One of the biggest challenges in DeMolay is for us to keep the program interesting for everyone involved, members and Advisors alike. In DeMolay and in Masonry, we're constantly battled with the mindset of "That's the way we've always done it, so that's the way it will have to be." What happens if we don't do it that way? What happens if we do something different and creative? The only real answer to this question is, "You won't know until you try."
It's very easy to get complacent in our programs. The old saying goes, "If it's not broke, don't try to fix it." Although I agree in part with this saying, sometimes its needed to be original. The same thing that worked 20 years ago, may not work today. The thing that worked 20 years ago, may need to be revisited because it will work today. With DeMolay, I've learned that there is really no right or wrong way to do most things. Sure not everything works, but you have to be open to try new things. You have to be willing to adapt to the times and to the young men around us. I've also learned that even the necessary things that need to get done, should have some element of fun mixed into the program, otherwise you may lose people's interest.
"Dad" David Labagh taught a workshop at the last Patton Campus weekend about the 30 second elevator speech promoting DeMolay. He pointed out that the same words that were in that speech when him and I were in DeMolay, are the exact same words we use to promote DeMolay today. We need to be original and find a new way to promote the program that we all enjoy. The same can be said for lodge presentations, educational experiences, and even practicing ritual work. Most lodges may have seen the Flower Talk and Ceremony of Light so many times that their tired of it. It's OK to try something else. Maybe the Shield Talk and the Historical Lecture will keep their attention. Maybe do a question answer session or a quiz style program asking what members know about DeMolay. Try something new. If it doesn't work, try something else. Be creative in your approach. See what the other members want to do and build around their ideas. Think outside the box.
Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin