Thursday, March 29, 2018

Successful Squire Program Forming in PA

The word Squire means "a young nobleman acting as an attendant to a knight before becoming a knight himself." The same can be said about the Squires program in association with DeMolay, as they are a sub-organization for members that are not yet of DeMolay age. Squires are for young men 9-11 years of age, with encouragement for them to join DeMolay when they become 12.

Although this is a new concept in Pennsylvania, the Squires program has been around since 1995. It teaches the important lessons of Justice, Truth, and Wisdom. The proper term for a group of Squires is a "Manor," just like members of DeMolay are in "Chapters." Squires hold meetings, participate in fun events and activities, and interact with the DeMolay members. The DeMolays serve as mentors for the Squires, hoping to one day bring them into the Chapter. 

What does it take to start a Squire Manor? There are several things needed to form a Manor, but the main thing is interest from all involved. A Manor will only exist with interested Squires, Advisors, and DeMolay members. A DeMolay Chapter serves as a sponsor to the Squire Manor. One DeMolay will serve as the Squire Mentor and at least two DeMolay Advisors should serve as the Advisors for the Manor. A Manor should start with 3 Squires, receiving a Charter after receiving 5 Squires. There are several other requirements needed, which I will provide in a link at the bottom of the blog post.

The Squire program can be a successful addition to DeMolay if run properly. It provides a program that can initiate membership for the Chapter. So far, Pennsylvania has 3 Squires Manors that are recognized by DeMolay International: Liberty Manor, sponsored by Northeast Chapter; Carlisle Manor, sponsored by Carlisle Chapter; and William C. Graham Manor, sponsored by Lorraine Chapter. There have been several other Chapters that have expressed interest in starting a Squires Manor as well. The future of DeMolay is bright with the success of the Squire program. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin 

PA Squire Guidelines             

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DeMolay Week: The Best Week of My Life

This blog post is from Brother James McKeown, PMC of Friendship-Bray Chapter and Region H Representative for Pennsylvania DeMolay. 

My greatest experience in DeMolay was KeyMan 2016. This was my second time at KeyMan and one of the best weeks of my life. This week was not only one of the best weeks of my life, but it also changed my life.

During the summer of 2016, I was going through some changes in my life. I just graduated from grade school and I was preparing to enter high school. I was super hyped that whole summer to finally leave my school and experience a change for once. During that summer, I was also Master Councilor of my Chapter. Leading up to KeyMan, I was going through a midterm crisis. My term as Master Councilor really wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, and because of this I was losing interest in DeMolay. I felt like taking a break from DeMolay once my term as Master Councilor was over. I didn’t really feel like going to KeyMan at the time. I just wanted to hang out with my friends and not be bothered by DeMolay, but I already signed up, so I had to go.

I got to KeyMan and I was still not excited about being there. I was put in the Ritual Track. I already met half the guys in my group because of the Patton weekends, but the other half were all from Canada. The week started out a little slow. I was enjoying the courses and what I was learning, but I wasn’t having a lot of fun. It started to pick up around Tuesday. I started to get to know the people in my group during the activities we participated in, the times we were eating, and the times we were supposed to be sleeping. I was bonding with these people who I just met or only met a few times. I went to KeyMan the previous year, but I didn’t really bond with the guys in my group. We started to work together as a team. I’ve been on a lot of teams before, but not a team that was this close together. Everything we did together was fun. We had to perform the Opening and Closing of a Chapter and The Ceremony of Light for the end of the week project. I’ve been on tons of ritual teams over my DeMolay career, but not a team that worked so smoothly and so in sync. It kinda felt like we could read each other's mind while performing. People say that ritual makes us unique, but it can also bring us together and help us grow. The week came to a close and I made sure to keep in contact with everyone.

The week might not have been the best and most fun week ever, but it honestly changed me. It made me care about DeMolay again and motivated me to finish my term as Master Councilor with a full head of steam. Without this week, I'm probably not the person I am today.

Monday, March 19, 2018

DeMolay Week: Fun With My Comrades

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

Are we limited to what we can do as DeMolay? The answer is most certainly no, we are not limited (unless you plan on something extremely dangerous or against insurance.) DeMolay is based from 9 young men who just wanted to have fun and build relationships. From that idea, we now have an international organization with over 3,000 chapters worldwide that was based off the idea of having fun and building friendships. Today, DeMolay is still the same. Although we have other aspects involved in DeMolay, we learn our leadership and skills through having fun in the organization.

The most fun I ever had in DeMolay was when my chapter planned an Air-soft Event. It was the first shooting based event I had been though with DeMolay. Yes, you might think it is a terrible idea for DeMolays to shoot one another with air-soft guns, but it’s basically the same as paintball, which has been common in DeMolay for years. After we presented the idea to our Advisory Council, it was approved and we started the planning process. When Bro. Chris Johnston and myself had originally planned our Air-soft Event, it was for the prospects we had interested in joining DeMolay. Due to our low chapter stats at the time, we felt it was necessary to have chapters and assemblies come to the event. We then invited the youth groups nearby. With an impressive turnout of 35 people, the amount of fun was endless. As we entered the arenas, most of us were scared and didn't know what to expect, but we felt safer because we all knew each other. By the time I had gotten out of the arena, I was immersed with the amount of fun that I had. I never thought you could have so much fun in DeMolay and that you were able to do events like that. When the night ended, everyone wanted to keep playing. Along with having fun, I later realized that the air-soft also consisted of leadership, communication, trust, and comradeship. All ideas that are based on our precepts.

Keep in mind, DeMolay is great for endless ideas. From going go-kart racing to camping trips, anything is possible in DeMolay. Without fun in DeMolay, we wouldn’t be the greatest organization in the world. During DeMolay Month, I encourage you to think outside the box and do something your chapter has never done before and enjoy yourselves as DeMolays.

Until then,
Mitch Holmes