We are in the midst of a pandemic that is testing every fiber of our being, our Fraternity and our nations. As a Fraternity that is nearing 132 years old this April, we have weathered many trials over that time. It has taken the collective strength of our membership to carry the Moose Mission forward in good times and bad. This point in our history will be no different. We will care for one another, serve our communities and provide a loving home for our children at Mooseheart and our seniors at Moosehaven.
During this time when many of our Lodge homes are not accessible to the general membership due to precautionary measures or state restrictions, let’s remember that there are a few things that we can do –
Be safe in this time of uncertainty and look to the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and follow state/provincial and local orders to minimize the impact of this pandemic (www.cdc.gov)
Give our Lodge a good deep cleaning. Invite a limited number of men and women over a period of several days to tackle different parts of the building. Let’s just not sanitize, but thoroughly clean areas that have needed it for a while.
Work the Expired Member List by phone and let them know the good that your Lodge provides in the community and for Mooseheart and Moosehaven. Every Administrator and Recorder should be able to provide a copy of the monthly list.
Make needed repairs or updates that the Board has been meaning to do – a new coat of paint goes a long way to providing a fresh look when food and beverage service begins again.
Communicate with your members. This isn’t the time to stop the Lodge Newsletter or let the Lodge website slide. If your Lodge doesn’t have a Newsletter, consider a special mailing with a letter from the Board of Officers reminding them of the good things that have happened in the past year at the Lodge and what good things lay ahead.
Review the Lodge Safety Report and take corrective action.
Take a complete inventory of Lodge, Social Quarters’ and kitchen supplies and order items that you will need when the Lodge reopens.
Put together a Lodge Calendar of some of the old favorites with a mix of new activities to involve all members and their families.
Check up on your elderly members. Make sure they are okay and see if they need anything. This is a great way to keep them connected and feeling valued.
Doing the above will make you fully prepared when the Lodge doors reopen. Our members and their guests will be hungering for fellowship and social interaction. Let’s make sure the Moose is the first place they want to visit!
As we look to tomorrow, let’s be safe, be healthy and be One Moose!
If you have a concern or idea you’d like to share with me, use our online form: “Tell the Director General.”
To all members of the Moose,
As members of the Commonwealth of Virginia and as members of a fraternity that prides itself on helping children and seniors in need, we want to step up and help those in need. In the coming days, we are asking that if you are a member (lodge affiliation is not a determining factor) over the age of 60 and contracts the COVID-19 virus we want to hear from you. We will be helping all that we can if you live near the lodge. We are starting within a few miles of the lodge. This requirement is adjustable based on your condition and need. We are just setting a baseline.
This list will be used to check in on you, and procure needed items during your illness. We see this as a way to give back to our amazing members and community. So, if you are sick and in need, please contact the lodge. You can do this by sending an email, calling the lodge, or telling us of someone in need.
We are going to also need volunteers to help in this effort. We will need members for transportation of stuff (technical for anything) and needed items to sick members. Please let us know if you can volunteer! We have a few to start, but will need others! Now if you can, please donate in any amount you can to help support this effort. Now for safety, we will communicate with the sick member and find out a transfer place where both will be safe from infection.
No matter if the lodge is open or closed, we will continue to try to help in any way we can. This is an open invitation for all members of the fraternity. We will help members from any lodge that is nearby! Everyone has a role to play during this national emergency, this is ours!
Thank you in advance for all your efforts and help during this time of great need.
Brothers and Sisters,
It is with a heavy heart that we tell you that Kent Caldwell has passed on October 27, 2019. Many of us have fond memories of him and Heather at our lodge. It hurts to know that Kent has left this world too soon. We pray for his family in their time of need.
A celebration of life has been planned for Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 3:00 pm at the Vienna American Legion Dyer-Gunnell post #180. The address for the post is 330 Center St N, Vienna, VA 22180.
If we get updates, we will update this article with more information. Again, we ask that you pray for his family.
Someone once said, "Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose." And, I want our lodge to win and win big! So, I ask, is our lodge providing the activities and things you want to do? Do you want to see more members in our lodge on a daily basis? Do you want to help us?
I am here to ask for your support! We can use everyone's help. Maybe you can help check membership cards at big events at the lodge? Maybe help in volunteering to cook or clean during our once monthly lodge breakfasts or other food events? Do you have an idea for something you would be willing to volunteer for? The volunteering can be big, but small will do too! If you think you can help let us know! For your information, we will need members to help with the crab leg feast, balloon fight, Christmas party, and the campfire socials coming up!
Now, there is always turn over in lodge boards and committees! And, change doesn't always happen on a neat time table. You may have read that we have started a new Nominations Committee to staff the board position for Junior Governor. This is a very important position in the lodge. The Junior Governor supports the lodge by standing in should something happen to the Governor. It is also a voice to help move the lodge in the right direction during our meetings. So, we are looking for the best someone with a big MOOSE heart and excitement to help the lodge in moving forward in the right! If you think you might be the right person or are interested in helping the lodge in some other way, big or small, now is the time to let the board know. We are accepting nominations now!
The workaround the lodge never really ends. This last month, we made another donation to a great charitable organization that helps to heal and lift up those devastated by addiction and its effects on the addict. We also upgraded our lodge Wi-Fi and cable boxes. We have been working on the playground by painting and maintaining the horses and playset. We did maintenance on the kitchen lighting to make it brighter and more efficient by replacing old ballast styled lighting with LED lights. It is so much brighter! We even upgraded some of our Grover Gaming machines with new taller units. I could go on, but there are other things to talk about.
This last month your lodge attended the Virginia Moose Association's Convention in Roanoke, Virginia. We participated in the election of new Virginia Moose officers. Received our Moose International Premier Lodge award presented by Danny Williams from Moose International's Justice of the Supreme forum. We listened to the reports on the different topics presented. And, gained a new appreciation for all things Moose! I want to personally thank you for your continued support and membership to help the kids and seniors entrusted to our care at Mooseheart and Moosehaven and for helping our communities to be a better place to live and work! Congratulations to our newest State President Ken Kennedy! Over the last few years, I have gotten to know "MY BROTHER" Ken at the many functions and conventions. I have assured him that our lodge is willing to help in any way we can to make his tenure as the State President successful! At this year's convention, I was personally acknowledged as a member of the Moose International Communications Committee. I am still in awe of this honor. I am looking forward to the activities this entails over the coming year!
There are so many members to thank each month for the successes that we have. I want to start with what I consider is a many times overlooked and rarely thanked enough group our employees. I want to personally thank Carl Thomas, Sharon Chappell, Gwen Smith, Codi Smith, and Richard Pyle for the work they do day in and day out. You all help to make our members experiences in the lodge great. Thank you for all you continue to do! I also want to thank Mark Los, Bunky Clark, Chris Martin, and Garret Awkard for helping around the lodge with the many different events. You all helped to pull together a great Cajun Seafood Boil and Summer Island Luau party. If you missed the pictures from these events please check them out on Facebook. Now, as usual, I know there is going to be someone that I miss in thanking personally. I try to do this when you help. If I have missed you, please know that your help is not going unnoticed.
In conclusion, I have said to many that I have a lofty goal for our lodge, something that is near impossible, to gain two hundred new members in two years! As my last request for this message, I am asking for your help in attaining this for the lodge. Our lodge once had over 2000 members. With the non-smoking rule going into effect on January 1, 2020, please contact our former members and friends and see if they would consider checking us out again. We have so much going for us these days. I see good days ahead for our lodge!
In accordance with the General Laws of the Loyal Order of Moose, because of resignation from the current Board of Officers, we announced a Nominating Committee at our General Membership meeting on Thursday, August 15, 2019. We are now accepting nominations to join the board of officers. The position that will be opening will be for the Junior Governor position.
We want to thank Greg Kunstbeck for his work with the board over the last few months and the help he has provided over the last year. We understand the pressures of being on the board and how they conflict with family life and work. We understand that he's leaving the board in no way means we will not see him around the lodge. If you get a chance please thank him for all the work he as done for the lodge.
The special election will be held on the first Thursday of October 3, 2019, at 7:30 pm. If you have wanted to help the lodge more, now is your time. If you have the intent to help the lodge more, but don’t want to join the board, please consider joining one of our many committees. Please remember, the members make the lodge! Your help is needed, welcomed, and appreciated!
As a result of Moose International/Supreme Council considering encouragement from the membership, the overwhelming majority recently voted at the Las Vegas Convention to cease smoking in our Moose lodge homes. Theban includes all tobacco products - including smokeless tobacco and vaping and further includes the use of cannabis products.
Our world has changed and that has been shown in the votes taken on a smoking ban, which have shifted in less than a decade from a "no" majority to a "yes" majority. In Las Vegas, that majority easily surpassed the two-thirds majority needed.
The question now is how this vote will be accepted. What we ask is that you respect the decision of the membership at the same level that the previous decision was acknowledged and accepted. I personally feel that if we use the excuse that the lodge is going to close as a result of this, we are looking for an excuse to fail or we are catering to a few in order to keep things the same.
Instead, we should be looking at the positives of this vote. We could consider working on a plan to adapt and overcome vs. giving up. We could go back in our membership records and contact those who dropped because of the smoke and let them know what’s going on. I never want to be controversial but it’s time that we tell it like it is.
OUR PAST CANNOT SUPPORT OUR FUTURE! If you TRULY LOVE the Moose and believe in what we do, I know it's not an issue for you. I ask the lodge leadership to work to accommodate all of our members and be sincere in your considerations. We can make this work! We are part of a bigger plan. It's NOT all about "US"!
Our lodge has a new Fellow! Carl Thomas was presented at this year's 2019 Moose International Convention in Las Vegas the third degree of service, the Fellowship Degree of Honor! Many of you know Carl as a caring, hardworking, Moose rules and laws following, giving person around the lodge. So, it comes as no surprise when he was recently given a great honor by Moose International.
Carl has always given so much to the lodge! To list all of what he has done for the lodge and our fraternity over the years the list would be very long. Here are some highlights of his great work: being our Governor from 2010-2012, Junior Past Governor 2013 and 2015, Moose Legion Chairman for 3 years, Moose Riders Chairman for 3 years, Community Service Chairmanships that include work with "Jill's House, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund), Spirit Equine, and Wounded Warriors", being a member of the Moose 25 Club for signing up new members, and our current Lodge Administrator.
As members, you may not realize the degrees of service that the Moose fraternity follows. The first degree is your membership in our fraternity. Upon your joining our lodge as a member, you become eligible for the second degree of service. The second degree of service is the Moose Legion. The third degree of service is the Fellowship degree of honor. There is even a fourth degree. The fourth degree is the Pilgrim Degree of Merit. All of our higher degrees of service are given as rewards for exceptional devotion to the principles and ideas of caring for children and seniors and is generally earned by members who have given years of service to the Loyal Order of Moose and its primary benevolent endeavors of Mooseheart and Moosehaven.
So, there is a lot that goes into becoming part of the Fellowship degree in our fraternity. To become part of the Fellowship, it means you have earned the respect of your fellow Moose members, not just by having drinks with them in the Social Quarters, but by the sweat of your hard work and perseverance in the promotion of our fraternity. So, Carl, it honors us to see you receive this award. Congratulations on becoming part of the Fellowship degree of honor!
Our Moose Legion Committee is a part of the larger Bull Run #185 Moose Legion. We have 13 lodges in the Bull Run #185. The Vienna Moose Legion Committee meets the 4th Saturday of each month at 6:00 pm. Any changes to our Moose Legion meeting will be posted at the lodge and on our many social media sites.
For those that don't know, here are the eligibility requirements for becoming a Moose Legionnaire – the second degree of service. Any lodge member with six months of membership or have sponsored at least one new member is eligible to be invited.
As every day brings a chance to start over and make things right, our Moose Legion Committee is getting its mojo back and moving forward again. We had a great meeting on Saturday, July 28, 2019. I want to personally thank Bunky Clark for helping in this effort. We had a good turnout for this meeting. We are seriously trying to rebuild our committee and find ways to make our lodge even better. We are currently looking for members to hold positions within our committee. These positions include the MLC Chairman, Assistant Secretary, and Sargent at Arms. To find out more about a Moose Legion Committee please read this handbook. At our next meeting, we will have a strong agenda to help continue the steps we made at this last meeting. We invite all Moose Legion members to attend!
In closing this message, remember the motto of the Moose Legion! "Do some good thing… For someone each day!"
Far and above, one of the most exciting and honored moments of my 20 years as a Moose member was being elected the Vienna Moose's Governor. I am truly honored to be surrounded by so many helpful volunteers, board of officers, and employees. The year started early with getting back to some basics around the lodge in regard to activities. We set up our basic schedule in early February and March for the next two years. The schedule is on our lodge website. Go check it out for yourself! We believe we have something for everyone from great themed food events, Karaoke Saturdays, to campfire socials, to cornhole tournaments! We are constantly looking to find even more events to keep you entertained and coming back to the lodge.
We have had some major upgrades around the lodge too! We have finished our renovations to the men's and women's bathrooms in the Main Hall. This was made possible by a Lodge Grant by Moose International. They look amazing with the new Marble floors and Granite sinks! Many thanks to Greg Kunstbeck, Bruce Chappel, and Carl Thomas for working through all the issues to make this happen. If you get a chance please check it out and thank them.
We are in the process of standing up a new (MLC) Moose Legion Committee at the lodge. Our first meeting is on Saturday, July 27, 2019, starting at 6:00 pm. The meeting is the same day as our first Cajun Seafood Boil party too! Come early for the food and stay for the meeting. We are also hard at work to re-start our Women of the Moose Chapter. I cannot say it enough; we are only half a lodge without a Chapter. I can only hope if you are asked to come to help us re-start our Lodge Chapter, your answer will be YES!
I personally want to thank a few members of our order. I want to thank Tom Rockett and Elizabeth Rockett, Gwen Smith, and Bunky for coming in to help with our first Sunday of the Month breakfasts. We have been putting out a huge spread with lots of bacon. I especially want to thank Mark Los for the great donations of the new cocktail tables and comfortable chairs in the pavilion. This is going to make going non-smoking easier! I am sure I am forgetting some great deeds that our members have contributed, but at this point, it is slipping my mind. Please know that all your efforts are appreciated!
Now on to the non-smoking vote! We are investigating ways to make the pavilion more comfortable for everyone and especially smokers. With the vote at this year's Moose International convention being 404 against and 1397 voting yes, the lodge will be going non-smoking as mandated by Moose International beginning January 1, 2020. This was approved by 77.6 percent of the voting members.
We are also considering a vote to have our lodge go non-smoking early. We are discussing this and will send out a message to members if we get enough interest in jumping early. There is a 2019 – 2020 Lodge Renovation Grant program that is earmarked to help lodges make a special area for smokers with a deadline of August 8th, 2019. Our lodge is applying to make updates around the lodge. If you have any ideas, please come to our next meeting to let us know what you think!
So, there was so much going on at Moose International Convention this year! Wow, where to start? Our lodge for the first time ever was awarded the Premier Lodge Award. This was quite an honor! It was because of all the hard work that our administrator, board of officers and members did this last year. We also won 3rd place in this year's Moose International Journalism Award process for the best website of the year. I want to thank everyone on our Communications Committee for helping us to attain this award. If it was not for your continued help, we would not be progressing like this within our fraternity.
Finally, sometimes in life, you cannot say "No" to a request. It was a few months ago where Scott Hart called me personally to request that I join Moose International's Communications Committee at Mooseheart. Well, you know the answer! I said Yes. I am greatly honored as a lodge member to help Moose International in this way! I cannot wait to see Mooseheart for the first time next year when the committee meets.
As I said, it was a busy convention, and I did not even talk about Jon Tapper of Bar Rescue address to the troops at the convention. Let's just say it was riveting and inspiring to hear! I know in the coming year there are going to be some hiccups and problems to deal with, and god willing we will make it through. In the words of Jon Tapper, we have a lot to be proud of as Moose members! Let's keep our Legacy going strong and protected!
We hope everyone is doing well. We noticed that our Thursday, July 4th LOOM General Membership meeting lands on The 4th of July. Now, we know you all will be with your families celebrating and commemorating the birth of these United States of America.
And, we do not want to come between you and your BBQ and Vienna fireworks down by the Community Center. So, with discussions with the board officers, we are moving our July 4th meeting to Thursday, July 11, 2019, at 7:30 pm. We look forward to seeing everyone that night!
We want to take a second and thank you for all you do for the Moose fraternity and wish you and your families a warm and safe 4th of July!