Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Use PokémonGO to Recruit for Your Youth Group

Today, we have a guest blog post from the original writer for the PA DeMolay blog, "Dad" Seth Anthony. Thank you "Dad" Anthony for contributing to the blog.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve probably heard about the new social sensation PokémonGO. Marketed as an augmeneted reality game, PokémonGO uses the real world as part of the play experience. Players collect Pokémon characters by walking around their local areas. In addition to the creatures themselves, players can also interact with points of interest as determined by the game, such as statues, parks, memorials, and yes, Masonic Lodges.


Many Masonic Lodges have been tagged by the game, either as Pokestops, where players can earn power ups and experience points, or as Gyms, where participants can train their Pokémon and battle other players. This has resulted in increased traffic around many Masonic buildings and brought new light to the fraternity as players discover our meeting places for the first time. This includes teens and tweens who are seeking out our facilities for their in-game benefits.

And therein lies the power of the game! With all of these new people visiting your building, what are you doing to market Masonic Youth to them? Picture this – a group of teens hanging around outside our Masonic building, battling their Pokémon. You already have something in common with them and a great conversation starter to break the ice! Ask them what team they are on and start up a conversation. Then, transition into talking about how you’re at this building a lot because your youth group meets here. Discuss what you do and how your members are also playing the game. Instantly, you’ve made a connection and found a potential member!

Perhaps you can take it one step further. Why not set up a booth and welcome players? You could even make it a prospect party event, especially if your Lodge is a Gym. As they approach your building, provide them with a grab bag that includes a healthy snack, some information for your organization, and other promotional material. Have your members battle it out and challenge visitors to a battle! Don’t forget to chat with the parents; this is a great chance for advisors to meet prospective parents and build their advisory councils as well!

PokémonGO is an amazing opportunity for your Masonic Youth Groups to utilize your meeting space to reach out to potential members. Don’t waste the chance to build your membership!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Meet the Candidates: Caitlin Gresham

Convention is right around the corner, which means it will be time to vote for PA DeMolay's Elected State Officers. This series will introduce you to each candidate as they prepare to run for office. This time, we take a look at our State Sweetheart Candidates. They were asked for a biography and an answer to the following questions on their application. Here are their responses.

Hello Pennsylvania DeMolay. My name is Caitlin Gresham and I am running for State Sweetheart. I am a former Chapter Sweetheart of Steel City Chapter and will be representing Templar Chapter going into Convention. This September I will be a Freshman at Elizabethtown College where I will be studying Early Childhood Education and Special Education. I currently work for Sewickley Confectionery. I am a member of Rainbow, having served as Worthy Advisor for by home Assembly, as well as the Grand Representative for West Virginia and Missouri. I am also an active candidate for the Grand Cross of Color. Along with my many years in the Masonic Youth Groups, I have also been in the Girl Scouts of America, part of the Quaker Valley Key Club and a volunteer with World Vision. In my free time, I enjoy playing softball, volleyball, tennis and cheering for my school. 


Why do you want to become the State Sweetheart of Pennsylvania DeMolay?
I believe that I can broaden my horizons in terms of service and fellowship, while also connecting and making bonds with people from across this state and potentially the nation. With my background in Rainbow and DeMolay, I have an appreciation for all Masonic bodies, however, I think we can all learn more about what we stand for and the way of life that we all believe in. I also want to help strengthen the bonds between masonic youth through various fun and educational activities while also doing more bonding on a deeper level with people that I would not normally get to spend time with. I strongly believe in the great work that we are all capable of and I want to be one of the role models that younger brothers and sisters can come to for help and guidance. When I first joined, I looked up to the youth leaders so much and I would love to be that person to someone else, while also improving myself. This opportunity to work with these young men will open up so many doors for success in my life and theirs as well. 

Although you cannot fund-raise on your own, what fundraising ideas could you bring if a chapter asked you for new ideas?
Many families have loose change lying around their house, sitting in piggy banks, or in wallets that will not be used any time soon. We could do Penny Wars between chapters across the state. We can have a fundraising race between the chapters, and whoever wins by having the most money raised can have a pizza party. We could do a pie throwing contest at a DeMolay weekend and the boys can bring in money to vote for which Elected State Officer they want pied in the face. They could do a spaghetti dinner, blood drive, pancake breakfast, car washes, 50/50 raffles, hoagie/sandwich sales, selling candy bars, carnivals, bake sale, booths at fairs, autumn days, etc. anything of that fashion usually works well.   

What do you know about the Children's Dyslexia Center?
I know that the Children's Dyslexia Center helps children all across the United States who have been diagnosed with Dyslexia. It is a Scottish Rite Charity which is Masonic affiliated and it is found in 13 states, including Pennsylvania, which has eight centers total. They offer services such as tutoring to families free of charge. They have changed the lives of over 1,200 children. The money we raise in DeMolay goes towards helping and improving the lives of many kids who are in need. They have a comprehensive one-on-one program that can be as long as three years, depending on the needs of the student. It costs roughly $6,000 per year to help one child, and with all of our contributions we have helped so many kids, and we will continue to help for as long as possible. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Meet the Candidates: Mary Lichtenwalner

Convention is right around the corner, which means it will be time to vote for PA DeMolay's Elected State Officers. This series will introduce you to each candidate as they prepare to run for office. This time, we take a look at our State Sweetheart Candidates. They were asked for a biography and an answer to the following questions on their application. Here are their responses.

Hello members of Pennsylvania DeMolay. My name is Mary Lichtenwalner and I am representing Carlisle Chapter Order of DeMolay. I will be a Junior at Central Dauphin High School. I am a member of the marching band, concert band, color guard and choir. As of May 3rd, I am also a part of the National Honor Society. I work for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, exclusively at Hershey Park. I am a member of Job's Daughters, having served as Grand Senior Custodian and recently installed as Senior Princess.

Why do you want to become the State Sweetheart of Pennsylvania DeMolay?
I have thoroughly enjoyed being a Chapter Sweetheart for Carlisle Chapter. I also have a friend who has received help from the Children's Dyslexia Centers. Combining my respect for DeMolay and my belief in the work of the Dyslexia Centers is the perfect way to further represent DeMolay as the State Sweetheart. 

Although you cannot fund-raise on your own, what fundraising ideas could you bring if a chapter asked you for new ideas?
A few of the ideas I would be able to come up with include holding a Chinese Auction, movie nights, raffles and even finding a local restaurant that will allow a fundraiser to take place such as Friendly's or Applebees. 

What do you know about the Children's Dyslexia Center?
It was founded by J. Phillip Berquist (a Freemason) with the help of local Freemasons and the Reading Disabilities Unit from Massachusetts General Hospital. It offers tutoring for any age, economical status or whether they have a Masonic relationship or not. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Meet the Candidates: Tyler Moyer

Convention is right around the corner, which means it will be time to vote for PA DeMolay's Elected State Officers. This series will introduce you to each candidate as they prepare to run for office. They were all asked to provide a short biography and an answer to the three questions below.

My name is Benjamin Tyler Moyer and I have been a member of Pilgrim Chapter since 2010. Since joining I have served multiple terms as Master Councilor, earning my Past Master Councilor's- Meritorious Service Award along the way. Throughout my years of service, I have also attained many other achievements including my Representative DeMolay Award, Founder's Membership Award, DeMolay Varsity Letter and Lamp of Knowledge. For the past four years I have served as an Appointed State Officer and have attended the Key Man Leadership Conference every year since joining, most recently as a member of the Jurisdictional Officer department. I feel that this year I'm ready to make the jump to serve again, this time as one of your elected state officers.

If you are elected to serve, what do you hope to accomplish?
I plan on bringing many new ideas to the table to help make Pennsylvania DeMolay better and stronger. As a member of Pilgrim Chapter, I always received a ton of support from my members and advisors to peruse different ideas to get new members. If elected, it will be one of my goals to extend that same support to all members. I hope to visit as many chapters as possible and be there for meetings, prospect events and whatever else they would have me at, to extend that same support and offer advice.
           
What is your greatest DeMolay experience?
My greatest experience would actually have to be before I joined DeMolay. About a year before I joined, I attended a prospect party that was held at Key Man where I met so many new people that today I'm able to call my friends. I was able to experience the fun and fellowship that I knew my brother had been having for years and it's one of the things that really made me want to join. 

Who are some of your DeMolay influences?
My greatest DeMolay influences would have to be the Past State Master Councilor’s that I have been a member under or have gotten to know personally through the years. I have always been inspired by the way they lead and what they have brought to the table. I hope in the coming years I can also bring to the table ideas that will inspire others. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Meet the Candidates: Brian Martin

Convention is right around the corner, which means it will be time to vote on PA DeMolay's Elected State Officers. This series will introduce you to each candidate as they prepare to run for office. They were all asked to provide a short biography and an answer the three questions below.

My name is Brian Eduardo Martin and I am running for the office of State Junior Councilor for the 2016-2017 DeMolay year. I am 18 years old and I attend Connection Academy, where I will be a Senior this year. I am a Past Master Councilor of Carlisle Chapter, in which I earned my PMC-MSA. I’ve been a member of DeMolay for a little over 3 years. I have also earned my Representative DeMolay Award. In my free time, I like to fish and golf. Some interesting facts about me: my favorite superhero is Batman, my favorite type of pie is Lemon Meringue and my favorite movie is Back to the Future. 

If you are elected to serve, what do you hope to accomplish?
As State Junior Councilor, I would like to help the smaller chapters with increasing their membership. Membership is a pivotal part of DeMolay and I want to help all chapters succeed. I also want to help the State Master Councilor achieve any and all of his goals.
           
What is your greatest DeMolay experience?
My greatest DeMolay experience would have to be the time I went to New York DeMolay’s Winterfest. It was a great opportunity to see how close another state is between the members and advisors. 

Who are some of your DeMolay influences?
My biggest DeMolay influence would be “Dad” William Sardone, who was recently installed as Grand Master of DeMolay International. “Dad” Sardone is one of the most passionate and dedicated advisors that DeMolay has to offer. I met him at a college graduation, and we still keep in touch to this day. He also took the time to attend my Installation when I went in as Master Councilor of Carlisle Chapter.