, invite him/her to a meeting and make sure they are on your newsletter and email lists.

Keep up on upcoming deadlines for various District activities (i.e. Barnebirkie, scholarships, Masse Moro), International (i.e. grant deadlines, scholarships, required reports).

A few reminders!
Lodge Achievement and Family Lodge of the Year forms should be completed and sent to your ZONE DIRECTOR. I’d suggest making a copy for your lodge records.

The D17 Audit Report only needs to be sent to the International Office. You no longer need to send a copy to the District Secretary.

Mary Bennett is continuing to be the Tubfrim Coordinator as well as the Labels for Education Coordinator.

You can find the District Board’s contact information on the District Five website (

We are collecting cookies for Barnebirkie and also welcome financial donations!

There are some District 5 and convention cheese slicers, lens cloths and potholders left for sale. I have them at my house. All are $5 each.

Check correspondence from the International and District and the International ( and District ( websites for any updates and changes.

Additional deadlines for the District 5 and International Conventions/Lodge Meetings will be added as those dates are established. Watch for future mailings and the District 5 website.

The International Sons of Norway Convention will be August 22-27, 2016 in Tacoma, Washington.

District Directory Update:

I am still working with Sherry Gorse to get the last lodge’s to report their Officer Elections (D63 report). Once that is done, the directory will be mailed to Lodge Presidents and Secretaries.

Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance! My home phone is 608-873-7209 and email is


Darlene Arneson