Monday, November 29, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Rainbow. The magic word that all DeMolays hear when asking the question, “Are girls going to be there?” when talking about a dance, an installation, or some other social activity that they may be attending. This girl’s organization is a huge part of DeMolay, as well as Job’s Daughters. It seems that most guys feel that because Rainbow is a girl’s organization it’s dumb and girly because, let’s face it, who really wants to be involved with a ‘weird’ girl’s organization where they prance around in frilly white dresses? However, what most guys don’t know is that Rainbow and DeMolay are actually more alike than they think.

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls was brought to life in 1922 in McAlester, Oklahoma by W. Mark Sexson because he, as well as others, felt there was a need for a female Masonic youth organization. He had great support from lodges and other participants in the Masonic family, including “Dad” Frank S. Land. (that name sounds familiar, right?) This organization was brought about as a ‘junior member’ organization of Eastern Star, and was fully recognized as such. In my research of Rainbow now and in the past, I have brought together a list of qualities that this beautiful Order teaches. One of the main qualities that Rainbow teaches is effective leadership. Effective leadership in the home, school, church, and community are an important lesson learned by both Rainbow and DeMolay in the act of service which we all perform. Cooperation with equals, acceptance of all, and patriotism for your country are all also important lessons taught in Rainbow, as well as in DeMolay.

I’m sure everyone has seen, heard, and taken part in the seven precepts of DeMolay; Love of Parents, Reverence for Sacred Things, Courtesy, Comradeship, Fidelity, Cleanness, and Patriotism. These are common words for DeMolay’s because in the Order, those virtues are taught, repeated and rehearsed until they are so worked into member’s minds that those words just roll off the tongue. Those words and virtues are easy for a DeMolay to remember. Although I’m currently a Sweetheart for DeMolay, I was still unable to think of the correct names and order of these Precepts. After doing a little research, I was finally able to put these words together.  For me, as an active member of Rainbow, I had a hard time replacing Rainbow’s bow stations with those of the Precepts. Rainbow has seven ‘Bow’ stations; Love, Religion, Nature, Immortality, Fidelity, Patriotism, and Service, one for each color of the rainbow. These stations and virtues are taught during different ceremonies throughout the Order, and then throughout life.

I was just thinking back, considering rewording my previous paragraph because I didn’t like the fact that I was unable to come up with the seven precepts of DeMolay without doing a little bit of research, but instead I decided to turn that into a little lesson. Why don’t I know the precepts? Why am I like most other Rainbow’s and DeMolay’s who do not understand and recall such virtues of the opposite group? Such virtues in both orders should be taught and respected among all youth, not just youth of that particular organization. Sure, we share a few of the same virtues, but what can be done to ensure that all members know and understand the others of the brother or sister youth group? I challenge all of you to learn and understand each of the precepts and bow stations and relate them to each other. Such teachings are important as we grow and form into the future of the Masonic family, may it be as a part of the Masons, Eastern Star, or any other adult organization involved.

I could write for hours about the importance of the youth organizations coming together, and I could continue to urge you to Take Control! and work together with the girls, but I’ll leave you with this familiar statement: “Food, fun, friends, and females”. Without Rainbow and Job’s Daughters, how incomplete would your DeMolay experience be?

Angela Lennox is no stranger to DeMolay or Rainbow. She is currently serving as Grand Hope for PA Rainbow as well as a current Chapter Sweetheart. She is also the twin sister to Bro. Denny Lennox, a past elected State Officer. Her e-mail address implies that she is the prettier of the set of twins. We'll let you be the judge!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pilgrim Pulls Off Pretty Powerful Prospect Party

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to hang out with 500 of your closest friends and game all night on four 50" plasma televisions? How about adding to that all the pizza and soda that you could ever wish for?  Well, Pilgrim Chapter did just that!  The members of Pilgrim Chapter love to play video games. They also wanted to have a prospect event. So, with a little bit of research and unplugging by its advisors, the purse strings came open, and the event evolved! 
Enter "The Game Truck!"  What could be better than a trailer with four 50" plasma televisions, a couch to seat 16, and the latest Xbox, Playstation, and Wii games available - including Black Ops!  For two hours members and prospects played non stop video games, chatting about DeMolay, and having a great time. 
Flyers were distributed at the One Day Masonic Journey to all the new members joining the fraternity, a mailing list was purchased for young men between the ages of 12-16, and members invited their friends.  The goal of this mission - to get more members!  After it was all said and done Pilgrim had 6 prospects and 7 members attend (plus one Jobie and one Rainbow girl).  The next goal is to get these prospects inducted at Grand Masters Class. 
The importance of this event was that it was unique, but it also was an event that was held at our Lodge building , Pilgrim Chapter's home. We were able to show the prospects where we meet, tell them what we were about, and have a great night of fun.  Everyone left with a brochure and a membership application.  We registered everyone when they attended and we now have all the  information we need to follow through and get them to join.  But best of all, the advisors unplugged and let the members run the event . Hopefully through this entire venture there will be many winners!

Special thanks go out to "Mom" Jan Harms, Chapter Advisor for Pilgrim Chapter, for writing this article. "Mom" Harms has recently found a renewed interest in DeMolay, having served on the Key Man Conference staff this past summer. She is also a past Grand Guardian and Past Grand Secretary for Job's Daughters in Pennsylvania. Her other claim to fame is being married to "Dad" Doug Harms, also of Pilgrim Chapter. Actually, never mind... he's more infamous than anything else.

Do you have something you'd like to blog about? I'm always looking for more articles and ideas for the blog! If you have something you'd like to post or would like me to write about, let me know at ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rites of Passage

I've been stewing on this blog post for a while. I just wasn't ready to write it up, but, since I don't have anything else this morning, I figured now is the time! I'm a big fan of Discovery Channel, Nat Geo, History Channel, etc. However, I don't have cable, so I really don't get to watch these unless I'm at home at my parent's house or with someone else.

I remember a fantastic show on Nat Geo called "Taboo." It documents various cultures around the world and their strange customs. I particularly remember one episode about "Rites of Passage." This program dealt with how different cultures handle the transition of child to adult, mostly from a male-centric point of view. Every culture has different ways to celebrate this milestone, some of which are just social constructs (meaning that the event / celebration is just arbitrary and created by society - a "sweet sixteen" party for instance.)

As I watched the show I realized how lucky I was to have become a man in the United States. Many cultures take the transition from boy to man quite seriously, usually marking it with physically or emotionally challenging contests. For instance, several African and Pacific cultures use ritualized branding or tattooing to mark the coming of age. This might be as simple as a small tattoo or as intense as a full facial brand. Perhaps a more famous example is the Agoge as displayed in the movie "300." While the film is a work of fiction, the Agoge was a real experience. The movie dramatized the event somewhat, but those undertaking the Agoge were underfed and given no comfort, just as it was portrayed.

The other side of the coin is composed of the religious ceremonies that deal with the coming of age. These include Confirmation in the Christian faith, the Bar (or Bat) Mitzvah in the Jewish faith, Rumspringa in the Amish community, or the Sanskar among Hindus and Buddhists. Many countries see the value in the ceremonies and have instituted secular versions, such as the borgaraleg ferming in Iceland or the Human-Etisk Forbund in Norway(which both roughly translate to "civil confirmation.") Interestingly, America has no singular cultural indicator for the transition from youth to adult; it is usually left up to the family or the faith to perform.

So, as I usually ask, "... but what does this have to do with DeMolay?" I'm hoping you've made the connection already, but if you haven't, DeMolay is easily identified as a Rite of Passage ceremony (with influence from its Masonic founders.) In fact, Masonry is just as a much a Rite of Passage as DeMolay. Let's examine this further, shall we?

In DeMolay, for the first time, a youth is asked to make a "journey" on  his own with other young men of his age. On this "journey" the new members are instructed in life lessons that will help them better fit in with adult society (the seven cardinal virtues.) They then witness a drama that reinforces these ideals and are welcomed into the brotherhood after vowing to live by these ideals. That's pretty heavy stuff for your average 12 year old! But, this is just the start!

There are several "milestones" along the DeMolay career, marking advancement in understanding and status. These include becoming Master Councilor, being awarded the Representative DeMolay, or being honored with the Degree of Chevalier. These are all part of the passage from teen to man. This process is even more apparent when a DeMolay decides to become a Freemason and join the fraternity. If he does, this marks his first time being welcomed among the "men" that have aided him on his DeMolay journey. When coupled together like this, DeMolay and Freemasonry are great examples of an extended Rite of Passage for our young men.

Now some might be cringing at this, thinking it sounds "cult" like. It is no more like "cultish" than getting a car at 16, registering for the Selective Service at 18, or voting in your first election. It's part of what our society has constructed to teach those who reside therein a system of morals and values that is acceptable to the culture as a whole. Let's be proud of what we have accomplished using this "system." Great men like Walt Disney, John Wayne, Bill Clinton, and many, many more can't be wrong!

Professor Anthony's sociology class is now over. Thanks for coming.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, November 15, 2010

When would you give up your seat?

Today, I'm hot off the heals of a busy weekend with the Grand Commandery at their Line Officer's Seminar. This event was similar in nature to the annual PA DeMolay Spring Leadership Weekend (albeit with less costumes!) My favorite part of this type of event is watching people interact with each other.

Whenever you bring a large group of men together like this, politics and intrigue are bound to happen. You have men who are in power, men who want to be in power, men who were denied power, and men who could care less about power. It's certainly an interesting mix of people. You can usually tell which group someone belongs to by whom they choose to sit with at lunch and sit near during meetings. I admit, I'm just as guilty of this as the next guy, but it's fun to watch and evaluate none the less.

We see this same thing in DeMolay. It's part of the political process. If you want to run for office, you have to get your name out there. How do you do that? By being near the people in power and getting to know them. In turn, they will recognize your talents and give you responsibilities. This will enable you prove yourself and become a recognized leader. Then, when your time comes, you have a chance of getting elected. It's not sneaky, it's the way of the world! There are ways that this can turn ugly, however.

As I was writing this I came across a great story about General Robert E. Lee, the main commander of the Confederate forces during the civil war. The story goes like this:

"General Robert E. Lee was on his way to Richmond, and was seated in the extreme end of a railroad car, every seat of which was occupied. At one of the stations, an aged woman of humble appearance entered the car, carrying a large basket. She walked the length of the aisle and not a man offered her a seat. When she was opposite General Lee’s seat, he arose promptly and said, “Madam, take this seat.” Instantly a score of men were on their feet, and a chorus of voices said, “General, have my seat.” “No, gentlemen,” he replied, “if there was no seat for this old lady, there is no seat for me.” It was not long before the car was almost empty. It was too warm to be comfortable."

So, are you only giving up your proverbial seat for political motives or are you doing it because it's the right thing to do? Remember, doing the right thing can get you noticed just as much doing the political thing can!

Frat!~"Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trivia with Fezzy: Week 6!

Each Friday I am posting a PA DeMolay Blog related trivia question. Each active DeMolay from Pennsylania (excluding Elected State Officers) who correctly posts their answer in the comments section of this blog will be placed in a drawing to receive 5 points for the Take Control! program and receive a special "Fezzy" gamer tag over on the points page! All you have to do is leave your answer in the comments section. On Monday morning I will randomly select one of the correct answers and award the person with the points. Answer every week and rack up some major points - it's that easy! Remember, the answer to the question can found right here on the PA DeMolay blog in a previous post. We've had 127 posts so far, but I guarantee you that it's on the blog somewhere!

Last week I didn't post a question, so this week I'm posting 2! You can win one or both! On to the questions!

1. There are several rumors surrounding Jacques DeMolay's death. One of them states he requested that something specific be done to his hands while he was burning on the stake. What did Jacques ask for?

2. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania, one of which is Perry. Who is Perry county named for?

Get answering!

Frat!-"Dad" Seth "Fezzy" Anthony

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Didn't Start the Fire

I'll admit it. I'm a raving fan boy. For what you might ask? Not movies, or television shows, or even comics, but for Freemasonry. Last night I got to spend some time with someone who is as close to a rock star as Freemasonry is ever going to get - Bro. Chris Hodapp, the author of Freemasons for Dummies and several other books on the Fraternity. Bro. Hodapp was the guest speaker at the annual banquet of Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, here in Elizabethtown. Wow! What a dynamic and entertaining guy!

I had the amazing chance to have dinner with Bro. Hodapp before he spoke and found him to be truly genuine and personable. He told us about his travels, his family, his feelings on the Fraternity, and more. He was very friendly and a great conversationalist during dinner. When he was called on to speak, he did so with a fire and a passion rarely seen in the fraternity. He spoke from the heart, about the future of the Craft, the challenges ahead, and the opportunities before us. He received a standing ovation and the line to buy copies of his books was out the door!

Later in the evening I had a chance to talk to him, one on one, about some other Masonic topics. He gave me some great ideas for when I get a chance to lead a Masonic body and rekindled my passion for Freemasonry. While this is all well and good, what does it have to do with DeMolay?

DeMolays have exactly nine years to be a member of the Order. For a twleve year old, nine years seems like an eternity. But, believe me, it's the fastest nine years you'll ever know (that's if you join at twelve!) I've seen it happen, time and time again, a twelve year old is put through the works in his Chapter, he becomes Master Councilor, gets burnt out, and leaves DeMolay behind. Then, at 20, he comes back around, or is perhaps honored with a the Chevalier Degree, and says "Man, I wish I would have stayed involved." His passion for DeMolay had gone out. But something like the Chevalier Degree brought it back to life, just a little too late.

DeMolay can be an all consuming thing. It's easy to give all your free time over to the group, but that is the wrong thing to do. That is how you get burnt out. You have to keep hobbies and friends outside of DeMolay and take some time away when you need to. As I have told the Elected State Officers, I live, breathe, eat, and sleep DeMolay and Freemasonry. I love what I do, but I have to keep myself sane. I have hobbies outside of Masonry. Some may laugh at them, but it provides the escape that I need to recharge my batteries, and that's okay. I'll fully admit that I am really terrible at knowing when to take a break, but I'm getting better at it, and I'm seeing a difference in the process.

Sometimes the recharge comes from a hobby and sometimes it comes from a experience, such as what Bro. Hodapp created last night. Either way, if you are feeling burnt out or your fire is dwindling, take some time away. But, make sure you come back and see if the fire is still there, whether that be in 6 months, or a year, or more. Talk to your Brothers and your advisors. See if they can help re-light that fire. Membership in DeMolay is for life... never take that for granted!

Frat!~"Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, November 8, 2010

A road diverged in a yellow wood...

I'll admit it. I was at a loss for a topic this morning. So, I did what usually do, and headed over to Art of Manliness to scout for an idea. Lo and behold, that website came through once again, and I have a topic!

Recently, a letter was sent to the Art of Manliness from a reader who is having some second guesses about his career choice. He is just months away from earning a degree in library science, but recently came to the realization that he would rather be a farmer. In response to this fellow, Brett McKay, the editor of AoM, responded via a video that you can watch here. However, I wanted to tackle this question and relate a bit of my personal experience. I'm hoping that it might help those DeMolays out there who are bound for college and looking for a career path.

I didn't start out wanting to be a full time Masonic youth facilitator.  Heck, I didn't join until I was 18, and as we know, career choices start long before then! When I was in my early teens I wanted to be a psychiatrist. An older gentlemen, who was a friend of my family, worked in this field and I thought it would be a great life to have. However, I soon realized that 4 years of undergraduate work, 4 years of medical school, followed by 4 years of psychiatric instruction was more than I was willing to undertake. I lowered my goals to being a psychologist. That job would only take 6 to 8 years of school, which seemed like a better alternative.

After graduating high school I enrolled in the Psychology program at Edinboro State University. Edinboro is actually well known for their psychology department, which is one of the best amongst the state system of higher education. I spent my first three years doing all the things psych majors do. We talked about therapy, learning, and social norms. We wrote papers, ran experiments, and played with rats. During my junior year I had the good luck to enroll in a Counseling class taught by Dr. Gary Labine. Dr. Labine, and his wife Susan, both taught in the psychology program at Edinboro. Mrs. Labine was a clinical psychologist, whereas Mr. Labine didn't even have a degree in psychology at all - his background was in counseling itself. This class was a real eye opener to me, for two reasons. Firstly, I realized that I didn't need a true psychology degree to help people, and secondly, I didn't want to spend the rest of my life counseling folks. Quite honestly, the idea of dealing with emotional baggage and being lied to by clients all day didn't appeal to me.

I decided to consult Dr. Labine, as well as some other faculty, as to what I should do. I explained my hesitations and they agreed that being a counselor / psychologist wasn't going to be a good career move for me. One of the professors, Dr. Morrow, a social psychologist, suggested that perhaps Industrial / Organization Psychology would better suit. This field dealt more with productivity and the workplace. I was intrigued, but, sadly, Edinboro didn't offer a course in this field.

It just so happened that at about the same time as my career crisis was occurring, another crisis was brewing where I was working. I spent my college years working at Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park in Erie. I started as a shift supervisor in the food court, but after two years, that job was wearing thin. I spoke to our Director of Operations who described a need for someone to handle training and efficiency within the business. He gave me a chance at the job and I found I really liked it. The only problem was that the job was nebulous and not well defined. I spent about 6 months doing what I thought needed to be done, as well as working as a Guest Services Supervisor. We went through some management changes and my role was redefined as a Human Resources Coordinator. I hadn't really had a lot of experience in Human Resources, but I quickly learned that it was similar to industrial /organizational psychology, so I went with it.

I learned a lot during my first year in Human Resources. It was a great experience that led me to better define my career path. I graduated from Edinboro in 2006 with a BA in Psychology, specializing in learning and development. Realizing that I still needed more education, I applied to Capella University, a distance learning school, and was accepted into their Masters of Science in Organizational Management program, with a specialization in HR Management. As I was beginning my graduate course work, there were big changes happening in my community. A new casino was opening up and I applied for an HR job there. Miraculously, I  got an interview and was hired shortly thereafter.

I was the only Human Resources Generalist for the casino (which means I did anything and everything HR related.) We hired 800 employees in 6 months! Holy cats did I learn a lot! I spent time dealing with employee injuries, unemployment claims, reports, and the PA Gaming Control Board. I loved it! I really found my calling. I was earning my graduate degree and working a job I liked. This was the life!

Then, one day, I was reading through a website relating to a hobby I enjoyed when I stumbled across an advertisement they had posted for a Human Resources Generalist. On a whim, I applied. A week later I got a call and had a phone interview with a recruiter. I was stunned - I never thought I would get a call! Two days later, the recruiter called me back and arranged for me to fly to the company headquarters in Baltimore for a day of interviews. At the end of that day, I got an offer, including a moving allowance, to go to work for this company. It also helped that the salary was 50% more than what I was making at the casino. I jumped at the chance and quickly found myself moving to Maryland.

My new duties entailed coordinating benefits and other HR related functions for a national retail chain with roughly 60 stores. The best part was that I was working for a company in a hobby that I really enjoyed. It was a really fun job and the stories I have from my time there are some of the craziest work related tales I can muster. There is another part to this story, however.

I had been in Maryland for about a week. I was living in hotel and trying to acclimate myself to this new life. I was surfing the internet in my hotel room when "Dad" Labagh contacted me via instant message and discussed the possibility of me working at PMYF. Sadly, having just taken this new job, I was in no place to up and leave. I had to turn him down. This was a full year before I started working at PMYF. I had a new job and was enjoying it, and PMYF went to the back burner.

Ten months later I had grown unhappy at my new place of employment. There were some major management changes and my new supervisor and I didn't quite see eye to eye. I started floating my resume around to some other places to see if I could find something else. I hadn't even thought of trying PMYF again. Then, out of the blue, "Dad" Labagh calls me and asks if I'd be interested in the job at PMYF - he hadn't filled the position during the year I was working and wondered if I was in a situation to move on. I jumped at the opportunity. Shortly thereafter, in the fall of 2008, I left Maryland for Elizabethtown to work at PMYF. It was one of the best decisions I ever made!

But, as most of you know, I do very little in regards to Human Resources here at PMYF. Honestly, I mostly use skills I was taught in High School, like web page design. There is still a little bit of psychology and HR, though (I do have to deal with the Elected State Officers!) So, as you can see, it was a long strange road! From wanting to be a Psychiatrist to ending up at PMYF, it was a course I could have never predicted.

Now, what does my long, and probably boring, story have to do with you? It's a simple answer - it's okay to change your mind and follow your heart. Sometimes where we start is where we end, but I 'm willing to bet that most of the time it's not. You're going to change majors. You're going to have doubts. That's okay and perfectly normal! Remember, life is about enjoying the journey, not about the end result.

S.K. George A. Hulsinger, a Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, had a great theme for his year in office. It was very simple - "Live Your Dash." By that he meant that every person eventually passes on from this plane of existence. A tombstone usually reads "Date of Birth - Date of Death." It's the dash between those two that is really important, for that is where you live your life and have an impact on others. Don't be afraid to change your mind from time to time. It's all a part of growing up and living your "dash."

Frat!~"Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Repercussions of Elections

Well, with all the election hoopla over, we can now use this tumultuous time to have some good discussions with our DeMolays. Some people are happy with the elections, some aren't, but there are certainly valuable lessons that can be taught.

I think the first thing that needs to be addressed is how to be a good winner and a good loser. For several months politicians degraded, libeled, and called each other out on the issues and their character. It's pretty hard to come together and say "good game" after that. The great part of democracy (well, a republic anyways) is that it encourages this kind of making-up period at the end of the race. More importantly though, people from all over the political spectrum need to come together for the greater good.

Recently, I had a Facebook friend post several borderline inflammatory statements. Everyone has the right to their opinion and it was obvious that this person (a father of four, a devout Christian, and all around good guy) was very upset with the current state of affairs with our government and wanted to see some people out of office. Just after the election he made this post, "ONE PIECE OF TRASH OUT- DAHLKEMPER HAS BEEN DUMPED!" in reference to a race in my home town of Erie. About a half an hour later he posts this:

 "OK, maybe my last post was a bit harsh, I was only playing on the "Dump Dahlkemper" slogan and my earlier post today. People are not "trash" as ALL people are made in the image of God....Some are just incorrect in their thinking and belief system..."

Again, we are all entitled to our opinions and I will never begrudge a person that. However, we need to apply this kind of rhetoric to DeMolay to teach our young men some principles and morals in conjunction with some grace and class.

DeMolay does well when teaching young men about the political process through hands on experience. Whether that be in their home Chapter or on a state level, the politics of DeMolay elections are just as real as those that involve the government. When I was running for elected state office in DeMolay I had to make some very hard choices. I decided that was more important that I get elected and serve instead of running against someone and beating them. In retrospect, I'm still happy with that decision, mainly because I weighed my options and made an informed choice. Our most recent DeMolay state elections were pretty grueling. Each and every candidate ran a good campaign and there were some close votes. The highlight, for me a least, was seeing the candidates come together after the election, shake hands, and move on. They know that being an elected state officer isn't about them, it's about the program, and whether they win or lose, bettering DeMolay is still their number one priority.

Take this latest election and these ideas back to your Chapter. Talk to your young men about how to compromise after elections to get things done, and how to win with grace and class, rather than degrading those who lost. History is written by the winners, as they say, but historians aren't afraid to label people losers when they abuse their victory with thoughtless and classless celebration.

Frat!~"Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, November 1, 2010

Why blog?

I was recently asked by a fellow DeMolay Executive Officer: "Why is PA DeMolay blogging?"

What he really wanted to know was: "Where is the value for the time invested?" and "Should I do it, too?"

Well, first of all, blogging statistics are staggering.

A September 2010 study by eMarketer on the skyrocketing growth of blogging suggests that blogging is becoming very important to users who are looking for unfiltered opinions, product reviews, and up-to-date content. The study says that by 2014 more than 150 million Americans, or 60 percent of the U. S. Internet population will be regular blog participants. alone hosts more than 11.4 million blogs, publishing about 350,000 new posts, daily, and receiving an average of 400,000 comments, daily.

That's a lot of on-line "conversation" and while it is something that requires a regular and reliable time commitment, it is a valuable, and necessary communications tool in today's social media world.

Blogging, for organizations in general, can help build brand awareness, increase website traffic, develop better relations with members and friends, and provide an easy way for non-technical people, (like me!) to change content regularly on a website.

PA DeMolay is lucky to have "Dad" Seth Anthony who likes to do this-- I enjoy it, too, occasionally, but the pressure of doing it on a regular schedule would probably wear me down. "Dad" Anthony, however, seems to thrive on it, and never has trouble coming up with something of interest.

Our goal is to write posts that are relevant to DeMolay leaders, both young and old. Being relevant isn't just writing about how to run a DeMolay Chapter. Often it involves writing about the things that we think are important to young men and leaders who work with young men. Sometimes the topics are thoughtful and meaningful; sometimes they are downright silly. But that's what working with DeMolays is all about-- finding the right balance between ritual and athletics, fund-raising and social time, leadership and followership, philosophy and fun.

So, I come back to the big question: IS this blog worth the time we spend on it? It is hard to quantify the answer, because, after ten months of blogging with 124 posts we don't have a huge number of official "followers," (58) and we don't get too many written comments (26) by way of the blog, yet.  But we do get emails and phone calls, and have received some great suggestions for future blog topics.

If you find that reading this blog has been interesting, or helpful, or challenging, or, at least, amusing, drop us a note and let us know. You can write via the blog comments, or you can send an email to me, or to Seth at any address you may have for us, or you can use; whatever is most convenient for you!

And whether or not you choose to send us a note, thanks for reading!

"Dad" Tom Labagh
Executive Officer