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The Many Events of J.B. Covert Lodge: Q&A with J.B. Covert Lodge Secretary and Past Master David Olmstead Part Two

By January 14, 2021March 31st, 2021One Comment

Our most recent blog from our conversation with Brother Olmstead explored the extensive charitable efforts each year of his local lodge, based in Union Township, Clermont County, Ohio. In this installment, we explore ways members can add some fun and excitement to everyday lodge and Ohio Freemason life. From themed meetings to community outings, Brother Olmstead shares some inspiring events that we hope pique the interests of Brethren all across the state looking for new ways to connect and have fun in 2021.

Young couple seated at table compete against others in Smarties Stacking Challenge at a recent Ladies Night Dinner at J.B. Covert Lodge
Worshipful Brother Jack Lennon and his wife Anna compete in the dreaded Smarties Stacking Challenge at a recent Ladies Night Dinner.

What social events does J.B. Covert Lodge typically host throughout the year?

In a typical year, J. B. Covert’s schedule includes:

12 Stated Meetings 

Our monthly stated meetings are held throughout the year as an opportunity for members to discuss activities of the lodge and to indulge in some Masonic Education even when we have to meet virtually. Each meeting includes a 20-30-minute Masonic Education Feature, which is also published in the “Members Only” section of our website for those members who couldn’t attend the meeting. To ensure that we accomplish everything that is required, we have streamlined these meetings so that they allow enough time to focus on education, all the while making sure it’s concluded before 9 pm. 2020 marked our 150th year, so to make it special, we actually conducted an entire meeting by candlelight. Seeing as there weren’t any electric lights in the lodge in 1870, we felt this was a symbolic way to celebrate the occasion! To try to keep the meetings enjoyable, we feature a period of Food & Fellowship before each meeting, hold Ugly Christmas Tie / Sweater competitions in December, have an Irish-influenced meal to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March, and when we gather for outdoor picnics  before a monthly meeting we usually have  games like cornhole for members to enjoy.

Multiple Special Meetings for Degrees and Degree Practices 

We hold special meetings for degrees and we have dedicated degree practices prior to each degree being conferred on a candidate. Since we take the ritual very seriously, we work very hard to portray the degrees in the best manner possible.

A Weekly Meeting Called “Lunch Bunch” 

The “Lunch Bunch” takes place every Tuesday from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at the lodge. Here, Brothers and guests bring their lunch and talk about life, enjoy each other’s company, and sometimes help the Secretary with the physical side of lodge mailings. We have and continue to use this time to deepen our relationships with each other and to introduce ourselves to prospective members. 

A Winery Night 

Winery Night consists of a fun trip to Harmony Hill Winery in Bethel, Ohio. The winery allows guests to bring their own food and enjoy live music in a farm/vineyard setting. The evening provides everyone with the pleasant experience of  enjoying fellowship with members and their significant others while listening to some great music. 

Ladies Night Dinners

The Lodge’s Ladies Night Dinners are evenings dedicated to paying tribute to our wives, widows, girlfriends, moms, and daughters, who are all welcome to attend the event. The night consists of food and good fellowship as we thank them for all of the many ways they support us. The program has included a DeMolay Mother’s Tribute, Masonic Blue Slipper Pin presentations for the ladies, and “Minute to Win It” style couples’ game with photo booth-style props.

Support the “Union Township Police Night Out”

The Annual National Night Out pays homage to the Union Township Police and consists of a fun-filled night of food and activities. Each August, our lodge comes out as a group of volunteers to assist with food service. One of our members donates a dunk tank, and another member donates the sound system with professional announcing services. 

The Annual Flag Retirement and Community/Masonic Service Award Luncheon 

Bro. Mike Elliott, president of the All Veteran Parachute Team, retired US Army Sergeant First Class, and Prince Hall Mason parachutes into the J.B. Covert Lodge Annual Flag Retirement Event carrying a United States flag
Bro. Mike Elliott, President of the All Veteran Parachute Team, retired US Army Sergeant First Class, and Prince Hall Mason brings in our nation’s colors under canopy to kick off the Flag Retirement Ceremony.

With respect to the US flag code which requires disposal of flags in poor condition, each June, J.B. Covert Lodge partners with a local Boy Scout Troop to respectfully dispose of worn American flags. Officers and lodge members work together to accept flags from around the community for this unique event. The day is concluded with a short ceremony where flags are dutifully retired under the watchful eye of the Scouts, as well as a moment to present the service pins to our members. Unfortunately, a lot of lodges are more inclined to either just mail the pins or present them in a meeting which is why we work hard to have the members come and be recognized in front of their friends and neighbors. 

Watch a video of the event here. For more questions and details on the event, please contact Dave Olmstead at

 What project/event are you most proud of being involved in?

My two favorite events are Flapjack Frenzy and our Flag Retirement & Awards Luncheon.

Do you have any exciting new initiatives in 2021?

Due to COVID-19, we are just now getting our plans developed for 2021, but are very excited for what’s to come!

How does your local lodge keep members engaged outside of everyday Masonic duty? Share your events with us on Facebook or Twitter at @GrandLodgeOhio. 

Learn about the William H. Hoover Lodge #770 lodge’s Annual Muskrat dinner, just one of many local and unique traditions tied to Ohio Freemasonry.