Sokol was founded in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1862 by Dr, Miroslav Tyrs. He based his program on the democratic principles of the ancient Greeks and their idea of developing " a sound mind in a sound body".

Sokol came to the United States in 1865 and has continued to bring these ideals to people of all ages and abilities around the country for over 135 years.

Sokol USA was founded in 1896 in New York City as a benefit society based on the ideals of Tyrs. Sokol USA continues to operate under these guidelines today offering a wide variety of life insurance benefits for all members. Lodge 306 was formed as part of Sokol USA district Ludevit Stur in the 1940's and has operated in the Chicago area ever since. In 1962, we built and opened our current home at the Sokol Community Center on Elston Ave.

The Lodge 306 philosophy is one that follows the ideals of Dr. Tyrs and Sokol USA; that of Physical Fitness through gymnastics for all ages and ability levels.

Each year, Lodge 306 gymnasts perform in a lodge exhibition for parents and are given an opportuinity to compete against other Sokols in the area and from around the country at our "slet".


  • "Sokol" is the Czech and Slovak word for "Falcon"
    The falcon was chosen as the symbol because of its strength and majestic appearance and its ability to soar high.

  • The word "slet" means "a gathering of falcons". The first Sokol slet was held in 1882 in Prague to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Sokol organization.
    (Up to 30,000 people have filled the field at Strahov Stadium to perform slet calisthenics.)

  • The 1941 Sokol slet was held at the old Sokolder Field in Chicago with about 25,000 spectators in attendance.

  • The Sokol greeting is "NaZdar!", which means "on to success".

  • As a fraternal organization Sokol members address each other as "brother" and "sister" to show unity and a sense of family.