Monday, June 30, 2014

Convention 2014 is fast approaching!

We’ve spent the last several weeks promoting Key Man University, to great success, but I recently realized that we haven’t said much about Convention 2014. While the registrations are now past due, I do want to give some updates on the program for those who are going to attend. Convention 2014 has several significant changes from last year’s Convention, mostly to accommodate extra celebrations for our 90th Anniversary.

Beginning on Friday afternoon, July 18, 2014, attendees are invited to attend a private tour and show at the Reading Museum and Planetarium. While this activity is optional, we got such a great deal on it that we were able to include it in the price for Convention for everyone registering for the appropriate package.  The planetarium show will be on Black Holes and their effect on space, so you won’t want to miss it!

Friday evening will start with an awesome all American traditional BBQ, consisting of hot dogs, hamburgers, country fried chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, red potatoes, and more! Following the meal, members and Advisors will take a quick trip over to the Works at Wyomissing, where they will enjoy unlimited non-ticket video games from 6:30 to 10:30 PM.  Each person will also receive a $5 gift card, good for ticketed games, food, or to apply towards go-kart racing at the attached go-kart track. Attendees will return to the hotel by 11 PM, with an 11:15 PM curfew.

Saturday is going to be a big (and long) day, so prepare yourself! Breakfast kicks off at 8 AM, with a full buffet, including eggs, bacon, potatoes, pastries, biscuits, and other cold items. We start the morning with the business session. Yes, that’s right, the business session will be happening first thing in the morning, rather than the afternoon.  The business session should roll right into our Awards Luncheon, which will end with an address from a very special Key Note Speaker (which we’re keeping under wraps for now!) The menu will consist of a stuffed chicken breast, with cornbread stuffing, roasted potatoes, a vegetable blend, dessert, and other trimmings. Our goal is to have the luncheon done as early as possible, but we’ve padded the time just to be sure.

Beginning at 2:30 PM, active DeMolays and Advisors will be divided into two groups for workshops. The dress for these workshops is business casual, so if lunch ends early, there will be time to change. Active DeMolays will have a ritual workshop, while the Advisors will have a round table discussion with “Dad” Labagh, our Executive Officer.

At 3:10 PM, the workshops will wrap up. Advisors who are members of the DeMolay Legion of Honor are invited to attend the Legion of Honor Secret Vow. Starting at 4:00 PM, active DeMolays, Advisors, members, and friends, are invited to attend conferral of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. We are asking that each Chapter be represented by at least one DeMolay or Advisor at this event (members of the conferral team or recipients do not count.) A conferral of this sort has not been done at Convention in more than 10 years (in fact, it was the last time we were in Reading that we did it!) Please take this opportunity to witness a most impressive ceremony. Those not attending the Ceremony will have some free time.

As soon as the Legion of Honor Ceremony wraps up, everyone will enjoy a dinner of roast turkey, with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, dessert, and more. Dinner will be served to each upon arrival and dress is casual (for those that may have changed during free time.) The plan is to have dinner wrapped by 6:30 PM so that everyone will get a break and have an opportunity to change before the official start of our big 90th Anniversary Ball.

This dance will be the real deal, having a “Great Gatsby” theme, and playing host to the Diablo Sandwich Band, an 8 piece ensemble that can play hits from today and yesterday. During the dance, our new State Sweetheart will be crowned as well. The dance is jacket and tie or “Great Gatsby” themed dress, so plan appropriately. This should complete a fun filled day!

After all of this excitement, we will be wrapping our Convention up on Sunday morning with the Installation of State Officers and remarks by our new State Master Councilor. The meal will consist of another breakfast buffet, with plenty of food for all. You certainly won’t leave Convention hungry!
The PA DeMolay and More Store will be open for several hours during the event, as well as a hospitality suite operated by Reading Chapter. What more could you ask for?

While I’m sure there will be hiccups, and that being in a jacket and tie all day on Saturday won’t be fun, the overall event is going to be fantastic and I look forward to greeting everyone in Reading in a few short weeks!

Frat ~ “Dad” Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Meet the KMU Staff: The Sweetheart Department

KeyMan University is looking to once again be full of fun, friends, food… and females! That’s right, after a successful first year as participants at KeyMan, the Sweethearts are coming back. This time the ladies are majoring in their own track, designed specifically to hit the key points important to a Sweetheart. Such courses and skills include:

• Basics of a Sweetheart
• DeMolay for Dummies
• Put the “Fun” in Fundraising
• Public Speaking
• Dressing for Success

These are just a few of the skills that the Sweethearts and others choosing to take courses will learn, all of which are designed to help sweethearts aid their chapters and get a little bit of extra DeMolay knowledge! The three dedicated staff working with this major have experience working with DeMolay and other youth organizations, and are eager to extend their knowledge to help the Sweethearts of PA and other jurisdictions work more efficiently and smoothly with their chapters.

Let’s take a moment to meet the Sweetheart Staff!

“Mom” Angela Lennox is a past Chapter Sweetheart of both New Castle Builders Chapter and Erie Chapter. Although fairly new to the Executive Officer staff, “Mom” Lennox helped pioneer the first Sweetheart track during KeyMan 2013, where Sweethearts from across the state came together and learned about the state charity, their roles as sweethearts, and got crash courses in all things DeMolay. In addition to her role as Assistant Sweetheart Director, “Mom” Lennox is a majority member of Pennsylvania Rainbow where she currently serves as a member of the Jr. Grand Executive Committee. Professionally, “Mom” Lennox has found her passion working with children with behavioral disorders as a Therapeutic Staff Support. “Mom” Lennox is excited to once again work with the Sweethearts of PA DeMolay this year at KMU!

“Mom” Jennifer Kopp is a Past Chapter Sweetheart of Hershey chapter in Hershey, PA and a Past State Sweetheart of PA DeMolay 2000-2001. “Mom” Kopp serves on the Pennsylvania DeMolay Executive Officers staff as Director of the State Sweetheart Program where she was tasked with developing the first Sweetheart program for KeyMan in 2013 and provides support to the presiding State Sweetheart.  When not involved with DeMolay “Mom” Kopp works for Dickinson College in Carlisle as a business analyst in the Enterprise Systems department.

“Mom” Linda Pullin has been a DeMolay advisor for the past ten years. In that time she has served as an advisor for several committees including being the sweetheart advisor for the past 7 years. She has earned her Cross of Honor. She has learned so much through DeMolay and does everything she can to help teach others. She is a former rainbow girl, being in Rainbow for 6 years and an advisor for Rainbow for 4 years. Linda has worked for the School District of Philadelphia as a Supportive Service Assistant (SSA) in special education classes for 5 years and in kindergarten classes for 8 years. All of her life she has given time to help others learn new things. She is a strong believer in the sweetheart program and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the sweetheart program strong. She loves working with the youth and finds it rewarding to see young people grow and succeed in life.

What fun would DeMolay be without that extra smile provided by the Sweethearts? We welcome the Sweethearts from across the state and other jurisdictions to come and learn about what is needed to keep the program afloat, as well as get to know the members of PA DeMolay!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Different Kind of Legion of Honor

DeMolay International met over this past weekend, with all the pomp and circumstance that comes with the annual meeting of a national organization. One piece of business that the organization must transact each year is the approval of nominations for DeMolay honors. This includes the Chevalier, Cross of Honor, and the Legion of Honor. PA DeMolay was pleased to have all of our Honors approved and a complete list will appear on the PA DeMolay website in the next day or so. However, the timing was fortuitous, as we recently came into possession of an interesting piece of regalia.

The Legion of Honor is most recognizable for its Red and White Cordons, from which is suspended the jewel of a Legionnaire. Anyone who has been around DeMolay, for even a brief period of time, will probably have seen these honors being worn by deserving men. But, there was a time, when innovations in regalia weren't all that uncommon. Enter the Legion of Honor breast jewel.

This jewel, purchased at auction, has a pin back, for affixing to a jacket or other garment. The Ribbon is white, being suspended from a top bar that says "Honorary." The Legion of Honor medallion that hangs from it is significantly smaller than the one comes on the cordons; it measures only two inches from top to bottom. The medal itself also says "Honorary DeMolay Legion of Honor," telling us that the drop was designed specifically for this award. These jewels are somewhat rare, with only a handful being held in collections across the Country (and in Brazil.) We're not entirely sure why these jewels were made or who distributed them (we presume that DeMolay International did) but it is an interesting addition to our collections.

While we are the subject of jewels and honors, we took some time to produce some high quality, high resolution images of some other DeMolay Honors and Awards, which you'll find below. You are welcome to use them in your publications and for promotional purposes. As always, you can click the image for a larger version.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meet the KMU Staff: The Chapter Leadership Department

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Master Councilor of your chapter?  Or, are you like most people and thought that will NEVER be me?  We are here to tell you, YES YOU CAN!  The Chapter Leadership Department at Key Man will help YOU become an effective leader for your chapter.  We are offering courses in many different fields of leadership including: 
  • What is a good leader?
  • How to plan your term of office  
  • How to divide and conquer
  • What is the PMC-MSA and what does it mean to me?
  • My term is over, now what?
  • What does a Jurisdictional Officer do, and why? 
“Dad” Thomas Moyer has been involved with DeMolay since 2004, when he was inducted into Pilgrim Chapter in Harrisburg, PA.  “Dad” Moyer was able to rise through the offices of Pennsylvania DeMolay to serve as State Master Councilor for the year of 2010-11.  He has also served as Assistant Key Man Youth Director for two years and the Convention Youth Director for the 2012 PA DeMolay Convention.  Since becoming a Sr. DeMolay in 2013, Tom has gone on to become a Deputy Executive Officer for PA DeMolay and looks forward to helping share his ideas on effective Chapter Leadership for all those who are up to the task!

“Dad” Joseph Pullin has been involved with DeMolay from the age of 15, when he was recruited off the soccer fields of Philadelphia by a few of his friends who were in DeMolay. Since first becoming involved, “Dad” Pullin has served as Master Councilor on three separate occasions.  Through all of his years in DeMolay, he would move up through the ranks to become both State Junior Councilor and Deputy State Master Councilor for Pennsylvania DeMolay.  “Dad” Pullin is currently the Chapter Advisor for Northeast Chapter as well as their Athletics Advisor. “Dad” Pullin has gained a lot of experience in all of his years in DeMolay, and he looks forward to helping members in the Chapter Leadership Department grow! 

“Dad” Rob Otto is a current advisor for Carlisle Chapter and an active Master Mason.   He joined DeMolay in 2006 as a member of George Washington Chapter, in Chambersburg, PA, and participated with the chapter until reaching majority in 2011.  He helped assist in the creation of Carlisle Chapter in 2011.  Rob is a Past Master Councilor of the chapter and received his RD, Lamp of Knowledge, and also is a Chevalier.  “Dad” Otto’s accomplishments include being a Past Master Councilor, a Chevalier, and receiving his Representative DeMolay. 

Now let's learn to lead and succeed!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Manly Leadership Lessons from Board Games

Over the past several days, I attended a large table top gaming Convention in Ohio. There were about 15,000 people at this event, representing diverse interests in board and card games. Companies who manufacture and produce these kinds of games were also present, showing off their products and trying to generate interest in their brands. I was able to check out several games that have potential as teaching tools for workshops in the future. I won't tip my hand on what I found just yet, but I have some cool ideas for the future.

In the mean time, check out this article about manly life lessons that you can learn from board games:

This article accurately describes some of the things I look for in games that I can use to teach. The insight provided is right on and might help make your Chapter board game night into a learning experience too!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Meet the KMU Staff: The Communications & Media Department

Every day we see creative, inspiring and captivating forms of media and communication (I mean, who doesn't like t-shirts, cat videos and free posters?) 

For years, DeMolay has taught its members about the interactive, personal and print media field - teaching us how to manage ourselves appropriately and make conscience decisions when producing a positive image for ourselves or our Chapters. At Key Man University this year, a team of wise, creative and rather awesome advisors took on the task of teaching YOU about the odds and ends of everything you wanted to know about Communication and Media.
If you're already asking some of these questions below, you're the kind of person for the Communications and Media Department! 

  • How do I start a Website?
  • Sweet Shirt! Where do I get one?
  • What's a tweet and how do I do it? 
  • I can just delete that off the internet, right? 
  • How does proper writing fall into all this?
  • What's print media all about?
  • Am I creative enough for this?

These questions would remain unanswered if not for our great C&M staff for this year, let's go ahead and see what they're all about. 

"Dad" Matt Blaisdell, a Past State Master Councilor and Director of Media of Pennsylvania DeMolay, is a recent graduate of Edinboro University with a Degree in Graphic Design. When "Dad" Blaisdell isn't working at the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation office, he's at home teaching himself web design, designing large scale print print publications for many different clients and watching the occasional funny cat video. He's been involved in the design field for over five years, continuously learning, teaching and finding new ways to create. 

"Dad" Peter Brusoe, a Past State Master Councilor of New York DeMolay, is celebrating a decade of service as a DeMolay advisor.   He has served DeMolay in a number of different capacities ranging from chapter advisor to a Deputy Congress Advisor.  Professionally, "Dad" Brusoe works as a data analyst for a data and news company in Washington, D.C.  Outside of DeMolay, "Dad" Brusoe serves on the board of the Albany Alumni Association, the Dean's Advisory Council for Rockefeller College, is President of the Woodley Park Community Assocaition and chaired the Commission on National and Community Service for Washington, D.C. 

"Dad" Stefan Revesz, a Past State Master Councilor of New Jersey DeMolay, has more than a decade of service as a DeMolay advisor.   He has served DeMolay in New Jersey on various staff positions ranging from Ritual Director to Assistant Executive Officer.  Professionally, "Dad" Revesz works as a Manager for the Credit Union of New Jersey.  Outside of DeMolay, "Dad" Revesz is a Past Master of Gothic-Fraternal Lodge, Junior Deputy Grand Tall of Trenton Forest #4 TCL and serves on the board of the Ewing Little League.

If you come to Key Man University with a ready-to-learn mindset, you're going to have the experience of a lifetime! 

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it"

Pablo Piccasso 

Come to Key Man University and take on the Communications & Media Challenge - learn something, create something and teach something that you can bring home to your Chapters to make a better DeMolay experience! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Look Back

Over this past weekend, Mrs. Helen Snedden, the Supreme Deputy for PA Rainbow Girls, brought a treasure trove of photos to Patton Campus. These photos, all from Rainbow events over the last 60 years, chronicled the Order of the Rainbow for Girls in PA. While most of the photos would not be of much interest to our DeMolay audience, I did pull some choice gems out of the stack to offer a look back. Enjoy! (Click on the image to see it larger.)

Jennifer Kopp, our State Sweetheart Director, when she was a Rainbow Girl.

"Dad" Tom Labagh, our EO, poses with the then Supreme Deputy of PA Rainbow and the Grand Worthy Advisor for PA.

"Dad" Eric Ullom, then State Master Councilor, poses with the Grand Worthy Advisor and Supreme Deputy for PA.

Some of the PA DeMolay State Officers, led by "Dad" Eric Ullom (center) with help from "Dad" Lee Cram (then International Congress Secretary, seen at far right), assist the PA Rainbow Girls for their annual formal photograph.

Bro. Tom Denslow, then IMC, poses with Miss International Job's Daughters and the national representative for Rainbow.

Bro. Harry G. Camic, State Master Councilor in 1978-1979. Bro. Camic has since passed away. 
...and the best part is... this is just the beginning of what I found!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Meet the KMU Staff: The Jurisdictional Officer Department

Being a DeMolay Jurisdictional Officer can be the experience of a lifetime if you put in your best effort to make our Order succeed.  Out of the thousands of active DeMolays in your respective jurisdictions, you were chosen to be a leader and represent your fellow members.

As a Jurisdictional Officer, you must always remember that during your term of office, YOU are the face of the Order.  The opinion of YOU will reflect on how people see our organization as a whole.  YOU represent the best and brightest of what DeMolay has to offer. YOU were selected, based on your commitment to DeMolay, lead and serve, offering your talents and guidance.
At KeyMan University, members of the Jurisdictional Officer track; consisting of elected and appointed jurisdictional officers, will have the opportunity to learn some of the best training and techniques our leadership preparation has to offer, such as:

• Effective public speaking skills
• Create a valuable jurisdictional term plan
• Planning and executing a jurisdictional activity
• Composing a jurisdictional newsletter
• How to chair a jurisdictional committee
• How to communicate effectively
• Team-building skills
• Setting and achieving goals
• Time management skills
• C.A.F.O.T.E.O.  (…What the heck is that??)
• How to interact with the elderly
• Effective public relations skills
• How to create/maintain a website
• How to teach/mentor my peers
• How to select and pursue a state charity

Keep in mind that a Jurisdictional Officer’s job is ever-evolving. You will be responsible for interacting with new and older members, advisors, and senior DeMolays, as well as various Civic and Masonic Leaders.  That being said, you must be able to adapt to each group and “sell” DeMolay.  We will teach you that, and so much more in the KMU J.O track.

The 2014 KeyMan University Jurisdictional Officer track will involve some work and eagerness, but we can assure that attendees will leave the program with new skills and leadership qualities unmatched by none.  KeyMan University’s Jurisdictional Officer Leadership Track will be bigger and better than any other out there, and is guaranteed to be the experience of a lifetime! 

So, who's running this show? “Dad" Rick Freedman is a Deputy Executive Officer and the Director of Membership for Pennsylvania DeMolay.  He currently serves as the Advisory Council Chairman for Friendship-Bray Chapter in Hatboro, PA. He is an Active Member of the Supreme Council for DeMolay International and served in numerous roles, including International Congress Advisor.  A Key Man veteran, “Dad” Freedman is serving in his 24th consecutive year for the program, and has owned a variety of roles in the success of the program, including that of Director for two years.

He is a two-time Past Master of Williamson-Corinthian Lodge No. 368 in Philadelphia and currently serves as their lead instructor of ritual.  “Dad” Freedman is also a past presiding officer and active with Scottish Rite Masonry in the Valley of Philadelphia.

He is a Vice President of MRS Associates; a financial recovery firm in Cherry Hill, NJ.
In a world that revolves around who you are and those you know, a winning attitude can make you a star in your network of people and provide the opportunity of a lifetime.  “Dad” Freedman always believes in having a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) in all he does and professes that to others.

Assisting "Dad" Freedman is Bro. (and soon to be "Dad") Chris Labaw, of New Jersey, was installed as the International Congress Secretary of DeMolay at the 46th DeMolay Congress in Minneapolis, MN on June 15th, 2013.

Chris joined Delaware Valley Chapter on November 13, 2004 in Riverside, New Jersey. After serving his chapter as Master Councilor in the fall of 2007, and appointed State Senior Steward in 2008. He progressed through the elected state line serving as State Scribe, State Senior Councilor, Deputy State Master Councilor and finally serving as the 63th State Master Councilor of New Jersey in 2012-2013.

Chris holds the Representative DeMolay, Lamp of Knowledge and was honored with the Degree of Chevalier. He considers himself very fortunate to have been able to spend some of his past summers learning about DeMolay and spending time with his brothers at various Leadership Training Conferences including the Region 1 Leadership Training Conference in 2007, KeyMan Conference 2010 and the Garden State Leadership Training Conference in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

A quote that Chris has always tried to remember while in DeMolay is that "One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team."

Are YOU ready to accept the challenge??  See you in August!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tour Jacques DeMolay's Jail Cell

Over this past weekend, I purchased a book that spoke about the history of Freemasonry. One of the plates in the book was a picture of the Chateau du Chinon, in France, where Jacques DeMolay was held captive by the Church and Phillip the Fair, the King. As often as we discuss the life and death of our namesake, I had never thought to look into where his final years were spent.

The first place I hit up was Wikipedia and their article on the Castle. It has a fascinating history, covering several centuries. At one point, the site was visited by Joan of Arc! It also served many masters, including the infamous Cardinal Richeleiu, the villain in the Three Musketeers.

After reading about the facility, I found out that Jacques was held in a prison tower known as the Tour du Courdray. I went on a search to find pictures of this castle, only to find a great video tour of the Tour du Courdray. While the video is in French, it's still worth while to watch, as it gives you a better idea of the layout of the castle.

The next time you and your Chapter perform a DeMolay Degree, you can think back to where Jacques was held for some inspiration!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony