Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful for DeMolay

The following blog post was written by Brother Tyler Moyer, Deputy State Master Councilor for Pennsylvania DeMolay and PMC of Pilgrim Chapter. 

Last Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving, a day where we reflect on what we’re thankful for. We often take what we have for granted; whether it be the roof over our heads, the food on our plates, or the clothes on our back. One of the biggest things that we take for granted are the opportunities presented to us in our daily lives. We live in a time and place that gives us the opportunity to get an education, be who we want to be, and most especially, grow ourselves to be able to succeed in the world. How many of us take advantage of these opportunities? 

DeMolay affords so many opportunities to each of us; such as a place to find ourselves, develop lasting friendships, try new experiences, all while giving us a welcoming and safe place to hone a variety of skills. Sometimes, instead of recognizing this gift presented to us, we may complain or not participate. I see it all too often. We do our ritual to teach ourselves more about those valuable life lessons that are at the foundation of DeMolay and to improve our public speaking skills. We forget that planning our events, is teaching us about time management, communication and foresight planning. We forget that being a Councilor in our Chapter, develops and strengthens our leadership skills. We forget that bringing in new members, is about sharing the gifts that DeMolay gives each of us with our friends and future brothers. 
Don’t just sit back and let DeMolay go by you. Seize the opportunities and share this awesome experience with others. DeMolay is OUR organization and the success of it ten years down the line is dependent upon our efforts today. As has been said in the Ceremony of Light, "each of us holds within our hearts a flame." Has that flame gone out in some of us? If so, then why? And furthermore, what can WE do to get it back?

I hope you are thankful for your time in DeMolay and that you see that there are many opportunities still for you with DeMolay. I hope this motivates you to want to share your experience of DeMolay with others and invite them to a Chapter meeting or event. Show them the opportunities that await them. We've all heard the saying, “You get out of DeMolay what you put into it.” My final question to you is; “What will you do to get the most out of DeMolay?”

Monday, November 27, 2017

Frank S Land: Father of DeMolay

The following blog post was written by Brother Blake Anderson, State Junior Deacon and PMC of Elizabethtown Chapter.

Frank Sherman Land was the Director of the Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was very well known for his work in Freemasonry, even serving as Imperial Potentate of the Shrine in 1954-55. What was his view behind the Order of DeMolay?

Land was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and gained a reputation as the "Boy Preacher” at his Sunday school at Fountain Park Congregational Church Sunday School. He became a member of Ivanhoe Lodge #446 on June 29, 1912 in Kansas City. He was honored with the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the Scottish Rite and created a 33° in 1925. He received the first International Gold Service Medal of the General Grand Chapter of York Rite Masons in 1951 for work in Humanities. He received the Grand Cross of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite 33° in 1955. He was the president of the Kansas City School Board, a Director of the Columbia National Bank, and a trustee of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum at the time of his death.

It was the end of World War 2, when he came across a fatherless young man named Louis Gordon Lower. Soon after, Land suggested Lower to create a young men group, an organization to encourage and give direction to young men. Weeks later, the unofficial meeting of the Order of DeMolay took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City. Lower would become the first DeMolay of Mother Chapter, located in Kansas City. The original members of DeMolay were 9 young men and Land. The organization started as a baseball team and eventually evolved into the community minded organization it is today. Land originally set a limit of membership for the Mother Chapter to a total of 75 young men. By the end 1920 there were over 300 DeMolay members.

How did DeMolay actually get it’s name? Soon after the organization took off, Land ordered the young men to create a name for the group. After going through books that Land had, they came across a heroic figure, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, known for his heroic fidelity to his brethren, Jacques DeMolay. He was born in Molay, Haute Saone, France in the year 1244. At the age of 21, DeMolay joined the Order of Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128 to guard the road between Jerusalem and Acre, an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea. The Order of Knights Templar participated in the Crusades and earned a name for valor and heroism.

Since its founding in 1919, DeMolay has grown to over 1,000 chapters worldwide and over 3 million members. Notable figures from sports, entertainment, politics, the news media and the military, including Walt Disney, President William Clinton, Walter Cronkite, Fran Tarkenton and astronaut Edgar Mitchell. joined DeMolay, making it one of the most well known organizations known around the world. Frank S. Land never imagined that DeMolay would spread as fast as it did. In March of 1922, DeMolay had been established in 39 of 48 states (at the time), as well as in the District of Columbia. As DeMolay grew, so did Dad Land's commitment, he became fully involved in his once little club which was sweeping across the nation by the thousands. Five years after DeMolay started, there were 1,171 active chapters with 114,798 members. Dad Land was committed to DeMolay until the end of his days. Dad Land called to his wife one night feeling nauseous after 3 months of sickness and on November 8, 1959 spoke his final words "It is the beginning. My work must go on; DeMolay must go on.” 

Friday, November 17, 2017

DeMolay Time and Free Time

The following blog post was written by Brother Austin Chase, Region C Youth Representative, and PMC of Westmoreland Chapter. 

What does a DeMolay do in his free time when he's not in school or working? Some DeMolay members might like to play sports, play video games, sleep, drink chocolate milk, or practice their ritual. Every DeMolay has their own go to activities that they enjoy.  

During my free time, I like to play video games with my friends. When we're not playing video games, we do other things like go to the gym or go get something to eat. Other DeMolays in my Chapter like to do various other activities during their free time. One member is part of the swim team for their school. One member plays flag football. Another member is in the band and also plays for their high school Volleyball team. 

Some of us get together outside of DeMolay events and spend our free time together. Sometimes we get together to play basketball, listen to music, or play video games. The best part of DeMolay is that it provides you lifelong friendships that last even outside the Chapter banner.

Austin Chase, Region C Youth Representative

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

May 14th, 2013: How it All Got Started

The following post is from Sean Reitze, State Junior Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay and PMC of Pilgrim Chapter. 

It’s hard to believe that over four years have passed since the initiation of Bro. Chris Morales and I into the Order of DeMolay. It all started a month or so before we both joined: both of us were invited to a game truck party hosted by Pilgrim Chapter. Both of us enjoy video games, so we were both sold. In addition, we saw the comaraderie between the members which reinforced our decision to join. We knew this was something we wanted to be a part of.

If I haven’t joined the Order of DeMolay, I have no idea what these past 4 years would have been. I wouldn’t be the same person. DeMolay has opened doors and given me experiences I never thought I would be able to do. At the beginning of my DeMolay membership, I never saw myself as a Master Councilor of Pilgrim Chapter, I never saw myself as a Representative DeMolay, and I never saw myself as an Elected State Officer. The beauty of DeMolay is that it allowed me to grow as a person to become capable of accomplishing all of these goals, even if they weren't my goals going in. My fellow Brothers and Advisors have helped shape me into the person I am today.

As the saying goes, you get out of DeMolay what you put in it. I encourage everyone to challenge themselves to set goals and accomplish different things throughout their time within and outside of DeMolay. Before I sign off, if you’re an Active DeMolay reading this, I would like you to answer these following questions for yourself: When did you join DeMolay? Why did you join? How has your time in DeMolay benefited you? Take your answers and apply them to your Chapter’s membership program: membership is essential for the continued success of our organization.

This is Sean Reitze, State Junior Councilor, signing off. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hoping For a RUSH in Membership for PA DeMolay

The following post is from Jacob Reilly, State Scribe of Pennsylvania DeMolay and PMC of al-Aksa Chapter.  

In my opinion, the most important aspect of DeMolay is membership. When I joined DeMolay back in March of 2013, my Chapter was always weak with this, having only one or two boys show up to meetings. When I became more involved with Pennsylvania DeMolay in late 2013, I realized I needed to “jump-start” my chapter's membership efforts to maximize the DeMolay experience. I planned some open houses and prospect events to help with this effort. After 1 year of planning these events, I got our active member count up to 6 active, which is better than it had been since I joined. 

I want every member to try their best to increase their chapter's membership, especially during the months of November and December. These months combined are known as DeMolay RUSH, and we are encouraging ever member of DeMolay to give their effort to increase membership during both November and December. 

Membership is crucial for our organization. If we had no members, we would have no DeMolay. Do you want to glance back in 30 years and see that the organization that you put your blood, sweat and tears into, is not in existence? I know I don't. We need members to be able to plan and run events. Keeping this Order in good condition for the next generation should be a high priority. 

Here are some ideas you can do to increase membership. Try planning a video game prospect party. Do this by setting up age appropriate games for your prospects to play. Try to set up video games that 3-4 people can play at a time, this way no one is left out or unable to play. You can plan an outdoor picnic where people come to eat, socialize, and play games to have a good time. Make sure that you have food and refreshments at any prospect event. Everyone loves to eat and will always come back for more. These are just a few ideas that you can to to help increase membership for your chapter. 

This is Jacob Reilly, State Scribe, signing off.