Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Communication: Why Do We Talk About it So Much?

The following blog post is from Brother Sean Reitze, State Junior Councilor for Pennsylvania DeMolay and a member of Pilgrim Chapter. 

Communication is something we all experience in everyday life. We often hear about its importance during Stated Meetings, Advisory Council meetings, and other areas of DeMolay. Why is it spoken of so much at DeMolay events? I hope that throughout the course of this blog post, and with my insight as a communication studies minor, I can help you understand why communication is so important — not just in DeMolay, but in life as well.

One of the major facets of DeMolay involves event planning. Imagine yourself as the chairman of a committee that is planning a regional dance for your local Chapters, Assemblies, and Bethels in the area. You tell your committee in advance that you want music, decorations, and refreshments for the dance. Fast forward to the night before the event: the “music” for the event is just a member’s laptop speakers, “decorations” include a few balloons, and the “refreshments” consist of a half-gallon of fruit punch (without cups nonetheless!) This is definitely not what you had in mind for your event!

While this example might seem a little extreme, let me offer an opportunity for improvement and illustrate one of the key concepts of communication theory. Right off the bat, the chairman should have met with the members of the committee a few times before the dance and should have been more specific with his requests. Moving past this part of the solution, let’s take a deeper look at where and how this miscommunication occurred.

The committee members were only told by the chairman that they need to secure music, decorations, and refreshments. While the committee members technically weren’t wrong in completing what they were tasked with, it is certainly not what the chairman had in mind. To look at this more closely, we are going to look at the Allowable Range of References, or an acceptable list of words that you could think of when someone says something. When the chairman said “music,” what was he really saying? On one side of the range you have the laptop speakers, while on the other end of the range you have a DJ with professional speakers (which is what the chairman had in mind). Bypassing occurred when the communicators (in this case, the committee members) chose different spots on the Allowable Range of References. This concept can be applied again with the decorations and refreshments.

From looking at this example, you can see that there are many aspects of communication we don’t actively think about. Miscommunication can happen very easily, but it can also be easily avoided by being specific with what you are trying to promote or convey. Keep the Allowable Range of References in mind if you find yourself planning an event, working on a committee, or involved in other aspects of DeMolay. This is one of many examples of communication theory I have learned so far, and I hope to share more with you as time goes on. Like the motto of KeyMan University says: Ancora Imparo!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Why Do We Do Ritual?

One of the things that sets DeMolay apart from other youth organizations is our ability to perform Ritual. When the term "Ritual" is used, it's usually referred to in a negative sense. The definition of Ritual is "an established or prescribed procedure." When DeMolay performs Ritual, it's used as a prescribed way of expressing the beliefs of our organization and the things we stand for. It expresses our belief in the 7 cardinal virtues of the order, our appreciation towards our country and all those who have served for our freedom, and our respect for the public school system, among several other things. Each piece of Ritual is a lesson that is used to educate members of DeMolay as well as others.    

At a young age, young men and women have choices to join activities, such as sports and theater, that allow our youth to share their talents with an audience. The way Ritual is performed by our DeMolays is no different from those activities. The young men of DeMolay take pride in the way they perform each ritual part. They want the viewers to leave satisfied with the way they present the work. The young men make sure that the movement looks good, the words flow properly, and that they look professional in the presentation of the work. It takes effort and practice to make sure that it's performed right, the same way that athletes attend practice and actors hold rehearsals.

As a Senior DeMolay, I enjoy seeing the Ritual performed to such a high quality that the members  are capable of performing it. It reminds me of the days that I put the same effort into those parts. Recently in Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic Tournament of Champions was held in Gettysburg, a DeMolay Ritual Tournament in which members perform their parts competing against the best of the best in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It was encouraging to see the young men perform the Ritual of our work to the level that they did. It shows that we really do have something special with the organization of DeMolay.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin     


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Becoming Master Councilor

The following blog post is from Brother Daniel Amon, Senior Councilor of Northeast Chapter and State Senior Steward for Pennsylvania DeMolay.

Hello, my name is Danny Amon, currently Senior Councilor of Northeast Chapter, and I am going to be running for Master Councilor of our next term. The reason I want to become Master Councilor is because I feel that I would do a very good job guiding the other officers in my chapter and helping them become better leaders. I also think I would do a good job teaching the other officers to be more responsible and to be loyal to one another. 
One of the main things I will be focusing on during my term is fundraising. In order to have a stable DeMolay chapter, you will need to have money, and in order to get money, a chapter must raise funds. Second, I will be focusing on membership; not only to get members into DeMolay, but to keep the members that we get active. It's nice to have numbers on the books, but I'd rather see them at activities and meetings as well. Last, I will be focusing on brotherhood, respect, and leadership. Brotherhood and leadership because without these two very important factors, the chapter will not be stable. Courtesy is one of the most important precepts in DeMolay. Respect involves being courteous to each other, and this is very important to have a successful chapter.  

Here are some of the goals I plan to accomplish during my term. I want us to bring in at least 4 new members for Northeast Chapter and to keep them all active. I would like all the members of this chapter to advance into a higher position. I would like at least 5 members at every event that we will have, and all members to attend every meeting. I plan to have at least 4-5 fundraisers this term. When it's all said and done, I'd like to have a fun and successful term. In order to make these goals a reality, I know it will take a lot of work from myself and the members of the chapter, but I'm up for the challenge. I'd like to invite everyone reading this blog post to Northeast Chapter's Installation of Officers, which will be held at the Tacony Temple in Northeast Philadelphia on Sunday, October 15th at 2 PM.   

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Chase for the DeMolay Membership Cup

The following post is from State Master Councilor, Brother Jacob Beers, promoting the GO Program and specific pieces that go along with it.

This year, the Chase for the DeMolay Membership Cup will have Chapters face off against one another in a race to see which Chapter can grow its membership the most from Convention 2017 to June 30, 2018. The year has been split into four rounds. At the end of each round, the Chapters that have admitted the lowest number of new members will be eliminated from competition until four Chapters are left standing in a three-month shootout to be crowned the DeMolay Membership Cup Champion. The Champion will win special recognition at Convention, as well as a plaque to commemorate their success.

Currently, we find ourselves in Round One, but there is only little more than one month remaining until its end on September 30th. At the end of Round One, only the twelve Chapters with the most new members will advance, eliminating the bottom eight. Westmoreland and Elizabethtown Chapters have taken the early lead, but there is still time for your Chapter to bring in new members to secure your spot in Round Two.

As we approach September, the fight to advance to the next round of the Chase for the DeMolay Membership Cup will certainly be heating up. Make sure your Chapter doesn’t get left behind as the Chase continues.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

From DeMolay to the Big Leagues

At a young age, we all have hopes and dreams to become something above and beyond, such as a doctor, a lawyer, a professional athlete, or a famous movie star. For some, those dreams change over time, realizing other ambitions that come to us later in life. For others, they set every goal to make sure that this dream becomes a reality. For one Senior DeMolay from New Jersey, his dream to become a Professional Baseball Player is becoming more of a reality every day. 

In the 2017 MLB draft, the San Diego Padres selected Tyler Benson, a recent Senior DeMolay of Phoenix Chapter in New Jersey, who was playing for Outfield for Bloomsburg University. After just a few short months, Benson has already been promoted twice, currently playing for the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps. 

After all this excitement in his life, he still remembers his time in DeMolay and took a conversation with Past State Master Councilor of New Jersey, Matt Hoffman. Tyler stated that his favorite memory of DeMolay was "Playing in the 2012 NJ State Flag Football Tournament under the lights with his home chapter - Phoenix Chapter." He went on to say "To see everyone from all around the State coming together, it was really a cool experience to just have fun with everyone. And of course, I’m naturally a competitive person so I loved the competition, even though we barely lost in the championship." When asked what is one take away from DeMolay, he states "Brotherhood. No matter how long we are away from each other, we are always there for one another and our conversations pick up where they last left off."  

Although Tyler is not finished with his journey, his dream is being fulfilled by playing baseball everyday as a professional. This story proves that dreams can become a reality if you put the work in to make it happen. Thank you to "Dad" Peter Brusoe and Brother Matt Hoffman for sharing this story. Keep up the great work Tyler Benson, and I hope to see you in the big leagues sometime soon. To see an article on his promotion to Single-A ball, click the following link.…/tyler-benson-montvi…/467483001/

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Mary Lichtenwalner for State Sweetheart

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 members of Pennsylvania DeMolay. My name is Mary Lichtenwalner and I am the current Chapter Sweetheart for Carlisle Chapter, running for the office of State Sweetheart. I will be a Senior at Central Dauphin High School in the fall, where I am a member of the National Honor Society and the school band. In Marching Band, I have been a Co-Section Leader for two years. In Concert Band, I am the 12th Grade Representative and Section
Leader. I am a member of Job's Daughters International, having served as Bethel Honored Queen for Bethel #19 in Mechanicsburg. I am also the current Grand Bethel Guide for Job's Daughters in Pennsylvania.

Why do you want to become State Sweetheart for Pennsylvania DeMolay?
I want to become State Sweetheart because I have enjoyed working with all of the young men I have met to promote the State Charity. I have also loved learning and educating myself on dyslexia and how the Dyslexia Centers tutor students to help them better their quality of life. 

What do you know about the Children's Dyslexia Center?
The Shriners helped to open the Children's Dyslexia Center in 1994 with the Massachusetts General Hospital. These Masons pledged to assist children with dyslexia to learn how to improve their reading levels and how to reach their full potential. Another promise made was to assist these families to help end the frustration, guilt and disruption that may be caused by dyslexia and to assist communities to develop more Children's Dyslexia Centers to help students inside and outside of school. The Dyslexia Center uses a personalized approach for each student that they tutor. The tutors will start with one concept and make sure that the student understands why they need to know the skill, when it will be used, how it will be used, how it is performed and what the skill is actually doing for them. The tutor will not move onto the next lesson until the student understands everything. 

Although you cannot fund-raise on your own, what fundraising ideas could you bring if a chapter asked you for new ideas?
A Chapter can organize raffles and raise money by selling tickets at meetings and to the Masonic Community. Another idea would be to hold a competition between two concepts or between DeMolay members. The voting could take place by either tickets or change, depending on how the chapter wants to organize it. Chapters could also use fundraisers such as movie nights or bake sales in the community, to promote membership as well as service.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Jacob Reilly for State Scribe

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.

My name is Jacob Reilly, I am running for State Scribe 2017-2018 term of Pennsylvania DeMolay. On March 2013 I proudly joined al-Aksa DeMolay located in Altoona, Pa. Since I joined, I have helped the Councilors of my chapter to the best of ability. On September 26, 2016 I became Master Councilor of al-Aksa Demolay, with the intent to increase membership and attendance to events and meetings. I earned the Past Master Councilor Meritorious Service Award, Representative DeMolay and Lamp of Knowledge. I am a Junior at Central High School in Martinsburg Pa, proud member of the FFA and National Honor Society and engaged in Central High School Soccer. I belong to the Boy Scouts of America of Troop 57 in Roaring Spring Pa. I am currently working on my Eagle Scout Project, hoping to have it completed by September of 2017. 

What are your goals if Elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
My goal if elected as State Scribe is to keep proper records of the events. I plan to work with the State Master Councilor to make his term successful. I plan to help chapters across Pennsylvania to increase communication and strive to maintain membership and help members improve their leadership skills.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
My greatest Demolay experience is when I joined I helped restore al-Aksa DeMolay back to its proper form and the way every DeMolay chapter should be functioning and helping its membership increase throughout the years.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
My Greatest DeMolay influence is my father, Dad John Reilly. He has been my mentor since the day I joined DeMolay, giving me advice on leadership, ritual, and he has helped me love DeMolay as much as I do now. Also the Past Master Councilors of al-Aksa DeMolay and Past State Master Councilors of Pennsylvania have influenced me a lot throughout my DeMolay career.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Timothy Nevil for State Treasurer

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.

Hi guys, its Tim Nevil for those of you who might not know me, and I am a member of Elizabethtown Chapter. I was born in 2001 to my dad Martyn Nevil, current deputy director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and my mom Julia Nevil, who is the DME coordinator for the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania. I have been raised in Middletown, which is a small town that sits between Hershey, Harrisburg, and Elizabethtown. I have attended Middletown Area School district my entire life and will be entering my junior year of High School. I am involved in many organizations around the school including marching band mini-thon and my High School radio station. My future goal in life is to attend college for a degree in Public Health. In 2014, I joined DeMolay as a part of Elizabethtown chapter and served as Master Councilor from June 2016 to January 2017, in which I received my PMC-MSA along with receiving my RD prior to my term. At Keyman 2016, I was selected as the keynote speaker for the week.

What are your goals if elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
My goal as State Treasurer is to represent the members of the state. My goal for charity is to work alongside the state sweetheart and create statewide charity challenges and initiatives. I will be an active member for all brothers statewide by coming to all events and meetings that I can possibly make of every chapter. We are all in this fight together. It was once said that "We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." I will make sure that as your friend and brother, I will never be silent in your defense.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
My DeMolay influences would have to be brother Jake Beers, and brother Tyler Moyer. Each for many different reasons. Brother Beers has been there ever since I joined DeMolay and has always been willing to support me if I needed. Brother Moyer helped provide an extra layer of support and on numerous occasions helped with challenges for charity and membership. Both of these brothers have been incredible leaders on the state level and inspire me and push me to be the best leader that I can be. 

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment? 
My greatest DeMolay experience was attending Keyman University and being selected as the keynote speaker. The keynote speaker was just a minor accomplishment, especially because it was earned by everyone in my track. As a group, we faced some adversities that we never would have expected, but we fought and overcame those adversities. This showed me the true drive that everyone in my group and DeMolay has. It showed me that in our darkest hours, we will always rise higher and stronger than ever before.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Sean Reitze for State Junior 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 Pennsylvania DeMolay! My name is Sean Reitze and I am a member of Pilgrim Chapter. I am 19 years old and a student at West Chester University. I am majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Communication Studies and Spanish. As my major may suggest, I have an interest in technology and hope to bring that interest to PA DeMolay as I am running for the office of State Junior Councilor. Since joining DeMolay in May of 2013, I have earned my PMC-MSA for both terms of office as Master Councilor and I have served as an Appointed State Officer for two years. In my free time, I enjoy photography, travel, socializing, and throwing my free time away on social media and Netflix.

What are your goals if elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
If elected, one of my goals involves enhancing communication across the State. We cannot be strong without communication between our State Officer Corps, Executive Officer, EO Staff, and all our Chapters. I would also like to utilize technology and social media to our advantage as they are becoming more integral to our lives. Social media can help bring DeMolay to a wider audience: we can help PA DeMolay grow in membership and remain relevant today.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
My greatest DeMolay influences include Dad Knapp and Dad Berry. They exemplify dedication to the Order and their support has shaped me to become the DeMolay I am today. I enjoy working with them; they motivate me and push me to be the best I can be.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
After a great deal of thought through all the events I have attended over the past four years, I would have to say that my greatest DeMolay experience would be the 007 Weekend at Patton Campus last term. A brilliant idea manifested into an excellent event with proper execution – this made it my most memorable Patton weekend to-date. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Meet the Candidates: Dylan Kirk 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.

My name is Dylan Kirk and I am running for the office of State Senior Councilor. I am a Past Master Councilor of Westmoreland Chapter. This fall I will be entering my junior year of high school. Throughout my four years in DeMolay, I have earned several awards including my lamp of Knowledge and my Representative DeMolay Award. Some of my interests are baseball, hockey, and movies, my favorites are: the Cars trilogy, Saving Private Ryan, The Sandlot.

What are your goals if elected to serve as an Elected State Officer?
If elected to State Senior Councilor, I hope that I will be able to bring new ideas to help improve PA DeMolay. I also hope to help the individual chapters, a goal of mine is to visit each chapter at least once, so that we, as state officers, can have better communication with the chapters to help them improve as well.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
Although I have had many great experiences, varying from chapter events, to becoming a state officer. I’d have to pick going to the Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland. I was Master Councilor of my chapter at the time and I chose to do that for My Government Day. It was a great experience that I will never forget.

Who are your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
Of all the great people I have met and gotten to know in DeMolay, whether they are from my chapter or the state, many of them have taught me valuable lessons. Two of my greatest DeMolay influences are Adam Neubauer and Isaac Holtzer. Adam recruited me into DeMolay and was my mentor, at least I saw him that way, before the bro tie program. Isaac became State Master Councilor shortly after I joined. While he was SMC, he still participated in chapter events and I was able to observe his leadership style in the chapter and on the state level. I was able put that towards my own leadership skills, especially with being a state officer.

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 

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

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

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

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

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 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