Friday, June 23, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Brian Martin for State Senior Councilor

Convention is just around the corner, so lets take a few minutes to meet the candidates for Elected State Office. Members will get the chance to elect their officers during the Business Session the Saturday morning of Convention. They were all asked to provide a biography and an answer to the three questions below.

Hello everyone, my name is Brian Eduardo Martin. I'm the first DeMolay and Mason of my family. I’m from Carlisle, PA and I'm a PMC of Carlisle Chapter. Some of my hobbies include golfing, fishing and hunting. My favorite superhero is Batman. My accomplishments include obtaining my PMC-MSA, DeMolay Varsity letter, RD and earning the Degree of Chevalier.

What are your goals if elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
If I’m elected to serve Pennsylvania DeMolay as your State Senior Councilor I would like to help chapter's increase visitation amongst each other. I would also like to help find new ways to get DeMolay out there to the public to boost membership.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
My biggest DeMolay influence will not change. My influence is Bill Sardone. I look up to him ever since the day I met him. The passion for DeMolay that he exudes is what I stride for. I hope that exuding that passion to the younger DeMolays will make them love this organization as much as I do.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
My greatest DeMolay accomplishment to date is serving as State Scribe for Pennsylvania DeMolay. It taught me time management. This helped me become a better State office in learning how to juggle school, DeMolay and work. It also helped me get around Pennsylvania to meet new brothers that have yet come to a State weekends and or from another state. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

KMU Course Selection: Events and Program Planning

The following is a blog post highlighting a specific department that will be offered at KeyMan University this summer. Today's post is written by "Dad" P.J. Shuey, who will be of the Department Chairman for the Events and Program Planning Department. 

So you’ve decided that you are going to attend the PA DeMolay Keyman Conference this year, but you need to decide which department to spend the week with. You might wonder what a week with the Events and Program Planning department might look like. Well I’m here to tell you that it is packed with learning, experience, and fun.

By the end of the first day you will have learned everything you need to know about planning a first class event.  On day two you will be putting those new skills into practice. Throughout the week, the Events and Program Planning department is responsible for organizing a number of activities and events for other campers. For example, we will be organizing Jacques Heroes which is a morning exercise activity for anyone who would like to come. We also have the opportunity to plan events during free time. You will have total control over what these activities would be and how to carry them out, and the staff from the department will help you with anything you will need. 

One of my favorite things that the Events and Program Planning department gets to do is plan the end of the week event. This event is usually a charitable activity or presentation. The EPP department is responsible for planning, promoting, and executing this event for the whole conference. It is an authentic experience for working in your chapter and planning an important event. It is one of the most rewarding projects at Keyman. If you spend the week with Events and Program Planning, you will go home with confidence and actual experience in planning exceptional events. 

To sign up for KeyMan University, visit the website at keyman.pademolay.org. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Tyler Moyer for Deputy State Master Councilor


Convention is just around the corner, so lets take a few minutes to meet the candidates for Elected State Office. Members will get the chance to elect their officers during the Business Session the Saturday morning of Convention. They were all asked to provide a biography and an answer to the three questions below.

For those of you who may not know, my name is Benjamin Tyler Moyer; yes it really is Benjamin. I’ve been a member of DeMolay since KeyMan 2010 and have always thoroughly enjoyed it. During my time, I served as the Master Councilor of my Chapter multiple times, earning my PMC-MSA along the way. Last year I was elected to serve as your State Junior Councilor and over the course of the year I tried to become as active as possible. It was, and still is, my goal to be there as much as I can for our members, because it is through you that DeMolay will prosper.

What are your goals if elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
If elected, it will be my goal to continue bringing new ideas to the table and to be a very visible State Officer. Coming to as many activities that are held on the Chapter level as possible. When I first became Master Councilor my brother told me that it should be my goal and it is my duty to try to leave the Chapter in better shape than when I joined it. That’s what will be my big goal for the next few years on the State level.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
My greatest DeMolay experience actually occurred last November. It was the Regional Game Truck Party that I had planned for my Chapter. I personally feel that it was the best event I’ve ever planned. We had close to 40 attendees; DeMolay’s and prospects. Having that be a success is what has reignited my fire for planning more Regional events in the future.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
My DeMolay influences would definitely have to be the State Master Councilors that I came up under. It was and is through their leadership that I learned what a leader is and I learned how I should act and lead as a State Officer. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Jacob Beers for State Master Councilor

Convention is just around the corner, so lets take a few minutes to meet the candidates for Elected State Office. Members will get the chance to elect their officers during the Business Session the Saturday morning of Convention. They were all asked to provide a biography and an answer to the three questions below.

If by some strange circumstance we haven’t met yet, my name is Jake Beers and I am hoping to serve as the 83rd State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay. I joined Elizabethtown Chapter on July 10, 2011. In 2014, I became Master Councilor with the goal of revitalizing and re-energizing my Chapter. Since then, I have worked with all of the Master Councilors that have come through my Chapter, serving as Scribe for two-and-a-half years and Treasurer for the last six months. I was appointed State Treasurer in August of 2014 and have since served as State Junior Councilor and Deputy State Master Councilor. As State Junior Councilor, I worked to create new Patton Campus weekends that would excite members and allow Pennsylvania DeMolay to grow in ways not yet seen. As Deputy State Master Councilor, it has been my duty to help the corps in whatever way needed, whether it was in planning events, advising, or anything else. In my time as a DeMolay, I have earned the Representative DeMolay Award, Elizabethtown DeMolay of the Year twice, Scribe’s Efficiency Certificate, and the Degree of Chevalier.

This year, I graduated from Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown as a member of the National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, and History Honor Society. I was involved in Lower Dauphin’s music program as first-chair euphonium in Concert Band and Low Brass Section Leader, both in my junior and senior years. In the fall, I will be attending West Chester University seeking a degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics. I am an avid football and NASCAR fan, as well as a sports fan in general. My favorite football team is the Jacksonville Jaguars and my favorite driver is Kevin Harvick. In the future, I would like to work as a Sports Statistician.

What are your goals if elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
If elected State Master Councilor, I want to achieve three main goals. First, I want to encourage members to take charge of their Chapters and their Order as a whole. In my time as an Elected State Officer, I have seen Pennsylvania DeMolay shift in demographics towards a younger base of members. A fixture of my term will be encouraging these new members to take some leadership role in their Chapters - be it a Councilor role, Committee Chairman, or anything else - and their State. Second, I want to improve Chapter-to-State communication. This year, Chapters will have greater ability for communication with their Elected State Officers and Executive Officer’s Staff than ever before. More information on how this will be achieved will be announced at Convention. Third, I want to spread DeMolay to more people than ever before this year. For PA DeMolay to grow in members, influence, and recognition, we must introduce more people to the Order. Chapters and members alike will be encouraged to visit lodges, other Chapters, other Masonic Youth Organizations, and areas within their communities in the name of spreading DeMolay.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
I have always looked at “Dad” Dave Berry as my mentor and inspiration throughout my DeMolay career. So often, he does a large portion of the work for PA DeMolay or is very instrumental in various facets of the Order. Rarely, though, does he receive or ask for credit, putting DeMolay ahead of himself. I also look to the PSMCs throughout my DeMolay career, especially those I have worked with, and take from each of them their best qualities and attempt to emulate those qualities.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
My greatest DeMolay accomplishment was receiving the Degree of Chevalier last November. At face value, the Chevalier would obviously be my greatest accomplishment, but my reasoning goes far beyond this. The Chevalier is given to reward those who have worked to better their Chapter, with only their Chapter in mind. I felt so honored to be rewarded by my Chapter, knowing that they appreciated what I had done to aid the Chapter in my time as a DeMolay. I hope that I can continue to be worthy of this honor in my time as State Master Councilor and the years to follow.

Friday, June 16, 2017

KMU Course Selection: DeMolay Education

The following is a blog post highlighting a specific department that will be offered at KeyMan University this summer. Today's post is written by "Dad" Tom Moyer, who will be of the Department Chairman for the DeMolay Education Department. 

Are you just beginning your journey within this amazing youth organization? 

In the DeMolay Education department at Key Man University, you will have an opportunity to learn about DeMolay as you haven’t been able to before. You, along with fellow newer members, will focus on honing your DeMolay skills and knowledge, as well as preparing you to grow both as a DeMolay and as a citizen of your country. You'll learn the ins and outs of the organizations, including honors and awards, the offices and their responsibilities, and the overall operations of how the organization works.

When I first joined DeMolay, I struggled with public speaking, memorization, and being able to organize my thoughts into actions. With the help of my Advisors and my family, I was able to overcome these challenges and give back to DeMolay by being a Jurisdictional Officer, and eventually, State Master Councilor. I now continue to serve this order and look forward to giving back to those who helped me by helping mold the future DeMolay leaders. Maybe you don’t consider yourself to be a leader, but by the time your through with this department at KMU, you will. 

DeMolay is different from other organizations in that we regularly change over leadership with most chapters using 6 month terms for their Master Councilors. While you may not currently be thinking about becoming a master councilor, the opportunity may present itself throughout your DeMolay career. I’ve attended over ten different Key Man conferences since 2005 aside from meeting hundreds of brothers, I’ve met some high quality friends who have helped me grow both in DeMolay and in my private life, and you will too.
    
Why not start your DeMolay career off with a week that is packed full of fun, comradery, and growth?  Sign up for DeMolay Education today!

To sign up for KeyMan University, visit the website at keyman.pademolay.org.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

KMU Course Selection: Brotherhood and Membership

The following is a blog post highlighting a specific department that will be offered at KeyMan University this summer. Today's post is written by "Mom" Kelley Otto of Carlisle Chapter and "Dad" Peter Brusoe of our Nationals Capital, who will be two of the Advisors leading the Brotherhood and Membership Department. 

BaM! What does the Brotherhood and Membership (BaM) Department do at Keyman? We are building new DeMolay communities, promoting brotherhood, and enhancing our membership! 

How do you build a DeMolay Chapter? The foundation starts with is yourself.  We need to give you the skills to be a better brother and share the comradeship we experience in DeMolay. BaM looks at what we can do to improve ourselves as Brothers, using trust building exercises, problem based learning, and interactive activities. We also share with you some of the rich history of our order focusing on tradition and sharing the stories about famous DeMolays and brothers.

To the foundation, you add walls and rooms, which are other members in our Chapter. We look at how to promote brotherhood in our chapter. We provide strategies and ideas to ensure that all members, regardless of age or interest, are engaged with the chapter. Presentations and group projects help us to develop these skills. DeMolay awards and honors will also be reviewed. 

Now we have the foundation and walls, what about the roof? Yes, your Advisors, who always have you covered. We will work on how to talk to adult and work with them to plan prospect parties and other events. The department Advisors will help you put everything together that we discuss for the week so you can take the new ideas back to your Chapters.

But that is only one home, what about a community? Promoting our organization in the community is a key to growing our Chapter. We discuss different community events and presentations to help build our ties. Masonic organizations will be presented in a new way. Elevator speeches will be developed in our classes.

Come join us to learn how to build your DeMolaly community. BaM looks forward to working with you in August!

To sign up for KeyMan University, visit the website at keyman.pademolay.org.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

KMU Course Selection: Interpersonal Development

The following is a blog post highlighting a specific department that will be offered at KeyMan University this summer. Today's post is written by PA DeMolay's Director of the Sweetheart Program, "Mom" Angela Lennox, who will be the Department Chairman for the Interpersonal Development Department.

WARNING: After completion of this course you will be DANGEROUSLY prepared to make DeMolay EXPLODE in your local jurisdiction. Please proceed with EXTREME CAUTION!

You walk into a Chapter room, and you see a handful of members from the local Lodge. How do you approach them? How do you show that you know how to present yourself, and can socialize with them, just as you socialize with your Brothers around you? How do you switch from that role to the role of friend, acquaintance, or leader? Interpersonal skills are present every single day, in every interaction you have with anyone. Memorizing words can be easy. Everyone can learn quickly how to write an agenda. Approaching someone, making eye contact, and keeping a conversation with others may not be as easy. Humans are social creatures that actively seek out interactions with others. Developing and refining the social skills we use each day is extremely important and will make a difference in your experiences in school, at home, and in DeMolay.

The Interpersonal Development Department is going into it’s second year as a department at KeyMan, and is designed to evaluate, teach, and strengthen the skills it takes to effectively work with other people. The skills that we focus on include interpersonal skills, goal setting, and leadership techniques. Before we can work effectively as a team, we must understand and polish ourselves. We will explore topics such as assertiveness, decision making, and other skills in the beginning of the week, with a focus on learning about how we think and act as individuals.

Throughout the week we will take these individual skills and discover how to apply them into social skills and use our personal strengths and weaknesses to benefit our local chapters and jurisdictions. These valuable skills are not only applicable to DeMolay, but also at school, home and everyday life.  We have designed your learning experience based around “real-world” scenarios that will provide you the opportunity to analyze, practice, and improve your skills. We will rely heavily on individual and group participation, but the only requirement is that you take what you learned throughout the week and apply it to your interactions and experiences with others in DeMolay and your personal life.

Our goal is not to strictly talk “at” you. We are not looking to lecture and drill skills into your brains. Instead, each day you will participate in various individual and group activities, with a ton of opportunities to openly talk, discuss, and debate with the Advisors and other members of the department. Each activity is designed to assist you with personally developing the social skills you already use and will continue to use daily.

Whether you consider yourself a “social butterfly” or you feel more comfortable sitting by yourself at a party, Interpersonal Development is the right fit for you! Come to develop your skills, and leave knowing you have improved yourself as a person. We look forward to seeing you in August! 

To sign up for KeyMan University, visit the website at keyman.pademolay.org.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

KMU Course Selection: Ritual and Performance

The following is a blog post highlighting a specific department that will be offered at KeyMan University this summer. Today's post is written by PA DeMolay Executive Officer, "Dad" Gregory Schaeffer, who will be the Department Chairman for the Ritual and Performance Department. 

The Ritual and Performance Department wants YOU to join us at KeyMan University!  On staff are 3 Senior DeMolays, who are all veterans of DeMolay Ritual, and will guide you through a week-long journey of learning, teamwork, and brotherhood.

Are you a new DeMolay who doesn't have much ritual experience?  No problem!  We start off by covering the basics of DeMolay ritual and public speaking.  We'll help you find the most effective way to memorize speeches (each person is different); we'll show you how to navigate the floor work and understand how a Chapter room should be set up.  We'll help you learn your Obligations.  And you'll get to work in a fun environment with other DeMolays, working together to learn and perform new ceremonies.

Are you a DeMolay who is nervous about public speaking?  We were too... we will give you individual attention throughout the week, to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and help you exit KeyMan as a more confident speaker.  This will help you not only in DeMolay, but at school, and for your future career!  You'll also get to work with Jurisdictional Officers throughout the week who will be like older Brothers, helping you 1-on-1.

Are you a DeMolay who is an experienced ritualist, and is looking for more knowledge?  We'll help you learn how to coach DeMolays in your home Chapter, to improve the quality of their ritual.  We'll teach you about ritual competitions, and how to maximize your scores.  You'll get to see the original 1st Edition of the DeMolay Ritual, read through some of those passages that the DeMolays had in 1919, and participate and discussions and debates about the history of the ritual, and what its role is in a modern DeMolay setting.

No matter your current skill level, we can promise a fun week, where you will come away excited about the ritual, and a more experienced public speaker.  We look forward to seeing you at KeyMan 2017!

To sign up for KeyMan University, visit the website at keyman.pademolay.org.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

KeyMan University


For the 32nd year, Pennsylvania DeMolay will host the annual KeyMan Conference, known for the last 4 years as KeyMan University. The week long DeMolay experience will take place at the Masonic Conference Center - Patton Campus in Elizabethtown, PA on August 6th to 12th, 2017. Members and sweethearts are encouraged to join us for what is known throughout DeMolay International as a premier DeMolay leadership program. So why should you attend? Here are several reasons why you will want to be in Elizabethtown in August.

10. The Directors of KMU, "Dad" Dan Loughin and "Dad" Matt Blaisdell, have put together a stellar staff roster to help teach members and sweethearts everything they need to know during the week.

9. Participants will enjoy a week long stay at Patton Campus. For those who have never been to the campus, the facility consists of several meeting size rooms, dorm room style accommodations, a state of the art Multimedia Center, a cafeteria, and plenty of outdoor space to play all kinds of games and sports.  

8. Patton Campus has a half Olympic size pool that participants will have opportunities to enjoy. Assigned time frames for the pool will be reflected on the schedule.  

7. For the sports fanatics, there will be assigned time to let off some steam, with sports such as dodgeball, flag football, kickball, volleyball and basketball. Not a fan of sports? Not to worry, there are plenty of other things to do on campus, including a closet full of board games and a few chess tables in the atrium. 

6. One of the things that makes KMU special is the emphasis on service through our various service projects that will be built into the week. More details on this will come in a later post. 

5. Each participant will be placed into a department, which will be the emphasis for their learning experience through the week. New members will be placed in the DeMolay Education department. Other departments include Ritual and Performance, Chapter Leadership and Operations, Communications and Media, Events and Program Planning, Brotherhood and Membership, and Interpersonal Development.

4. There will be opportunities to work on LCC's throughout the week. Participants can also start working on their Representative DeMolay Award

3. FOOD!  

2. Participants will get to meet other members and sweethearts from their Jurisdiction as well as others. KMU is a DeMolay International known program, with participants traveling from Virginia, Maryland, New York, Canada and others to participate in our program

1. The week long fun that will be had at KMU will surely provide stories and memories that can be shared for years to come. It will also provide lessons that can, and should, be taken back to your home chapter.   

I hope this motivates members and sweethearts to join us for what is guaranteed to be a great DeMolay experience. Registration is open now, so go to keyman.pademolay.org to register now.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reasons to be at Convention 2017


Convention 2017 is roughly a month and a half away. Are you registered yet? If not then what are you waiting for? If you're looking for more reasons why you should be there, then look no further. Here are the top ten reasons why you should be at the PA DeMolay Convention in Breinigsville, PA. 

10. Members will have the chance to participate in Ritual Competitions, from the Flower Talk to Ceremony of Light. 

9. You'll have the chance to stay at a fancy hotel, the Holiday Inn of Allentown, for the entire weekend. 

8. The hospitality suite will be a nice place to relax with plenty of food and drinks, hosted by the members and Advisors of Allentown Chapter. 

7. You'll get your very own copy of the 2017 PA DeMolay Convention Yearbook, with pictures and memories that remind us of the year's activities and adventures.

6. Friday, there is a optional opportunity to play Laser Tag at Lehigh Valley Laser Tag. The cost is only an additional $17 with registration. 

5. Also on Friday, participants will go to a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs baseball game (the Triple A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies). There will be a firework presentation, and the first line signer on the most petitions from last Convention to this Convention will throw out the first pitch at the game.  

4. Your chapter will have the chance to receive awards during the business session and luncheon. Awards include Outstanding Chapter, RD of the Year, Visitations, Publications and many more. 

3. You'll get the chance to vote on your Elected State Officers for the 2017-2018 term. This includes the election of the State Sweetheart as well. 

2. After the luncheon on Saturday, participants will enjoy the rest of the night at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom. A traditional picnic dinner will also be provided at the park.

1. Convention gives you the chance to see friends from the entire state of Pennsylvania for a great brotherhood atmosphere. 

Are you convinced yet? Registration is due June 1st, so don't wait too long. Hope to see you in the Lehigh Valley area this summer.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Message from the EO: Regional Representatives

Some of you may be wondering how effective I could be in the role of Executive Officer, given that I live out-of-state.  I think of the position as an administrative one: deciding on appropriate policies and guidelines, overseeing the state-level adult staff and programs, and dealing with issues and questions as they arise.  Principally, everything I do as Executive Officer should help the Chapters be successful.  To that end, I want to thank Tom and his staff for doing exactly that over the last 17 years!  Some staff members are keeping the same assignments, and others are changing – please don’t consider this a reflection of anybody’s poor performance.  With some areas, I simply wanted to take a new direction.

The most significant shift I am making is in transforming the role of the Deputy Executive Officers.  That title is gone.  Based on the feedback I’ve received from all of you, I want to introduce the new role that is replacing this concept: Regional Representatives.

I have divided the state into 8 geographic regions, each with 2 or 3 Chapters, and assigned a Regional Representative to each one.  They will chiefly represent me to those Chapters, and would be the Advisory Council’s first point of contact to ask questions, raise concerns, and so on.  They will be attending an annual Advisory Council meeting of those Chapters, and help remind the Chapters about deadlines and honors and awards.  They will also attend each Chapter’s Installation, and install the Advisory Council annually in conjunction with that ceremony.

Most importantly: they will be attending one meeting of each Chapter, per term, partnering with a State Officer.  Please consider these as “official visitations” rather than “inspections”.  They will not be grading you, nor will they give a critique at the end of the meeting.  Rather, they are there to ensure that each Chapter sees state-level officials on a regular basis, and encourage the Chapters to do their best at these meetings.  Speaking from experience as a Chapter Advisor, my DeMolays always put in extra effort when they had visitors.  The adult and youth Regional Representatives will report back to me and the State Master Councilor, so we can know how best to help each Chapter.

Once the youth Regional Representatives are announced, each pair of adult/youth Regional Representatives will reach out to the Chapters to schedule the visitations.  Please start to consider these visitations as you work with your next Master Councilors in crafting their term plans!

Following is the list of Regional assignments – these staff assignments took effect on May 1st.
Region A: Erie, Lorraine: Mark Haffley
Region B: Templar, Lincoln, Joppa: Bruce Neubauer
Region C: Westmoreland, al-Aksa: Joe Pullin
Region D: George Washington, Carlisle, Pilgrim: Allen Moyer
Region E: Elizabethtown, Riverside: Tom Moyer
Region F: Susquehanna, Crusade: Paul Mossberg
Region G: Reading, Allentown: Bud Willard
Region H: FBC, Northeast, Chester Pike: Lou GrowMiller

Thanks very much to these 8 dedicated Advisors!


In my next blog post, I'll be outlining the rest of the state-level staff and discussing some new roles that I've created.  In the meantime, please continue to do what you're doing for DeMolay!


Fraternally, Greg

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Message From the Executive Officer

To my fellow DeMolays and Advisors in Pennsylvania: 

Hopefully, the news had reached you that "Dad" Tom Labagh, who has been serving as Executive Officer for 17 years, decided to step down, and chose me as his replacement. I thank "Dad" Labagh for his many years of leadership, and hope he continues to serve DeMolay in a different capacity!

For those who may not know me very well, I wanted to introduce myself (don't worry, I won't rattle off a laundry list of honors and awards!)

The main reason that I agreed to accept this position was because of how much DeMolay meant to me as a young man. When I joined Elizabethtown Chapter, I was a shy 13-year old, who had a fear of public speaking. Because of Advisors like "Dad" Berry, "Dad" Freedman, and "Dad" Ray, I learned how to overcome that. I went to college in Ohio, so I never had the opportunity to serve as a State Officer, but even so, the DeMolay experience was incredible. 

Since I turned 21, I've done everything in my power to make sure DeMolay continues to grow and thrive.  When I graduated from college, I took a job with IBM as a software engineer, which required me to move to upstate New York.  For 12 years, I worked with Orange-Rockland Central Chapter, as their Ritual Advisor, then later Chapter Advisor, then later Chairman of the Advisory Council. Hands down, my most satisfying work has been those years working at the Chapter level, because I got to mentor DeMolays for a long period of time, seeing them mature and improve just as I did!

I've always tried to remain active with Pennsylvania DeMolay, and that includes an active streak of 19 years being on the Key Man staff, and helping out as an Advisor with Elizabethtown Chapter as best I could.

I'm very thankful to be taking on this role with a strong support system in place. Pennsylvania DeMolay has an incredible set of dedicated Advisors, and unparalleled Masonic support. We are already one of the strongest Jurisdictions! My vision as Executive Officer is to change some policies, and rework the state-level staff organization, to ensure that every Chapter gets the help it needs, and that we provide the best possible support to the DeMolays and Advisors.

Over the next couple of blog posts, I'll be announcing those staff changes, and I strongly encourage you to attend Convention, where I will announce my policy changes. For the Advisors, there will be a Q&A session with me at Convention after those changes are announced, so I can hear your feedback.

Each one of us -- whether a DeMolay or an Advisor -- is a volunteer, working towards a common goal: to help Pennsylvania DeMolay grow, and to make sure it is around for the next generation of young men! I hope to do exactly that, with your help. Thanks for everything you have done, and will continue to do, in that spirit!

Fraternally, "Dad" Greg Schaeffer, Executive Officer

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Who Am I Talking to Again?


As leaders in the Masonic Community, we find ourselves in situations in which we will need to prepare a speech. State Officers need to give speeches often to promote the program, speak to sponsoring bodies, and even to run for election at the annual Convention. Master Councilors and chapter members visit lodges and present a program to the group. How does one know what to say? The biggest challenge is knowing who your target audience is. Here are a few tips that can help you the next time you have to prepare a speech.

1. Get to know your audience before the presentation: A lot of Masonic functions have time beforehand that is dedicated to socializing. Talk to as many people as you can. The more you get to know before the presentation, the more people whose attention you have when it comes to time present. 

2. Make your talk fit the needs of your audience: It may help to do some research before you speak. Get to know what the audience will be looking for. It's important to know exactly what it is they sponsored and how it has helped you and your Chapter. For example, a lodge sponsors your Chapter in sending guys to the annual Convention. Tell them about the experience and express words of thank you to the lodge for their contribution. 

3. Create eye contact around the room: You never want to look straight down at your speech if you have it written. Look around the room. By doing this, the audience knows that they should be engaged in what you're presenting. 

4. Speak with conviction: Talk to the people. The tone in your voice can make or break your speech. Say it with meaning. For example, a Flower Talk presentation works best when the room can tell that you mean the words you're saying. It may actually make some of the ladies present cry.     

5. Dress to impress: Dress to fit your presentation. In most of our cases, a suit may be the best answer. 

Now that you've read these tips, you should be prepared to speak to the public. If you need any more tips, feel free to contact a State Officer for some guidance. They've presented plenty of times, and would be more than willing to help you feel comfortable.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin  


To view some of the information I found on this topic, click on the link below

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Films Every DeMolay Should See: Apollo 13


"Houston, we have a problem." This phrase is one of the most famous movie lines in history, and is still used in everyday life today. The film that made it popular; Apollo 13. I chose today to write about this film because on April 11th, 1970, the Apollo 13 mission to space launched, which was intended to be the third to land on the moon. Unfortunately, the mission had to be aborted due to an oxygen tank exploding. 

The film, based on true events, stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton and Gary Sinise, and was released in 1995. Apollo 13 shows the mission at hand, lead by Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) who had been part of a previous mission to the moon, but wanted to walk on its surface. Jim and his team launched Apollo 13 on April 11th, and 3 days into the mission an oxygen tank explodes, creating panic in being able to continue their mission and make it home safe. 

So what makes this a movie that every DeMolay should watch? The film demonstrates the teamwork that it took in order to get the members of the mission home safe. Failure truly wasn't an option, which the control team at NASA took seriously in devising a plan to save the three men on the mission. As much as the three men on board wanted to point blame and give up, they knew that they needed to stay strong and find a way to get through it in order to see their families again. 

This film is a classic, and truly is one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies of all time. If you haven't seen it, I hope that you will. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

 

Friday, March 31, 2017

DeMolay to Freemasonry

The Order of DeMolay, along with all other Masonic Youth Groups, is sponsored by the Free and Accepted Masons. One common misconception is that all DeMolay members become Masons. Although this can, and often times is the case, it is not a forgone conclusion that a member of DeMolay will one day become a Mason. Although DeMolay is sponsored by the Freemasons, the two are separate organizations. Having seen many friends and brothers join the Masonic lodge, I can say that it is a special occasion when they are raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.

DeMolay and Freemasonry have the same principals and focus, which can make it easy for people to consider DeMolay members to be "junior masons." They both take pride in serving the community through fellowship and service. Both Orders believe in a fraternal practice, creating brothers among men. DeMolay's purpose is to help young men to become better citizens and leaders, while Freemasonry helps good men to be better men and leaders. The comparisons clearly show why DeMolay members often times grow into great Masonic leaders.

When I was 19, I became a Mason of Frankford Lodge #292 in Philadelphia. The best part of joining, aside from instantly being welcomed by every member of the lodge, was to see all the DeMolay Advisors and fellow members, who are also Masons, support me through the journey. A few of them even took part in the degrees, with my Ritual Advisor serving as my guide. I look around today and see that this still occurs. Past State Senior Councilor, Anthony Trento of Chester Pike Chapter, became a Mason earlier this month. In attendance were three of his DeMolay brothers, two of which he served with as a State Officer. As DeMolay and Freemasonry show throughout their practices, and this post confirms, once a brother, always a brother.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin       
 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I Promise, Covenant, and Vow

The Order of DeMolay was founded on the basis of the heroic fidelity of Jacques DeMolay. As we all know the story. DeMolay was the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He and his principles officers were arrested for various charges, including heresy towards the church. The officers were forced to give up the names of the members that escaped arrest and to hand over their wealth. Jacques DeMolay refused to betray his comrades, no matter the punishment. Despite the torture, DeMolay held true to his word. He was burned at the stake on March 18th, 1314.

As Legionnaires, we took an oath to hold this date close to our hearts. We are expected to observe March 18th of every year as a memorial to Jacques DeMolay with our fellow comrades that have received the Legion of Honor with us. This is the first year that I am observing the Legion of Honor Observance, as I recently received my Legion last July. I'm no stranger to annual observances however, as I helped with the founding of our Chevalier Court in Philadelphia. The best part of my observance this year, is that I will be celebrating it at Patton Campus in Elizabethtown with the young men that make this organization as great as it is today. I will also celebrate this observance locally with William J. McCulley Preceptory next week at their annual observance. 

Thank you Jacques DeMolay, for allowing us to emulate your heroic example. Thank you Frank S. Land, for founding this great youth organization and naming it after such a heroic martyr. To all of my fellow Legionnaires all over the world, I hope you have a great Legion of Honor Observance. 

Until next time -"Dad" Joe Pullin            

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Films Every DeMolay Should See: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Over the history of Pennsylvania DeMolay, one of the most popular films utilized in the planning of programs and events has been Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even though this is a popular film, I've still heard plenty of people, DeMolay's and Advisors, say that they have not seen it. I'll be honest, DeMolay is the reason I've seen this movie in the first place, as we used this movie for a membership theme when I was a State Officer and I thought it important to see the movie in order to push the theme. The main reason this movie is on the list is due to the upcoming Movie Mashup Weekend: Quest for the Holy Grail.

The film is a comedy spoof that follows the journey of King Arthur and his quest for the holy grail. To set forth on his journey, King Arthur recruits knights to fill out the famous "Knights of the Round Table," and assist him on his quest. Arthur's knights include Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Galahad the Pure, and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot. The film follows the knights on their journey with lots of humor, adventure and several one-liners (if you don't believe me, refer to the March issue of the Keystone Crusader.) 

So what makes this a film that every DeMolay should watch? Well, it tends to come up a lot in the program planning of our events, especially in Pennsylvania. Currently, the Movie Mashup Weekend, which will take place this weekend at Patton Campus, will center around the film. Participants will go on their own quest, with their own knights of the round table (well, maybe not a round table,) and partake in numerous puzzles, riddles and tasks along the way. Aside from this event, PA DeMolay once held a membership theme based on the film called "The Quest!" During the year, members of the State Officer team dressed up as knights and performed skits of their quest. If you haven't seen the movie, participants who have already registered for Movie Mashup Weekend will get the chance to see it during the weekend. We look forward to yet another fantastic event.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin    

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

EO Conference in NOLA

This past weekend. I had the chance to join our Executive Officer, Thomas R. Labagh, on a trip to the DeMolay International EO Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana. When I was first asked to go, I was excited. Yes, New Orleans has always been one of the cities I've wanted to visit, but I also knew that I would be representing PA DeMolay. It was a great feeling to introduce myself as a member of staff in Pennsylvania, and explain some of the programs that we have going on, such as the Bro-Ties, the "DeMolay Goes Hollywood" program, and our new PA DeMolay Advisor Training Seminar.  

I had the chance to meet Executive Officers from across the country, and one who traveled from over seas in Germany. DeMolay is known for its fellowship and brotherhood, so its a nice surprise to see the same fellowship and brotherhood within a group of Executive Officers and staff members. I only knew a total of 6 people before the conference started, and got to know several more before it ended. Since most of the meetings were brainstorming sessions, it was great to hear what other jurisdictions are doing and receive ideas to implement here in Pennsylvania. 

Two guest speakers were asked to address the conference. The first was Mr. Herbert Marks Sr., who is the oldest living Senior DeMolay at 103 years of young. He spoke of his experiences through DeMolay and what it taught him through his life. He also mentioned that he had the chance to meet "Dad" Land. It was inspiring to hear that DeMolay has had the same effect on young men for all these years. The second speaker was Mrs. Jessica Vermilyea, the Director of Disaster Relief for Upbring Disaster Response. She informed us of the recent floods, tornadoes and storms that have left people without homes in the state of Louisiana. Her company focuses on helping aid those in need. It was enlightening to hear stories from someone that looks out for the greater good of others, because that's the same message we try to instill in our youth.

The conference was great, and so was the city of New Orleans. The food was fantastic. If you're into seafood, which unfortunately I am not, then there is no better place to go than New Orleans. The culture was fascinating, especially hearing band music playing right outside of our hotel during the conference dinner. Jazz music was playing everywhere we went, including a three man singing group singing while we were having dinner at a steakhouse. Yes, I did get to Bourbon Street, and all I'll say is that I had a great time with great people. New Orleans is a very historical place, and I hope I get the chance to go back someday. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin
   



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DeMolay Month 2017

March is only a day away, which means one thing, DeMolay Month is upon us. By now, your chapter should already have a solid plan of the activities taking place throughout the month. We ask that you please share these activities with us through social media. Create a story of the events and post it on the PA DeMolay Facebook, take a picture and post it to the PA DeMolay Instgram, or write a status and post it to the PA DeMolay Twitter. You can also send photos and video from these events to our Snapchat account as well. So what events should you post? Well, everything of course, but here is a list of the DeMolay Month events that we look forward to seeing the most: 

  1. Senior DeMolay appreciation event
  2. Masonic Sponsor appreciation event
  3. Devotional Day Observance
  4. Receiving a Proclamation from a Government Official
  5. Obligating members during the month
  6. Community or Masonic based service project
  7. Visitation with another chapter
  8. DeMolay newspaper article
  9. Social Activity
  10. Radio or TV announcements
DeMolay Month is the best chance to get our name out to the local community. Let's get out there and promote the greatest youth organization in the world. 


Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Perfect Way to Market DeMolay

Every year at Convention, members and advisors in attendance receive a book called the Pennsylvania DeMolay Yearbook. It started as a book that introduced the officers and staff of Pennsylvania DeMolay, provided some words of encouragement and congratulations to the members of Pennsylvania DeMolay, and provided written speeches from the Executive Officer and State Master Councilor. Over the years, this book has gone from a non-color program type book, to a full color marketing tool for Pennsylvania DeMolay.

The PA DeMolay Yearbook is just what it's advertised to be, a yearbook that displays all of the events that took place in the previous year. Photos from events, whether chapter specific or statewide, are highlighted to remind us of the good times that we had throughout the year. Advertisements from businesses and lodges are also provided to show their support of Pennsylvania DeMolay. One thing that PA DeMolay is proud to say about the Yearbook is that an active DeMolay has been responsible for it the past few years, with this year being no exception. 

This book is a lot more than just an annual handout at Convention. The distribution of the yearbook has become a marketing tool that can be used to promote the activities that make DeMolay great. A copy is sent to sponsoring bodies to show them what their money is going toward. For PA DeMolay, a copy of this publication is provided at display table events such as Autumn Day and Community Day. A parent or a young man can look at this book, see the fun that the members are having, and instantly become hooked in to ask more questions about the organization. Although a number is not available, several members have joined due to efforts of such marketing techniques. 

The sales for this year are due on April 15th. Have you bought or sold any ads for the yearbook? Please help make sure that this year's book is just as good, if not better than years past by selling ads to local lodges and family members. PA DeMolay appreciates the continued efforts to make this publication a yearly success.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin  

    

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Films Every DeMolay Should See: Rudy

As I mentioned last week, I am a big sports fan. This weekend being Super Bowl Weekend, it seems fitting to highlight another football movie in our must see section of the blog. This time, the movie we will discuss is Rudy.

The film stars Sean Astin (yes the guy from Lord of the Rings) as a High School student named Daniel Ruettiger, whose dream is to attend the University of Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. Although Rudy does not possess the grades, skill, or money that it would take to get into Notre Dame, he still has the passion and decides to try his hardest to achieve this dream. 

As predicted, he does not get accepted to Notre Dame, so he decides to attend a Community College nearby with the hope that his grades will be good enough to transfer to Notre Dame. To further pursue his dream, he meets a groundskeeper at Notre Dame and offers to work for free. Instead the groundskeeper hired him at minimum wage. Rudy also went through tutoring to help make his dream possible. 

So what makes this a movie that every DeMolay should watch? The overall theme of the movie is that Rudy was able to overcome the odds. Everyone in Rudy's life was telling him that this dream was impossible, and Rudy was able to prove them all wrong. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but ultimately his goal was met. The support of his coworkers and teammates showed throughout the movie as well. One of the best scenes in the movie is when the team convinces the coach to give Rudy a chance by laying their jerseys on the coaches desk.

Another reason DeMolay's in Pennsylvania will appreciate this movie is the discovery that Rudy had Dyslexia. PA DeMolay raises money for the Children's Dyslexia Centers in hope that we can help make a difference in the learning of at least one child. This gives a real life spin on what it takes for a person with Dyslexia to overcome and achieve success. 

Hopefully this review encourages you to check out this film, as this is a classic movie that never gets old. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Be the Example and Lead

The overall goal of DeMolay is to build young men into better leaders. We always hear that the key to being a leader is to "Lead by example." How does one accomplish this? Here are some important steps I found that will help us effectively lead by example:
 

1. Take responsibility. As a leader, mistakes may happen. Laying blame to those mistakes will cause you lose your credibility. The key is to help guide in fixing those mistakes. 

2. Be truthful. Everyone's parent has once told them that "Honesty is the best policy." As a leader, if you're not honest with others, they will lose respect in your leadership qualities.

3. Be courageous. If members of a team see that you are willing to take the risk, they will be more likely to follow. Be the first to take the leap. 

4. Acknowledge failure. Not every mission is a successful one. Learning from our failures is what makes us better people, and in this case a better team.

5. Be persistent. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." A leader doesn't give up too easy. A goal can still be attained even if it's not achieved the first time. The harder you work, the more likely the goal will be attained. 

6. Listen and learn. Asking questions is a sign of efficiency, not a sign of weakness. Just because your in a leadership role, doesn't mean you can't listen, take suggestions and ask questions.   

7. Delegate based on strengths. Do not take on all the work yourself. Every member of a team has core values. Figure them out and utilize them to reach success.

For anyone going through the chairs in DeMolay, planning to become a State Officer, or in some way will work in an area that involves leadership, I urge you to think about these steps. Be the leader that others need you to be. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Here is the link that I found my information if you'd like to view it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Films Every DeMolay Should See: Remember the Titans

This year, State Master Councilor Eric Dye has been promoting the theme "Lights Camera Action: PA DeMolay Goes Hollywood." All of the weekends and activities have been planned around a movie or genre to help enhance the quality of the program. It seemed fitting to post a blog about movies that members of DeMolay should see. Over the remaining months you will see a few of these posts highlighting a specific move that you may want to check out.  

For anyone that knows me, I am an avid sports fan. This goes beyond the game itself for me, as some of my favorite movies of all time include sports films. One of my all time favorite sports movies has always been Remember the Titans. The movie stars Denzel Washington as Daniel Boone, the Head Coach of the T.C. Williams High School football team. The film takes place in Alexandria, Virginia in the year 1971, a time in which racial discrimination was still a concern in Virginia. Members of the T.C. Williams football team were not welcoming of the new members of the team or the new Head Coach, as they expressed their displeasure and got into fights constantly. Community members expressed there dissatisfaction of the changes made as well, causing disturbances for Coach Boone and his family. Coach Boone decided that the team needed to find away to get past their problems and work together. He took the team to training camp in Gettysburg, in which they worked harder than they ever have before. Although the process may have taken a while, the players became a unified team at the end of training camp. The team became a powerhouse team in pursuit of a state championship. The entire film highlights the adversity that took place in order to accomplish a common goal. 

So what makes this a movie that every DeMolay should watch? Some of the important lessons that are taught in this movie, are the same lessons we teach in DeMolay. Some of those lessons include comradeship, tolerance, teamwork, and overcoming the odds to meet the goals at hand. Facing adversity is a big lesson in this movie, and in DeMolay we can come in contact with that same problem, realizing that it comes with the territory of being a leader. One of my favorite quotes in this movie is when Bertier tells Julius he doesn't play hard enough, he tells Bertier "Attitude reflects leadership, Captain." I always felt this lesson was important. As a leader, our attitude and reactions are most important for others to follow our lead. Lead by example, others will work hard if you do as well. This movie is also based on a true story, which makes the lessons taught mean so much more. Another reason you may want to check this movie out is because of the up and coming stars that appeared in this movie before they became big names in the industry. Those stars include Ryan Hurst, Donald Faison, Kate Bosworth, Ryan Gosling, and a very young Hayden Panettiere.

To this day, I still enjoy this movie like it is the first time I ever saw it. Hopefully this review inspired you to check out the film, as it is an all time classic.   

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin 


Friday, January 13, 2017

Top Ten: PA DeMolay in 2016


The new year has been upon us for roughly two weeks now, but this weekend is the official start of the new year for PA DeMolay with Cowboys VS. Aliens Weekend. Although 2016 is behind us, the year brought us some great moments. If you weren't around for 2016, then here is a top ten list of what you missed out on:

10. Jacques DeMolay himself joined us for this years Jacquestoberfest. In October, the members of PA DeMolay participated in an "Oktoberfest" style festival. The members ate German inspired food, drank plenty of Birch Beer, and competed in a DeMolay Decathlon. Jacques DeMolay arrived to enjoy the ceremonial festivities with the members of PA DeMolay.

9. Friendship-Bray Chapter hosts a meeting with over 150 Master Masons in attendance. This was also the first meeting that FBC returned home to their original location in Jenkintown, after several years in Hatboro. Its always great to see such great support coming from the Masonic Family.

8. Dodgeball for Dyslexia grows into a spectacular annual event. This year was the second event, and plans are already in motion for a successful 2017 tournament. Chapters and Masonic groups gathered to help raise money for a great cause. Nearly $1,000 was raised and donated to the Learning Centers in Lancaster, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. 

7. PA DeMolay accepted the mission to become secret agents at 007: Secret Agent Weekend. The weekend included a Sky Fall mission (a trip to Sky Zone,) and a Casino Royal event hosted by the Elected State Officers. Members enjoyed fancy drinks, played casino games, and enjoyed refreshments served by their favorite DeMolay Advisors (including the Executive Officer.)

6. The Judge is back on the road. For a short while, the traveling gavel, known as the Judge, was stuck in one location. Thanks to the help of Mitchell Holmes and the Elected State Officers, the judge is back on the road. Chapters that have already held it since September are Lorraine, Templar, Westmoreland and Northeast. 

5. PA DeMolay is still being different... by taking the show to Hollywood. Before Convention 2016 (If you weren't there, I'm sorry) SMC Adam Pritchard was encouraging PA DeMolay to "Be Different." During the 2016 Convention, in-going SMC Eric Dye introduced his theme for the year: Lights, Camera, Action: PA DeMolay Goes Hollywood. The year has been exciting with new events still to come.

4. NERF or Nothing! In January, PA DeMolay hosted the first ever all NERF weekend with Operation N.A.S.H.V.I.L.L.E. Training Weekend (Please ask Jake Beers what it stands for if you really want to know.) The function room was set up into a War Zone with games going on all day long. Congratulations to all of the winners.

3. PA DeMolay beats the Right Worshipful Grand Master in a game of Basketball. At Grand Master's Class, the RWGM of Masons in Pennsylvania, Raymond T. Dietz, challenged the members of DeMolay to a game of PIG, a basketball game in which a letter is given to a participant who misses a basket. Brothers Mitch Holmes and Kody Anderson won the game, $5 for every member, and bragging rights for all of PA DeMolay. 

2. "Dad" Samuel C. Williamson was inducted into the DeMolay International Hall of Fame. "Dad" Williamson has been a staple in the activities that are PA DeMolay for over 30 years. Since his resume is so detailed, I will save the length of this section, just know that PA DeMolay would not operate without his overwhelming support.

1. We brought in 100 new members this year. We had a really great year in membership this year, keeping the brotherhood going for several new young brothers. 

Wow! That's a lot to take in. 2016 really was an exciting year. So, how does PA DeMolay plan to make 2017 just as exciting? You'll have to wait and find out, but I can promise you that you will not be disappointed.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin