"The Future Is Now"
At the September Grand Council meeting the GC will consider a proposal by Louise Silacci to establish a Junior Ambassador Program for the Grand Lodge. She has a lot of great ideas on the establishment of the program to get junior members more involved in the Order. She has documented her ideas which includes monthly zoom calls with a variety of topics about Italian Culture. She will also have special activities at the convention to showcase juniors.We all know young people and their parents are very busy these days with school, sports and other activities which makes attending local lodge meetings very difficult. However, unless local lodges provide activities at meetings for junior members, they and their parents will lose their participation and when many of these local lodges older members pass on the lodges will cease to exist. At the convention we heard many delegates discuss their memories as kids attending lodge meetings and activities that they indicated made them lifelong members of the Order.
As you can see in our Roma Lodge article this month, we highlight our junior members with their own special night where they conduct the meeting. With over 60 junior members in the lodge, we hope to keep them, and their parents involved in lodge activities. With the help of our junior member activities advisor, Pam Sola, she has a learning activity each month for junior members while our meeting is being conducted. This gives parents and their children a great meal to share as a family, socializing with other juniors and members of the lodge and an activity while getting them home by 8 or 8:30 each month.
We kicked off the concept of an ambassador program by having our first group of junior members present a short program about their Italian ancestry. This gave them the opportunity to showcase where their families came from Italy, how their great grandparents and grandparents were involved in the lodge and introduced themselves to other members of the lodge. We hope to feature a different group of juniors each month showcasing their Italian Culture. It only takes a few minutes, and it is a great activity for them to become involved in as ambassadors.
The Grand Lodge has gone from over 100 lodges to around 40 with some nearing levels of membership which might see them close soon. If we do not start cultivating our junior members through an ambassador program, we will continue to see lodges close. The Future is Now!
Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Grand Lodge of California
P. O. Box 2467
Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone: (415) 586-1316