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Use case: Some lodges are associated with "Field Service Councils" which are sub-councils of a larger standard Council. For example, the Michigan Crossroads Council has four Field Service Councils, which each have their own OA lodge.  The overarching Michigan Crossroads Council operates all of the camps, however, thus members from any of the four lodges could wind up attending a camp which is in a different lodge's territory.  If a lodge chief gives their permission, another lodge can perform Brotherhood questioning and ceremonies for their lodge members.  At least two of the lodges in MCC have given blanket permission to camps within the MCC to do brotherhood ceremonies for their members, regardless of which lodge manages that camp's OA program. To allow the camp OA staff to check that members are eligible before allowing them to, they would need access to LodgeMaster for those lodges.

Granting the necessary access to the appropriate person is up to the given lodge's admin, of course (in most cases, they would only get sufficient read-only access to check dues status and brotherhood eligibility). This article covers only the how-to of installing the software for this use case.  Any issues over whether you are allowed to do it are best dealt with by discussing with the appropriate lodges' LodgeMaster admins or Lodge Advisers.

"This may void your warranty"

LodgeMaster is capable of storing data for multiple lodges, but there is no UI in the offline version to switch between lodges.  This requires a bit of a hack to accomplish (editing a config file every time, or setting up a batch file as described below).  These instructions assume that you are somewhat familiar with Windows file management.  If you are not, you might want to find someone who is that can set it up for you.

Missing any of the steps in these instructions or doing any of them wrong could cause LodgeMaster to no longer function at all, or produce weird errors at startup and crash. If this happens, your best bet is to follow the instructions at Offline Client Troubleshooting to remove and reinstall LodgeMaster from scratch.

Step-by-step guide

  1. If you already have LodgeMaster installed for one lodge, skip to step 4, you don't need to install it again.
  2. Pick one of the lodges, and log into the web version of LodgeMaster as you normally would for that lodge.
  3. Click the Download Offline Version button in the toolbar and follow the instructions on that dialog box to install the client for the first lodge. 
  4. Once you have it completely working and have logged into it at least once, exit out of the offline version (use the Exit button, not Logout).
  5. Open your My Computer icon, or go to Start > Computer
  6. Open the C: drive, and navigate to Program Files (x86) > OA LodgeMaster > OA LodgeMaster LC 3.0 > Data
  7. There should be a file here named for your council number. Rename it by adding "-backup" to the end of the filename.
  8. Leave this folder open for now, and go back and run the offline version of LodgeMaster again.
  9. You should get prompted for your council number and security hash code again.
  10. Leave that open and switch to your web browser.
  11. Log into the web version of LodgeMaster using your login for the next council.
  12. Click on Download Offline Version.
  13. Copy the hash code from this window into the dialog box you left open in steps 9 and 10.  You do not need to download the client again, you only need to get the hash code.
  14. Complete the install for the new council, and log into it at least once, and then exit back out (use the Exit button, not Logout).
  15. Repeat from step 6 for each council you need to add.
  16. Once you have all of the councils installed that you need, go back to the Data folder and rename all of the files to remove the "-backup" from the filenames.
  17. Open the C: drive and navigate to Program Files (x86) > OA LodgeMaster > OA LodgeMaster LC 3.0 > Config
  18. Make one copy of the OALodgeMasterSettings.xml file for each lodge (in addition to the original which will stay there).  Name the copies OALodgeMasterSettings###.xml where you replace ### with a council number of one of the councils.  Make sure you have one for each council you installed for.
  19. Open each one of those files in Notepad by right-clicking on the file and choosing "Edit"
  20. The third line down should look something like: <Councils Current="###"> with the number of the most-recent one you installed in it.  Change that number in the Current attribute to match the one you put in the name of the file.  Save the file.  Repeat this with each of the files.
  21. For each lodge, you will need to create a batch file on your desktop.
    1. Right-click on the desktop and pick New > Text File.
    2. For the contents of the file, put

      set LODGE="###"
      cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\OA LodgeMaster\OA LodgeMaster LC 3.0\Config"
      copy /y OALodgeMasterSettings%LODGE%.xml OALodgeMasterSettings.xml
      cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\OA LodgeMaster\OA LodgeMaster LC 3.0"
      start "" OALodgeMasterLodgeClientLauncher.exe
    3. Change the ### in the first line to match the number you put in the filename of the config file for one of the lodges/councils.
    4. After saving the file, rename it to something appropriate ("My Lodge LodgeMaster.bat" or whatever makes sense to you) and make sure it has a .bat extension on the end of the filename.  It may prompt you about changing the file extension from .txt to .bat, which is fine, tell it yes.
    5. Once the batch file is saved and renamed appropriately, you can move it wherever is convenient for you to be able to find it. (It doesn't need to stay on the desktop, but you can leave it there if you want).
  22. Repeat step 21 for each lodge.

You should now be able to launch LodgeMaster for each lodge by double-clicking on the appropriate batch file for that lodge.  Launching it via the normal application icon will launch whichever lodge you were last using.

There is nothing in the program to stop you from running it multiple times concurrently.  If you log all the way into one lodge, and then launch the file for a different lodge, it should work, however, logging out of either one will effectively confuse both of them into a state where neither will work anymore, so it's best to just use them one at a time.