Modern Woodmen of America
At the hour of opening, which should not be later than 5 o’clock p. m. the Consul shall promptly take his station.
CONSUL: Officers, assume your respective stations.
The Consul will give one rap with the Beetle. The Adviser one rap with the Axe, and the Banker one rap with the Wedge. The Neighbors will take their seats. If any Officers are absent, the Consul will appoint Neighbors to fill their stations pro term.
CONSUL: Watchman, you will see that the Sentry is at his post, and direct him to close the outer door.
The Watchman retires to the ante-room, notifies the Sentry, returns promptly, and salutes the Consul.
WATCHMAN: Consul, the Sentry is at his post, and the outer door has been secured.
CONSUL: Escort, you will satisfy yourself that all present are members of Modern Woodmen of America.
ESCORT: Consul, I will perform that duty.
The Escort will give the Annual and the Regular Passwords to the Consul, and their take up both of the Passwords, in the order named, from all present.
As the Escort approaches, each Neighbor arises from his seat and gives the grip and the Passwords to the Escort. If a Neighbor does not have the Passwords, he will, if in good standing, advance and receive them from the Consul, if not in good standing, he must retire from the hall. If a member of another Camp is without the Passwords, he shall be vouched for by a member who knows him to be in good standing, or he shall be examined and proved by a special committee appointed by the Consul. The Escort then returns to his station, salutes the Consul with the Working Sign, and says:
ESCORT: Consul, we are all obligated Neighbors.
CONSUL: Escort, you will now present the Flag.
The Escort, after saluting the Consul, shall retire to the ante-room where the flag should be in readiness. Without intervention of other business the Escort should immediately return to the Camp hall bearing the flag. Where the Camp has a Forester team the team should act as color guard. When the Escort enters with the flag, the Consul will rap the Neighbors to their feet and all will remain standing during the flag exercise.
It will add to the impressiveness of the exercises if "America" or other patriotic music is played or sung while the flag is being carried in the hall. In the absence of a Forester team, the Escort, on entering the hall, should proceed with the flag direct to the Consul’s station, advancing at right angles.
On arrival of the flag the Consul should say.
CONSUL: Neighbors, let us salute the Flag of our country with the Woodmen’s Honors.
The Neighbors will then salute the flag with the Woodmen’s Honors.
The Escort should then turn about and deposit it in the holder on the right of the Consul where it should remain during the Camp’s session. After the flag is placed in the holder, the Consul should rap the Neighbors to their seats.
This will conclude the exercise and the Camp should then proceed with its regular business
ADVISER: Neighbors, attention! Gives three raps. All advance and deposit a pebble in the urn;
white expresses happiness; black, sorrow or trouble.
The Consul, Past Consul, Banker. Secretary, Neighbors, and Adviser, in the order named, deposit their pebbles.
ADVISER: We hail thee, Consul, with the Woodmen’s Sign.
All Neighbors give the Woodmen’s Sign, the Consul responding properly.
CONSUL: Neighbors, your greeting is welcome and fraternal. Gathered around our camp-fire on this occasion, we have reason to be thankful for life, health, and prosperity. Your aid is now invoked to conduct the business of the hour with harmony and neighborly consideration.
ADVISER: The Camp will heed your advice, Consul. The Watchman and Sentry are at their posts, and quietness, safety, and peace are within our Camp.
BANKER: The treasure-box is still secure. The loved ones whom we cherish are remembered, and we are mindful of those fallen by the wayside. All is well in this, our beloved Camp.
CONSUL: Neighbors, give the Working Sign. All respond.
Give the Woodmen’s Sign.
The Fraternal Sign.
The Words of Distress.
The Woodmen’s Honors.
CONSUL: We will now sing the Opening Ode.
Again, With Welcome greeting,
Kind Neighbors, now we come—
To Watch and guard the future
For those we love at home.
Each thankful to the Giver
Of every earthly claim,
We now ascribe the honor
Due to His holy name.
The Officers in station,
The camp-fire all ablaze,
And every wandering stranger
On it with joy may gaze.
The working tools are ready—
The Beetle, Axe, and Wedge.
The Perfume, Fruit, and Water,
We to the strangers pledge.
Guard well your treasures, Neighbors,
And ever ready be
To help the mourning loved ones,
When we have crossed life’s sea,
Let justice rule your actions,
And generous conduct own,
That happiness and plenty
May all our efforts crown,
CONSUL: Let us be just and generous in our actions tonight; you are the rulers; we are the servants to do your bidding and to exercise the brief authority you have conferred upon us. As the Beetle, the Axe, and the Wedge in the hands of pioneer woodmen have cleared away the forests for the benefit of mankind, so let us, as Modern Woodmen, profit by this example of faithful work, that peace, happiness, and plenty may crown our efforts. I now proclaim … Camp, No. …, Modern Woodmen of America, duly opened in form.
Gives one rap; all are seated.
ADVISER, gives one rap with the Axe: The Watchman will notify the Sentry and Neighbors in the ante-room.
WATCHMAN, opens door and says: Sentry, the Camp is open. Closes door and says in a voice loud enough to be heard by the entire Camp: Adviser, the Sentry and Neighbors in waiting have been duly informed.
BANKER, gives one rap with Wedge: All is well!
Note.—During the session admission is gained by giving an alarm at the outer door, and communicating the current Annual Password to the Sentry. If admitted, the Neighbor will advance to the inner door and give three distinct raps. The Watchman will respond with three raps on the door, and receive from the Neighbor the current Annual and Regular Passwords. The Neighbor will then be admitted.
If a Neighbor is unable to give either of the Passwords, his name should be reported to the Watchman, who will notify the Adviser. This should never be done during the Opening Ceremony, while the minutes are being read, or while a Neighbor is speaking.
WATCHMAN: Adviser, Neighbor … without the Password.
If the Neighbor is vouched for by the Secretary he may be admitted.
The Neighbor will then enter, deposit his pebble and advance to the Consul and receive the Passwords.
Ceremony of Adoption
The hall should be prepared as during meetings. The Offcers may wear robes or regalia, but no wigs. If a Forester team is used, it will report for duty when "Ceremony of Adoption" is called in the Order of Business. The members of the team will take their places as guards at various stations, as shown in the introductory note to Street Scene.
CONSUL: Escort, you will retire to the ante-room and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting.
Escort salutes the Consul, and retires. After obtaining the names of candidates in waiting, he will return, approach the urn, salute the Consul, and say:
ESCORT: Consul, I find in waiting …, who desires to be adopted into our Society. Escort remains standing.
CONSUL: Secretary, do the Camp records show that this candidate has made all payments required in our By-Laws, and is otherwise qualified for admission?
SECRETARY: Consul, they do.
CONSUL: Neighbors, attention! A candidate is at our door seeking admission. Let us receive him in a courteous and dignified manner, that his impression of our Camp may be most favorable. To this end, I ask your hearty cobperation. Escort, you will retire and conduct the candidate through the several scenes of his adoption, responding for him as his special friend.
ESCORT: Consul, I will perform that duty.
Salutes and retires, returning with the candidate, who is dressed in usual attire and without hoodwink. The Escort gives three loud raps on inner door. The Watchman, after answering in the same manner, will open the door.
Escort and candidate enter without further ceremony, marching once entirely around the hall until they reach the Consul’s station the second time. The candidate should be to the left of the Escort and they should march in the direction so that the wall will be to their right. Any music used should be usual march time. If the Camp has no other music, the Neighbors may sing "The Brave Old Oak." or any other appropriate song. Upon arrival at the Consul’s station, the Consul guards will arise and present axes.
ESCORT: Consul, I have the pleasure of presenting to you ….
CONSUL: On behalf of this Camp, I welcome you as one seeking knowledge, fraternity, and protection.
You are now about to receive valuable lessons in Woodcraft.
In these ceremonies you will find nothing to interfere with your religious or political beliefs, nor to lower your self-respect. With this assurance from me, are you ready to proceed?
CANDIDATE: I am.
CONSUL: Escort, you will conduct the candidate to the urn station, where the Past Consul will administer the obligation.
Escort conducts the candidate past the station of the Past Consul to the station of the Adviser, then turns to the left, advancing to the rear of the urn The Consul gives three raps, All Neighbors arise, and the Past Consul advances to the front of the urn, facing the candulate.
ESCORT: Past Consul, by direction of the Consul, I present this candidate for obligation.
PAST CONSUL: You will raise your right hand and repeat after me the following obligation: The Escort will repeat the obligation with the candidate. In the presence of our Consul and these witnesses—on my sacred honor as a man—I promise and declare—that I will not wrong or defraud—the fraternity in its treasury—or a member in his purse—that I will promptly make all required payments—that I will not propose for membership—any person whom I know to be—of unsound health—of bad repute—or irregular habits—that I will not reveal—any of the transactions of this Camp—or the signs—ciphers—words——symbols—grip——or written work of the fraternity—to any person—not lawfully entitled to receive them—To all this-I pledge my word and honor.
Consul gives one rap.
PAST CONSUL: My friend, you have now taken upon yourself the obligation which entitles you to receive the protection of this Society and the sincere friendship of all its members. Yet we would have you ever remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and that true happiness can be attained only by an earnest effort to make others happy. The motto of our Society is, "For the life of another." Your devotion to this sentiment will measure’ your value as a member of this Society and your usefulness as a citizen.
The advantages of membership in Modern Woodmen of America will be taught you in the next scene of your adoption where you will impersonate a poor and unfortunate man seeking charity upon the streets of a great city. The garb you will wear is not a badge of degradation, but on the back of a virtuous man is good evidence of suffering and self-denial.
The Escort will now attend you in your further steps in Woodcraft.
The Escort and the candidate march in rear of Foresters once around the hall until the outer door is reached, when the Foresters open ranks, present axes, while the Escort and the candidate march through their rank, to the ante-room; the Watchman closes the door.
NOTE: At this point, Camps that so desire may introduce the features which in substance comprise the Fraternal Degree. Fun in the Adoption ceremony is highly commendable, but it musi always be kept clean, must never include anything vulgar, obscene, or dangerous, nor should it ever be too humiliating to the candidate.
The hall is arranged as usual at the regular meetings of the Camp.
During this scene the Foresters, if used, are divided into squads of two or four each and are assigned as guards at the Officers’ stations.
In the ante-room the Escort clothes the candidate and himself as beggars, with hats on their heads, the candidate is hoodwinked. They advance to the inner doos and the Escort gives three raps; the Watchman opens the door.
It is essential that the Escort should have his part committed to memory, so as to repeat st fluently and impressively. The success of this part depends largely upon the ability of the Escort.
WATCHMAN: Who comes here?
ESCORT: Two poor and unfortunate persons who wish to go upon the streets of the city and make an appeal for aid.
WATCHMAN, opens door: You may enter, but you will find that people engaged in the busy vocations of life are not inclined to heed the unfortunate.
As the Escort enters with the candidate, the Neighbors should appear busily engaged in buying and selling, conversing, etc., but all noise must cease when the Escort signals that he ss ready to speak. The Escort’s charge should not be delivered while walking, in this scene these must be no interference with the candidate, and all tripping, shoving, os striking the candidate is positively
forbidden. The Escort and the candidate will remain standing near the entrance and listen a short time to the noise of the busy world. Then the Escort will signal for silence, and say:
ESCORT: My friend, we now find ourselves upon the streets of a great city in the busy world, We have heard the noise and tumult of commercial strife in which everybody is seeking wealth, influence, and fame. Nobody appears to have any time to devote to works of charity. We, in our poverty, have been unnoticed, for they can see no chance for gain i’n such beggars as we appear to be. But over yonder is a great banking house, where many people of wealth enter to deposit their money; let us enter and approach the Banker and rehearse our story of suffering and want.
Here the busy world noise should be repeated, while the Escort end the candidate advance to the Banker’s station, where they can hear the Neighbors or guards transacting business with the Banker. This continues for a short time, when the Escort will signal for silence.
ESCORT: Sir, may we have a word with you?
BANKER: Move on, beggars, I have no time to waste on you! Move on, I say, or I will call to my aid the officers of the law.
ESCORT: Yes, we will move on, if you will first hear our pitiful story.
BANKER: Well, I suppose I must be annoyed by such people. Strange, that beggars are not sent to the poorhouse. Well, what is your pitiful story? Be quick about it!
ESCORT: We are, indeed, poor, and my friend is blind, but for ourselves we seek no charity. We ask only a few dollars for the widow and family of a friend who suddenly lost his life while in the vigor of manhood, leaving his family without even a roof to cover their heads, raiment to clothe them, or food to sustain their lives. We, in our poverty, sympathize with them, but we have no money to aid them in their distress.
We, therefore, pray thee to give of thy plenty, that they may lift up their heads again; that their tears maybe wiped away,and their lives saved for usefulness.
BANKER: Bosh! What do I care for paupers! I pay my taxes regularly, and they include all I am compelled to do for the poor. If people will die without laying up something for a rainy day, it is no fault of mine that their families suffer. Not a cent will I give to relieve such people So, move on, and do not further waste my valuable time.
Escort and candidate pass slowly around the hull and the Escort, addressing some of the Neighbors, says, "Will you give something for the relief of a widow and orphan?" Each Neighbor replies "No." Approaching a. selected Neighbor, the Escort says.
ESCORT: Will you give something for the family of our friend?
NEIGHBOR: Did your friend carry insurance?
NEIGHBOR: Not a penny will I give!
Escort and candidate move a short distance away, then stand still.
ESCORT: Not even a penny, and we are condemned for the asking! Indeed, this is a cold, unsympathizing world. From this experience, how fearful the thought of the future becomes! What is to become of our loved ones when we are laid in the silent grave? It is, indeed, a question of vital interest to us. It brings to our minds pictures of sickness, suffering, poverty, and death, so forcibly impressed upon us by our experience as charity-seekers. But let usconsult with yonder Adviser, who may have a remedy to suggest.
Escort end candidate approach the Adviser’s station. Guards arise and present axes.
ESCORT: Adviser, we desire to know if there is any way for aworthy person, who earns his daily bread by the sweat of his brow, to provide for his loved ones when death shall take him hence?
With our hearts filled with pity, we have been upon the streets seeking aid for the family of one who suddenly lost his life. Our appeal was in vain. Forgetting our own poverty, we sought to secure relief for those less fortunate than ourselves. Condemnation, ridicule, and abuse were our only reward. This experience has Caused us to ponder over the fate of our own loved ones if death were to summon us to an untimely end. Knowing your reputation for wisdom, and your unselfish devotion to your fellowmen, we come to you for advice.
ADVISER: It is true that the incomes of most of the race hardly equal their needs, and the struggle for existence is often embittered by the fear of what the future may have in store for the dependent ones. My advice is to go at once and be adopted into a Camp of Modern Woodmen of America. Then your fears will dissipate like the morning vapors, and your forebodings give way to confidence, peace, and joy.
If life be guaranteed until old age comes creeping on the horizon to declare the approach of the end, but little apprehension may be felt. But the possibility of death at the time when others’ happiness and future depend upon his daily toil, may well cause anyone to stop and think. Since the struggle for means to meet the daily needs leaves little margin for the accumulation of wealth, the person in ordinary circumstances realizes that if he should die before his allotted time, those dependent upon him may be left in poverty. The wise seek to forestall such a calamity, and thus are brought into being organizations to protect the home when the wage-earner is stricken by death. In yonder forest is a Camp of Modern Woodmen of America. In it you will find not only the protection for your home, but also true brotherly love. The way is long, but be steadfast in your purpose and you will find the pathway clear. Give heed to the lesson of the Forest Patriarch and accept his hospitality without fear. I bid you Godspeed on your journey. Farewell.
ESCORT: We are grateful to you, Adviser, for your timely words, and we will seek the Camp of Modern Woodmen. Farewell.
The Escort and the candidate retire direct to the ante-room unless under escort of the team, and resume their ordinary clothing. The Forester team may either remain in the Camp room, filling in the time with fancy drill, if desired, or may retire to the ante-room followed by the Escort and the candidate.
The lights should be turned dawn so es to make them rather dim. The Past Consul, Adviser, and Banker should put on long robes and wigs, to represent Forest Patriarchs. The Escort and the candidate should put on black robes, advance to the inner door and give three raps; the Watchmen will open the door, and say.
WATCHMAN: What means this intrusion?
ESCORT: We are seeking the Camp of Modern Woodmen in yonder forest.
WATCHMAN: You may enter, but remember the way is one of secrecy.
The Escort conducts the candidate a few steps inside, halts, and says:
ESCORT: My friend, we are no longer in the busy world. We have left its turmoil, strife, and selfishness. We are now in the primeval forest, amid God’s first temples. Here in solitude, man adores Nature, and worships Nature’s God. Here humanity has scope and breathing space. Here the uncrowded individual grows in strength and grandeur as the sturdy oak. Among the Neighbors of this forest we will find true brotherly love.
The Escort and the candidate are accosted by the character "Youth," which is assumed by a young man in ordinary attire, wearing hat. "Youth" should say his part in a light-hearted, carefree manner.
YOUTH: Hello! Where are you going?
ESCORT: To the Camp of Modern Woodmen.
YOUTH: For what purpose, may I ask?
ESCORT: We desire to join in the practice of brotherly love for the protection of our homes.
YOUTH: What folly! Turn away and let us enjoy ourselves for a while! There is plenty of time for such serious things. The worries of life will come soon enough without our seeking. Youth is for pleasure, so come, let us make the most of it. The blood of healthy life flows through our veins, and we need recreation. We certainly need not worry about death while we are young and healthy.
ESCORT: We are not expecting death soon, and it may be long postponed, but we have been awakened to its possibility, and have made up our minds to provide, without further loss of time, for those dependent upon us.
YOUTH: But why bother yourself with such a matter? The world owes your family a living.
ESCORT: We have had our experience with the cold charity of the world. We should, indeed, be afraid of death if our loved ones were to be left to the mercy of the world.
YOUTH: Afraid of death? At your age and with your vigor? You are a coward! There’s plenty of time to think of death when old age causes your limbs to tremble and your eyes to dim. The members of Modern Woodmen of America take life too seriously. They are always seeking to carry another’s burden, and to relieve the distress of some prospective bereaved family. I have no time for such things now. Later, after I have fully enjoyed the pleasures of life, I may think about it. But now I intend to have a good time. So, come with me.
ESCORT: No! Our first duty is to those who are placed in our keeping, and we will not be turned from our purpose. We must be on our way. Will you not go with us?
YOUTH: Ha! Ha! Not I. Departs.
The Escort and the candulate turn and walk around the hail, passing the Banker’s station, then cross the hall, turn to the left and advance to a position near that corner of the hall which is between the stations of the Past Consul and the Adviser. The character "Death" is concealed so the corner behind a dark curtain or screen, The candidate’s back must be toward the Consul’s station.
ESCORT, Death appears within an arm’s length in front of them: Who are you that comes to us in so strange a garb?
NOTE. This part should be delivered in a hollow, sonorous monotone.
DEATH: I am Death! Relentless and unsparing! I visit the cradle and take the smallest of humanity, leaving the mother to wail and to mourn. The strongest of men are crushed beneath my blow. Neither the palace nor the hovel are free from my hand, Fortune has no exemption from my mandate, nor does fame stay my coming. I strike where I like, when I please, and whom I desire. I have remained here that I might turn YOU pointing to candidate into lifeless clay. I have but to breathe upon you, and all that you are, or all that you hope to be, shall be gone. The work you have planned must go unfinished, and those whom you love shall hold you only as a memory. Raising hand as though to strike.
ESCORT, speaking quickly: Stay, O Death. Withhold your hand! We are on our way to protect our families. If you demand our lives now our loved ones will be objects of charity.
DEATH: Withhold my hand? Who are YOU to make such a demand? "More time! More time!" Thus they all cry. Why even decrepit Age, poised upon the brink of the grave, begs more time. "Tomorrow I shall be ready," they say. Ever and always, tomorrow. And now YOU ask more time. Yesterday, last week, or last year, you could have done these things and have made provision for those dependent upon you. What excuse have you to offer for your neglect?
ESCORT: None, O Death, except that we did not realize its necessity until yesterday, and today we are on our way to seek protection. Therefore, we plead with you to waive your purpose this once, and permit us to resume our journey, that our hopes may be realized and peace be within our souls.
DEATH: Upon your earnest plea, I will relent and let you pass this time. But, mark you well! Be ready when next I come. No excuse will then serve to dissuade me from my purpose. It may be early. It may be late. It may be in youth, or in old age; you know not when. But come I will, so be prepared! Retreating.
Be prepared! Be prepared! Disappears.
ESCORT: We are indeed fortunate to have escaped Death this time. Let us provide protection for our families before we meet him again. I see over there the Camp of a Forest Patriarch; let us go to him and seek food and advice on our journey.
They advance to the Adviser’s station. Guards, if used, present axes.
ESCORT: Forest Patriarch, we are weary and in need of food,
FOREST PATRIARCH (Adviser): Whither do you journey?
ESCORT: We are seeking the Camp of Modern Woodmen.
FOREST PATRIARCH: Your ambition is a laudable one, and well worthy of the hospitality which every true Modern Woodman is taught to practice. I offer you freely this fruit and water, Partake and refresh yourselves.
Gives fruit and waler to Escort and candidate.
FOREST PATRIARCH: In a Camp of Modern Woodmen, the business and vexations of life are banished. The scramble for wealth and place finds no lodgment there. They meet as obligated Neighbors, in friendly council, for mutual benefit and protection. Visions of future woe are gone, for they have placed a sacred fund in the keeping of true associates, whose hands will carry substantial aid to their loved ones when they shall have left life’s fitful scenes forever, Your desire to join this noble band stamps you well worthy of confidence.
You should resume your journey, and may no harm befall you on the way.
Escort and candidate continue on their way around the hail until they come upon three members seated on camp stools (Or chairs) near the Past Consul’s station. Two estra slools (Or chairs) should be provided for Escort and candidate.
FIRST MEMBER: Hello, strangers. You seem to be lost, Can we do anything for you?
ESCORT: Good evening. Yes, you may be able to help us. On advice of the Forest Patriarch, with whom we have just talked, we are seeking the Camp of Modern Woodmen of America, that we may learn more of the teachings of this organization and join with its members in the practice of true fraternal living.
SECOND MEMBER: Sit down and rest yourselves. The Camp of Modern Woodmen, which you seek, is not far from here. We are all members of the Camp and will be glad to give you any information you wish.
ESCORT: What is the real purpose of this Society? What does it stand for? What are the benefits of belonging to it?
THIRD MEMBER: Modern Woodmen of America is the name of a Fraternal Benefit Society, which is more than half a century old. Its Head Office is at Rock Island, Illinois. It furnishes whole family life insurance protection. It has paid out, mostly to the families of nearly 350,000 deceased members, about $600,000,000.
It furnishes this protection only to men, women, and children of sound health and of good character. It has certificates of different kinds, amounts and cost, so that it is able to suit almost every need of family life. This protection is sold on easy terms of payment, and is therefore available to the average thrifty individual.
SECOND MEMBER: It has nearly 500,000 members and does business in forty-six states and in four provinces of Canada, Therefore it is international in the scope of its operation, Modern Woodmen of America is one of many similar societies in America which comprise the fraternal system of life insurance—a system recognized by the laws of every state, and carefully supervised by Insurance departments. It has many millions of assets invested in good securities. Its contracts furnish safe and sound protection. It is in every way worthy of the confidence of its members and the insuring public.
ESCORT: Tell us what the advantages of life insurance are. Does everyone need it?
FIRST MEMBER: Through many years and especially during depressions, life insurance has proved itself to be the safest investment any one can make. Most people find it necessary to provide for the future of those dependent upon them. Life is uncertain, Death is sure, but we do not know when it will come. Life insurance enables one to provide an estate through a very small down payment. It also encourages habits of saving.
ESCORT: Is it compulsory to keep up these payments continuously? May they not be dropped when in good health and resumed when the need is urgent?
THIRD MEMBER: The prudent man will take no chance. There is a time in nearly every one’s life when life insurance may be secured, and a time when it may not. Broken health makes life insurance protection impossible. It always pays to keep life insurance in force. The unprotected home is a tragic warning to every Modern Woodman to keep his certificate in full force at all times. To do otherwise is dangerous and expensive.
ESCORT: Doesn’t Modern Woodmen include more than home protection?
FIRST MEMBER: Yes, much more. Modern Woodmen of America enables a member to provide funds with which to clothe, feed, and educate his children, pay off the mortgage and free the family from want after he is gone. But it is more than this. It is a system of living.
ESCORT: This is most interesting. Speak on.
SECOND MEMBER: Our Society does more than meet its obligations. Substantial evidence of this generosity is shown in our Sanatorium for the free treatment of members afflicted with tuberculosis. Every active Camp gladly assists its worthy members who are temporarily in need, helps to find employment for those out of work, visits the sick, helps to bury the dead, and to comfort the afflicted. Besides, the members of a Camp learn to know their Neighbors and to have a good time socially.
THIRD MEMBER: The Society also stands for peace, industry, home, safety, sympathy, and service. It practices what it preaches. It helps in time of individual need or great calamity.
ESCORT: What is the Society’s attitude on public questions?
FIRST MEMBER: The Society itself does not engage in controversies on public questions. It does seek to encourage its members to stand for right principles. Every Camp meeting is a good example of true democracy and of representative government. The Society is patriotic. Its members salute the flag at every meeting, They have freely given their lives in defense of this flag.
THIRD MEMBER: I urge you to come with us and see our Consul, who will gladly welcome you to our Camp.
ESCORT: We have heard enough to strengthen our purpose to join these men. We will go with you. We sincerely thank you for the information you have given us.
The Escort, candidate, and three members proceed around the hall to the Consul’s station.
ESCORT: Consul, this candidate, having received full information concerning Modern Woodmen of America, desires to join our Camp, and comes to you for instruction.
CONSUL: With the grip of a Modern Woodman gives grip I welcome you to our Camp. May the happiness of you and yours be augmented by this act. May your life as a Modern Woodman be worthy of the confidence and esteem of all.
CONSUL: I will now instruct you in the secret work of our Society. The Woodmen’s Sign is made in this manner. Gives sign. It teaches us that we should be ready at all times to strike a blow in defense of the honor of a worthy Neighbor. The answer, made in this manner signifies that we are mindful of our obligation. The Working, or Wedge Sign is made with the right hand gives sign and is used in addressing the Consul and Adviser, and in voting. The Woodmen’s Sign and Working Sign are used only in a meeting of the Camp.
The Fraternal Sign is made in this manner. Instructs in sign. It is used to attract the attention of a Neighbor for any fraternal purpose, and it is also used as a Warning, or Distress Sign. Should you be in distress and unable to attract the attention of a Neighbor by this sign, you may cry out in a loud voice the words, "I am lost in the forest." It will be the duty of a Modern Woodman, seeing this sign or hearing these words, to go to your relief at once, if he finds you worthy and deserving.
The Woodmen’s Honors are made in this manner gives honors, and are used to salute the flag, as a compliment to a distinguished guest, and at the grave of a Neighbor.
I will now explain to you the method of gaining admission to the Camp, should you arrive after the doors have been closed. Approaching the outer door you will alarm the Sentry in any manner you may desire, and he will admit you to the ante-room upon your giving him the Annual Password, which, for the current term, is: … Whispers Password in ear of candidate.
Then you will advance to the inner door and give three raps. The Watchman will respond with three raps from the inside, and you will also give to him the Annual Password, together with the Regular Password. On being admitted to the room, you will advance at right angles to the rear of the urn station. You will salute the Adviser with the Working Sign, then turn, facing the Consul, and deposit a pebble in the urn. I will now explain to you this ancient custom. The Thracians each evening before they slept were accustomed to cast into an urn a white pebble if the day had been passed pleasantly, but if not, a black one. At their death, by counting the pebbles and noting their color, their lives were judged to have been happy or otherwise. So the Modern Woodman, at each meeting gives evidence of his happiness or sorrow by casting a white or a black pebble into the urn. At the proper time each evening the pebbles are counted and their color noted, so that aid and sympathy may be given those who make known their need.
After depositing a pebble, you will be at liberty to take a seat with the Neighbors of the Camp. If you are present when the meeting is called to order, you will give both passwords, together with the grip, to the Escort.
I will now instruct you in the regular or permanent password, which is used only in connection with the Annual word at the inner door when gaining admission, or when being tested by the Escort at the opening of the Camp. When giving the words to the Escort, you should also give him the grip. Remember these instructions. Gives grip and whispers word. I now confer upon you the title of Neighbor in Modern Woodmen of America, and trust this night will be remembered with pleasure the remaining days of your life.
Your Modern Woodmen of America certificate of insurance is this Society’s guarantee to protect your loved ones so long as it is kept in full force and effect. Payments to keep your insurance in force, which may be made on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis, should be made to the Camp Secretary. It is of the utmost importance that these payments be made promptly when due, thus keeping your protection in continuous and full force.
CONSUL, gives three raps, and addresses entire Camp. The Escort and the candidate turn and face Camp: Now, after greeting our new Neighbor with the Woodmen’s Honors, we will all join in reciting the Creed of our Society.
ALL, after giving the candidate the Woodmen’s Honors: There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone;
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.
Consul, Adviser, and Banker Dive one rap each after Creed is recited.
CONSUL: Does any one know of a sick Neighbor, or a Neighbor in distress?
CONSUL: Does any one know of a Neighbor out of employment, or a vacancy whereby employment may be gained?
CONSUL: Officers and Neighbors, do any of you know of any business neglected, or in any way left unperformed tonight?
ADVISER, if none is suggested: Consul, the work is finished. All is well!
BANKER: All is well!
CONSUL: It is well! Escort, you will now return the Flag to its place for safe keeping. Gives three raps; all arise.
CONSUL: Neighbors, congregate about the urn, and join with me in reciting the Golden Rule.
ENTIRE CAMP: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
CONSUL: We will now join in singing the Closing Ode.
Long live our order bright,
Offspring of truth and right,
Sent from above.
Long may our Neighbors stand,
A firm, united band,
Strong pillars in our land,
Our pride and love.
CONSUL: Escort, you will now collect the Rituals and deliver them to this station.
CONSUL: Until we shall again assemble, let each be mindful and faithful, regarding the interests of our Society as under our especial guardianship and protection.
Let us practice the ancient Golden Rule, and labor for humanity, charity, safety, and peace, that the mission of our Society may be fulfilled. And now, by your authority, I declare … Camp, No. … Modern Woodmen of America, closed until we shall meet again, and fraternally bid you all good night!
NEIGHBORS: Good night! Good night!
Break ranks and disperse without further ceremony.