Thursday, January 7, 2016

Be Different Spotlight: Reading Chapter

The following post is part of a series entitled the “Be Different Spotlight.” This post will display a chapter’s effort to grasp the concept of the theme for this year. Each chapter was challenged by the State Master Councilor, Adam Pritchard, to “Be Different.” 

Challenge Accepted! This is the story of how Reading Chapter embraced that challenge...

I am proud to announce that Reading Chapter has successfully thrown their first “Be Different” event. In order to explain the event, we all need some back story. For a couple of years “Dad” Dan Loughin has challenged Reading Chapter that if they can make positive growth, he would allow the members of the chapter who were first line signers to shave his head. Reading has been desperately trying to reach this goal for a while, but have unfortunately come short every time.

However, this year was a bit different. Reading Chapter was able to make positive growth for the first time in years due to the help of state incentive programs and chapter incentives. Now the problem continued: When is a good time to celebrate this auspicious occasion and officially get the clippers buzzing.

Reading Chapter’s Master Councilor Brian Henderson had planned a “Be Different” game night for his term. This game night was newer than game nights that Reading Chapter used to throw in the past, which usually involved card games and board games only. Recently our lodge hall had several parlor games installed in the lodge cafeteria, including billiards and air hockey. For the first time, Reading Chapter was able to utilize these items to take game night to a whole new level.

Members showed up with their families, as well as prospects (thus doubling this fun game night to also be a prospect party.) There were sodas, chips, cookies, pizza and fellowship for everyone. Throughout the night you could hear the constant clanking of air hockey chips as well as the cracking of a cue ball against the other pool balls. Members and friends played doubles so as to include as many people as possible. I sat at a table playing various card games with 3 other youth in attendance. The prospect party did not end there, with the opportunity to play Wii or ping pong still remaining as options before the night was over.

The night culminated in the long awaited and anticipated shaving of “Dad” Loughin’s head. The floor was prepped, the clippers were plugged in, and the members gathered. The first line signers took turns taking swipes across “Dad” Loughin’s head while others watched and laughed. At some point members began to forgo shaving everything off, but thought it funnier to cut irregular tufts of hair off his head, and then began to make fun patterns and unusual shapes. 

The night ended with shaving the rest of his head bald and clean up. Much fun was had and goodbyes were given (especially to "Dad" Loughin's hair.) The event was so successful that several prospects who were in attendance showed strong interest in joining, and younger siblings who came for the fun were looking to continue to be involved in chapter activities until they can join.

To watch the video of "Dad" Loughin getting his hair shaved off click here

This blog post was written by Pennsylvania DeMolay SMC Adam Pritchard. Thank you Brother Adam for your contribution.

Reading Chapter has completed the challenge to “Be Different.” What has your chapter done in order to change things up a bit? Send in program details or write a post for your chapter and send it to me at

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