Thursday, April 21, 2016

Difference Makers: John Wayne

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” No quote better encapsulates the "true tough as irons with a heart soft as leather nature" of “The Duke.” Born Marion Robert Morrison, the future American actor would go on to be the most recognized name in all of the western genre of film. However, before all of that, John Wayne, then known as “Little Duke” because of the massive Airedale Terrier that he always had with him which was also named Duke, was a brother in the Order of DeMolay.
After his high school years, Wayne went to the University of Southern California on a football scholarship to major in Pre-Law. While there, he engaged deeply in his studies and became a member of the Sigma Chi greek fraternity. Unfortunately, Wayne lost his scholarship due to a bodysurfing accident and was forced to return home to Southern California, unable to pay the hefty price of college tuition.
While at the time this seemed devastating to the young star-to-be, it was in fact a miracle. While working odds and ends in the acting industry, he was cast for the lead role in The Big Trail (1930), one of the first big budget films in the greatest decade in film history. It was here that he got his stage name “John Wayne.” His success on the big screen began to climb, and before long he was starring in his immortal pictures such as The Searchers (1956), True Grit (1969), The Quiet Man (1952), and The Alamo (1960).
John Wayne’s story of success is one for the history books, but it is all the more meaningful to us, his brothers. So when you hit some troubles down the road, remember to be like John Wayne; "I'm not the sort to back away from a fight. I don't believe in shrinking from anything. It's not my speed; I'm a guy who meets adversities head on."
This edition of the blog has been provided by PA DeMolay State Treasurer Daniel Shevalier. Thank you Daniel for your contribution. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Survey Says: How to Improve the PA DeMolay Product

A few weeks ago, I put together a survey to try to get an idea of the areas in which we can improve the overall PA DeMolay product. I'm happy to say that we had 58 members and advisors take the time to fill out this survey. Here are a few of the things that I have learned throughout the survey: 

In terms of the Keystone Crusader:

  • 32.8% would like to receive the Keystone Crusader through social media or email.
  • A large portion of the group would like some new content to the publication. 
  • Some families receive multiple copies of the newsletter, and would like that lowered.

In terms of bringing back a PA DeMolay activity:

  • 30% would like to see 007 weekend back in the future and 24% would like NERF weekend back in the future. 
  • A good portion of the "other" responses wanted the Athletic program back.
  • The major thing that can be taken out of the results of this question; if the members will support it then we should do it. 

In terms of the Athletics program:

  • Almost half of the people surveyed want the Athletics program brought back as a feature to the programs we currently have. 
  • About 38% want the Athletics program brought back the way we had it. 
  • Make sure that brotherhood is the most important lesson if the program is brought back.

In terms of a specific Athletic Program:

  • 42% want to bring back the Flag Football weekend
  • 21% want Basketball weekend back
  • A good amount would like to see brotherhood style since some chapters cannot field teams. 

In terms of ritual:

  • 52% of the people surveyed think that all options should be used. The options were assigning a youth director, hold ritual competitions and set aside time at state weekends for ritual programs.
  • Some people think that if ritual is pushed too hard, we could lose members. Find a way to make it fun.  
  • A few people are not in favor of the idea of a youth director

In terms of Call Em All: 

  • 33% of people say that their chapter uses it all of the time. 
  • about 20% would prefer a text message than a phone call from a machine.
  • The chapters that don't use it state that they prefer personal phone calls because of the small number of members.

In terms of the squire program (a program designed for 9 to 11 year old boys prepping them for DeMolay):

  • 45% think that the squire program is a great idea to get young guys ready for DeMolay.
  • 25% of people need more information about the program, including success rates from other jurisdictions. 
  • A majority of people think that it's a great idea, but it will need added support from advisors to make it happen. 

In terms of the website and blog page:

  • Some people think that the web page needs more updates, especially chapter specific news. 
  •  A lot of people like the idea of the blog and would like to see guest bloggers as well. 
  • Content needs to be more youth oriented.
In terms of new programming for PA DeMolay:

  • Some people would like the idea of video blogs, interviews and podcasts added to the content. 
  • A few people like the idea of teaching more life skill oriented programs such as finance, resume building and time management. 
  • A few people think that a statewide community service project is a good idea. 

In terms of membership:

  •  A lot people think that we should have better incentive programs 
  • Some would like to see updated chapter brochures. 
  • Advertise

Suggestions, Concerns Complaints:

  • Find ways to encourage smaller chapters to participate. 
  • Some people like the idea of bringing in guest speakers.
  • We need to focus on keeping members and recruiting advisors.

Thank you to everyone who helped out by voicing their opinions on the matter. Here at the PA DeMolay office, we take all recommendations into consideration in order to make this a well rounded product for members and advisors. We have already worked on improving some of these requests, and look forward to making more in the near future. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin