Saturday, May 3, 2014
New Message from Territory Manager Jim Hale
CHANGES – CHANGES – CHANGES
AS WE GO BACK TO BASICS
How many times have we heard these words? We have heard that changes are coming and changes are a good thing. Over the course of my many years as a Moose member, I have heard the word change many times in one format or another. Some have been good changes and some not so good. Now we hear that more changes are coming, or about to be revealed at the International Convention. We all will just have to wait and hear as Paul Harvey used as his sign off “Now you know the rest of the story”.
Time will only tell if these new changes are in the right direction, or if we are just making changes to say we’ve made changes. I think back to when I joined the fraternity. Lodges were thriving and usually filled with members to participate in the activities that had been planned, or just to meet their friends for a little social time. Sports were another activity that the members couldn’t wait to participate in. There were bowling leagues, baseball leagues, pool leagues, dart leagues, golf leagues, Euchre players and some even had shuffleboard leagues. Their time at the Moose was generally planned around their favorite sport. Events were planned so that whatever the age or physical ability of the member, all could participate in something.
So what has changed? The kids started growing up, getting married and started their own families. That usually involved grandma and grandpa to do the babysitting. Husbands and wives both had full time jobs and suddenly, they don’t have time to go to the Moose Lodge as often. Gradually that time became less and less and then they questioned if paying their dues was worth it any more. As both parents were bringing home paychecks, they soon found that they could afford that new car, the adult toys such as motorcycles, 4 wheelers, boats and more. THINGS they just couldn’t live without. Paying dues to remain a member just did not seem important anymore. By now the kids were growing up and far too often were introduced to the drug culture. This led many families down paths they never could have imagined and as a result there were many marital breakups. Major family health issues were brought into the mix or the loss of a loved one. All of these things, either separately or collectively, all played a part in the decline in the Moose Lodges. Many untold disastrous times had struck our members and ultimately our lodges.
Eventually the really BIG CHANGE came along – computers. While I have never been a big proponent of the computers, I do realize that they have allowed us to do more work quicker with much less paperwork and they are not as big as the filing cabinet. However, through it all, we have lost that vital personal communication with our lodges. When I first started out doing this job, every week, every lodge would receive a personal communication informing of them where they were for the month and encouraging them to plan events for the members, to sign new members while keeping their current members and to continue to work toward their quota. Today with the price of postage continually rising, it just seems more prudent to shoot them an e-mail.
About this same time we found that our nation’s economy was falling apart at the seams and many of our members, men and women, suddenly found themselves without jobs. Putting food on the table and a roof over their heads held their priority. This economic decline was about to affect too many of our lodges. Those big beautiful lodges that they had built when things were booming, were no longer generating the income needed to maintain them. Sadly to say that when the business falls off, lodges seem to think that shortening their hours will help cut costs. The entertainment and food service quickly followed the same path. And then came along the environmentalists and the ‘no smoking ban’ further hindered many lodges. Don’t get me wrong. As a former smoker myself, the realization that this is meant for the greater good is there, BUT it has hurt many lodges financially. If an individual has to put on their hats and coats and step outside into the cold to obey the law, they just kept on going. The Board of Officers just watched as membership dwindled – there was no ‘thinking outside of the box’ to create a special glass enclosed sealed and ventilated area inside the social quarters area where smoking was permitted. These individuals have rights too and they do not want to feel like they are being ‘cut off’ and out of sight of the activities. Membership took another big hit.
Now, with fewer and fewer members, it was getting harder and harder to find officers, and the member that had served his lodge as an officer for many years, were just getting tired; their health was failing and they could no longer serve as an officer. Accepting the honor of being an officer demands an individual’s commitment. Adding to this factor was that now they needed to attend leadership training classes to be an officer and they just questioned if it was worth the effort. It usually meant taking a day off work or cancelling a family day with the kids. Overall, our lodges suffered once again. Maybe we need to offer this training, in a shorter version, with trainers going to lodges one by one. Changes – maybe it is time for some fine-tuned maintenance. The new restructuring is meant to provide more one-on-one work with the lodges while downsizing the territory to be covered. This program is meant to help us provide the regular maintenance needed to help you, the members and officers, maintain reliable and viable services while maintaining a value to the membership.
Changes – maybe it is time for some fine-tuned maintenance. The new restructuring is meant to provide more one-on-one work with the lodges while downsizing the territory to be covered. This program is meant to help us provide the regular maintenance needed to help you, the members and officers, maintain reliable and viable services while maintaining a value to the membership.
CHANGE – one thing that should never change. We must NEVER BREAK OUR FOCUS on our beginnings, where we started, or our reason for existing. It must always remain our Twin Cities, Mooseheart and Moosehaven and those residing there. So, keep yourself focused and accept the challenges at hand as we go BACK TO BASICS.
Sincerely and fraternally,