Labor Day in the United States marks many things. It is the unofficial end of the summer season, the start of school, and for those of us in my neck of the woods, the beginning of “visitation season.”
Visitation season runs the span of a few months and during that time each Lodge in our district hosts our District Deputy Grand Master for an education program and inspection. It’s looked forward to all year and we even have a friendly competition to see which Lodge has the best attendance.
The sad thing is that many Brothers do not realize that the ability to travel and visit other Lodges is something they can do whenever they wish too, it’s not limited to just a few months out of the year.
I will admit, the first time you visit a Lodge that isn’t the one you normally go to is a bit stressful but definitely worth it. I’ve never gone to a Lodge where I did not feel welcomed.
Over at Midnight Freemasons they posted, We Brought the A-Team, in which they bring up helping other Lodges with their degree work. At the end of the article Bro. Harrison relates how a visitor at the Lodge felt about the degree he had seen done that night. While the post is about lending a helping hand it also shows just how visiting another Lodge can be a great experience!
It is always a good idea to check ahead before visiting another Lodge as you want to be sure you follow any customs they may have. They may require a specific attire or may require you to produce certain documents, beyond your dues card, so you’ll want to be sure to have all that taken care of before you “knock at the door.”
I would also recommend trying to attend when there’s an education program on a topic you’re interested in, or a degree. I once made the mistake of attending two Lodge meeting in a row, both annual meetings, wish I had called ahead to find out what was planned for both of those evenings.
If you haven’t taken the time to visit another Lodge, even if it’s in the next town over, you should definitely do so. It’s a great experience and you may just learn a few new things along the way.
Finally, don’t go alone, take a Brother with you, traveling is much more fun in groups.