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A Swedish-American Fraternal Organization

Instituted May 20, 1914

Erie, Pennsylvania

Photo: Lake Erie,  PBellingham

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Svea Lodge #296 WELCOMES YOU to our website.  It is a work in progress.  There is so much information shared on our website, we know you'll need to visit it several times.   

Scholarship information and applications will be available soon for 2024 for Youth AND Adults.  

Scroll down toward the bottom of this page and you'll see what is possible through PA District Lodge #9 Adult  Scholarship Program.  Drott Lodge member, Karin Weeden, used her Scholarship funds to visit National Parks in Sweden in 2022!  What a wonderful opportunity to visit this beautiful country with the bonus to visit family and friends as well!  Another Adult Scholarship will be awarded for 2024.  What would you do with the $3,000 scholarship?  Check out the Scholarship tab to find out more about this District program. 

We sincerely hope you find some fun, inspiration, and camaraderie in the Svea Lodge #296 website.  Our events will be updated regularly.  We will strive to make this informational and interesting, whether it is about Viking lore, Scandinavian traditions, what to bring to a Kraftskiva party, or how to properly wear the Brudkronan.  We have many members in our District 9 who regularly visit Sweden and share their photos of beautiful Scandinavia!   

Because of our website, we now have friends from a Sister Lodge #452 Goteborg, Sweden!   Click on the News tab above for photos of their District #19's convention, held in May.  

You can also see who's new to Svea #296!

If there is something that you would like featured in our News or a program you would like to see, please let us know through Contact Us or better yet - join in at an event!   We would love to see you. 

Sköt om dig!   


Chair, Svea Lodge #296

Erie, PA

Next Vasa Lunch

formerly known as 

Vasa Breakfast

October 2, 2023

11:30 AM

Butch's Restaurant

3330 West 26th

Erie, PA

(in deference to Labor Day holiday, no lunch in September)


Upcoming events

For a full description - click Events tab or the headers below

Join us now to become a member.  Members must be 14 years of age but younger children are always welcome to participate!  

You can attend all of our activities.   You will receive our Newsletter so you can stay informed about what is happening within the Svea Lodge.  Check out Our Story - Member Benefits to see what's in it for you!

Join us now!


Bayfront Maritime Center's 11th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta - September 16, 9AM-5PM.  Great fun for all ages, build a boat or watch the fun! Get a team together to create your best cardboard boat made of only corrugated cardboard and sealed with any of the following: tape, caulk, glue, latex paint, or varnish. Teams will compete in races, two by two, and vie for the Fastest Time trophy in four divisions – Children (under 12), Teen (13-18), Adult (19 and up), and Mixed Ages. There are also judge’s awards for Most Creative and Most Dramatic Sinking!

Asbury Woods - Drop In & Discover - Looking for something wild to do? Stop in each Saturday from 1-2PM to discover something new about the natural world. Each week, Asbury Woods will offer a new experience that could include an animal meet-and-greet, a science experiment, a nature art project, a guided hike, and more.

Phrase of the Month:  

A Swede is not “hungover,” their “hair hurts”: Ont i håret.


Summer in Scandinavia

Top Photo:   Djurgarden Island

Left:  Summer House, Sunne, Sweden

Left Bottom:  Skulestadmo, Norway

Below:  Tivoli Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark

Photos courtesy of E. Dunhem & P. Bellingham


Svea Lodge is dramatically  improving its public face with our  Wild Apricot website.  We are so happy to have you here.

We are very excited about this development. Our website describes who the Svea Lodge is, our history, and our ongoing activities. You can also find a description of Vasa Order Of America of which we are the local lodge in Erie, PA.

The website works very well on any smartphone or regular computer so you can access the website from anyplace, at any time. 

Keep checking this website for frequent updates and news about the Svea Lodge and our activities.

Sign-Up Today!

Kräftskiva - 2023

Photos courtesy G Larson and P Bellingham

The Annual Crayfish Party - Kräftskiva!  crayfish party is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in Scandinavia.  The tradition originated  in Sweden in the 1500's, where a crayfish party is called a kräftskivaCrayfish are to be eaten outdoors, and gaily colored paper lanterns should be hung round the table. The most popular type of lantern shows a smiling full moon. Both the tablecloth and the colorful plates are also supposed to be of paper. People wear bibs round their necks and comic paper hats on their heads. 

On August 12th, 27 of our Svea members and friends gathered at Lorraine Johnson's home in Waterford for our annual Kräftskiva party.  Once again, Lorraine out-did herself with this annual celebration.  We enjoyed a fantastic smorgasbord of delicious food.  Many thanks to Lorraine's friend, John, who supplied us with Lake Erie walleye.   We were regaled with music, compliments of Clark and Cindy Parry!   They brought their dulcimer, bass, guitar, and great music  to sing along with.  As always, Cheryl supplies us with pickled herring - it wouldn't be a Svea party without Cheryl's pickled herring!  Party goers brought their own beverages but when it was time to have our annual toast to Svea Lodge #296, we enjoyed some traditional and/or blackberry Mead, purchased from the local Iron Stone Meadery!  

Even though the weather did not cooperate for the whole afternoon, we were able to start outside and then move indoors when the thunder got too loud.

There are specific instructions on how to eat the crayfish, so if you'd like to learn, you'll need to join us next year for this annual August celebration.

For more crayfish traditions, see website!

My Scholarship Trip to Sweden - Karin Weeden, Drott Lodge #168

I was the recipient of the 2020 Adult District Scholarship. My trip was delayed due to the pandemic. I went to three National parks in July of 2022. I had a wonderful visit to the village where my dad grew up in the north of Sweden, near the Finnish border. I spent time with second cousins Gunvor (related to my farfar), Thomas, and his sister Margareta(related to my farmor). I met Evert Nilsson, 88, my first cousin once removed.  He is related to both my farmor and my farfar. He had wonderful stories to tell about our family.  He is the oldest living member of the Lindqvist-Nilsson family. 

My first national park visit was near the Finnish border on the island of Sandskär. It is in the Haparanda archipelago. There were ancient remains, fishing cabins and an 18th century chapel that is still in use today. I walked the 10 K trail across the island twice in two days, through forests, sand dunes, tundra-like areas, and a nice beach. Very serene environment, no Wi-Fi, no stores, only wilderness. I spent the night in an old fishing cabin, got water from a well, and enjoyed the wood fired sauna. 

Next, I went to the medieval island of Gotland and visited the national park Gotska Sandön (Sand island). The park is north of Gotland and it is made up of beaches, sand dunes, and a large pine forest in the center. I walked the trails across the northern area and went to Säludden, the seal sighting point. I followed a trail cutting across Höga Åsen – High Ridge. Carrying bottles of water, a camera, and food in a cooler, it turned out to be a real workout in the hot sun.  All in all, I walked over 8K in sand. No one lives on this island, just seals, birds, insects, and some bunnies. There are a couple of water wells, but you need to bring your own food and supplies. Very nice and serene environment. 

The third national park on my list was Fulufjäll in Dalarna. It is in the mountains and straddles the border between Sweden and Norway. The park features Njupeskär, the tallest waterfall in Sweden, and many trails, some very steep. I passed Old Tjikko, one of the oldest trees in the world. It is a 9,550-year-old Norway spruce. I grew up spending my holidays in the mountains, so this was a walk down memory lane for me. I enjoyed spending the night in a cabin on top of the mountain.  

My sister joined me for the first two parks and my oldest son joined me for the second and third one. It is great to have company on a trip like this. You want someone to share your experience with.  

I am so grateful to the District for this opportunity. I gave a presentation to Drott Lodge in March 2023 and I also plan to do one at the 2024 District convention. 

Village of Hoyanger in Norway on Sognefjord.

Photos courtesy of P Bellingham

Join Us For Fun-filled Events Together With Our Sister Lodges In Our Vasa District, PA #9

Why not visit our two sister Lodges within Pennsylvania District #9? The two other lodges are Nobel-Monitor #130 in Cleveland, OH and Drott-Lodge #168 in Washington, D.C. Check out their websites to find out what they are doing.

We plan to have some joint activities together with members of the other two lodges to include some fun events in their areas and we will travel there to spend a day or weekend with them.  We can, to the extent possible, arrange car pooling.

More information about these events later.

Here are the websites for our two sister Local Lodges and our District Lodge PA #9:


Drott Lodge:   

District Lodge PA #9:

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Pat Bellingham, Chair

C/O Luther Memorial Church Office: 814.454.0106


225 West 10th Street

Erie, PA 16501

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