Monday, July 29, 2013

Seven Habits of Dynamite DeMolays

Many of leaders have heard of the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People." It's a great book on leadership and time management, although it's become a bit cliché. Recently, I came across a distillation of this tome, aimed more at kids, that I thought contained some valuable advice for DeMolays. Check it out!
You're in Charge
I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.
Have a Plan
I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my Chapter and contribute to my Chapter’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.
Work First, Then Play
I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.

Everyone Can Win
I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.
Listen Before You Talk
I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.
Together Is Better
I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different than me. I work well in groups. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with others we can create better solutions than anyone of us can alone. I am humble.

Balance Feels Best
I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school. I find meaningful ways to help others.
Practice these traits and you'll be a DeMolay leader in no time!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Dawn of PA DeMolay

Now that Convention is over, I can get back to my usual blogging pace.

One of the really exciting things announced at this year's Convention was the "Honor and Heritage" program, which celebrates the 90th Anniversary of PA DeMolay. As part of that program, I will be attempting to make on blog post per week that has something to do with the rich history and heritage of the DeMolay program in the Commonwealth. With so much available too me, I was initially at a loss of where to start. Then it struck me - start at the beginning, silly!

The beginning, or as near to it as I can get, comes in the form of a simple letter from "Dad" Ralph C. Minehart, founder of Pennsylvania DeMolay, acting in his capacity as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania. It read as follows (emphasis and spelling occurring from the original document):

October 25, 1923

To the Division Commanders, Eminent Commanders and Officers of the Commanderies under the jurisdiction of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, greeting:


I, as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania, recommend and request that the Commanderies throughout the State sponsor the ORDER OF DE MOLAY FOR BOYS.

I have looked into this matter and have witnessed the conferring of their Degrees, which were wonderfully impressive, teaching beautiful and instructive lessons of Clean Living, Filial Love, Patriotism, Duty, Reverence and Protection of Womanhood, also the defence of the Public Schools against harmful propaganda. What better weapons could they employ than the HOLY BIBLE, the American Flag and a bundle of school books strapped together?

This organization takes the boys after they have reached their sixteenth year and from there to 21 years; between the Boy Scout age and manhood, which we know is the dangerous period, because it is the impressionable age, and the good impressions obtained in this Order are life-lasting.

What more fitting cause could be espoused by this Grand Order of Ours, the KNIGHTS TEMPLAR, than to look after our boys; the greatest asset our Country possesses.

Sir Knights, this Order will bear the closest investigation, and the more you look into it, the more you will be convinced that it is our opportunity to do something that will prove of lasting benefit to our Nation.

Sir Knights, I cannot recommend this Order too highly, and it is my earnest desire that the Commanderies seize this opportunity to ace as REAL BIG BROTHERS to our boys.

Upon application, I will be pleased to furnish you with all information and literature.

Courteously yours,

Ralph C. Minehart, Grand Commander"

With this letter, the Order of DeMolay started in Pennsylvania, and we are thankful for it.

In future blog posts, we will discuss our foundations in even more depth, and return to "Dad" Minehart's ideas about how DeMolay could make young men better.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thank You's and Updates Galore

Since I'm just getting back from PA DeMolay Convention 2013, this is going to be a short blog post. If you're looking for something to read, I'd encourage you to head over to and check out all of the updates that are coming down the pike. We've got new leadership for the next year, along with several new programs for DeMolays and Advisors. Take some time to read it over - there is a ton of good stuff there!

Now, I'd like to thank everyone that helped make Convention 2013 possible. Bro. Matt Traverso, Youth Director, and Bro. Mike Donahue, Asst. Youth Director, both did fabulous work and made sure all of the little things got done behind the scenes. "Dad" David Labagh was my second set of eyes all weekend and if it wasn't for his ability to think on his feet, many things would have fallen through the cracks. "Dad" Zack Panitzke, my tech guru, saved the day more than once, but most especially when he wrote a computer program, on the fly, to handle ballot counting. "Dad" Denny Morse continued helping at Registration, while "Dad" David Berry managed to keep everything flowing. Without these guys, I couldn't make Convention happen. They are great friends and brothers - I want to once again extend my thanks to them.

Thanks to Erie Chapter for their work in preparing the hospitality bags and for inviting all DeMolays to their club room on Friday afternoon.

Lastly, I'd like to thank those who attended - especially those who stayed in the overflow hotel. I know it wasn't ideal, but you made it work and for that I'm very appreciative. We had no issues with the hotels or the Convention Center and all of the DeMolay's showed their true character by acting like respectable young men.

That's all til Thursday - see you then!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Convention Checklist

Happy Thursday, everyone! On this particular day, everyone is prepping for their trip to Erie for our 2013 Convention. Who's excited?

As a reminder to those coming to Convention, read the guidelines found on

Each Chapter must have one Advisor present for every five DeMolays. If your Chapter does not have Advisors attending you MUST make arrangements with another Chapter to provide for Advisory coverage.  If you cannot make these arrangements, contact Executive Secretary “Dad” Dave Berry and he will assign a staff member to supervise your members; however, your Chapter will be billed to cover the registration and housing costs.

Each Chapter, according to State Bylaws, is entitled to five delegates. There is a space provided to register your delegates on the Registration Form. Each Chapter is also entitled to five Alternates, who should be registered as such. Past Master Councilors who are under the age of 21 may also vote, but they must register and participate in at least one Convention package.

Also mailed to Chapters and included on this site are the Necrology Report, which can be submitted with your Chapter registration or it can be brought to Convention and a Dress Code for the various events at Convention.

Changes to Convention 2013 - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
Each year the Convention Staff tries to improve the program, and make it more fun and attractive to both members and Advisors (but primarily members!) Any time we plan an event for a distant corner of the state challenges appear. We have tried to address some of those issues here, so please read this section fully.
Dual Site - This year’s Convention is unique in that the group will be staying the hotel but going to events at the Convention Center. All events will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center (not at the Sheraton itself.)

DO NOT PARK AT THE BAYFRONT SHERATON - YOU WILL BE CHARGED.When arriving in Erie, go first to the Bayfront Sheraton and register for your rooms and drop off your luggage. Once your party has it’s rooms, return to your vehicle and drive next door to the Convention Center (See attached map.) You may park your vehicle, free of charge, at the Convention Center. You will register with PA DeMolay in the Convention Center. A sky bridge is provided between the hotel and the Convention Center so you do not need to walk outside to get from one side to the other.

Changes to Hospitality - Due to regulations with the hotel, we will not be hosting a hospitality suite this year. Instead, Erie Chapter will host a hospitality room on Friday afternoon at their club room located in the Masonic Temple, 8th and Peach Streets, Erie, PA. It will be open from 1 to 3 PM on Friday. When the group returns from Presque Isle on Friday evening, everyone is asked to re-enter through the Convention Center and stop at the registration table, where a hospitality bag will be given to each participant.

Erie Chapter Reception - Erie Chapter will be hosting a reception and meeting for Chapters and dignitaries attending the Convention. The Chapter will formally open at 3 PM on Friday, July 19, 2013, in the Lodge Room of the Masonic Temple, 8th and Peach Streets, Erie, PA. Visitors will be formally received and any DeMolay in attendance may count the visit for Merit Bars. This meeting will NOT count towards the visitation competition.

Presque Isle Beach Bash - Presque Isle is one of Pennsylvania’s most beautiful state parks. It also includes the only natural beaches in the state. However, this means the convention participants will be outside. Please plan accordingly and bring insect spray, sun block and proper clothing (for swimming and for exploring the park.) The Convention group will be headquartered at the Cookhouse near the Waterworks Ferry Dock. A map of Presque Isle may be found here:

Please take note: Transportation to and from optional activities, Presque Isle, and Splash Lagoon will NOT be provided. Chapters must arrange their own transportation for these activities. 

Make sure you pack well and get ready for some fun!

Monday, July 15, 2013

It is coming...

Yes, you read that title right. IT is coming. What is it?

Convention is mere days away. More than two years of planning have gone into this event and I sincerely hope that everyone has a good time. Erie is a great city and we have some wonderful events planned. Yes, it's going to be a busy weekend, but that's what makes Convention so special. I know going in to this event that the following things are going to happen:
  1. Someone is going to be unhappy with the food.
  2. Someone is going to be unhappy with the hotel.
  3. Someone is going to be unhappy that they didn't have a piece of information they wanted.
  4. Someone is going to get charged for parking, no matter how many times I've stressed that attendees shouldn't park at the hotel.
  5. Someone is going to be unhappy at the lack of a hospitality suite.
Every year I become a basket case, always trying to make sure everything is perfect for everyone. This is the fifth PA DeMolay Convention I have planned and executed. I haven't had a perfect one yet. I know this one isn't going to be perfect. Nor will next year's. Nor will the year after that.

What I do know is that the staff and myself have put in hundreds of hours of work to bring you the best experience we can. At the end of the weekend, regardless of any other issues, I know we did our best work. That is all we can ask out of our advisors and our DeMolays - and I appreciate those that have contributed to making this year's Convention a success.

Please, enjoy your Convention - don't let the little things get you down - but rather look at all the good that is being done. That's what PA DeMolay is all about.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Value of One Member

This little poem is taken from the DeMolay International "How To" Book. It really makes you think, doesn't it?

Ten little members, standing in a line.
One disliked the Master Councilor, then there were nine.
Nine ambitious members offered to work late.
One forgot his promise, then there were eight.
Eight creative members had ideas good as heaven.
One lost enthusiasm, then there were seven.
Seven loyal members got into a fix.
They quarreled over projects, and then there were six.
Six members remained with spirit and drive.
One moved away, then there were five.
Five steadfast members wished there were more.
One became indifferent, then there were four.
Four cheerful members who never disagree-
'Til one complained of meetings; then there were three.
Three eager members!  What did they do?
One got discouraged, then there were two.
Two lonely members, our rhyme is nearly done.
One joined an athletic club, then there was one.
One faithful member was feeling rather blue-
Met with a neighbor, then there were two.
Two earnest members each enrolled one more-
Doubling their number, and then there were four.
Four determined members, just wouldn't wait
Til each one won another, and then there were eight.
Eight excited members signed up sixteen more,
In another six verses, there'll be a thousand twenty-four!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, July 8, 2013

Undershirts are just that...

Today, it's time for another one of "Dad" Anthony's fashion rants. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the tiniest guy around, but I work hard and take pride in my appearance - especially at fraternal functions. I didn't grow up in a house that was really "fashion" conscious. Most of the guys reading this have probably already tuned out, thinking that fashion is only for girls. However, there are some key points for guys when dressing; even more so when dressing up.

The undershirt seems like the least important piece of clothing that one could own. It's not meant to be seen... it's an undershirt after all! Some guys don't see the need for undershirts or they think that an undershirt is the same as a regular shirt. Thankfully, the folks over at the Art of Manliness have done an excellent job of discussing the options for undershirts and how to choose an appropriate one for your outfit. Check it out at

The next time you dress up, think about the layers that should go into it. It'll save your dress shirts and ensure that you look at the top of your game!

Frat ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony


Monday, July 1, 2013

Celebrating Independence

Today's post comes from "Dad" Peter Brusoe of Nation's Capital DeMolay. Enjoy!

“The government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

As DeMolays, we hear these words every time the Installing Officer presents the school books at the altar during an installation.  As a history buff, I sort of assumed that everyone knew where these words came from.  And then I was at the Lincoln Memorial with a couple of DeMolays and they were reading the Gettysburg Address and said “Oh wow, that’s like what’s in the installation ritual.”  This phraseology is pretty famous, and captures the essence of what a Democratic Republic is and should be. This phrase is so enduring that the Republic of France uses the same phrase in their constitution.

When the installation ritual was being written the memorization of the Gettysburg Address was a standard part of a public school education.  In the time since the ritual was written memorizing The Gettysburg Address has been removed in favor of other pedagogical goals.  I attended the 150th anniversary, or the 7 score and 10 year ago anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and I was reminded of another part of our DeMolay ritual – the 7th preceptor.
The 7th Preceptor talks about young men dying for their nation and helping to secure the rights and civil liberties we enjoy.  There is not an induction ceremony that goes by that I do not tear up a bit after the presentation of that virtue.  In hearing historians, Park Rangers, civil war re-enactors and reading museum exhibitors discuss the battle at Gettysburg, and other civil war battles, you hear the age of the soldiers involved and you think that those are young men that if they were living today would be DeMolays.  The graves over in Gettysburg are filled with men we would be able to call our brothers.

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the battle, if you have not had a chance to, sit down and do some reading about Gettysburg.  Or if you feel like you know enough about the civil war, learn about another battle in our nation’s history, from the Battle of Bunker Hill in our revolutionary war, to the battle of Fallujah in the Iraqi war.  Young men, of DeMolay age, acted bravely because their national called them to duty.

This Thursday we celebrate our American Independence. As we enjoy our hot dog and a parade, lets make sure we remember and honor those who have secured those blessings which we now enjoy.

Some recommended books:

The Killer Angels

Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

General Lee’s Army Victory Collapse

Team of Rivals

Blue Eyed Child of Fortune