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Carl's Corner
Carl T. Seibert  COO / State Secretary

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Carl's Corner


Now That We are Out of the Water Its Time to Fix Ourselves

Fall 2014

At least once a year, I invite a small but diverse group of Elks to my office to spend a day with my staff and me to more or less give us an update on the things going on in our Lodges. We call it our “think tank” meeting. The idea is to advise us on our program of support to our Lodges and help us plan the activities and workshops that are offered at our upcoming state meetings and at our officer training seminar held in March. Generally I have a pretty good idea of the state of our Lodges from my frequent talks with many of you and my occasional visit to a Lodge or a district, but wow, was I in for a surprise as the stories and details began to come forth from the participants! I wish I could say it was a pleasant surprise, but it wasn’t, as problems we have known have existed for a while seem to be taking on new lives of their own! To me this can mean only one thing and that is that we are not getting these problems fixed in our Lodges and fix them we must or we are going to lose all control!

 Whats It Going to Take

Reprinted from the Florida Elks News, winter 2014 edition

One doesn’t have to look far these days to find an Elks Lodge having problems. In fact, it would be easier to count those without problems than those with problems! Today we see Lodges that have had a reputable history of growth and achievement and which were once thought to be invincible that are now close to becoming defunct or have already become defunct. The past several years have provided me with the opportunity for a unique insight on our Lodges and their problems. We continue to work diligently to help guide our association in the right direction to provide support where needed. Ideas, thoughts, and perspectives on these issues have been openly shared in my articles. As a group, we continue to develop new and innovative approaches to solving our problems. Throughout it all, the emphasis has been to remain optimistic about things as opposed to dwelling on the negatives. However, restraint has its limits, and sometimes a little tough love is needed in order for us to take a realistic look at ourselves and some of the destructive things we do in this organization, an organization we all claim to care so much about!

Younger Members Do We Really Need Them

Reprinted from the Florida Elks News, spring 2014 edition

Ask any member this question and my guess is that you will get a resounding “Yes!” but, the next thing you will most likely hear is, “but we really don’t know how to attract them and we’re not very successful at getting them.”

I was recently forwarded an article concerning the VFW entitled “Four Reasons Why the VFW is Losing its Battle for Members.” It was written by a 30-year old female Marine. The reasons given for the VFW’s failed attempt to recruit this new member are universal and apply to almost every fraternal/social organization in existence. I believe we can use this article as a teaching tool for our Order and help us answer that nagging question, “Just how are we to attract younger members to the Elks?”