Visiting events of other lodges can be very advantageous. In the workplace and elsewhere, collaboration is widely seen as the quickest way to innovation. Owen Clapp of Occoneechee Lodge led a delegation to an event of neighboring Nawakwa Lodge. “We’re all unified under one arrow,” Clapp said. He is a huge proponent of inter-lodge visitation outside of conclaves as a way to share and learn with fellow brothers.
“It starts with research. Stay small and look around in your section first,” Clapp said. Look for lodges that have upcoming events that appeal to you or whose way of doing things would be interesting to learn about. This keeps your attention during the event and ensures that you learn something new. The next step is to reach out to both the leadership of your lodge and the one you want to visit to have them agree and figure out the details of the trip. After that, arrange travel, pack your bag, and enjoy fellowship with some new brothers!
Clapp says, “It’s a way to not only have fun, but to share best practices and new ideas.” This allows the entire OA to grow and benefit from each lodge’s successes. He also points out that for officers, it makes for a great opportunity to meet their counterparts. Another benefit is the ability to make lasting and important connections with other brothers. A great visitation by an enthusiastic delegation can ensure meaningful cooperation between lodges, as well as personal or professional connections that could prove useful for the future.
Clapp points out that he, like other Arrowmen, loves his home lodge, but diversity is fun and important too. As a ceremonialist, he spent time with others that weekend, allowing him to “re-experience ceremonies.” He believes that everyone can “re-experience” parts of the OA they enjoy most, and even ignite a new passion they never had before. He believes that the most important takeaway is that it is not only possible, but fairly easy to visit another lodge. He also emphasizes that it is not just for officers, as his delegation was composed of several general members who had an amazing time as well.