Author Topic: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)  (Read 6360 times)

Mustache Fatty

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Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« on: October 24, 2016, 10:19:59 AM »
I understand this tip is not for everyone, but I just wanted to point out the benefits of these organizations.  We recently got back from a trip to the Fort Walton Beach-Destin area of Florida and regular restaurant and drink prices were what you would expect in a tourist town.  For instance, one place wanted $16.95 for a pitcher of beer and $11.95 for a burger and fries.

Contrast this with the prices at these lodges.  Draft beers were $1 and cocktails were $2.25 or $2.50.  You could get a burger and fries at the Elks Lodge for about $6.  One place was serving a bowl of chili for $2.50.  Other times the food was free.  The quality was all perfectly fine to very good.

The Lodges were entertaining as well.  We played bingo at one place for $1 a game and they had free sub sandwiches (that were truly excellent) while we played.  There was live entertainment on other nights.

The people, while older, were all very pleasant and welcoming.  In short, our trip turned in to figuring out what was going on at the various lodges and we planned accordingly.  Visits to these places were quite a bit more fun (to us) than just heading out to the touristy restaurants.  Note that you have to be a member to use the facilities (and at least someone in our party was), but if you are not a member and want to join one the process can range from fairly easy (Moose lodge or VFW if you meet certain criteria) to easy but you have to do more than fill out a form (Elks).  In all cases; however, if you want to just go in and check it out you can usually just go to the bartender and tell him or her you are just looking and you will get signed in for the day.

Finally, these organizations are centered on charitable causes, so it might also be fun for you to actually get involved in one, and your money is likely to be going to a good cause at the end of the day.

In short, I just wanted to get that message out there because I didn't even really realize the potential benefits of joining a lodge until just recently.  I am the type of person that would have loved going to such places even when I was in college.  In general, "young people," (anyone under 55 or so) are treated extremely well in these places.

tyleriam

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Re: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 11:36:50 AM »
That is an interesting suggestion.

sol

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Re: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 01:23:26 PM »
I love the idea, in principle.  Most of these organizations are eager for new members but have rules against active recruiting, which means joining is as easy as asking and then finding a sponsor.

The down side, for me, is that I've yet to find such an organization that doesn't require members to publicly profess a belief in the supernatural.  I wholeheartedly support what they do, but am morally repulsed by their justifications for doing so. 

englishteacheralex

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Re: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 01:39:43 PM »
Ha! My husband used to go with his buddy/sponsor to the Elks lodge around the corner (we live on Oahu) for cheap whiskey and burgers while they watched football all the time! His stories about the place were hilarious. We debated joining but when we did the math it still didn't make sense because we knew we would use it so infrequently.

However, when our kids are older we might just give it a try. Your points about the benefits of a membership while traveling are well taken. And on Oahu, if you can find a pitcher of beer for $16.95 and a burger and fries for $11.95, that's actually a pretty good deal. :) Which is why we almost never eat out. I can't remember how much the eats/drinks were at the Elks lodge.

Thanks for bringing this back to mind. Now chuckling over all the Elks lodge stories...

Us2bCool

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Re: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2016, 01:47:37 PM »
My husband and I are both members of Rotary, which has no religious or political agenda*.  We've found it's greatly enhanced our quality of life as we now do volunteer work for fun instead of spending money on activities (okay, we kinda do both). It's a fantastic way to meet people when you travel as one aspect of the culture of the organization is to visit local clubs when you are out of town.

*YMMV. I've had people say their club is very conservative or religious, but that's a reflection of the local culture, not the international organization as a whole, and any donations or service projects can't be for churches, the military or political organizations. Still, it pays to check out a couple of local clubs to find a good fit.

Mustache Fatty

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Re: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2016, 09:19:03 PM »
We debated joining but when we did the math it still didn't make sense because we knew we would use it so infrequently.

Yes, there are annual fees to join and maintain membership.  If you really don't ever go to these places then there is a negative value to joining.  However, the cost range, while varying, is pretty cheap.  The most expensive one we've seen is $100 per year and the cheapest is $15 per year.  Another is $100 for a lifetime membership. 

It varies by lodge and location, and I can see that if you very rarely go that it wouldn't be worth it at virtually any extra cost.  I just wanted to point out the value because I know that there are still mustachians out there that go on vacation and find themselves splurging. After you pay a few rack rate, tourist-trap restaurant bills the nominal cost of joining a lodge looks pretty enticing.

Again, I just wanted to let everyone know this option is out there and that I wish I had explored it decades before I did. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Fraternal Organizations (Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, etc.)
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2016, 02:17:13 AM »
I used to frequent the Moose Lodge. I was not a member, but I had family that were members. It's a great place for Sunday football. You can hang out for 5-6 hours and only spend $20 and not feel guilty about taking up a table.