Sons of Norway Lodge 1-685 begins in Cambridge

Valorie Arrowsmith
Freelance cultural correspondent

Cambridge, Minn., the most Swedish city for cities over 5,000, according to the 2000 US Census, has begun the process of starting a Sons of Norway lodge.

Current and prospective members for the new Sons of Norway lodge in Cambridge met in July to hear a presentation about programs available to members. Pictured, from left, are Myron Larson, Valorie Arrowsmith, Paul Whitney, Bev Ceaglske and Cynthia Whitney.

Bob and Dorothy Hoover, of the lodge in Detroit Lakes, were in Cambridge July 19 for a second introductory meeting held at the Cambridge Senior Dining Center.

Nearly two dozen people were present, including staff from Sons of Norway headquarters in Minneapolis. Some people had already joined at the initial meeting, and some were members from other lodges, who chose to transfer. The new lodge number 1-685 is still without a name. Hoover, District one president, said that 40 initial members are required to institute a lodge and he hoped that this could occur by late fall.

A Sons of Norway lodge can choose its focus. It may select cultural aspects of Norwegian and Norwegian American society, history and art. Other groups work on fundraising efforts to support charitable causes. Hoover reviewed what kinds of things can occur at meetings, the types of officers needed, and the support offered by the Sons of Norway organization.  He stated that members are not required to have Norwegian ancestry and gave himself as an example.

While insurance is still one function of the organization, there are a variety of other programs to suit a wide range of interests. Sons of Norway provides scholarships for youth to study Norwegian at the Concordia Language Villages or other camps, for example. Grants are available to help families in time of need. The Cultural Skills Program helps to enrich the lives of members by encouraging active participation in traditional and contemporary Nordic-American pursuits. People may choose to earn an award in three category areas: specialist track, generalist track or master of cultural skills. In addition each lodge may also participate in the “Adopt a School” project.

For more information call Sherry at Sons of Norway headquarters at 800-945-8851.