On August 2, 2017, Davis Encampment #21, at a special meeting, conferred all Encampment Degrees on eight new Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Receiving the Patriarchal Degree, the Golden Rule Degree and the Royal Purple Degree were:
Supervised by Chief Patriarch Tony Pruitt, the Davis Encampment Degree Team was headed by Past Chief Patriarch Dave Rosenberg, who was joined by Encampment members Cathy Aubill, Dennis Corcoran, Juelie Roggli, Kurt Roggli, Arun Sen and Kevin Sitz.
With the addition of these 8 new Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Davis Encampment #21 has 49 members, making it one of the two largest Encampments in the State of California. The 49 members of the Davis Encampment comprise about 20% of the total Encampment membership in the state.
The Davis Encampment is part of the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169
Continuing a community service begun over five years ago, Davis Encampment #21 announced today that it has provided $100 scholarships to 85 children from 39 local families. These scholarships enable the children to register for classes provided by the City of Davis Parks and Recreation staff. The classes include swim lessons, dance, week-long summer camps and family summer swim passes.
The Davis Encampment has adopted as one of its missions to facilitate and fund summer programs and summer camp experiences for children.
“We are so pleased to be able to give these families and children the opportunity to enjoy a summer experience,” said Sharla Cheney, a member of the Davis Encampment and coordinator of the scholarship program. “We wish to thank the wonderful City of Davis Parks and Recreation staff – and in particular, Administrative Operations Supervisor Christina Wood – for their work in helping families choose classes and register their children. We could not have done this without their cooperation and willingness to help.”
Davis Encampment #21 is part of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The Davis Odd Fellows were chartered in 1870, and the Davis Encampment received its charter in 1955. The Davis Odd Fellows offer four degrees to its members – the Initiatory Degree, the Degree of Friendship, the Degree of Love, and the Degree of Truth. The Encampment provides three advanced degrees of Odd Fellowship for its members – the Degree of Faith, the Degree of Hope and the Degree of Charity. Members of the Encampment are permitted to wear the purple and gold fez. There are 116 Odd Fellows Lodges in California, but only 11 Encampments, including Davis Encampment #21.
Funds for the 85 scholarships were raised through a combination of donations from members, the Odd Fellows Bingo Committee, the Odd Fellows Music Committee, Santa, and a $1,000 community donation.
The deadline to apply for scholarships in 2017 has passed and no further applications can be considered for this year. However, the Davis Encampment hopes to continue the program in 2018.
“Some of the children in our scholarship program come from families who might not be able to afford the summer experience,” said Cheney. “We would like to help as many children as we can to experience the joys of a summer program, including summer camps.”
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Dear Odd Fellows,
If you have all your Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169 degrees (Initiatory Degree, Degree of Friendship, Degree of Love, and Degree of Truth) then you are eligible to take the next step in Odd Fellowship by joining Davis Encampment #21. I’m pleased to say that the Davis Encampment is offering a Degree Night where you can earn all three degrees in the Encampment (Patriarchal Degree, Golden Rule Degree, and Royal Purple Degree) in one evening. It’s a rare opportunity and it’s coming up on Wednesday, March 1, starting at 7 p.m. in the Upper Hall of the Lodge.
Davis Encampment #21 was instituted in 1955 (over 60 years ago). There are only 11 active Encampments in the State of California. We are fortunate to have one in Davis. Currently, we have 35 members*, led in 2017 by Chief Patriarch Tony Pruitt. Tony has assigned me to be the Degree Captain on March 1. We are one of the two largest Encampments in California and we are a very active Encampment. We have adopted the mission of providing financial help to children from low income Davis families so that they can have a summer camp or other summer experience. We provide the families with subsidies and scholarships for this purpose. We have provided this community service for many years now for a large number of children. The Davis Encampment meets once each month immediately following the Odd Fellows Lodge Saturday breakfast meeting. Dues are $45 per year; there is no additional fee to obtain the degrees.
And if you join the Encampment, you get to wear (if you wish) the much coveted purple and gold fez. In Odd Fellowship only members of the Encampment are permitted to wear the fez.
If YOU have your Odd Fellows degrees and are interested in joining the Encampment and receiving your Encampment Degrees on March 1, please e-mail me no later than next Thursday, February 23, and let me know and we will make arrangements to bring you into the Encampment fold.
F – H – C
Past Chief Patriarch
* Current Members of Davis Encampment #21:
Tony Pruitt, Chief Patriarch
Mary Superak, Senior Warden
Doug Hatton, Junior Warden
Joel Mandel, Scribe
Janis Rosenberg, Treasurer
Lea Rosenberg, Financial Scribe
Jim Cheney, High Priest
Robb White, Guide
Dave Rosenberg, First Watch
Kurt Roggli, Second Watch
Bob Bockwinkel, Third Watch
Sharla Cheney, Fourth Watch
Sheryl Cambron, Inside Sentinel
Dennis Corcoran, Outside Sentinel
Davis Encampment #21 initiated five new members into the Encampment on the evening of September 17. The new Patriarchs and Matriarchs are:
At the initiation, the new members of the Encampment received all three degrees of the Encampment: The Degree of Faith (the Patriarchal Degree); the Degree of Hope (The Golden Rule Degree); and the Degree of Charity (the Royal Purple Degree). The initiation was led by Chief Patriarch Dave Reed, and he was assisted by Encampment members: Juelie and Kurt Roggli, Duff Devine, Dennis Corcoran, Arun Sen, Mary Superak, Debbie Friend, and Sharla Cheney.
The Davis Encampment was chartered in 1955, and with the addition of the five new members, currently has 41 members, all of whom hold all three Encampment degrees. Davis Encampment #21 is the largest Encampment in the State of California. In total, only 195 Odd Fellows in California posses the degrees of the Encampment, and with 41 members in Davis, it can be said that over 20% of all Encampment members in California come from the Davis Encampment.
Today, I would like to talk about “Quaint Historical Relics”. Odd Fellowship, as you know, has many of them.
Today’s quaint historical relic can be found on the back of the “official certificate” of the Encampment. The “official certificate” is just the Odd Fellow’s way of saying “membership card.” Parenthetically, the membership cards used by Odd Fellowship, in all it’s branches, is itself a quaint historical relic. Rather than having them computer generated, the cards are only available in hard-copy and are painstakingly hand-written. Plus, they are so small that the type is virtually invisible. A magnifying glass is needed to read some of the 2-point type. But, I digress.
Today’s quaint historical relic is printed on the back of the Encampment membership card. Found there is the “telegraphic cipher and key”. Now, if you were to ask potential new members of the Order in their teens, 20’s and 30’s, I imagine very few would know what a telegraph or a cipher is. Telegraphs and telegrams were used extensively a century ago. Yet, being outmoded or superseded has never stopped Odd Fellows. There, on the back of the card is the telegraphic cipher and the key to it’s interpretation.
The cipher and key harkens back to a time (in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, I imagine) when telegraphs and telegrams were the major method of communication, and when Odd Fellows would travel from town to town and community to community in search of work. Sometimes, Odd Fellows in the new town or community would help the traveling Odd Fellow with work or housing or money. Sometimes, the traveling Odd Fellow would become ill or pass away. And sometimes, the traveling Odd Fellow was not an Odd Fellow at all – but rather a charlatan who tried to get some free food, housing or money. Hence, the telegraphic cipher and key. Odd Fellows Lodges used telegraphic codes to communicate with each other about these travelers. Let me give you some examples from the back of the membership card.
“Black” – If that cipher was telegraphed, it meant: “He is a fraud, and if he has a card or other papers from this lodge, they are forgeries.”
“Boat” – That means: “He is an expelled member, and has not been in good standing for ______.”
“Doubt” – “Identity in doubt. Wire description.”
“Green” – “Wire instructions to us at once as to the disposition of his remains.”
“Help” – “Will your lodge pay nurse hire, and how much per day?”
“House” – “Is in our city, holding a visiting card from your lodge and asking of us financial assistance.”
“Secretary” – “He has a fraudulent card.”
“White” – “We don’t know of any such party, and he does not belong to our lodge.”
“Yellow” – “Is in our city and very sick. Claims membership in your lodge. Shall we give him attendance on your account.”
These and other ciphers and keys are contained on the back of the Encampment membership card – holdovers from another time and another age. Yet Odd Fellows has not caught up to the 21st Century. Other examples abound. Odd Fellowship still uses hard-copy application forms. In fact, the forms use slick paper so that if the wrong pen is used, the writing will smear. Odd Fellows still requires annual reports to be painstakingly filled out by hand. Most Odd Fellows Lodges still distribute their newsletters in printed form, mailed to the members.
But change is coming. Here’s a positive example of that change: For the past 161 years, voting at Grand Lodge sessions has been a slow and laborious process, subject to human error, of counting votes by hand. At the 2013 Grand Lodge Sessions, I (as the newly elected Grand Warden) suggested that we revise our voting methodology and use electronic voting. Newly elected Grand Master Rick Boyles enthusiastically supported the concept and I am delighted to note that the Grand Lodge Board of Directors, unanimously, approved electronic voting. And the 2014 Grand Lodge Sessions (the 162nd such session) will – for the first time in our Order’s history – have such electronic voting. The voting will be swift and accurate, and instantly displayed for the session. This sort of movement into the 21st Century is a healthy sign for this Order, and long overdue.
F – L – T
In July, we will be scheduling an initiation into the Davis Encampment for those members of the Odd Fellows Lodge who hold the three Odd Fellows’ degrees and who wish to receive advance degrees.
When you became a member of the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge, you received the Initiatory Degree at your initiation ceremony. Some of you have gone on to receive the next three degrees of Odd Fellowship: the degrees of Friendship, Love and Truth. If you have the three degrees in our Odd Fellows Lodge you are eligible to move forward and receive three more degrees by joining the Davis Encampment. So, for those who might be interested, here’s some information for you about the Davis Encampment:
1. The Encampment is a “branch” of Odd Fellowship. It was created many, many years ago to give Odd Fellows an ability to earn additional degrees (just like other fraternal orders). The Davis Encampment #21 was instituted in the mid-1950’s, soon after our current Lodge was constructed. The total of all the members in all the Encampments in California is less than 200 (a remarkably small number). The Davis Encampment currently has 35 members (plus 3 applicants for membership) – we are, actually, the largest Encampment in California, and probably the USA. While virtually all Encampments in California are shrinking in membership, the Davis Encampment is growing and thriving.
2. You cannot join the Encampment unless you have all 3 Odd Fellows Degrees. If you have the 3 degrees, you are eligible to join the Davis Encampment and obtain three more degrees: The Patriarchal Degree, the Golden Rule Degree and the Royal Purple Degree – they are also called the degrees of Faith, Hope and Charity. Davis Encampment #21 has all the officers that the Odd Fellows Lodge has except the offices generally have different titles. For example, the “Noble Grand” of the Encampment is called the “Chief Patriarch” and the “Vice Grand” of the Encampment is called the “Senior Warden”, etc. Dues to join the Davis Encampment are $44 per year. Some of your favorite Odd Fellows are members of the Encampment!
3. As an historical throwback, the members of the Encampment can wear the coveted Royal Purple fez with golden tassel. This is strictly optional, but only Encampment members can wear the fez.
4. The Davis Encampment meets once each month at the Lodge on the second Saturday of each month, usually in the Conference Room (and sometimes in the Upper Hall), around 11:00 a.m., immediately following the Odd Fellows Lodge breakfast meeting.
5. Most Encampments have no real mission. The Davis Encampment #21 is different. We have a mission. We send kids to summer camp – including kids who would not otherwise have that opportunity. We use the Odd Fellows Three Links Camp – located near Yosemite – for that purpose. This last summer, we sent 15 kids to camp – these are foster kids and kids from very low income families who otherwise would never have had a camp experience. This coming summer, because 3-link camp closed this summer, we will only be sending 7 kids to camp. Next year we hope to send 20 or more kids to camp.
6. Many of our Encampment meetings are formal. That is, we set the room up in proper style, we have a formal opening and a formal closing.
If you have your three Odd fellows’ degrees and are interested in joining the Davis Encampment #21 and earning three more degrees, please let me know in response to this e-mail.
Davis Encampment #21