Monday, January 31, 2011

Membership, Membership, Membership

When I was involved as an active DeMolay there was one thing that I detested above many others. The constant barrage about membership. "You need to get more members" they'd tell me. "Ask your friends to join" they'd say. It wasn't long until I tired of this message. I bet that you, as an active DeMolay or Advisor, are probably tired of hearing it too. But, you know what? It's that important that we have to keep repeating it. Sometimes is was easy to think "What is DeMolay really about? Just recruiting more members?" We all know that it's not. However, if we don't keep a constant stream of new members coming to the organization it will cease to exist. It's that simple.

As an example of what I'm talking about, I'm going to share with you the following article:

Written for a recent edition of USA today, it describes the plight of fraternal organizations and how they are dealing with a loss of membership. Give it a good read and pay special attention to the numbers. Think about how that could effect DeMolay.

What do you think we need to do to attract more members? Post your reply in the comments section!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trivia with Fezzy: Week 14

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 each question can be found right here on the PA DeMolay blog. So, on to the question of the week!

1. Who were the two founders of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners)?

This is an easy one!

Frat!-"Dad" Seth "Fezzy" Anthony

Take Control! of Your Service!

Today's article is from a special guest - Bro. James Palo:

We hear the term service organization tossed around quite a bit when we're talking about DeMolay. What exactly is a service organization, and how are we in one? I did some research on what exactly would be considered a service organization and here's what I found:

A service club or organization is a voluntary non-profit organization where the members meet regularly to perform charitable events, either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other charitable organizations. A service organization is defined first by its service mission. Secondary membership benefits, such as social occasions, networking and personal growth opportunities encourage involvement. A service organization is not necessarily exclusive of ideological motives, although organizations with such defined motives are more likely to identify themselves through their association. Much like historical  organizations formed the basis for many institutions in our society such as hospitals, for example service organizations perform many essential services for their community and other worthy causes. (Wikipedia)

This makes you think "What have we done that makes us a service organization?"  As you all know, the Take Control! theme has been out there empowering DeMolays to control their program, Chapters, and DeMolay knowledge, but, one that has flown "under the radar" is Taking Control! of community service. Community service may sound like a boring activity, but it really isn't! You have the control to make any project fun. All you have to do is go into your community and help out. Your Chapter could volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, or clean up the side of the road! I know that in Erie Chapter, we do a highway clean-up every year. We go out and pick up trash off a part of the road, then we throw a fun activity in with it! The last time Erie chapter took control and helped out, we went fishing and camping at my house afterwards! I reviewed  the News page of and found some chapters that took control of their community. Allentown, Joppa and Pilgrim are three Chapters whose names keep reoccurring! 

We join DeMolay for the fun, friends and food, but we never think about how often we come across community service opportunities within DeMolay. Look around you brethren, it's almost everywhere! Try virtually anything that will get the name of DeMolay out into your neighborhood. In addition to the leadership growth you will receive for helping out, if your chapter does the most community service and documents it at the link below, you can dye your ESO's hair at Spring Leadership Weekend! Yes every single one of them! I suspect that Bro. Tom Moyer, SMC, looks amazing with pink hair! (that's just my opinion). Take Control! of your State Officers hair!

Bro. James P. Palo
State Treasurer
Pennsylvania DeMolay

Monday, January 24, 2011

79 Degrees of Separation

I woke up this morning to a brisk four degrees Fahrenheit outside. I also woke up to a mini panic attack about Convention 2011. While that event is six months away (and at least 79 degrees warmer) for some reason it occurred to me that I didn't have all my ducks in a row and that I wasn't feeling comfortable about the event. So, this morning, I came into the office and tackled it right away. Thankfully, my past self anticipates the crazy thoughts of future Seth and everything was more than alright. However, this does provide me with an opportunity to share some more details with everyone about what exactly Convention 2011 is going to entail.

As announced previously, we will be staying at the Mountain Laurel Resort in White Haven, PA. The Mountain Laurel is owned by the same group as the nearby Split Rock Resort. This means that we will be able to take advantage of all of the amenities of both properties! We will continue to use the 3 day Convention schedule as it seemed to work out pretty well last year. So, let's start with the fun stuff.

Friday afternoon will see an optional paintball outing to Skirmish Paintball, located in Jim Thorpe, PA. You will be on your own for transportation, but we will organize a group rate through PA DeMolay. Please remember, as with almost any paintball field, this event will be field paint only!

Friday evening starts the official program of Convention, beginning with dinner (we'll discuss food in a bit.) That night everyone will go to Split Rock Resort to have a beach side BBQ along a private lake. Once the sun goes down, everyone can head over to Split Rock itself to play video games in the arcade, tennis, billiards, bowling, ping pong, wallyball, and go see a movie in a private, resort only, theatre!

Saturday will see all the usual business items, but Saturday evening will wrap up at H2Oooooohhhh! Indoor Waterpark, also located at Split Rock Resort. The park has several water slides, a wave pool, and a flow rider (a machine to go surfing indoors!) This should be a great end to a great day!

Now, the other important part of the weekend is the food. What are we eating? Friday evening will be a Beach Side BBQ, with chicken, ribs, burgers, hot dogs, and assorted picnic foods, including baked beans and corn on the cob. Saturday breakfast will be pancakes and bacon with assorted muffins just to be safe. Lunch will be a nice grilled chicken piccata, with veggie and starch. Saturday dinner will be at the Waterpark and is a pizza party. We budgeted 4 slices of pizza per person, plus salad, chips, veggies with dip, and brownies. If that's not enough food, you can order more at the snack bar! Sunday wraps up the event with our traditional breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, ham, and home fries. My mouth is watering just thinking about all this tasty stuff!

After reviewing the details, I am now confident that Convention 2011 is in pretty good shape. The Convention staff will be taking a trip up to the site sometime in February to finalize details and make sure we are going to have a great experience! Are you ready for Convention 2011? I KNOW I AM!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Trivia with Fezzy: Rules and Regulations

Trivia with Fezzy has become a popular feature on this blog. It's been a great tool to get some older posts re-read and to share information and history. It's also been a nice way to tie into the Take Control! program. However, this morning I had to evaluate how many points are being given out and how it's impacting the overall budget of the program and the awarding of points. After doing some calculations, I've decided to cap the number of wins at 5.

Therefore, no person can win Fezzy trivia more than five times.

This will effect very few of you, as most are still under 5 wins. However, be aware that once you've reached five wins you will no longer be eligible to win the contest.

Frat1! ~ "Dad" Seth "Fezzy" Anthony

Friday, January 21, 2011

Trivia with Fezzy: Week 13

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 each question can be found right here on the PA DeMolay blog - but this week may require you do some more digging!
So, on to the question of the week!

1. In 1956 an article appeared in Life Magazine about Freemasonry. What is different about the cover that specifically pertains to Pennsylvania? Who was the Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania at that time and where was he photographed?

These are some harder questions, so you better get answering!

Frat!-"Dad" Seth "Fezzy" Anthony

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spring is on its way...

While it may seem that PA is mired in snow, here in the office we are already knee deep in preparing for the Spring. In the world of PA DeMolay that means Spring Leadership Weekend. This year, the weekend will be themed around the Mario video game series and looks to be another fantastic event. As I am preparing for SLW, I always like to look back and see what came before. This program holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first events I ever did as a DeMolay (way back in 2002 when we launched the CLUE program.)

As I was researching, I came across some documents from the event that I had previously missed. Many know that "Dad" Ray Gottschall is the king of these kinds of events. His costumes are limitless, as is his enthusiasm. He is truly a character actor, liking to have lots of back story to work with. During the original CLUE he played Colonel Mustard. Not to be pleased with just a simple title and color, he developed a whole back story to his character that had me laughing all the way through. So, as a precursor to more news about SLW, I present to you, Colonel Mustard, an abridged biography.

The Life and Times of:
Colonel Sir Guldin Smythe Biggles Mustard, V.C., K.C.B.E., M.P.

Born in the Village of Whapping Foghole to an English father, Sir Doris Perambulator Mustard, Lord Windesmere, M.P. and his French born wife (from the Dijon region) Lady Maudlin Marquise de Milquetoast e’ clairvoyant, Lady in waiting to the French Queen and champion bare knuckles boxer.  Guldin led a very careful life full of very little worth mentioning up until the age of 12 when his parents were forced to sell him to a Clan of wandering Scotsmen, so that they might pay their taxes to the Crown.  The Parent’s taxes, not the Scotsmen’s.

At the able age of 17, Guldin engineered his own escape after 5 years of grueling labor, from the wholly unguarded potato patch where his Scottish Overlords had set him working at smashing as many potatoes as possible in a cunning Scot plan to take over Ireland by starving it’s inhabitants, and headed to London.  With only crushed Potatoes in his pocket he bartered for a room with an Innkeeper of a local hostelry (thereby becoming the inventor of mashed potatoes, which were unheard of up until that time).  The Innkeeper took quite a shine to young Guldin and upon realizing this, Guldin had the coppers pinch the old goose for attempted crimes of an unnatural preoccupation.  Once again homeless, he wandered in the Flippin Wagbone section of London doing odd jobs and living off his mashed potato royalties until he blundered into an Army recruiting station, and before he could say “shut your filthy Cakehole” he had enlisted in 1st Company, 2nd Guards Regiment of Her Majesties Royal Coldstream Guards.  Thus began his Military Career, which was to culminate in his highly suspect and mostly undeserved rise to the rank of Colonel of Guards, Exchequer of the Office of Taxation (responsible for the taxation of all Foreigners living abroad) and Royal Poultry Inspector.

On his very first day in the barracks, Guldin was immediately noticed by several of his superiors and singled out for the peculiar mark of their respect.  After spending 6 weeks in Hospital, and as a special circumstance of several recent Courts Martial, which had served to eliminate several of his superiors, Guldin was invited to enter Officer Candidate School.  After attending O.C.S. for a short period of 4 months, Guldin was promoted early by the School Commandant (The poor man’s last act before retiring to the rest home) and he was Officially Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Guards and, as a special recognition of his abilities, he was forthwith posted to the most harrowing and potentially life threatening assignment that his superiors could come up with, namely collecting for Irish Relief in Glasgow.  Having survived this grueling duty for 3 years, Guldin received new orders to report back to London for promotion and reassignment to Egypt.  After having new teeth fitted in the Village of Simpering Wimpole, as a consequence of his last assignment as Choir Director at Newgate Military Prison, Mustard boarded a ship for Memphis.  After returning from Tennessee, Mustard boarded the correct ship and proceeded to his posting in Egypt as a 1st Lieutenant.  He distinguished himself at the Battle of Limeygetout where he single handedly led the retreat that saved hundreds of his fellows and prevented the General’s prize Tea Service from falling into enemy hands.  Having been promoted to Captain, he was given command of the Calcutta Garrison.  While in India he became embroiled in an ill advised tax dodge wherein he packed his apartment with cheap brass artwork which he was then planning to sell at 10 times the price through a type of mail order catalog (which of course would never work).  Unfortunately, the cheap metalwork tended to tarnish easily and turned his overcrowded apartments into a black, sooty colour.  One day, several of Mustards neighbors and fellow Crown subjects, while attempting to pleasantly surprise the young Captain, snuck into his apartments while he was away on Llama spotting duty and decided to tidy his apartments using torches and oil, unfortunately, they became trapped by an avalanche of sooty Brass figurines.  The oil and torches turned the cramped rooms into hot and acrid dungeons where many of his fellow countrymen lost their lives and from that day on his rooms, and the entire incident, became known to the world as the Black Hole of Calcutta, although the official Details were slightly different as reported at the time. 

Having been cleared of any charges (as stupidity is not a crime recognized by the crown), Guldin was promoted out of India.  The now Major Mustard was given command of the Royal Engineers and the Natal contingent at Rourke’s drift, South Africa.  It was his actions here which earned him the Victoria Cross by his single handedly digging a tunnel several hundred feet underground in a matter of hours which successfully allowed the contingent to withstand the onslaught of the mighty Zulu Army.  His Victoria Cross certification stated; “Never before has the British Army seen such an act” and “By his Ferret-like digging, he allowed the Competent Officers of his Command to concentrate on the Battle”.  Along with his decoration came the inevitable promotion and transfer, this time back to Headquarters.  His last assignment had him searching for The Holy Grail in the Tower of London.  After several weeks of searching for Holy Relics in the basements of the Tower of London, and several years of searching for the exit from the Tower of London, during which time he survived off of his wits and much more importantly, the Potatoes that now grew unchecked from his pockets, Colonel Mustard returned to his Regiment and was again ready for a new assignment.

Colonel Mustard was granted an early retirement with the caveat that he would go forth and travel the world, never to return to active service, staying away from England as much as possible.  Upon the death of his Father, Colonel Mustard was granted the peerage due him by right of birth and became Lord Windesmere, also with the caveat that he never show his face in Parliament or attempt to represent the British Government in any way whatsoever, at home or abroad.

In his retirement, Colonel Mustard has gotten into many complicated and ridiculous adventures that are extremely involved yet far too uninteresting to bother mentioning here.
Recently Colonel Mustard has sold his rights to Mashed Potatoes (If you were making them before that time, you owe him royalties) and lives comfortably in Wapping Foghole with his wife, Bo and their three Daughters, Rosie, Ellen and Jodie (who don’t take after their Mother) and one son Rock (who does).  He was raised a Master Mason in Apathy Lodge #449 in Horking on the Thames.  He is currently a Member of Complacency Lodge # 112, Whapping Foghole, where he serves as Tyler for life.  His involvement with the Order of DeMolay goes back to his days in Fargin Lumpchester Chapter and he would love to talk to you about it…at length…

Perhaps someday you'll get to meet this crazy character, or one like him...

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, January 17, 2011

Can I see the Degrees?

In a world where the exploitation of children is an all too common occurrence, it is rightfully understood that parents may be hesitant about their kids getting involved in an organization, especially one they may not know much about. One of the common concerns is the induction ceremony of the Order, or sometimes called the Degrees. Many parents request to see this performance in advance of their children and it's a request that we most certainly will grant. What follows is a letter written by "Dad" Brent Richards in August of 2001 to the mother of a prospective member with this very question.

The induction ceremonies are rather elaborate, and frankly, in my opinion, quite beautiful and profound.  They date back to our founding in 1919, and have their roots in similar ceremonies that are much older.  The general flow of events is as follows:  New members are greeted outside of the meeting room, and receive some preparatory comments from a member or advisor in charge of "orientation" --before the formal ceremony begins, parents are welcomed to be seated in the main meeting room.  The first of the two reception ceremonies involves a series of "trips" around the room, symbolizing the journey of life, during which the new members are instructed in the basic principles of DeMolay, or "Seven Cardinal Virtues" as we call them:  Love of Parents, Reverence, Courtesy, Camaraderie, Fidelity, Cleanness, and Patriotism.  New members take a symbolic "oath" much like an "oath of office", the Scout Law, or other similar construct.  In this oath, members pledge their support of the high virtues of DeMolay. 

The second of the two ceremonies has always been my favorite.  It is known as an "allegorical" ceremony, in that it is in the form of a play, representing the last trial of Jacques DeMolay, the last master of the Order of Knights Templar (of Crusade fame).  DeMolay, from whom we obviously take our name, was wrongfully imprisoned by the King of France, and eventually executed for his refusal to turn over the names and locations of other officials the king wished to arrest.  We use his story as a lesson in loyalty to friends and principles.  It is a very impressive scene.  It is followed by another shorter section similar to the first ceremony, with a final "vow" reaffirming these principles of faithfulness.

Both of these ceremonies together form one of the most impressive, and certainly most "serious" aspects of our organization.  They are all performed entirely by the young men of our group, and entirely from memory.  I have never failed to be impressed by their performance.

These ceremonies, by long tradition common to most fraternal groups, are closed to non-members --More precisely, to youth who are non-members.  Parents and other adult relatives are always welcome in our meetings, even those designated as "closed."  We do hold to the tradition that a young man formally joining DeMolay will be seeing these ceremonies for the first time.

All this to say, you are all most heartily welcome tomorrow evening.  If your son and/or his friend have decided to join, we can have them participate in the ceremonies tomorrow.  If you feel you would rather see the ceremonies yourself, or need other information of any kind, before your son formally joins us, we'd certainly welcome you and Alex's parents to be our guests tomorrow, to view the ceremonies and ask me any questions you may have, and we can arrange the ceremonies to be performed again for your sons as soon as you like.

If you've not had any contact with fraternal orders before, this may all sound confusing.  Part of the "bond" you observed between our young men last night is based in this formal ceremony, a "shared knowledge" and experience they have together, not known to others of their peers.  Naturally, we don't believe in keeping secrets from our members parents, nor would we want to be seen as encouraging them to do so, hence the welcome to parents at any and all meetings.  

Remember - DeMolay IS NOT a secret society. It is no different than the National Honor Society, the Cub Scouts, or other in groups in that it's meetings aren't just open to anyone who wants to wander in off the street. Take some time to educate your new parents - remember, they are the best place to find new Advisors!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trivia with Fezzy: Week 12

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 each question can be found right here on the PA DeMolay blog - but this week may require you do some more digging over at the DeMolay International website -

So, on to the question of the week! This is an easy one!

1. How many members does New York DeMolay currently have (not the number quoted in the article.) Who is the current EO of New York? And, lastly, the Chapters of New York DeMolay are divided into four regions. What are they?

Bonus question!

2. How many members does PA DeMolay currently have on the books and what place (meaning in the top ten) are we in when compared to the other jurisdictions? How many more new members do we need to move up to the next place?

These are some harder questions, so you better get answering!

Frat!-"Dad" Seth "Fezzy" Anthony

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We're not the only game in town.

DeMolay is proud of saying that we are the world's premier organization for young men (sometimes we tack the word Masonic in there as well.) I firmly believe we are. If I didn't, I wouldn't have dedicated so much time to the organization. DeMolay is a fantastic group that has helped many young men become leaders in their communities and in their homes. It also helps that, for the most part, we are the only Masonic youth group for young men. However, about a year ago I started finding references to another youth organization sponsored by the Masonic fraternity.

It's name is Asociacion de Jovenes Esperanza de la Fraternidad which, roughly translated,  means "Association of Youth Hope of the Fraternity." With such a long title the group more commonly goes by "A.J.E.F." Interestingly, the the letters of the name also stand for some of the principle values of the group, namely "Amor, Justicia, Esperanza y Fraternidad" (Love, Justice, Hope, and Fraternity.)

The group was founded in 1936 in Havana, Cuba. This was a time before the communist rule of that country, when the politics there were more closely related that of the United States. By 1938 the group had over 5000 members and in 1939 it established it's first international group in Veracruz, Mexico. Initially local groups were known as Lodges, but to distance itself from the idea that it was just "Junior Freemasons" the group quickly changed the operating name to Chapters. The organization is not just for young men, but for young women as well. There is one big caveat though; the young men and women never meet in the same room or at the same time, but hold their own separate meetings. The only time they can come together is when a Master Mason is present to supervise the situation and only for special events.

So, what is the group actually all about? The motto of the organization is "
Por la patria y la humanidad," which means "for the nation of mankind." The induction ceremony of the group isn't quite as set as it is DeMolay, as the ceremony used varies from region to region, however, all of the ceremonies aim to teach young people better morals and social skills to be used in their communities. Many of the ceremonies of the group are based in more difficult to grasp subjects including history, ethics, and the liberal arts.

The group operates much as DeMolay would, but with some key changes. As there is no international governing body for the group, the several regional organizations will meet once a year to tweak the work of the Order and to handle any wider changes to the organization. Just like DeMolay, the group has officers that help run the Chapters on the local level. They are:

  • Guide (Guía)
  • First adviser (Asesor Primero)
  • Second adviser (Asesor Segundo)
  • Scribe (Secretario)
  • Treasurer
  • Orator (Orador)
  • Guardian (Guardián)
  • Master of Choir (Mestro de Coro)
  • Leader of Ceremonies (Director de Ceremonias)
  • Donations Collector (Colector de Obolos)
  • Steward
  • Banner
  • Flag Keeper
  • Expert (Experto)

Instead of a Chapter Advisor the group has a Master Mason who serves as the "Instructor," which helps coordinate the activities of the Chapter. The members of the group are collectively known as a "Town." There is some speculation that this may relate to the proverb that it "takes a village (town) to raise a child." The group mostly exists outside of the U.S., but there is at least one Chapter meeting in Hialeah, FL.

Why did I bring this up? While some may think it a distraction, or perhaps a nuisance to the DeMolay program, I think it teaches us something about a key lesson in DeMolay - toleration. We don't have all the right answers. The DeMolay program may not be for everybody. It's really that simple. Here is an example of a group that developed without the influence of DeMolay, in a culture very different from our own, that is thriving in several communities in Central America. At the end of the day, we are both working towards similar goals though. Can we learn anything from what they are doing that could help our program? Are they reaching out to people that DeMolay misses? What do they think of DeMolay? All of those questions are rhetorical, of course, but I think they are great places to start the discussion.

So, what do you think about this group? Go out and do some research of your own. Give me your thoughts and feedback in the comments section!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, January 10, 2011

PA DeMolay - Now Recruiting

One of the biggest challenges of running a DeMolay Chapter is ensuring that there are enough Advisors on board to make the program work. Not too long ago a "Want Ad" for Advisors was circulated. While the ad is meant to include a gentle ribbing, it is a good description of what it means to be a DeMolay Advisor. Share this resource and modify it if need be. Use it as a resource and a tool - as well as a laugh!

WANTED:       An advisor for a local DeMolay chapter.  Applicant may be a Master Mason in good standing, or a Senior DeMolay, or a parent, or a community leader who is able to enjoy working with young men, young ladies, and other adults.  Chronological age is unimportant, but you must be young in heart, physically and spiritually active, and mentally alert.  Applicant must be clean in mind and body, healthy, and secure in your job and finances.  You must have some free time to spare, and no bad habits, and have a monumental amount of patience.  A college major in psychology and the intelligence of Einstein are beneficial.

The applicant will find it helpful to have the following qualities:  the enthusiasm of a puppy, the effervescence of an Alka-Seltzer, the dedication of Billy Graham, the brashness of Harry Truman, the speed of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., the inquisitiveness of a child, the stability of a bulldozer, the patience of a squirrel hunter, the endurance of an oak tree, and the constitution of a high pressure boiler.

The applicant must have a good set of ears and be able to listen to tales of joy and woe involving girls, jobs, grades, girls, cars, football games, teachers and more girls.  You will be expected to consume large amounts of hamburgers, tacos, cheeseburgers, pizza, hot wings, French fries, cokes, milk shakes, and pizza—at all hours, and in prodigious quantities.  You must not alarm easily, as your door bell and telephone are apt to ring at any hour, and you must be an “answer man” with the right answers to questions involving cars, manners, sex, girls, clothes, parents, school and teachers, and you’d better have the right answers—if you answer at all.

You must be a disciplinarian and handle such unpleasant tasks as, “Get that coke can out of the lodge room, no horseplay in the building, and meetings start at 7:30 and that doesn’t mean 7:35.”  Applicant must be capable of suffering utter devastation without showing it.

A prospective advisor must learn, sooner or later, that the DeMolay Chapter is not the only organization in the world which appeals to young men, and somehow it must peacefully coexist with band, track, baseball, dates, basketball, football, drama, hockey, chorus, soccer, religious youth groups, and 10,000 other activities.

An applicant must be a role model to the DeMolay members, to the advisory council, to the sponsoring body, and to the world in general.  You must think in your heart as you would have your young men think, to act as you would have them act, to be inspired yourself in order to inspire.  You must understand that if you expect dedicated service from others you must be dedicated yourself.  In fact, the applicant must be a prime mover—a force which sets other forces in motion, which in turn creates active, bubbling, energetic, dedicated and enthusiastic young men who have the sky as their limit for their potential to succeed.

The pay?--  Lousy!  The hours?—Miserable!  What does it do for your mental state?  Well, there will be times when you’ll feel inclined to jump off the highest building, and others when you’ll want to kneel in the privacy of your own bedroom and thank God for blessing you with this opportunity.  There will times when you’ll be so proud you could pop the buttons off your vest, when you see the results of your labor, when you observe their nobleness and cleanness, their honest morality, their efficiency, and, as the years pass, their accomplishments.  The pride you’ll feel in your association with these young men is exhilarating.  The benefits?—Nothing that will pay your doctor’s bills, nothing you can invest in a retirement fund, but just the reward of seeing youth at its finest and knowing you had a hand in its development.

Prospective advisors may apply to the nearest DeMolay Chapter.  

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trivia with Fezzy: Week 11!

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!

This week, to encourage a little cross blog reading, our question comes from a blog post over at the Ontario DeMolay blog located at - go get the answer there!

So, on to the question of the week! This is an easy one!

1. What is the Royal Purple Degree?

Get answering!

Frat!-"Dad" Seth "Fezzy" Anthony

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A History of the "Keystone Crusader"

We have sometimes been asked by the State Officers, "Why do we still have to print a monthly publication?  Couldn't we just use email, or a service like Constant Contact?"  There are a lot of reasons, actually, and some have to do with who does and doesn't have internet access, or, if they have it, when they actually make use of it.  In truth, the most reliable form of communication is still a basic printed newsletter or flyer, published on a regular monthly (or more often) schedule.  But there is another reason-- and it has to do with history.  In the future, when someone wants to know what happened in Pennsylvania DeMolay, the first place they will look is in the history file of the Keystone Crusader.  Yes, there is a fairly complete (we think) history file of all, or at least, most of the issues since it began publication.  And it is very interesting reading, for someone who wants to know what happened in the early years of DeMolay in Pennsylvania, and to see how the organization evolved.

We don’t know why the name was chosen when plans began to formulate for the issuance of a statewide newsletter in 1931, but it’s not difficult to surmise that combining the “Keystone State” of Pennsylvania with the image of a mounted Knight Templar participating in the medieval Crusades to the Holy Land was the most popular among a list of possible names. Or, perhaps the creators were well aware of the use of an architectural keystone, and expected it to be the most important stone in the PA DeMolay structure. What we do know for sure is that, after 3 years of discussion and planning, the first issue of the Keystone Crusader, Vol. 1, No. 1, was finally published in October 1934.

It was initially a very slick publication, professionally printed by an offset process on glossy paper, and funded by subscriptions paid by Chapters and individuals. It looked great, but it didn’t have much useful or interesting content in it. By 1936 the staff had had their fill of trying to get both news-oriented cooperation and subscriptions from the Chapters, and in an editorial in their last issue, they all resigned.

The publication resumed a year later in 1937 and was published sporadically until Vol. 7, No. 2, March 1942, when World War II interrupted all DeMolay activity for several years.

It wasn’t revived until 20 years later, in 1962, when, inexplicably, they went back and started with Vol. 1 No. 1 again, but this time it was a production of a publications committee assigned by the State Master Councilor. Sometimes it was produced on a ditto machine (advisors and teachers will remember the unusual light-headed feeling and the unique smell of the ink) and other times it was printed on a mimeograph machine (a very cheap direct-impression ink printer) and later by photocopy. Publication apparently stopped in 1967, and it was replaced by a newsletter produced by the Executive Secretary.

In 1978 publication resumed again, without volume and issue numbers, but it was published quarterly very consistently until the early 1980’s. In 1982 the Keystone Crusader began a bi-monthly schedule when the State Officers were given the responsibility for its complete production.

In the 1990’s the Keystone Crusader began a monthly schedule which, while not always fully adhered to, has improved the communication about programs and activities in PA DeMolay. The look of the publication changed often, as the State Officers had different levels of typewriter and, later, computer
competence, and variable sense of design.

At the beginning of the new millennium standards were established that kept the look of the publication consistent, and it changed less frequently.

Printed and mailed copies continue to go out in black and white, but a full color version is posted on each month.   As of this date, the publication has not been regularly distributed by email, but you can be sure that the Keystone Crusader will continue to evolve to best serve the interests of Pennsylvania DeMolay.

In our constantly evolving world, it's great to see that traditions like the Key Cru can still be meaningful and have an impact.


"Dad" Tom Labagh, EO for PA

Monday, January 3, 2011

So, you're going to do some blogging, eh?

Recently I stumbled across a link to another DeMolay blog, so I thought I'd share. It appears that "Dad" Ernie Loiselle, Executive Officer of Ontario DeMolay (which is in Canada, but is also a part of Region II) has started a blog for himself and his State Officers to share there views and announcements.

Check it out here!

One of the most important things in DeMolay is getting to know what other Chapters and jurisdictions are doing. This an easy way for you to pick up new ideas to try in your home Chapter. "Dad" Loiselle is very familiar with how we do things here in PA; he's been attending Key Man Conferences for as long as I can remember. So, why not a take a moment and read up on what's going on in Ontario - don't forget to subscribe and keep up with what they're saying!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony