Monday, June 28, 2010

Where do I find new members?

Recruiting new members isn't just a problem for DeMolay. Heck, it's not even a problem that's only faced by the Masonic Fraternity. Every community organization goes through ups and downs with membership. Sometimes, their loss, or their gain, can be helpful to us as DeMolays. The old saying of "there is no need to reinvent the wheel." holds true. Many community organizations have come up with great resources for recruitment that are easy applicable to DeMolay.

I just did a quick Google search for "how to recruit new members." It returned 5,640,000 results! The first link was a .pdf file called "116 Ways to Recruit New Members." This file was published by the Toastmasters, a community organization dedicated to public speaking. I opend the file and found that if you were to substitute "DeMolay" for "Toastmasters" almost all of the suggestions would work for a Chapter looking to recruit. So, with that caveat, here is the list (some of the items are still Toastmaster specific, but most of it is pretty valid.)

116 Ways to Recruit New Members
1. Ask someone (everyone)
2. Bring a guest
3. Advertise in newspapers.
4. Advertise on public access TV
5. Sample or demonstration meetings
6. Letters or personal contact with local businesses
7. Contact with Chamber of Commerce
8. Bookmarks inserted in library books
9. Public meetings at malls, outdoors, etc
10. SpeechCraft
11. Booth at malls, fairs, festivals etc.
12. Pamphlets in doctors’ offices, hospitals, cafeterias,
libraries, etc.
13. Host an Open House
14. Contact past members
15. Hold membership drives and contests
16. Warm greeting
17. Guest information packet
18. Guest introductions
19. Encourage, but don’t force, Table Topic participation
20. Ask for comments
21. Clearly marked room
22. Club business cards
23. Distribute extra magazines in waiting rooms, etc
24. Hold high-profile meetings
25. Advertise at local colleges
26. Have a guest speaker
27. Have a special guest day
28. Have a program for non-members
29. Make prospective members feel important
30. Have enjoyable programs
31. Make some meetings social events
32. Have a Club web page
33. Use email
34. Put posters in stores
35. Ask corporations and employers to sponsor or
subsidize membership
36. Have a reward program for those who bring in new
37. Create more fun
38. Have a variety of snacks
39. Invite the media
40. Use word of mouth
41. Network with coworkers, friends, and family
42. Follow up on guests
43. Have educational meetings
44. Have friendly meetings
45. Lead by example
46. Have incentives for those who join
47. Members give talks at other organizations
48. Provide guests with free meals
49. Corporate Clubs provide brochure for new employee
50. Display the trophies
51. Club sponsor a deserving, needy individual
52. Lure passers-by with free food
53. Advertise with a blimp at sports events
54. Have a marching band spell out your club’s name
55. If you’re the boss, make your employees join
56. Ask the District for help
57. Provide child care
58. Hold join meetings with non-DeMolay groups
59. Share your DeMolay experience with other
60. Participate in community events
61. Write letters to community groups
62. Be active in Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis,
63. Publicize Club successes, elections, contests, in local
64. Have a Club newsletter
65. Have a club brochure
66. Hold a public debate
67. Never cancel a meeting
68. Members should be prepared
69. Have a planned agenda
70. Encourage interclub visits
71. Form/join a speakers’ bureau
72. Teach public speaking at vo-tech, community college,
continuing education
73. Hold public workshops
74. Wear your pin
75. Mention DeMolay at meetings of other
organizations during announcements
76. Send newsletter to guests
77. Visitor Day – each member sends out 10 invitations
78. Talk up DeMolay to those who express problems
with public speaking
79. As guest to join
80. Get a three meeting commitment
81. Advertise in church bulletin
82. When asked about your speaking skills, tell them
about DeMolay
83. Tell everyone about the benefits of DeMolay
84. Have informative meetings
85. Make it FUN
86. Bumper stickers
87. Smile
88. Invite guests to your place of business to g et better
acquainted with them
89. Attract a wide age spectrum
90. Give testimonials
91. Elect a dedicated VP Membership
92. Hold smooth meetings
93. Get experienced DeMolay to join as dual members
94. Repeatedly invite prospective members
95. Practice selling DeMolay at Club meetings
96. Make it look easy
97. Promote humor in speeches
98. Make meetings more interactive
99. Send thank you's to guests
100. Have table at trade shows
101. Hold a Speechathon with as many speakers as possible
102. Think like a kid - how would you get someone to play
103. “Put in words” appeal to writers’ clubs
104. DeMolay minute on radio
105. Interaction with story tellers’ organizations
106. “Do it for you” poster contest at schools
107. Bring your boss
108. When someone notices your progress, tell them why
and invite them
109. Hold meetings at senior centers
110. Have new member kits
111. Hand out flyers and brochures
112. Have a host for each guest
113. Hand out invitation cards
114. Members constantly promoting and raving about
115. Meet at a good location
116. Explain the structure of DeMolay

Well look at that! Those are some great ideas! What methods have you tried for membership recruitment lately? Maybe some of these will work for you!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whoopin' on Some Hoosiers

Congratulations PA DeMolay, we did it!

A few posts ago I challenged all of the members of PA DeMolay to bring in 12 new members in the next 30 days so that we could move up in the standings for both Jurisdictional Size and Recruitment.

Well, I just ran a search on the membership stats, and sure enough, we are now larger than Indiana! We may only have one member more, (744 for PA, while 743 for IN at the time of the search) but we are now the 7th largest Jurisdcition. Plus, Indiana majoritizes over 50 more members in the next year than PA does! That's a great sign for us!

We can keep moving up in the standings, however! If we were to gain about 50 more new members this year, we would be poised to knock off 6th place Ohio! That's right, if we meet our Magic Number (which is 46, btw) we very well could end up the 6th largest Jurisdiction in the world. How awesome would that be!

I also challenged everyone to help us move up in the Recruitment standings, by trying to get PA to be the number 2 recruiter in the world. Thanks to a recent influx of Form 10's, we have moved up a place in those standings as well. We are now the number 4 recruiter in all of DeMolay International! That means we only need to bring in 8 more new members to move up into the number 2 slot!

So, let's get to work, and show DeMolay International that PA is a force to be reckoned with!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tom Moyer on DeMolay International

Whew, I just got back from Dallas and let me tell you something, that's quite a distance away. (1300 miles away to be exact.) Let me just fill you in on some of things that took place in the Lonestar State. On Tuesday, when we arrived, I was greeted with 95 degrees of heat, compared to the 75 that I left behind in Pennsylvania, there was a significant difference. We pretty much just hung out Tuesday and met up with fellow Pennsylvanian Chad Reichard (Nations Capital Deputy Jurisdictional Master Councilor), and went out to Chilli's, which if you didn't know, is Dad Boyce's favorite place to eat during trips to DeMolay International. After Chilli's we had some more fun at the movie's. Anyway, on Wednesday we woke up and went to downtown Dallas to learn more about President Kennedy's assassination. We took a tour of "The 6th Floor" a Museum actually on the same floor that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK. I stood 5 feet away from the spot where the actual shots went off, it was eerie!

Following the tour we went out to do some investigating of our own, Howard played in traffic while I snooped around the grassy knoll. After our fun endeavors while Downtown, we headed back to the amazing Hilton Dallas. The opening session of the congress started that night and the question was finally answered Dallas does know we're here! Thursday opened with breakout committiee meetings (I chose ritual and regalia while Howard chose Honors and Awards). The groups discussed challenges that the jurisdictions had and how other jurisdictions work through their own problems. It was a big eye opener as to how other jurisdictions worked! Well I have to get to bed, more to come soon!

Bro. Tom Moyer, Deputy State Master Councilor

Why Increase the Initiation Fee?

With the increase in the initiation fee, approved by DeMolay International to begin on January 1, 2011, it seemed time for a study of the fee based on information available in the PA DeMolay archives.

As a matter of information, the initiation fee for membership paid to DeMolay International was at $5.00 in 1958.

I don't know what year they increased, but I believe they went from $5 to $7.50, and by 1967 they were at $10.

They were increased to $12.50 as of January 1, 1973.

They were again increased to $15 in 1981.

Just 5 years later, they increased to $20 in 1986, when the requirement was added that the
Leaders Resource Guide be included in the benefits of membership.

They increased to $25 in 1992.

And now, finally, to $35 as of 2011.

Calculating the annual inflation rate of 4.47% since 1967, that $10 fee would be equivalent to $65.60 today, so DeMolay membership, today, is still an incredible bargain!

But adjusting to the annual inflation rate of 3.21%, that 1981 fee of $15 would only be $37.53 in today's dollars, which means that the latest increase brings us back in line with the relative value of DeMolay in 1981, but far behind the value placed on DeMolay Membership in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

(These rates are provided by

So, how much value do you place on your DeMolay Membership?

-Dad Tom Labagh, Executive Officer in PA

Monday, June 21, 2010

Following our First Precept

With yesterday being Father's Day, I thought today would be a good time to take a second look at our first Precept, Filial Love. Often this Precept is thought of as "sappy" or otherwise derided. I can firmly say that without that Precept, not one DeMolay would exist, as it's our parents that give us everything we have, and without them, we wouldn't have an organization.

Everyone is familiar with the Flower Talk as a way to thank our Mother's for what they have given us, but when was the last time you thanked your father? Not just for the physical things, but the emotional support and guidance as well? Perhaps it was your father who taught you to play sports, go hunting or fishing, or even how to use a computer. Where would you be without his love and guidance? I know there are quite a few rhetorical questions in my ramblings above, but I just ask that you think about how important your father has been in your life.

Another important aspect of this conversation regards our other Dads, meaning, our DeMolay ones. They are a vital part of our organization, and teach young and old alike skills that can't be found in school or in books. When was the last time you simply thanked the Advisors from your Chapter? A "thank you" can go a long way!

As a side note, I was curious as to where the tradition of Father's Day originated. Thanks to quick Wiki search, I had my answer, which I now share with you:

Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. It is also celebrated to honor and commemorate our forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities. The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. After listening to a church sermon at Spokane's Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909 about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Dodd felt strongly that fatherhood needed recognition, as well. She wanted a celebration that honored fathers like her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was left to raise his family alone when his wife died giving birth to their sixth child when Sonora was 16 years old.

The following year with the assistance of Reverend Dr. Conrad Bluhm, her pastor at Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church), Sonora took the idea to the Spokane YMCA. The Spokane YMCA, along with the Ministerial Alliance, endorsed Dodd’s idea and helped it spread by celebrating the first Father’s Day in 1910. Sonora suggested her father’s birthday, June 5th, be established as the day to honor all Father’s. However, the pastors wanted more time to prepare, so on June 19, 1910, young members of the YMCA went to church wearing roses: a red rose to honor a living father, and a white rose to honor a deceased one. Dodd traveled through the city in a horse-drawn carriage, carrying gifts to shut-in fathers.

It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA, and churches, Father's Day ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar. Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was often met with laughter. The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review. Many people saw it as the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions.

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents" In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.

So, what did you do to honor your father yesterday?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just what is a Supreme Council anyways?

Today marks the start of the DeMolay International / Supreme Council Sessions, being held in Dallas, TX. For most DeMolays, this event isn't even on the radar, as it deals with senior leaders and advisors from any given jurisdiction. During my time as a DeMolay, and as an advisor, I've heard many misconceptions about what actually goes on at, and the purpose for, a meeting of the Supreme Council.

To understand what's happening, we first have to understand who it is that's meeting. At a DeMolay International Session two groups meet concurrently, namely the DeMolay International Congress, and the Supreme Council. The Congress is made up entirely of active DeMolays, with each Jurisdiction being given two delegates. This is much like our Convention, where each Chapter gets a set number of delegates to vote on items and for officers, however, in the case of the Congress, it's divided by States instead of Chapters. So, how does one get to be a delegate? In PA, it's quite simple - become State Master Councilor or Deputy State Master Councilor, as they are the two that go to each Session to represent PA. While the Jurisdictional Delegates make up the majority of the active DeMolays participating in the Congress, there are a few others who also attend and get a vote, namely the Regional Cabinet Members, the International Master Councilor, and the International Congress Secretary. Who are these folks? Well, the Regional Cabinet is composed of one representative from each Region of DeMolay International (if you've been following along with the blog, I'm sure you're well aware that PA is in Region II.) The International Master Councilor and the International Congress Secretary are elected by the Congress each year to help steer DeMolay on a national level. The International Master Councilor is the public face of the organization, and it's his job to relate the issues facing active members to the Supreme Council. The International Congress Secretary assists the IMC in that job, as well as takes minutes of any session of the Congress. Pretty complex, huh? Well, let's talk about the Supreme Council, then!

The Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay is made up of advisors who have been elected to represent their respective Jurisdictions. These men are divided into two groups, Active Members and Deputy Members. Active Members are allowed to speak their mind, and vote on any proposals and elections to come before the Supreme Council, whereas Deputy Members are only able to speak. At any given time, there can only be 200 Active Members of the Supreme Council, but there is no cap to the number of Deputy Members. Each Jurisdiction is automatically granted one Active seat, as the Executive Officer is always an Active member of the Supreme Council. This means that roughly a quarter of the Active members of the Supreme Council are Executive Officers. That leaves roughly 150 other seats open for men to serve as Active Members. To become an Active member one must first be a Deputy. To accomplish that task, an Advisor, who is over the age of 25, must be sponsored by the Executive Officer of Jurisdiction and submitted to a committee. That group then recommends who they think should be elected to Deputy status. Once a Deputy, an Advisor must serve in that capacity for at least three years, and be 30 years of age, before he can be elected to Active status. I say "he" because members of the Supreme Council must be Masons in good standing in their Lodges. "Who are the Active and Deputy Members from PA?" you ask... well click here to find out!

That's DeMolay International in a Nutshell.
Oh, I haven't forgotten about the Region II Spotlight series either. I'm waiting for some of our guest contributors to put the finishing touches on their articles.
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, June 14, 2010

Legacy of the Nine

Today we'll be taking a short break from our Region II Spotlight series for a quick DeMolay history lesson. I was recently asked to send a copy of the DeMolay emblem to one of our District Deputy Grand Masters. It donned on me, even though I had already known it, that the emblem now contained all rubies. When I first started in DeMolay there was one pearl remaining on the emblem. This led me to search for a quick history of all of the original members and what happened to them. Thankfully, a I found a great Wiki article, which I'm including below.

The Order Of DeMolay originally had nine members. The crest of the order contains 10 rubies. Each represent one of the original nine or Dad Frank S Land. A pearl denoted one of the original ten who was living. When one of the original founders died, that pearl was changed to a ruby. Today, all of the original founders have died and all pearls are rubies now.

Ivan M. Bentley - He lived in Louis Lower's neighborhood. Crowned a Chevalier in 1920. Died in an accident in 1921. His death made him the first Ruby in the emblem.

Louis G. Lower- The first DeMolay and the first Active DeMolay Legionnaire (LOH). Crowned a Chevalier in 1920. He was gunned down by an intoxicated security guard on July 18, 1943. He was the second of the original nine to die, became the second ruby.

Dad Frank Land - The third ruby on the DeMolay crest was for Frank Land himself. Doctors diagnosed his disease as scleroderma. Doctors advised Land to slow down but he continued to work at his frenetic pace telling them, "My work must go on. DeMolay must go on." Although he had begun to show signs of fading, Frank Land's death on November 8, 1959 came as a shock, especially to his beloved DeMolay organization. The fraternity successfully made the transition to new leadership but mourns his passing to this day. Every DeMolay around the world honors Dad Land's memory every year on November 8.

Edmund Marshall- He lived next door to Elmer Dorsey. Crowned a Chevalier in 1920. Graduated from University of Missouri. President of the Kansas City Board of Trade. He died on November 8, 1966 and became the fourth ruby.

Clyde C. Stream - Cousin of Gorman McBride. He was a technical Engineer with the Sagano Electric Company. Retired to Bradenton, Florida. He died on May 3, 1971 and became the fifth ruby.

Gorman A. McBride- He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Second Obligated DeMolay. First Master Councilor of Mother Chapter. Crowned a Chevalier in 1920. Became an Active Member of the International Supreme Council. Received the Founder's Cross from Dad Land, the only one of the original nine to do so. A Lawyer by profession and was Director of Activities at ISC Headquarters in the 1960s. He died on November 10, 1973 and became the sixth ruby.

Ralph Sewell - He lived in the home of Louis Lower. Became the Credit Manager for H. D. Lee Mercantile Company, makers of Lee jeans. Skilled Pianist and Organist. He died on July, 1976 and became the seventh ruby.

Elmer V. Dorsey - He lived just behind Louis Lower. Successful Businessman. Moved to Texas and became an Advisor to Richardson Chapter. He died on November 1979 and became the eighth ruby

William W. Steinhilber- He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Became a successful stock and bond broker. Captain of the first DeMolay baseball Team. He died on October 28, 1992 and became the ninth ruby

Jerome Jacobson- He lived one block from Louis Lower. Graduated from University of Kansas, admitted to the Missouri Bar as a lawyer. Outstanding career in law and finance. Lived in Kansas City all his life. He died in May, 2002 and became the tenth and final ruby

Without these men, there would be no DeMolay, so let's remember them and what they did for us!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Region II Spotlight: Nation's Capital

DeMolay International divides its "Jurisdictions" (generally meaning a State or Country) into Regions. Pennsylvania is part of Region II which includes New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Nation's Capital, Ontario (in Canada, eh?) and Italy. Our region has a long history of excellence, and is renowned for how well we work together in planning Regional Conferences and events such as the Mid Atlantic Tournament of Champions (MATOC for short.)

However, the average DeMolay doesn't really get to interact with members from other Jurisdictions unless he goes to one of these events. One of the most interesting things in DeMolay is how different each Jurisdiction can be while still working within the guidelines set forth by DeMolay International. In an effort to familiarize you with our sister Jurisdictions from our Region, this blog will present a series of "Region II Spotlight" articles to give you some information about DeMolay in Region II.

Region II Spotlight on Nation’s Capital
(Washington, DC)

Region II is politically diverse. We have two commonwealths (Pennsylvania and Virginia) a province (Ontario), a country (Italy), a bunch of states and one federal administrative district, The District of Columbia.
When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were meeting they feared the influence of the large states on the new federal capital. The concern was a federal capital located in New York City would be too easily swayed by moneyed interests. James Madison pushed through the 1790 residence act which situated the national capital. At first the plan was to have the new capital city located between Maryland and Pennsylvania. The delegates from Virginia wanted it further south so the land was to be decided between the state of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both states ceded some territory to create a 100 mile square block of land where the Potomac and the Anacostia Rivers merged, that became the Territory of Columbia. At the time there were two cities already in the newly ceded federal land, the City of Georgetown and the City of Alexandria. President George Washington contracted out with a Frenchman named Pierre L’Enfant to lay out and design the new Federal City. 10 years later President John Adams and the United States Congress came to the new Federal City. The President and Congress, under the Organic Act of 1801, took control over the territory. The plan was never to really have voting citizens living in Washington, DC full time. The idea was to come to the city, do the work of the people and leave. Thus, DC was not a state and Washingtonians could not vote for Representatives or Senators to the Federal Congress.

The city itself was administered by commissioners appointed by the President of the United States. In 1812 the British in retribution for the burning of Toronto burned the Capitol and the White House. Later, In 1840, using something called “Retrocession,” the Commonwealth of Virginia took back their part of the District of Columbia which is now modern day Arlington County, VA and Alexandria, VA. During the Civil War the city was fired upon by the rebels and there is still a network of Civil War Forts around the city. Post Civil War, the Congress began to administer both the city of Georgetown and the City of Washington until the Organic Act of 1871, which made the entire city one entity. The city has seen some rapid growth spurts during major crisis. The great depression and resulting professionalization of the federal government by President, and Honorary Grand Master of DeMolay, Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw a rapid expansion of the District of Columbia. In 1971, after 170 years of being ruled directly by Congress, Washingtonians were given the right to elect a mayor and a city council. The actions of the City Council and the Mayor are subject to Congressional and Presidential Approval.

Washingtonians, like residents of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands still lack voting representation in the United States House and any form of representation in the United States Senate even as it serves as the capital of the most powerful nation in the world.

Nation’s Capital DeMolay is the smallest jurisdiction in terms of size at only 68.3 square miles (in comparison, Philadelphia is 135 square miles) however, it is not the smallest DeMolay International Jurisdiction in terms of membership. Currently, Nation’s Capital DeMolay has 42 members meeting in Tenleytown-Chevy Chase Chapter and Robert Le Bruce Chapter. Nation’s Capital DeMolay is opening a new chapter on Capitol Hill. There is an elected Jurisdictional Master Councilor, Bro. Mike Xie, and a Deputy Jurisdictional Master Councilor, Bro. Chad Reichard (of PA's own George Washington Chapter! Chad was elected to this role as he is attending school in the District). They serve from March to March and are elected at a jurisdictional wide meeting. These young men serve on the Executive Officer’s Steering Committee and help to direct policy for Nation’s Capital DeMolay. The young men of Nation’s Capital DeMolay are aided by Executive Officer "Dad" Al Smith and his hardworking jurisdictional staff.

Some of the program highlights for Nation’s Capital DeMolay included the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, an annual trip to Hershey Park, laser tag nights, and game nights as well as a trip to the Washington Nationals and the Washington NFL team.

Nation’s Capital DeMolay is always pleased to meet up with visiting brothers coming into their Capital City. This year Nation's Capital will be hosting the Mid-Atlantic Tournament of Champions, in the heart of Washington, DC, and we would love to see you there!

Washington, DC Trivia:

The District of Columbia Flag, which has two stripes and three stars, comes from George Washington’s Family Crest.

The streets are laid out in a grid format with the center point being the US Capitol. From there letter and number streets branch out based on quadrants. For example if you are at C street and 3rd Northwest you are three blocks west of the US Capitol and three streets north. After you run out of letters it switches to syllables. So Albermale Street is followed by Brandywine, etc. Salt Lake City, UT is laid out in a similar fashion with Temple Square.

Every State has an avenue named for it in the National Capital. L’enfant’s first vision was to have the leading families from each of the states build magnificent homes on those streets. Thus the more prominent states where given more prominent locations. Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia all have very prominent positions downtown. As the Country expanded the city started to run out of avenues that were not already named. Thus, Idaho Avenue is more famous for connecting a police station to the Starbucks then it is for having an important governmental building on it. (It’s a great starbucks though!)

There is no J street in Washington, DC. You go from I street to K street. There is an urban myth that Pierre L’Enfant disliked Chief Justice John Jay and Jay’s treaty. Rather the I and the J in 18th century writing looked so similar that there was a concern about confusing people so they skipped the J.

Washington, DC is one of two planned national capitals in the Western Hemisphere, the other is Brasília, in Brazil.

The use of right angles, perpendiculars and diagonals let people see different images in the street plan.

In D.C. you can visit many foreign countries! Countries that the United States maintains diplomatic relationships with have offices in Washington, DC called embassies. Each embassy is sovereign land of that country. When you visit the Canadian Embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue you are on sovereign Canadian soil. During Halloween Washington Children (and college students!) go trick-or-treating up and down Embassy Row getting treats from the foreign countries.

Washington DC is home to a number of different sports teams including the Nationals (MLB), DC United (MLS), The Wizards (NBA), the Mystics (WNBA), The Capitals (NHL) and The Kastles (WTT). College basketball is also huge, with the Georgetown Hoyas, the University of Maryland Terps, and the George Mason Patriots.

Washington, DC has a height restriction on all buildings. Excluding the old post office pavilion, the National Basilica, and the Washington Monument nothing is allowed to be more than 10 stories tall in the District.

Washington, DC loves statues. The tallest statue in DC is the nineteen and a half foot statue of Freedom located on top of the US Capitol. The next tallest statue is the nineteen foot tall statue of Jefferson at the Jefferson Memorial.
Wow, now that's a lot of information about Nation's Capital!

Special thanks go out to "Dad" Peter Brusoe, Deputy Executive Officer for Nation's Capital DeMolay, for writing up this article. While the history of "Dad" Brusoe is a little sketchy, we do have some fun Brusoe trivia! "Dad" Brusoe loves Star Trek, and once took a trip to Las Vegas just to go a Star Trek themed exhibit that was scheduled to close. "Dad" Brusoe has served as the International Master Councilor for DeMolay International, although it is widely known that he was just a "puppet" dictator. If you think you'd like to get to know "Dad" Brusoe, he teaches for the Political Science department at American Univserity while he is earning his doctorate. We've been told his classes are very theraputic, especially for those with sleep deprivation.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Region II Spotlight: Virginia

DeMolay International divides its "Jurisdictions" (generally meaning a State or Country) into Regions. Pennsylvania is part of Region II which includes New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Nation's Capital, Ontario (in Canada, eh?) and Italy. Our region has a long history of excellence, and is renowned for how well we work together in planning Regional Conferences and events such as the Mid Atlantic Tournament of Champions (MATOC for short.)

However, the average DeMolay doesn't really get to interact with members from other Jurisdictions unless he goes to one of these events. One of the most interesting things in DeMolay is how different each Jurisdiction can be while still working within the guidelines set forth by DeMolay International. In an effort to familiarize you with our sister Jurisdictions from our Region, this blog will present a series of "Region II Spotlight" articles to give you some information about DeMolay in Region II.
Region II Spotlight on Virginia
Virginia is one of only four Commonwealths in the country (which means it's not technically a state. The other three are Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania!) Nicknamed "the Old Dominion State" it is sometimes called the "Mother of Presidents" as 8 of our nation's leaders have called Virginia home. It's capital is the historic city of Richmond, which served as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. With roughly 8 million residents, the State is a study in diversity, with the relatively urban Northern area (including Fairfax and the D.C. suburbs) standing in stark contrast to the rugged beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Southern climes.

Currently Virginia DeMolay has 448 members meeting in 14 Chapters. These are divided into five regions, each composed of three to five Chapters. Each region elects a Regional Master Councilor and Deputy Regional Master Councilor during the annual Conclave (that's Convention for the PA folks!) Also elected during the Conclave are the State Master Councilor (currently Bro. Nick Cook) and Deputy State Master Councilor (currently Bro. P.J. Shuey.) Each of these positions serves for one year. Combined, these offices make up the "State Council" for Virginia DeMolay, similar to the "State Officer Corps" we have here in Pennsylvania.
Uniquely, Virginia also has a State Representative DeMolay who is chosen from all of the RD's within the Jurisdiction. The chosen DeMolay must complete an interview in front of a panel of Advisors who challenges his personal philosophy and morality. This is a tough process, and ensures that the young man chosen as the State RD is truly an outstanding member of our Order.
The young men of Virginia are aided by Executive Officer "Dad" Mike Williams and his State Staff of advisors. These adults function similarly to the Executive Officer's Leadership Team that we have in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has many ties to the other States within our Region, and Virginia is no exception. Several Virginia Advisors would be immediately recognized by PA DeMolays, including "Dad" Tom Sellers (who works with MATOC and has served on Key Man staff), and "Dad" Zack Panitzke, formerly of Erie Chapter, who is now working with a Chapter in Northern Virginia (pictured at right.)
So, next time you're visiting the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, or maybe hitting the beach on the Atlantic coast, remember to look up a Virginia DeMolay Chapter - they love to have visitors!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 3, 2010

When was the last time you served your commuity?

Community service is a big part of the DeMolay program. Almost every week we hear of a Chapter in Pennsylvania being active in their community, and making life better for those around them. PA DeMolay Chapters have some of the best community service programs in all of DeMolay International, but sometimes coming up with an idea for a new kind of community service project can be hard.

There are a lot ways to come up with new ideas. I mean, heck, you are sitting in front of the Internet right now, aren't you? Do a quick search, and see what you can find. I did, and came up with a great resource located at Families with Purpose. They have a quick list of ideas that includes a few really good suggestions. My favorites are:

Helping the Elderly - Volunteer to mow lawn or shovel snow for an elderly person in your community. Check with your local senior citizens center or place of worship for a list of people in need. Click here to find a senior citizen center in your area. (This one is especially good for DeMolay Chapters - how about helping an elderly Lodge member?)

Visit a Nursing Home - Visit a local nursing home in your community. Many elderly in a home enjoy playing games, talking, or listening to a good book. Be sure to call the nursing home in advance to make arrangements for how your family can best help.

Help the Animals - Children love animals, so why not use this interest in animals to help out at your local Humane Society by donating your time or supplies (pet food, old blankets).

Likewise, check out which is website that connects volunteers with opportunities. A quick search for Pennsylvania turned up almost 2200 opportunities? There are multitude of different available projects on the website, and while not all are good for DeMolay Chapters, there are certainly some options there.

A good DeMolay always uses his resources, so hit the net, and find some great projects for your Chapter!

Frat ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony