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