Friday, December 29, 2017

Increasing the Incentive to Sell Yearbook Ads

The following blog post is a message from "Dad" Mike Larkin, Director of the PA DeMolay Yearbook. 

Just a few months ago we were in Allentown at Convention getting ready to install a team of State Officers commencing the beginning of their new term. During that weekend, we distributed the DeMolay Yearbook, marking the end of a long process which resulted because of the hard work of many members, Advisors, and a few creative people at 1244 Bainbridge Road. State Master Councilor Jacob Beers did an amazing job with the layout of the book. I appreciate his hard work, his attention to detail, and most important, that he was sure to include lots of great photos of our members. Looking forward to 2018, it is my hope that together we will be able to make our Yearbook grow with more pages and more photos representing every Chapter in Pennsylvania. 

To encourage you to sell more pages, we will be offering an improved rebate program. If you attended the recent Supreme Tall Cedars Class at Patton Campus in December, you may have heard me talk about a few changes to the Yearbook program for 2018. This year we will be using a new publisher. As a result, our printing costs will be lower, allowing us to improve the rebate program. Last year we payed each chapter a flat 40% rebate for each ad dollar sold. This year we will roll out a new tiered rebate program that will increase the percentage as you sell more pages. Our hope is that this change will encourage you to sell more pages, resulting in more money for your chapter treasury. 

Great Yearbooks are full of photos of the past year’s activities. Last year we created a new photo page for the PA DeMolay Yearbook. Members submitted a short paragraph on how DeMolay has made them a better person. We selected 2 great submissions, added some photos and created 2 new pages for the Yearbook. We are doing this again this year with a slight format change. Any member can participate, just complete one of the two questions listed below and submit to the PA DeMolay Office. 

“The five most important things I’ve learned in DeMolay” 
“The five things I like most about DeMolay.”

From all the submissions that we receive, we will choose the best 4 members’ lists, add your photo, and will publish them in the 2018 Yearbook. Look for more details in the Yearbook mailing that is being sent to your Chapters soon. 

Finally, I am excited to say that we are off to a great start, $1,200 of Yearbook ad pages have been sold for the 2018 Yearbook. As always I appreciate the participation in this program and look forward to another great year. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Story of Thomas R. Patton

The following blog post was written by Brother Hunter Winters, Youth Region D Representative, and PMC of Carlisle Chapter. 

History is a very important part of DeMolay because of the many ancient ideals it is based on. The origins of DeMolay stem from the 9 boys who decided to come together and form this group, but there are other influential figures. Frank S. Land is known as the Founder of this Order and is highly recognized in the world of DeMolay. Thomas Patton is one of these influential figures, who many DeMolays know very little about even though he is the namesake for the Masonic Conference Center - Patton Campus in Elizabethtown.

Thomas Ranken Patton was born in Ireland in 1824. He came to the United States in 1844 and started to work with his uncle in the tea importing business. He would quickly find his own success in the United States by starting a grocery importation business and would soon become a full citizen in 1852. He then became a Freemason in 1861 by joining Union Lodge No. 121 in Philadelphia. He served as Worshipful Master in 1867.

Throughout his life he gained a number of important positions in both the business world and in the realm of Freemasonry. In business, he became the director of the Union Trust Company and the Electrical Cable Construction Company among many other titles. In Freemasonry, he served as the Grand Treasurer for the Grand Lodge and was the Representative of the Grand Lodge of England to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

After the death of his wife, Ellen, he created the Thomas Ranken Patton Memorial Charity Fund to help widows. He donated 150,000 dollars to this fund and helped many people throughout the masonic world. He then donated the building which would eventually become the Thomas Ranken Patton Masonic Institution for Boys, known by many today as Masonic Conference Center - Patton Campus, a place where DeMolays, Rainbows and Job's Daughters can gather from all over the Commonwealth, and on occasion, from all over the world.

When you walk into the side entrance of Patton Campus, you will walk past a number of display cases containing items such as the ones below. These items served as physical reminders of the life of Thomas Patton, the immigrant who would serve his community and his Freemason brethren throughout his life. If you'd like to read a little more about the life of Thomas R. Patton, check out the biography on the PMYF website at

Thursday, December 14, 2017

GO Spread PA DeMolay's message

The following blog post is from Jacob Beers, State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay.

Last week, I gave a speech about DeMolay at the Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Pennsylvania’s Annual Grand Banquet. With this, I earned my GO Spread shirt for having completed four of the eight ways for all members of Pennsylvania DeMolay to help “GO Spread” DeMolay’s message. In addition to the speech, I also have written articles for the Keystone Crusader as well as posts for the PA DeMolay blog (like this one). Also, I attended York Bethel No. 1’s Installation of Officers on December 3rd. These are the four ways I earned my shirt - writing an article for the Keystone Crusader, writing a post for the PA DeMolay blog, attending an open meeting of another Masonic Youth Group, and attending an open meeting of a Masonic body - but there are four other things you can do to earn your GO Spread t-shirt.

First, you can write a letter for your Chapter’s newsletter, if it has one. This can be about anything you choose, whether that be an upcoming event, report of a past event, or anything you think would add substance to your Chapter’s newsletter. Second, you can write a letter to one of your Chapter’s sponsoring bodies. Without the support of your Chapter’s sponsoring bodies, your Chapter would be hard-pressed to do much of anything, so write them a letter thanking them for all the help they’ve given to you and your Brothers. Third, you can attend two Masonic service events. These can be any two events where your Chapter helps another Masonic body in any way possible. Fourth, you can attend two community service events. Use this as an opportunity to show your community all of the good that DeMolay can do and its deep interest in your community’s success.

Once you’ve completed any four of these eight things, submit an explanation of your doings to the PA DeMolay office, along with a signature from your Chapter Advisor, and you will receive a GO Spread shirt. Use this as an opportunity to show off your hard work as a spokesman for Pennsylvania DeMolay and wear your shirt proudly to show you’ve helped to GO Spread DeMolay.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

DeMolay is the Best Thing that Happened to Me.

The following blog post is from Brother Christopher Black, State Chaplain for Pennsylvania DeMolay and Master Councilor of George Washington Chapter. 

Before I joined DeMolay, I was a shy kid not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I liked helping people and hoped that I could find something to allow me to help others. I tried the Cub Scouts, but I didn’t like it too much.

I was helping out at the Zembo Shrine Circus one day and saw a group of boys wearing shirts that said Carlisle DeMolay. I asked the Potentate at the time who these boys were and what DeMolay was. He gave my dad the contact information for the Chapter Advisor at the time. Knowing that I lived further away than their Chapter was located, they connected my dad to the Chapter Advisor of George Washington Chapter, which would eventually become my home Chapter. They agreed to come to my house for an interview.

A week later, I was going to my first DeMolay event. After joining the Chapter, I was asked to take an office, so I chose the office of Chaplain, with the intent to show everybody that I am ready for DeMolay. After one term as Chaplain, my Chapter had a major shake up in leadership, for which I offered a helping hand by taking the role of Senior Councilor. When Brother Jake Beers became State Master Councilor, he was looking for State Officers and I signed up hoping to become the State Chaplain. I received that office and now I am the Master Councilor for  George Washington Chapter. None of this would have been possible if I didn't ask about DeMolay.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Unmask Your Unknown Potential

The following blog post is from Brother Mitchell Holmes, State Senior Deacon for Pennsylvania DeMolay and PMC for Templar Chapter. 

Have you ever been scared to do something? Whether it would be entering a haunted house or a scary movie? If you said no, I'm sorry to say that I don't believe you. Sometime in your life, you have been scared to do something. On October 17, 2014, I made one of the best decisions in my life; joining DeMolay. Before I joined, I remember that I was worried about joining because I knew it would change me. At the time, I was a video gamer and I was worried about it interrupting my game time. I also knew that I had to commit to going to the meetings and events that our Chapter was holding. So, my personality kicked in and I said, “Yes, I would like to join.” I was always willing to try it out, and if I didn't like it, I just wouldn't come back. I went to the next meeting and filled out the necessary paperwork. At the time I had joined, there were only five members. Most of them older guys between the ages 16-18. Being thirteen at the time, I was very quiet. A year goes by, and what was five of us, became three members. A year after that, there were only two members, Bro. Chris Johnston and myself. At the time, I was considering quitting or switching chapters because throughout the time I was there, my Chapter did nothing. 

One day, my Chapter Advisor came to me and said, “Mitch, we need you to be Master Councilor.” When he told me that, I became scared. Mainly because I never had taken a major leadership role before in the Chapter. He then told me to prepare a term plan for the next meeting. That July, I had gotten installed as Master Councilor. I implemented several things, such as a Chapter website, membership incentives, and a newsletter. I was able to bring in three members to my Chapter. Along with that, the members I brought in, brought in members. What became two of us, became eight within eight months. I was able to take a struggling Chapter, and make it active again. While I was doing it, I never knew that I was a natural leader. I discovered things about myself that I would have never been able to figure out if it weren't for DeMolay. Being part of DeMolay has made me communicate, lead, and develop myself for success in life. I had unmasked my unknown traits through DeMolay.

The primary message for this story is to discover yourself. DeMolay is great for that because it touches on all the skills we need in life. Whether it be Robotics Club or Spanish Club, get involved because you can only discover yourself if you're involved with something. You can discover different traits besides leadership. You might find out that you are a good artist, writer, public speaker, treasurer, singer, etc. I want you to UNMASK YOUR UNKNOWN by being involved! 

I did a TED talk last year about my story in DeMolay. The video they had originally shot, had audio issues. So they had to record it again. Here is the link: