Written by Matt Blaisdell, State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay
The Key Man Experience can be different for everyone involved. For some, it can be the very first step towards making a difference. Key Man, Pennsylvania DeMolay's premier leadership conference, turns 26 this year. In 1986, "Dad" Samuel C. Williamson took a a giant leap for DeMolay and began the first ever Key Man Conference. Needless to say, it has come a long way from lenghty workshops and note taking but, since that inaugural conference, Key Man has moved to a reality Conference for the members and Advisors to take part in! Every member has the opportunity to create their own Chapter and control their term how they please (with the help of a designated Chapter Advisor and Chairman to make sure they don't overspend any Key Man money!)
Last night, myself and over 70 other DeMolays and Advisors from across North America, had the pleasure of witnessing a new young man make his DeMolay promises at Key Man 2011. While this was going on, I had a short flash back on my very own DeMolay career, which began in this young man's shoes at the 2003 Key Man Conference. Eight years ago, the 4' 8" me walked through the doors of Patton Campus with only one thought in my mind "what is a Key Man and am I one?" With all these overwhelming thoughts roaming through my head at the age of 12, I didn't know what to do! I went through the week as the Chapter's Treasurer (mainly for the pride of being able to write "official" checks at such a young age!) Nevertheless I survived the week and ended up leaving Patton Campus with the biggest DeMolay pride I could imagine!
Earlier, I looked back at my first DeMolay experience and those that followed and I wonder what other people's DeMolay experiences are. Perhaps you were there at the first Key Man Conference. Perhaps you attended the 25th anniversary Conference as an Advisor or a member. I spoke with a few members throughout the day about their favorite DeMolay memories and experiences and the answers are astounding! Take a minute to view the video and even comment with some of your favorite Key Man, or DeMolay experiences. The best knowledge is shared knowledge!