“Break through, jump over, but do not crawl under.”
Project 2nd Century is an exciting and bold initiative to begin our organization’s second 100 years. It is a long-range strategy to modernize our mission of promoting “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” while at the same time creating conditions to increase membership. Project 2nd Century is a plan to gradually move Sokol USA from the current reliance on volunteers to using professional, trained teachers and coaches to implement multifaceted fitness and sport programs while still maintaining a “fraternal” atmosphere and local governance. The goal will be to have a “model” facility which will be used daily from morning to evening in the promotion of physical and mental fitness through physical activity and sport. After the successful operation of the “model” facility is realized, our aim then is to implement similar projects in other areas.
The initial stage is of the project is to seek out Sokol lodges that are willing to cooperate with the Supreme Lodge in the successful realization of this endeavor. Cooperation can take many forms such as: lodges that have buildings that meet the local criteria for a successful operation; lodges that have knowledge of local conditions and facilities which may be useful to implement our goals; lodges with members who have needed expertise; or lodges with the ability to assist financially. The Supreme Lodge is committed to exploring all possibilities to strengthen Sokol USA.
At the end of 2013 a group of 12 interested persons, under the guidance of Co-Director Todd Yatchyshyn, requested to become a new lodge. In May of 2014, Pen Argyl Sokol Lodge 410 received its charter, the first new Sokol USA lodge in over 50 years. Later that year they applied for a Sports Fitness & Wellness Department grant and then applied for a loan through the Project Second Century Initiative. In early 2015 the lodge rented a building in the business section of Pen Argyl. Ten of the adult members became certified as Bigger, Faster, Stronger (BFS) Instructors and they opened Sokol 5 Tool Fitness in March. The program offers strength and conditioning programs and baseball/softball instruction. While not a tradition Sokol program, the now close to 40-member lodge adheres to all the requirements of Sokol USA and thoroughly embodies the Sokol ideals.