In light of our motivational movements, Take Control! and Mission: Control!, the members and advisors of Pennsylvania DeMolay have come to realize that decision making power should lie with the Active DeMolays, with advisors assisting along the way.
The Board of Directors, which is composed of the International Master Councilor, Bro. Maxwell C. Shoemaker, International Congress Secretary, Bro. Michael A. Burge, DeMolay International Grand Master, “Dad” J. Weldon Clampitte, and other elected and appointed officers who serve DeMolay International, held a Directors meeting recently to discuss current issues and new ideas. Following this meeting, I was informed that the Grand Master proposed that silicone bracelets should replace the “No. 1 Pin” for a member’s exemplary effort in membership recruitment.
One source, who wishes to remain anonymous, asked me “As far as maintaining the prestige of the honor, do u have any suggestions?” It was then that I challenged the proposal, but only after the Board of Directors had their vote. Another unnamed source mentioned to me that “the ICS and IMC do have a vote on the board. The board gave permission to pursue this. The “No. 1 Pin” will still be available for purchase.”
Naturally, I feel that my duty is to represent the members of Pennsylvania DeMolay and the best interest of our Order, but when asked for my suggestions following the discussion and vote, I felt that my opinion didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
After discussing it with Region II Representative, Bro. Andrew Prescott, he feels that “While I applaud DeMolay International for trying to make one of its most basic awards more accessible and modern, as well as a Public Relations tool, I'm not sure the Number One Pin is the way to accomplish that. I'd worry about restoring the physical quality of older awards like the Representative DeMolay or Degree of Chevalier, making them of a higher fabric and material like they were a few years ago, instead of changing the basic awards.”
I understand the strategies based about the proposal that it will save money, and will advertise DeMolay in the form of the ¼ inch silicone bracelet, however I’ve based my own opinions contrary of support of this proposal.
Needless to say, membership is the fuel that carries DeMolay through the future. Without membership our numbers would diminish. I feel that we shouldn’t spend a mere $.79 (one companies’ price for a bulk of 1000) on something that, in my opinion, is the hardest thing in DeMolay: Membership Recruitment. Many of us have overcome the hurdle of bringing in one new member, and in turn we were awarded with a distinction of honor, the Number 1 Pin. By handing out a silicone band, for the exemplary efforts young men to for this order, to me it’s saying here’s a small reward for your valiant efforts. Perhaps, we do need to change our ways and look into the future when it comes to rewarding young men for membership recruitment from DeMolay International, but are bracelets the right direction?
But, don’t base your opinions on my own. Formulate your own thoughts and reply back to this on what you think. If you want the International Master Councilor, the International Congress Secretary, and the Grand Master of DeMolay International to realize that we, the members, have a voice, then let us know your opinion and make a difference.
What do you think?
Bro. Matthew D. Blaisdell
State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay
and Representative to the DeMolay International Congress