Collecting Lodge pins has been a favorite pastime of Elks across the country, but the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks has brought the fun of collecting Lodge pins to a whole new level. Introducing “Digital Lodge Pins.” Here is your chance to share your Lodge pin with other members from around the country, and to do it for free. No lugging around a bag of pins, or even having to travel to the Grand Lodge Convention. Instead, if you know of an Elk you may have met from another Lodge (in any State), you can simply share your digital Lodge pin with them, or request one from them as well. Your Digital Lodge Pin home page will show the pins you have collected.
Participation in the Digital Lodge Pin program requires you to have an account on Elks.org. Once registered, you will find on your members home page a tab for “Fun ‘n” Games. If you click on it, you will have a choice of four links: Dashboard of Fun, Hello, Bill, Magical Mystery Lodge, and Digital Lodge Pins. Click on Digital Lodge Pins, and it will bring you to your collection. The purpose of the Digital Lodge Pin program is to deepen your connection to the Elks by collecting pins from around the country. It’s also a great way to remember who you have met in this great Order as well.
There are pins you can share or request with others on Elks.org, and you can even earn pins, such as registering for the Grand Lodge Convention, using “Hello Bill,” which allows you to send a message to another member on Elks.org, as well as taking a quiz, such as the Lodge Veteran Chair Quiz. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to be the current or a past chairman, simply read the information available on Elks.org, and answer the 20-question quiz to earn the pin). By doing a little reading on the Elks Veterans Program, you can not only earn the pin, but learn more about what we do for our veterans. It is anticipated that additional pins can be earned as the program grows in popularity.
Currently, each Lodge has a default pin which shows an image of the state, along with the Lodge Name and Number, as well as the year. This is the default pin. However, each year, the current Exalted Ruler can change the design of the pin for their year to represent their Lodge. This is done through the Exalted Ruler’s dashboard on Elks.org. The ER can change the shape, emblem, and color of the Lodge’s Digital Lodge Pin for the current year. If your Lodge already has a design it wants to use, simply contact the Elks.org webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org and submit your request. They will try to create the pin to your specifications. The following year, the new Exalted Ruler can choose to use the default digital pin or create a new design. Each pin will have the years (currently 2023-2024), so the pins are sure to change from year to year. This makes for greater collectability. If you are an avid collector, or really enjoy the program, there are two ranking pages to view: The Top 50 Collections, and the Top 50 Pin Givers. The default is set to see the top 50 in the country, but you can also view the top 50 in the state by using a drop-down menu at the top of the table.
There are a couple of limitations beyond having to have an Elks.org account. First, you are limited to requesting a maximum of 36 pins from other members. If you max out your requests, you will need to wait until people respond, or remove the request. Another limitation is that you cannot share pins with your own Lodge members. The point is to get to know members in other Lodges. One way to do this is to participate in the Maine Elks Association’s Roaming Elk program and visit another Lodge with four other members (making a minimum of 5 people), and if they have the trophy, you can capture it and bring it back to your Lodge. While you are visiting, talk with other members and see if they would be willing to share their Digital Lodge pin with you, and you can share yours with them. It’s a win-win situation.
This is a fun program, and it gives you the opportunity to share your love of Elkdom with others across the State and across the Country. There are over 1700 Elk Lodges in the country. Just like the game of Pokémon, see if you can collect them all.