This year my godfather sponsored me into the local Elk’s lodge. My grandfather was very active in the Elk’s and my father joined for a while. This particular lodge is the same one that sponsored my Boy Scout troop, so I was already very familiar with it. There is a swimming pool, a little restaurant and, of course, a lounge! The best part is that all of this is within walking distance of the house we put an offer on.
B.P.O.E stands for Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. When I was in scouts, we joked that it stood for Boozing Place Of Elks. Actually, the Elks started off as a private drinking club in 1868 to get around the blue laws in New York. Back then it was called the Jolly Corks. Over the years it has morphed into an impressive social foundation with a $400 million endowment. Each of the Elk’s geographic areas has a ‘major project’ that funds a cause for helping kids with disabilities. They have scholarships for kids, a retirement home, different community based programs to help those in need. Overall, it is impressive how much they do for so little recognition.
To join you need to be 21, American, believe in God and not be communist. I love it.
Every Monday night they have a once-around all you can put on your plate spaghetti feed. For the last few months, before Biffie’s Cub Scout meetings on Monday, we’ve gone over there to have dinner before the meeting. I need to bib the boy up beforehand.
This summer we are looking forward to walking to the pool (assuming the bank that owns the house ever get’s back to us). When my buddies are around, we can walk to the lounge and enjoy $2.00 drafts or have lunch.
I imagine I will get more involved as the kids get older. I’d say the average age of membership is mid-60s, but there are plenty of younger guys and gals around. The Exalted Ruler looked to be in his mid-40s and there are officers who are younger than I am, so it is more welcoming than I had initially thought it would be. The only meeting I have been to so far included a lot of updates about who died, who just had surgery and who was now in a nursing home. There are about 2,400 people listed on the membership roles and about 100 of those come to meetings. From my sample size of one, it is the older crowd that comes to the meetings, so the news topics make sense.
We all went there for a Mother’s Day brunch this year. Lot’s of food, family and friends for a few dollars. A great deal no matter how you look at it.
You can go here to see the Elk’s homepage.
And so it goes.