Thursday, April 26, 2018

Why We Do This: "Dad" Loughin's Story

Dad Pullin recently asked the lot of us Pa DeMolay folk to share our DeMolay journey.  Here’s mine.

Starting at the age of 4, I had been involved in sports in varying degrees.
 I started by racing quarter midgets (think go kart with a roll cage attached), which I decided to end when I was 9 after the car was damaged nearly beyond repair. When I was 6, I started playing football, and stopped at 13 due to my size. I started playing baseball when I was 11. Our local little league was no different than other little leagues: each year, the coaches held a draft for the 8-12 teams, named after currently MLB teams, and worked with the kids based on their abilities. Some of us pitched, the rest played the field. I wasn’t a half-bad player of the left side of the field – 3B, SS, RF, and CF, and was selected to a few All Star games. Baseball soon turned into my primary activity, no different than a lot of our youth today.

During the 1997 season, when I was 12, I befriended another player on the team named David Slugocki. After having spent many months having conversations about life and what we liked to do for fun, David finally said “Hey, I’m a member of this organization you might like.” Not knowing anything about the Masons at the time (none of my living relatives were Masons, so I thought), I agreed to check it out. We both let our dads know, and my dad got more information from his. Funny enough, my dad knew a lot about Masonic history, as more than half of the men at my church were Masons.

My first experience with DeMolay was a basketball practice in January for the upcoming basketball tournament in March. I kept thinking how awesome it was that some of the older guys were helping the younger ones with basic skills, and weren’t getting flustered as they were trying. I was instantly sold. I received my Initiatory Degree on 3/12/1998, and my DeMolay Degree 15 days later. I was installed as Chaplain a few weeks later. In 2001, I was elected and installed as State Junior Councilor. But after my term, I felt that I had given what was necessary to DeMolay, and decided to step aside for others to lead. Save for 2 sports tournaments, I “retired” from DeMolay in 2003, 2 and a half years before my majority.

My adult career kicked off in 2008. I felt that I had been away from the youth aspect long enough, and felt that my experience with DeMolay as a youth could help the current youth grow as best as possible. That October, I went to Elizabethtown and became Advisor certified.  As my chapter had sadly been closed, I was forced to choose a different one to serve with. I eventually settled on Reading, as several of the Council members at the time influenced my youth when I was an active member. Each year that I renew my Advisorship, I remember the 2 reasons why I keep doing this: youth will always need guidance, and I want to continue to work with the life-long friends that I’ve made throughout my career.

Just like Dad Pullin, I’m going to encourage you all to share your story. Advisor or Youth, I’d love to hear it. If you don’t feel like typing it out, find me one weekend at Patton and tell me. You never know who you’ll inspire with your story.

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