Monday, September 30, 2013

Interviewing Logic

As a recovering Human Resources employee, I'm always interested in what is going on in the HR world and how that impacts the general population. One of the ways that HR usually interacts with people is through the interview process when a person is applying for a job. The art of an interview is very distinct and some people are very good at (while others are not.)

Recently, "Dad" Labagh forwarded me a link that his wife sent him with information about what interview questions are actually trying to find out about you. If you know what a person is trying to learn, then you can be better prepared to answer. Check it out!

I've always appreciated LifeHacker and this article is no exception. Anyone can benefit from this article, whether it be DeMolays or adults.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Experiences in Ritual Competitions

Today's article comes from Bro.  Isaac Holtzer, Deputy State Master Councilor of PA DeMolay. He writes about his experiences at the Mid-Atlantic Tournament of Champions.

On September 6 - 8, 2013, ten DeMolays from Pennsylvania attended the Mid-Atlantic Tournament of Champions, or MATOC. MATOC is an event that hosts DeMolays from all over Region II of DeMolay International for a ritual competition. Competitions range from "Rookie of the Year," which covers the obligations for new members, to the DeMolay Degree, to the Chaplain Prayers. The goal for every DeMolay there is to get as close to a perfect score as possible, which is 1000, and do better than everyone else who competed. Every competitor starts with a perfect score and they lose points if they mess up the words or there is an issue with the presentation.

Imagine going into a lodge room with four people watching everything you do, ready to catch something you do wrong, and then performing the best ritual you can. This is what Matt Maple, Isaac Holtzer, Lorenzo Rodriguez, Phil Cancila, David Kopp, Eric Dye, Tyler Moyer, Adam Pritchard, Andrew Santilli, and Anthony Kallhoff did at MATOC. They competed in many competitions as a team and individually; they included the Preceptor Trio, Magnificent Seven, Orator, Flower Talk, Ceremony of Light, Chaplain, RD Ceremony, and Majority Service. Many of them even became MATOC Champions, doing better than everyone else in their chosen competitions. A member of PA DeMolay won the Rookie of the Year, Magnificent Seven, Preceptor Trio, and Majority Service. This goes to show that Pennsylvania DeMolay does some very impressive ritual.

I personally have attended the past two MATOCs. Both times I have had the opportunity to meet with other DeMolays from neighboring jurisdictions and compete in brotherly competition. When I first went to MATOC, what made me excited was that everyone helped each other at practicing their ritual, even though they were competing against each other, which really shows how we are truly a fraternity.  The first time I competed I was extremely nervous going into the competition and I hoped I would not receive the lowest score out of everyone. It turned out I did the opposite and I won, but only by five points. At the second MATOC I attended I was not as nervous and I focused on getting a higher score, possibly a 1000, which is very difficult to achieve. I did not get a perfect score, however I did obtain my goal to do better. MATOC has helped give me a passion to do the best I can at ritual and I hope everyone goes to MATOC in their DeMolay career.

Many DeMolays in Pennsylvania hear about the Mid-Atlantic Tournament of Champions and get nervous, not wanting to go, but would like to see how well they can perform ritual. In this past year, we have found a solution to this problem! We now have statewide ritual tournaments at every weekend we have at Patton Campus. This gives every DeMolay the opportunity to compete in ritual even if you do not want to travel to MATOC. The best part about the statewide competitions is that you can compete more than once and try to get a better score. So there is no reason you cannot compete in a ritual tournament!

Until next time - Isaac

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Key Cru Archive Now Live!

Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Keystone Crusader Archive on the PA DeMolay Website. Go check it out!

We have posted all of the issues from the original run of the Keystone Crusader, up through 1942. This project has been a labor of love and is no where near complete, as we still have 50+ years of KeyCrus to post. However, since there was a nice break in the run, it seemed appropriate to post at least this part. There is a lot of history contained in these documents and I hope that you will take the time to look through them. I'm sure you'll see some familiar names, faces, and Chapters as you browse.

Thanks for keeping the history of PA DeMolay alive!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why do Lodge presentations?

Today, we have a special guest post from "Dad" Dan Loughin, Chapter Advisor for Reading Chapter, in Reading, PA. He sent this article my way and it's surely worth a read! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

On September 12th, Reading, the Chapter in which I’m the Chapter Advisor, made a beautiful presentation of the Ceremony of Light, and had a 15 minute Q&A session, for the members of Reading Lodge No. 549.  Reading DeMolay and Reading Lodge have had a deep connection for half a century,and have always provided support for each other.  This presentation, along with the rest of the events of the evening, got me to thinking: why is it important for us as DeMolays to make presentations to the Lodges?  There are several reasons, and I would like to go over them with you.

One of the large reasons that we need to make these presentations to our l=Lodges is we need to show them what they are supporting.  Most of the l=Lodge members join Lodge for themselves.  They know that they are dedicated to charity, but they don’t necessarily know what that charity is to them.  Many of your sponsors donate a nominal amount each year to help you continue to perform and grow throughout the year.  Many of the members have had no interaction with DeMolay before they were members of the Lodge, and are unsure as to what we do in DeMolay.  This is a great way to show them what DeMolay is, what we do, and how we do that.  Most people need a tangible return on their investment, and this directly shows that.
Another good reason is for recruitment.  DeMolay survives with the membership and Advisors.  If we don’t refill the membership roles from majorities, and we don’t refill the Advisory Council from those who decide their time with DeMolay is finished, then the Chapters will cease to exist.  I hate having such a sour attitude, but this is a harsh reality that we face each year.  Invariably, you will have members of the Lodge so impressed that they will want their son or grandson to join DeMolay.  Or, just as good as members, you’ll have a Mason who would like to be involved directly, and you will gain another Advisor.
What everyone is excited about is rewards.  If you make a presentation to a Lodge, you will gain at least Masonic service points towards your merit bars.  If you do a ritualistic presentation, like the Ceremony of Light or Flower Talk, you’ll earn ritual points on top of it.
So you may be saying to yourself at this moment “I don’t like talking in front of groups.”  This is understandable.  But, my response to this is always the same: you don’t have to be a centerpiece of the actual presentation, but go just to support your Brother who will be.  We may be a service and fun organization, but what we forget about the most is that we are also a support organization.  And who knows, you may actually enjoy talking to the members of the lodge, and want to join when you are old enough to.
The most important thing to remember with Lodge presentations is this: don’t wait!  Don’t wait for the Lodge to contact the Chapter to set up a presentation.  Get in contact with the lodge set one up.  If you don’t know how to get in contact with the Lodge, ask one of your Advisors that is a Mason.  He will gladly get you in contact with the right person.
Lastly, if you want to do a presentation, but have no idea where to start, please ask anyone that has done a Lodge presentation, whether they are an active member that’s done one recently, or one of us Senior DeMolays that did several back when we were active.  We are always willing to help you guys out, which is why we came back as Advisors.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Manly Quotations

In the last year or so, I've noticed an uptick of people posting quotes, or using them in their writing. This has been especially true in speeches and newsletter pieces. Oftentimes, the quotes chosen are very applicable. In other instances, they seem stretched and over wrought. Regardless, we can learn a lot from understanding and studying what others in the past have said about this world.

The Art of Manliness recently posted an article that contained manly quotes, along with some great visuals to go with them. I've posted a few of them here so you can see. The full article can be found here:

I encourage all DeMolays and Advisors to check these out and perhaps share them on Facebook. You never know what you might learn!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Man Behind the Curtain

In the world of DeMolay, the Executive Officer of a Jurisdiction often acts as the front man for DeMolay in his area. When things are going well, he gets the glory. Conversely, when things are going poorly, he gets the blame. However, in some Jurisdictions, Pennsylvania being one of them, the Executive Officer is the leader of a much larger team of adults who help to keep the program going. But, like any team, there is one player who really stands out. In Pennsylvania, that person has been the Executive Secretary - the man behind the proverbial curtain.

Since the inception of PA DeMolay, the Executive Secretary has played an important role in the day to day operations of the Jurisdiction. He has been, and remains, the right hand of the Executive Officer. He manages the day to day office work so the Executive Officer can concentrate on more "big picture" ideas, as well as being the face of the organization.

First, check out our gallery of Past Executive Secretaries, here:

We've had 9 Executive Secretaries in Pennsylvania. Three of them have gone on to become Executive Officer - Labagh, McCulley, and Fisher. On average, they have served 8.5 years in the position, with "Dad" Alfred Baker, the first Executive Secretary, serving the least amount of time, and "Dad" David W. Berry, the current ES, holding it the longest - with more than 20 years of service. Of the 9, 7 hailed from the Eastern part of the State, with only two coming from other areas - "Dad" Baker was from Pittsburgh, while "Dad" Deeter was from St. Mary's.

It's also important to point out that the last 3 Executive Secretaries,  prior to "Dad" Berry, have all remained active with DeMolay in some way. It's a testament to their love of the organization that have kept active.

While the EO might be the face of DeMolay, we can never forget the work and effort the Executive Secretary's have put in to make our Jurisdiction great!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Running Good Meetings

I'm having a particularly busy day here at the PMYF office, so today's blog post is going to be short and sweet.

I recently came across this great video on how to run a good team meeting and thought I'd share it with all of you.

For those in the Western part of the state, I will be attending the Grand Master's Youth Appreciation event in Pittsburgh suburbs this weekend. I hope to see you there!
Frat ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony