DeMolay members came together from all over the world Thursday morning of June 18, to start the 48th International Congress Session with the annual Congress photo, taken on the grand steps in the lobby of the hotel we were staying in.
Business started off with an inspirational video about the advantages of being open-minded to new shifts and changing the way we live to be more successful in our endeavors – whatever they may be. We continued with legislative call items proposed by many of the young men of the delegation. With compassionate debate and discussions by the young men of the delegation, several decisions were made and implemented for immediate or future effect.
We continued the day with an influential speech, presented by Don Levonius, during our Congress lunch. Following were our committee meetings where we met to talk about the future of the Congress’s focus. After the work we put forth as a Congress, it was time to come together and start the nominating process for the new International Congress Officers – where Brother Chandler Gordon and myself were nominated for the positions. Moving on from that process was the Grand Opening for the 95th DeMolay International Supreme Council and 48th International Congress Session where over 500 people - including DeMolays, Sweethearts, Supreme Council Members, parents, and distinguished Masonic dignitaries representing many of the bodies which support our cause – joined together for these ceremonial deliberations.
As the weekend progressed, we continued to talk about ideas and create plans that can be used for future Congresses – but even more importantly we recognized those who have done so much for DeMolay and our freedoms as our nation’s youth. Senior DeMolay, Sgt. William Hoover was able to spend the entire Session with us and shared his incredible story of bravery. We were able to honor him later in the weekend by designating him an Honorary International Master Councilor along with junior past Grand Master, Dad Derek Sprague making it ultimately clear that Sgt. Hoover deserved and received the Grand Cross.
The day came for elections and the outcome is as follows: International Congress Secretary ~ Quentin Cockerham, Missouri; International Master Councilor ~ Chandler Gordon, Arizona; Grand Secretary ~ Keith Klein, Indiana; Grand Treasurer ~ Wesley Thornton, New Mexico; Grand Junior Councilor ~ Ron Minshall, Oklahoma; Grand Senior Councilor ~ William Sardone, New York; Grand Master ~ Steven Crane, Kansas.
The 95th International Supreme Council and the 48th International Congress Session came to close as it always does with the Grand Master’s Banquet and Hall of Fame. Many were recognized this night but the honor-man of the night - who was inducted into the DeMolay International Hall of Fame was Major General Bart O. Iddins and we learned about his life and all that he’s done for not only DeMolay, but his country’s welfare.
On behalf of all those who attended and participated in the work well-done for the benefit of the young men of our Order, I’d like say how humbled I am to serve the youth which are the leaders of tomorrow.
“Goodness is just a generation away from extinction, always…”
~ Dad Frank S. Land
It was an extreme pleasure to be able to attend both the Job’s Daughters and Rainbow for Girls State Conventions this past weekend. I was able to meet many new people and watch both group’s Grand Openings and Installation of youth offices.
First of the weekend was Grand Session in Jefferson City, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, for Missouri Job’s Daughters. This started Thursday night with their Grand Opening, which was much different than in the past. It was a nice night of presentations and introductions. Friday, the youth had their voting session where Brianna Hall progressed into the office of Grand Bethel Honored Queen, Becca Hairer into Grand Bethel Senior Princess, and Erin Howard was elected into Grand Bethel Junior Princess. That night was the Installation of Grand Officers, where several of Missouri DeMolay’s Jurisdictional Officers presented an Honor Guard for Brianna. After all was finished, Quentin was invited to give remarks, and let me tell you, he represented Missouri DeMolay well. After the Installation there was a Queen’s Ball, and this dance had the best cupcakes I have ever had!
On Saturday, we made our way down to the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Oasis Convention Center in Springfield, for the Grand Assembly of the Missouri Rainbow for Girls. That night they held a “Rainbow’s Got Talent” Talent/Variety show depending on who you ask! What I learned here, are there are so many talented young ladies of this Order, and some really rowdy DeMolay guys who “performed” there. Quentin Cockerham and Bradley Pitman got to be apart of this show, and trust me, it was a show… just one of those things you “had to be there” for. On Sunday, we attended their Grand Opening and this is where all of the presentations were made and it was impressive with the drills the Rainbow girls did. But the best part of this definitely had to be Mom Dorleta Lodholz making her entrance on a lifted golf cart, driving into the Banquet Hall! It was pretty awesome. After this, we went to their banquet and I got to meet with some girls from the Wentzville Assembly while awards for Ritual were given out. Finally on Monday, the girls had their voting session where Mckenzie Lodholz was elected to Grand Worthy Advisor, Erin McCann to Grand Worthy Associate Advisor, Hannah Barker to Grand Charity, Alexis Hartensteine to Grand Hope, and Mairyn Dodson to Grand Faith.
Both conventions were great experiences and I can’t wait to attend them again.
Here we are half way through the summer and we’re just getting started! We had an outstanding weekend of brotherhood at our annual Conclave to start off this Missouri summer. I’m sure your Chapter has many exciting events to attend this summer but how are you communicating them? Are you just sharing it through a flyer that is emailed, creating an Evite or Facebook. Do you regularly post your events on the Missouri DeMolay calendar?
At the Masonic Youth Enhancements held earlier this year, there seemed to be a clear pattern of Chapters planning great events but not communicating them so others can attend. One Chapter was having a video game tournament but other local chapters didn’t know about it. Many Chapters plan fun events and it would be great if they would share them on the Missouri DeMolay website. Our state website is full of information that is updated often. It shows Chapter meetings, state events and Chapter events but currently there are not many listed for the summer. It is a great tool to increase effectiveness of communicating your event and increasing attendance and I hope you will take advantage of it.
Some of the upcoming summer events are Six Flags on July 18th and Masonic Youth Day in Columbia on August 1st. Also is the annual leadership training program - The University of DeMolay, held at Maryville Campus, St. Louis from July 26th - July 31st: apply for a scholarship to attend at www.UniversityOfDeMolay.org now! Crestwood Chapter will be hosting their annual Back to School Dance on August 9th.
Please be on the lookout for further information about these upcoming events.
Missouri DeMolay's - The U
As most of you know, it is getting closer to the time of the year when Missouri DeMolay hosts a leadership development program. In the past we have held it at the YMCA Trout Lodge and Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City amongst other venues.
This year, Missouri DeMolay will be hosting The University of DeMolay. This year’s training will take place at the Maryville University Campus in St. Louis, Missouri. To expand our programming and fellowship of brotherhood, we’ve added one more day to this program. The application for a scholarship to attend is online at www.UniversityOfDeMolay.org. Attendees will arrive on July 26th and depart on July 31st.
If you are selected to attend you will be sent an email saying you received the scholarship and will be able to attend at no cost to you or your Chapter. Preference for scholarships is given to newer members of the Order - but I encourage each and every young man to apply. It is a wonderful experience and, like Conclave, helps you build friendships that last a life time.
The “U’ will be focusing on team building/building trust as well as confidence. There are also workshops for finance, activity planning, building a Squires Manor, etc. The “U” will help develop a young man into a well-versed DeMolay. The experience that I have gained from attending Missouri’s leadership development programs in the past have helped me not only in my DeMolay career, but also my School and family life.
Apply today for the opportunity of a lifetime - learning about the history of DeMolay and all the benefits you can gain from it.
An Avenue to Success
We all want to have 30 members coming to every meeting, being able to consistently fill those Preceptor chairs each time. However, accomplishing this can be a struggle for many. Below are some tips that your Chapter can implement that will make attaining the desired membership and attendance more attainable.
The first thing to do is gain some members. If you can’t have organic growth, I recommend utilizing the Joining Ceremony program to kickstart your membership. There are so many benefits to using this program and all additional information and the necessary forms can be found under the Forms and Policies section of Missouri DeMolay’s website. This program will be very useful in drawing members from the community.
Follow up with all the new members and make sure they know of the upcoming events. Maybe assign a current DeMolay as a mentor to a new Demolay, ensuring new members have everything they need to become accustomed to how DeMolay functions. This allows for better retention and allows each member to have an extensive knowledge of the order.
The importance of activity is very important. Having activities planned for these newfound members to attend is a must have. While meetings and Ritual practices have their vital importance, a new member who isn’t necessarily sold on DeMolay will be less likely to keep coming around if the only thing they can do is sit in a Lodge hall. However, a new member will be more likely to become sold on DeMolay if both the fun aspect and the business/Ritualistic aspect are present. You could even combine the two into one activity. For example, having a videogame and sport lock-in at the Lodge hall that has occasional breaks to practice Ritual. Play for a few hours, practice for 45 minutes or however long you want. This allows for a lot of fun, and some solid Ritual practice as well. Finding the balance between fun, Ritual, and business will be very useful in building up your chapter.
Every Chapter is different, and each Chapter will find a different avenue for success, but the above are some tips that all Chapters can enforce. These tips alone will not ensure that avenue to success, but they will certainly make finding it a whole lot easier.
Eight. Eight is all it takes to run the offices of DeMolay International. With such a small number, everyone has to pull their own weight and get their work done. We as a jurisdiction have performed well enough to make us thrive in membership. Many of the Chapters that have performed or held a joining ceremony are now leading the state with numbers. So why not do something great with those numbers. We as a jurisdiction are trying to take it back to the Chapters, to make them run the state with events and activities. If an office of eight can run an international business from behind the scene, then what is holding Chapters back to run the state?
Suppose the answer is: They don’t know what to put into action. They have to make committee. All state events have a committee, whether it be two people or a hundred people, things don’t just happen and go smoothly. There is a team of delegates that are top notch and get the job done. So why not make these committees in a Chapter and make large scale events. To form a committee, you need to already know who can do what and in what capacities.
You need a committee chairman who is the leader and can enforce due dates and follow up to make sure things are getting done. You also need someone who can confirm notes and contacts with others and get all information across the board. All others are those who make the activity truly happen. They need to know when to call someone and get things organized and ready before the event. Without the last group, nothing could be done smoothly. They make sure that everything is done in the most efficient way possible. Chapters having such large numbers gives them the ability to make a diverse committee with multiple contacts to options of what they can get and use for their events.
Use what you have as a Chapter to your advantage and give everyone the opportunity to be responsible for something and they will appreciate the work they do even more.
Testing your Knowledge
Within our Order, knowledge is key and we should be tested on it from time to time. That is why we have our Leadership Correspondence Courses. This is a great tool to learn more about DeMolay! There are five courses that have to be completed. After each course is completed you will receive a certificate of completion and after completing all the courses you will earn the Lamp of Knowledge.
Each course has a set number of questions and the difficulty of question gets more advanced as you progress through the courses. It is also an open book test and the text that you should utilize are the books "Hi Dad" and the DeMolay Leadership Resource Guide. These resources are essential for these tests.
As you progress through the courses, the questions become less commonly-known and you will need to research the two resources above to have a fuller understanding of the history of DeMolay and how our organization works.
Also if you have completed your LCC, you can also do one Master Craftsman course that is open to everyone that is put on by the Scottish Rite! I encourage you to enroll in the LCC at www.demolayleaders.org!