20 Lodge Activities That Will Excite Your Brothers
Sometimes, I find that some blue lodges have a creative funk. The meeting minutes seem to go on forever and brothers can’t decide what day to host another Fried Chicken Fundraiser. Maybe your lodge is lacking new lodge activities?? Well, don’t worry because I am writing this blog article to give dozens of new ideas to energize your local lodge or any lodge really. It is important to remember that planning your annual year should start months before you are elected to a chair in the lodge. With that being said let’s get started!
1 – Conducting a brainstorming session during your meeting.
During your stated communication. Take a break to explain to the brothers how to plan and conduct meetings. This can be a great learning opportunity for new and veteran brothers to weigh in on ways to conduct a meeting using an agenda and best practices that have worked in the past. Further, it is a great chance for the brothers to brainstorm ways to make the meeting move quicker and more efficiently.
2 – Allow Brothers to give impromptu speeches.
Many brothers look forward to being part of the meeting versus just listening in to the officers’ talk at the meeting.
Encourage brothers to present one to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics. These assigned topics can be posted in the lodge all month long or it can be mentioned at the prior meeting. Either way, the brothers will be excited to share something with the lodge and have their names added to the meeting minutes for speaking briefly about an interesting topic.
Remember, this topic doesn’t need to be totally Masonic in nature, it could be a fun topic that the brothers can respond positively to, such as Charity Updates, Youth Programs happening, Sporting Events, a brother’s favorite hobby. During my year as Master of my lodge, I would regularly request brothers to answer a random question, so the entire Craft could get to know each other better. Personally, I loved listening to the stories and funny anecdotes they would share with the Craft.
3 – Organize Brothers to present prepared speeches.
Ask three to four brothers to present speeches based on projects from Masonic Leadership Manuals from your Grand Lodge. Or ask a brother to review a chapter from your Grand Lodge’s Digest or By-Laws. Other fun speeches can be topics such as: public speaking 101, a historical Masonic Techincal Speech, using vocal variety and superior body language when giving a tour of the lodge, how to use non-verbal communication/gestures when reading books to elementary school students when representing Freemasonry, and of course speaking speed / speaking to be understood for a Masonic Degree.
4 – Roller Skating or Ice Skating
You know the fraternal fellowship doesn’t have to be only in the stated or called communication. Here is one that can be done at any time of year, but will serve as a great function at the end of the fall and beginning of the spring. Simply call the local ice/roller rink and rent the place out for a couple of hours.
After skating, invite the brothers / their families and your prospective candidates back to your lodge for hot chocolate / cold soda and snacks. This is a great way to introduce new possible candidates and their families to the lodge building.
5 – Card Tournaments can be good lodge activities for the older brothers in your lodge
Have a card tournament targeting those brothers that not regularly able to attend a stated communication. Get them engaged even if their work schedule forces them to miss the stated meeting. A lot of men enjoy playing cards with their families.
Set a predetermined game theme such as Play Hearts, UNO, Euchre, or Rummy. Get prizes donated to entice participation and of course offer refreshments to all those attending – Popcorn and Potato Chips are always a crowd favorite.
6 – Board Game Night
Hold a “Game Night” with a board game competition: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Life, Risk, Clue, Scruples, and Scatergories, or the old school favorites like Shoots and Ladders or The Game of Life. Also include a video game competition with Play Station, Nintendo We, or kick it old school with the original video games from the 70s and 80s. What you need is a TV and lots of small prizes for the winners. Ask brothers with their families and invited guests to switch games every 15 to 20 minutes to keep the energy in the room on high.
7 – Go Golfing – yes lodge activities can always happen outside of the lodge building
Get out those old argyles and knickers, put on your golf shoes, find that old alligator shirt, grab the golf bag, pull out your putter and put on some sunblock…then, hit the course!
The golf course for this type of event could be something as easy as the local miniature golf course or upscale country club. Either way, get the brothers broken into groups of 4 and have them get to know each other better. Brothers and guests should be paired into teams who compete for the lowest score once the course has been finished. Design scorecards for the teams, or even use scorecards from a local golf course. The winning team buys lunch for the losing team and the other teams are requested to organize the next golf outing.
If you want to go a little crazy, collect a few dollars and distribute a golf logo shirt. If you are trying to keep to a tight budget, head to the lodge and enjoy some hot dogs and/or polish sausages.
8 – Go Late Night Bowling
Reserve a few lanes at your local bowling alley for after-hours or late night games. Enjoy playing with the brothers and their spouses until we hours of the morning! Dress casual or make lodge bowling shirts if you like.
Every couple of frames, make brothers do something wacky like spinning around 3 times before their shots. Or ask brothers to trade lanes to help a brother out…
9 – Sponsor a Kickball Elementary School Class Tournament
Remember this game from elementary school gym class and/or recess? Well, not every school can afford gym supplies, so your lodge can help them out and buy them the kickball supplies. The Brothers can sponsor fixing up an open field, help as coaches and umpires for the kickball tournament, and invite the elementary school students to play on the teams. This should not be boys against girls, but classroom against classroom!
Afterward, get prizes for the student players at the end of the tournament. Further, invite the Teachers & Principals to the lodge for special recognition. This could potentially increase the membership if some of the teachers and principals are men.
10 – Day at the Driving Range
This activity is simply what it says, a trip to the driving range. Check with the local golf course for a driving range for group rates and availability. Of course, brothers can bring their own clubs or they can rent them there too. Golf pros will be excited to assist your members with their swing. Maybe if you have a win-win relationship happen, some brothers start going to the driving range regularly together while the Golf Pro might be inspired to consider joining the lodge.
You can set up ‘just for fun contests’ like the longest drive or shortest drive and most whiffs (i.e. completely missing the ball). This might just bring a bit of competition and excitement to the outing.
If you a movie buff, think about having the trip to the range be thematic. Maybe the pre-or post-outing idea would be to watch movies at the lodge such as Tin Cup, Caddyshack, or Happy Gilmore.
Of course, get some small prizes for the longest drive, most ridiculous (authentic) golf outfit, and so on.
11 – Get the Wives involved – Play the Newlywed Game
This is an increasingly popular social event with young people across the country. Arrange this event just like the game show… but since there are not ever couple is married also encourage younger brothers that have been dating for a long time. It’s amazing to see couples who have been married or dating for a long time already know so much about each other.
Please note, it is important to tailor the questions to fit your brand of newlyweds (Older Brothers or Younger Brothers or a Mix of Both).
Make the Questions similar to the ones on the famous television show the game was created from. Try to make the questions more specific to dating,
married life, and Masonic events that important to your lodge and it’s families. Encourage friends of the couples on the ‘game show’ to invite their friends and family too. Have guests and other lodge brothers who are not serving as one of the couples to be the audience.
I find it interesting that the guest and brothers that make up the audience really enjoy watching and listening to the couples argue as much as those couples who are playing the actual game. So, despite one’s introverted or extroverted nature, this event can be fun for everyone. If someone is interested, filming this with their smartphone or Go Pro that is a bonus. So get this on video… You’ll be surprised at the number of times you will view the event after it is over.
Finally, think about arranging a nice evening out for the winning couple… possibly dinner and a movie?
12 – Play Capture the Gavel
Create your own version of your child game called Capture the Flag! The goal is to capture the opposing officer’s gavel. Use squirt guns filled with colored water to squirt them. Have teams of about 5 to 15 per side.
Ask everyone to wear white t-shirts. Also, use food coloring in the squirt guns for each team. One side is red and the other side is blue.
One side is led by the Junior Warden and the other side is led by the Senior Warden. The umpires are the Past Masters and the Worshipful Master.
Organize the game into predetermined times of about fifteen minutes with four quarters. You can host this at the lodge or in a community park.
As the opposing team approaches your opposite teams Warden’s headquarters (where your gavel is located), you squirt them. If your colored water hits their shirt, they must return to their Warden’s headquarters. After the game is over, declare a winner and present them with a team trophy. Also, have refreshments available too.
13 – Rent The Movie Theater
This is another super idea for a late-night event. And it can be a great way to introduce Freemasonry to the younger generation. Pick a popular movie in the theater and invite brothers, their families, and prospective candidates too.
Most local movie theaters have party rooms available onsite too. Promote the movie night as a free event to create awareness for the lodge in the community. Invite men in the community that might be good prospects for Freemasonry and consider inviting your local appendant bodies to come to.
Try to work out a deal with the manager/owner or get a fixed price per person or couple that includes admission, and all the popcorn
and soft drinks you can consume. If the movie has a general theme, consider coming in costume or as a character. If the movie is a sequel, the group should view the video of prequel prior to going to the theater.
If you want to save money before going to the theater, have dinner at the lodge.
14 – Thanksgiving Dinner Lodge Night In
Before people leave for Thanksgiving with their families and in-laws, consider hosting a dinner at the lodge. Cook the meal together, if possible. Play some games, watch some sports, and enjoy the good food. This can be done for almost any holiday. Plus this is a good way to make sure no brothers without family or that are widows in town don’t eat alone during the holidays.
15 – Win, Lose or Draw at the Lodge
Secure a few flip chart easels, the big fat markers, and plenty of white flip chart paper. Good news most Staples or Office Depot stores have this generally in stock, but if you want to get a better deal – head to Amazon to buy it online.
Place chairs or couches around the room, facing the easels, if brother prefers not to stand and do this activity. Select teams, again I recommend having the Senior and Junior Wardens be the team captains. Have the Worshipful Master serve as the host and the Past Masters serve as the judges. All you need to do is follow the same format as the TV show. A group of Past Masters will need to select the words or phrases that the teams will draw during the event. If you want to make it more interesting, consider cutting words and phrases out of local magazines or newspapers.
16 – Ice Cream Eating Contest & Ice Cream Social are two fun Lodge Activities brothers can enjoy
This is a great old fashion activity, where brain freezes may happen! The ice cream eating contest should be volunteers only and the officers of the lodge that are not contestants build the ice cream contest plates with all the fixings of an ice cream sundae. Sprinkles or jimmies, chocolate syrup, walnuts, cherries, whipped cream, and of course plenty of favors of ice cream. Have several plates and you can make it into a tournament too by dividing people into teams and have a contest to see who can finish their sundae the quickest.
Everybody likes ice cream!!! So head over the grocery store and buy a ton of ice cream. This is also a great activity to engage your Masonic youth programs and local Boy Scout Programs too.
17 – Visit a Haunted House together
Halloween is meant to be a fun time of year for the community. So get connected and support a local haunted house by visiting it. If your community doesn’t have a haunted house, your lodge can vote on creating one in your building. Invite community school students and local community churches to be guests. Have the brothers dress and try to shock the guests. After the haunted tour, offer your guests hot chocolate and cookies. Remember, this is a good chance to talk to the parents about Freemasonry and it’s youth programs for boys and girls.
18 – Cruise Ship getaway as a Lodge
Here’s a great event for the women to arrange for the men… plan a cruise. If your lodge has a lot of retired brothers, invite them to go on a cruise together. Reach out to a local travel agent and let the wives pick the places they want to visit.
There are plenty of cruise-lines that offer deals for groups and the places you can go to see are surprisingly numerous. Now, you might be wondering – what about the younger brothers with families or just starting their first career, a weekend-long cruise is an answer. Invite them to get away for a long weekend with their brothers and families too. Most cruise ships have kid-friendly areas and lots of places that are set up for situations like this. My recommendation is to get a travel agent for this group too.
19 – Ballroom Dancing Lessons can be part of your annual Lodge Activities plan…
Let’s face it most Masons have a tuxedo, why not show off a little to your sweetie. Plan a day at the local dance studio with their dance instructor. Have your brothers wear their tux and spouses/girlfriends dress in formal dresses. Find out if it is okay to serve some nice “hors d’oeuvres” and sparkling
beverages too. This is a great way to get the brothers together with their wives or girlfriends. The goal is to have fun, learn to dance, and of course build life long friendships.
20 – Coffee House at the Lodge
Recreate your lodge into a dimly lit coffeehouse. Serve coffee drinks while listening to a performer or two. Offer an open mic section where a talented brother or guest can get up and perform. This is meant to be a chill-out style evening with good music. So refreshments should be fancy water bottles and interesting coffee mixtures. Need some ideas – just google a recipe blog for some amazing coffee drinks. Have a volunteer brother serve as the barista for the evening and have another brother serve as the emcee. Then sit back and relax.
Did you want more ideas for lodge activities?
Good news! I have made a YouTube Channel with more content to watch, I recommend finding the Freemasonry Report on YouTube. I will be posting 3 to 5 more ideas for lodge activities that may fire up your brothers on that channel. So watch all my videos on YouTube Today!
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