Regular Masonic Meetings Can't Compete

A Camp Masonry 2019 Recap 
by Midnight Freemason Contributor 
Robert H. Johnson

The Fort at night before the ritual.

What can I say about this years camp Masonry event? I can't believe it's been a year since I was last here at Camp Miakonda, one of the largest Boy Scout's camp in the United States.

This year was noticeably different from last year. How? Well, the Grand Lodge of Ohio was in greater number. Last year there was a conferral of a Mark Master degree and a Master Mason degree at the unique retreat. This year, there was a Grand Master's Class. There were approximately 42 new Master Masons made.

A- brief overview of the trip:

Arrival was wonderful, flying in to Toledo, OH. A very small airport that's probably a best kept secret. Initially I was going to fly in with Bro. Joe Martinez (Esotericon) but, he was caught up with a last minute meeting for work. Brothers Mike Helmbrecht and Jason Richards (TMR) picked me up from the airport. It was a brief 20 minute drive to camp. Once there, we were greeted by several Brothers from last year. After shaking hands with everyone, we made our way to the cabin, "Tindeuchen", our home for the next two days.
Me staring at the spider on the ceiling. Jason Richards
saved my life. 
I wont lie, I needed a nap. And apparently Jason Richards did too. After killing a few resident spiders, Jason and I passed out. I think we slept for about an hour, just enough for a quick recharge--Jason and I both had presentations that evening.

Upon waking up, Jason, Mike and I, along with about 20 other Masons met with Bro. Ken Alexander. Bro Ken led us through a unique exercise in conducting Masonic Edu.--An Exploration of Mackey's Masonic Encyclopedia.

Each of the men had to grab one book of either Mackey's Encyclopedia or the Illustrated History. I grabbed the History, since all copies of the Encyclopedia had been scooped up. Each of us would open to a random page, read, digest and report to the group on what they found, or read the entry and comment on it. I found something really interesting, something I will inevitably write about in the future #Religion #Christiansonly. After this, Mike Hambrecht gave an insightful presentation on how to be a killer LEO:. It was live streamed on the TMR FB page- Watch it HERE -- After this we enjoyed a great dinner together. 

I was up after dinner. This was the first time I had ever presented a speech--no slides. It was for an intimate crowd, while many went to an alternate activity-- the Shrine Ceremonial.

My speech was an attempt to realize the state of the Craft and to get men going again, to keep them going. I hope it had that effect. It too was live streamed on FB Live. Although I believe the audio was lacking, it came out okay. After this, Jason Richards gave the crowd a way to do research. He outlined all the best techniques to get started and solidify and state your points. After the Shrine Ceremonial was over, and the Edu. for the night was complete, there was an excellent time to get completely get caught up with each other on a personal level. Midway through the 11 o'clock hour, we got the text that Joe Martinez had landed--He made it!

One of the biggest and best surprises upon arriving at Camp Masonry was seeing Bro. Bill Short. Bill travels everywhere. So when it was time to go pick up Joe, he suggested we all go get him in his van. So Bill at the Helm, Jason, Mike, Chris Matty (OH), Brad "Northern-Kentucky Yoke" Drew and myself took off to get him.

After getting Joe, we went to "second dinner" at Steak and Shake. We eventually made our way back to camp and passed out. 

The next morning, we were up by 7:30 at the latest. Showers were on, toothbrushes were busy. Most importantly though, the coffee was on. After breakfast, the presentations began. We went all day. While the 42 candidates were getting their first 2 degrees, we were all busy presenting or taking notes on someone else's presentation.

By night fall the torches were all lit up as we processed down to the fort for the second section of the 3rd degree. Later, we ordered a pizza and had it delivered to the camp ground. Our cabin hosted about 8 or 9 Brothers. These were all guys I knew from travelling around for Masonic Edu. We sat around until almost 2 in the morning talking about the degree experiences. It was fantastic. 

The title of this piece is called, "Regular Masonic Meetings Can't Compete", because in comparison to things like Camp Masonry, there's just no contest. Make your lodge meetings this special and lets see what happens. That's my quick write up.

Just know it was amazing and that it's probably coming back next year, as long as Bro. Jason Shamy put's it together. Hey, Jason Shamy, "If you build it, we will come."

Thanks for reading, everyone!


RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183 UD. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatrewhich focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.

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