Volume LVIIINovember 2011Number 4

District 1 Holds Lodge in the Woods Meeting

On a cool and damp Sept. 15 evening, Ephrata Lodge No. 665, accompanied by all of the lodges of Masonic District 1, held their second biannual Lodge in the Woods at the (Brother) J. Edward Mack Scout Reservation in Newmanstown. R.W. Grand Master Thomas K. Sturgeon and many of the Grand Lodge Officers and District Deputies from surrounding areas were joined by more than 200 brethren who braved the unreliable weather for a night of food, fellowship and brotherhood.

The inspiration for the event came from a 2008 trip to the western region's Meeting in the Hills. The Ephrata brethren were so impressed by the fellowship and congeniality that they promised to bring the idea to the eastern end of the state. But with a roof...just in case it rained like it did during their trip out "west."

Originally, the plan was to hold the lodge meeting in the large natural amphitheater in the woods which serves at the camp's "fire circle." Unfortunately, the weather left no choice but to move into the large pavilion which would serve as both a dining hall and a lodge room. Following a steak dinner, the tables were removed and the seating benches pushed back to the North and the South and a lodge room was formed. Tiki torches lit the altar, and the lodge was opened by Bro. J. Decker White, S.W., Ephrata Lodge No. 665, who took the East while Worshipful Masters of the other lodges of Masonic District 1 filled the other chairs.

Grand Master Sturgeon was received and took the East. After a moving flag ceremony, the Grand Master called on State Representative and Bro. David Hickernell, Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551, Mount Joy, for some comments. The Grand Master than presented the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Awards to five deserving brothers: Thomas W. Williams, Gary R. Guare and William L. Snyder, all from Ephrata Lodge No. 665; Bro. Glenn I. Denlinger, Christiana Lodge No. 417; and Bro. Jeremy S. Griffith, Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown. Also awarded that evening were four of the Grand Master's Awards to West Chester Lodge No. 322; Thomson Lodge No. 340, Paoli; Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551; and Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682. Finally, Ephrata Lodge No. 665 presented the proceeds of a fund raising event to representatives of Camp Mack for building a new style of campsite designed to ease young scouts into the fun of camping in the woods.

The Grand Master delivered an inspiring address wherein he reviewed the success of his 21st Century Masonic Renaissance. The lodge was closed in harmony and the brethren dispersed, looking forward to the next "Lodge in the Woods" to be held Sept. 19, 2013.

Flag Ceremony Honors Veterans

Members of La Belle Vallee Lodge No. 232, Jersey Shore, presented a special flag ceremony at the town's annual Memorial Day service on May 30. The program was modified from the National Sojourners Ceremony and the significance of the 13 folds of our country's flag was explained by Bro. Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. P.G.M., W.M., La Belle Vallee Lodge No. 232, and member of Kite and Key Lodge No. 811, Allentown; while Bro. Ryan Aungst (Specialist from Troop C of the 1/104th Calvary Division), J.D., and Bro. Thomas D. Hunter (Retired Navy Lieutenant), Chaplain, folded the flag. This was the first time the ceremony had been performed. It was well received, and the lodge has been requested to make the presentation again next year by the local Veterans' Council.

Front row, left-right: Bros. Ryan Aungst, J.D.; Ronald Aungst, Sr., R.W.P.G.M., W.M.; and Thomas D. Hunter, Chaplain. Back row, left-right: Bros. Nathan A. Hyde; Allen J. Henninger, P.D.D.G.M., Sr. Grand Deacon; Robert E. Copenhaver, P.M.; and Robert L. Greene, P.M., Secretary.

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