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         

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dodgeball for Dyslexia 2017

The following message is a Public Service Announcement from Elizabethtown DeMolay inviting you to the annual Dodgeball for Dyslexia Tournament. 

Look at that - what a shiny new logo! Dodgeball for Dyslexia is new, improved, and better than ever in its third year of existence, just like its logo. Now, you may ask, “Hey, how can a charity dodge-ball tournament that raised nearly $1,000 last year alone get even better?” which is a very keen and flattering question. The answer is easy: it starts with you. We had a total of 7 teams last year, with strong showings from Westmoreland and Pilgrim, but in order for the level of awesomeness to reach maximum capacity, we need more teams. So, if you are not completely convinced of joining this incredible event, let me suggest three solid reasons of why you should participate in Dodgeball for Dyslexia III.

1.)   It is for an awesome cause

Would you like to reap the benefits of donating to a charitable organization and feeling connected to your fellow members of the human race? Then this tournament is for you. All profits from Dodgeball for Dyslexia are given to the Children’s Dyslexia Centers, which provides tutoring at no charge to children from early elementary through high school who have been diagnosed as dyslexic. Children are eligible regardless of economic status or Masonic affiliation. The positive impact of early intervention on the lives of these children and their families is enormous and inspires our commitment to this program.

2.)   Dodgeball is fun

Dodgeball is a sport. Sports are games. Games are fun. With this undeniable logic, it is safe to assume that you will have the time of your life at Dodgeball for Dyslexia. Whether you are experiencing the thrill of joining comrades in the exertion of physical activity or you simply enjoy hitting your advisors with soft, rubber spheres, this activity is always a boatload of fun. Not just a small dinghy of fun, but a Titanic size boat of fun sans the sinking.

3.)   You can win stuff

If the emotional satisfaction of benefiting humanity and enjoying time with friends and brothers isn’t your cup of tea, you can also win the long sought-after gold, silver, and bronze dodgeballs. The gold, of course, goes to the victor of the entire tournament, but just as important is the silver dodgeball, which goes to the team with the most team spirit, and bronze, which is given to the team who raised the most money to the Dyslexia Centers. So, seek victory and claim a few dodge-balls for your home chapter!

As I promised, three solid reasons to participate in the Dodgeball for Dyslexia tournament on May 13, 2017 at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, PA. If you have any inquiries, feel free to contact Brother Evan Crawford at

Make a team: make a difference.