DeMolay was founded on principles which have stayed true through the changes that our world has seen. I am often reminded or told stories about when DeMolay first began or during the “golden years” of the Order, but this wonderful organization is just now finding its roots in today’s society. Times have changed and with it DeMolay will continue to change.
Through out the years, many awards and honors have been created in the name of what our founder, Dad Land, had hoped for - a better tomorrow with the leaders which DeMolay has helped develop. There are two awards which we hold in the highest regards to our Fraternity - the Representative DeMolay Award which is presented to a young man who has reflected upon his life and has discussed how the Seven Cardinal Virtues have played an integral part in his life. This is no small task for the young man to accomplish and should be taken upon himself after a thorough start to his DeMolay career. The other is the Distinguished Service Award - given to a young man after he has exemplified the true spirit of a DeMolay by giving in service and being ever loyal to the Order by humble service which he would never think to be recognized for. This award is given by showing true integrity in everything that a young man can do.
There are also two honors which are held to the highest of statures in DeMolay. The first being the Degree of Chevalier - I need not explain that it takes true commitment to the Order, an unselfishness in practicing our values in the daily lives of young men to receive this honor. It is of my opinion that this honor, for many, is given out too easily and should be reserved for those who have done everything else that they can during the entirety of their time in DeMolay to ensure the success of others, and not themselves, for that is the very nature of being chivalric.
The other honor is one which we bestow upon young men very frequently - the true honor of being a DeMolay. Being a part of this Order is a privilege and should not be taken lightly by those who become actively involved. Do not disgrace the opportunities that DeMolay has provided you with, but extend the honor to new young men - making them aware of such a generous organization that can do no wrong.
DeMolay has done so much for me that I could never repay the debt I owe but I can strive each and every single day to do more for others as should everyone else in our Order. I have given my life to love and serve others through DeMolay and that has been my benefit which I have derived from my membership in DeMolay - I just hope that the reward is a humble one that doesn’t need explanation or recognition.
Do all that you can for others - this is what DeMolay teaches all of us - this is the ultimate award we can receive and the highest of honor has already been given to us. Live virtuously by the lessons taught in our Ritual; live by the example which Jacques de Molay died for; live humbly through the goodness which Dad Land saw in 9 young men of Kansas City, Missouri; live DeMolay.
This past Memorial Day weekend, I had the extreme honor of leading Missouri DeMolay’s State Conclave in Jefferson City, MO. I was able to work with the Directors, and many other leaders around the State as well as with the venues where we held various events.
Throughout the weekend we held many Ritual and Athletic competitions. We even presented a newly upgraded award - the Master Ritualist. This distinguishes who the most dedicated Ritualists are in the Junior, Senior, and Championship Divisions. Along with the title comes a brand new, prestigious cordon. I wanted to say congratulations to not only those who were presented with these, but to all who competed; please keep perfecting your Ritual and practicing your sports; always remaining positive and maintaining good sportsmanship - this goes hand in hand with Integrity.
Missouri DeMolay also welcomed thirteen new brothers into our great Order, please stay involved and remember that you will only get out of DeMolay what you put into this organization.
I want to urge all of you to attend next year’s State Conclave and trust that it will be even better than ever, with surprises and modifications. Please keep growing and retaining. We hope to double the number of attendees next year along with tripling the number of Sweetheart candidates. This is the most prestigious event we have, take advantage of it and make memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
Going into your daily lives, remember the lessons we profess and teach and please hold dear to those lessons that Integrity is “doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”
Squires at State Conclave 2015
At this past Conclave, the Squire’s weekend began with a nicely done Induction Ceremony where three new Squires joined. As they anxiously awaited the Integrity Party Room and Tug of War, they spent some time sharing ideas and planning prospect parties for their Manors. They had some great ideas and are prepared to share the organization with their friends and grow their Manors.
On Saturday, the Squires and Chapter Sweethearts spent the morning getting to know each other playing games and creating their own masks. This was a great time by all and James Hawkins, International Master Councilor, joined in the fun too. The room was filled with energy and laughter by those participating and watching.
Their Ritual competition was completed with many close to or word perfect on their parts. The pride they take in being successful in their Ritual work shows great integrity and drive in which they give their best is something to be admired.
This year the Squires had activities of their own at the YMCA during the DeMolay sports competitions. They enjoyed a great game of noodle hockey and line soccer. At one point, our State Master Councilor came and joined them in the fun.
On Sunday their day was filled more fun playing dodge ball, track events, potato sack races, kick ball and a water balloon launch. Apparently there were some extra water balloons left and the Squires Director got a nice surprise from them. Next we headed off to finish our eventful day of sports by heading over to play billiards and washers. Overall the Squires had a very event filled and exciting conclave.
Importance of Communication
Anyone who has some form of responsibility, or has been a part of any group or team knows the absolute importance of communication. In the past few decades, communication has become simpler, more precise and quicker. Learning to utilize and understand these new forms of getting your ideas across can definitely save someone from getting into a lot of trouble and ruining an operation.
As most people know, there are different styles of communication. Two for example are formal and friendly. Finding the style of communication is essential for weeding through the baffling amount of ways and mediums of communicating.
For example, if one wishes to communicate formally, they should use email, and write as they would a letter, not a text. They should start with dear, then the letter, then sincerely and/or fraternally or something of the sort. Another way is to call the person. Usually one would use a formal format if talking to a boss or someone they do not know, in our case it is usually an advisor or the Master Councilor of another Chapter. However, if they initiate the communication in a friendly or informal way, unless it is a peer or an adult you know well, you should always respond formally.
Now if you engaged in a friendly manner you would usually want to send it immediately and get a quick response. This is generally used in the Chapter area to get a hold of someone on your committee or if you are planning an event and need quick information. In this case you would use texting or facebook or some other form of quick messaging.
For large scale communication, like for example getting a hold of your Chapter as a whole, you would more likely use an email group or a group text or possibly a phone tree. There are several programs that allow you to make email groups and manage them as well as seeing who has and hasn't seen them. As for a call tree, there are many ways to do this. One is to delegate, meaning you call three people and they call three people etc. Another, less effective way is to do it all by yourself, which is fine, though I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a very small chapter.
Now for some pros and cons: Email - First, it is a good way to get a hold of a lot of people at once, however you cannot know if they got it unless you use a program like I described earlier (which MailChimp allows you to do). Though you can get a hold of a lot of people, they usually don't check their emails more than once a day, meaning if you need a quick response it would be better to send a quick, brief text. Calling is another good way to get a hold of people quickly, however they may not be able to take the call so it may be better to leave them a written note. And finally - social media. This a great way to get your Chapter out there, though not the best way to communicate to your Chapter about private matters. The fact that everyone can see makes not the ideal place to talk about things that only the Chapter needs to know.
I hope everyone can take away some advice or tip and help there Chapter get a better communication system going.
Through all my years as a DeMolay I have learned that this old phrase is true: the more the merrier. Many smaller events held at the Chapters are almost exclusive for the Chapter. In my Chapter, whenever events are planned the assumption is that just our Chapter will go and do whatever event we plan. Why is it like this? How come Chapters don’t do more to co-plan events with each other or with the Job’s Daughters or Rainbow Girls? How come small fishing trips or laser tag outings or other simple events done at the Chapter level are so exclusive?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every event has to be the size of Conclave, but think about it. Why is Conclave so much fun? Is it the ritual? Is it the food? Is it the hotel? I don’t think so. I think that the size and competition at Conclave is really what makes it so much fun. DeMolays are awesome, so wouldn’t having more DeMolays at an event make it more fun? I’m not saying that the next trip to a bowling alley that your Chapter plans has to include 10 Chapters, but inviting three or four other Chapters wouldn’t hurt.
Let’s not forget the Job’s Daughters and Rainbow Girls - having them along with Chapters can always make an event more fun. Just inviting a single Bethel or Assembly to the next event your Chapter goes to could make all the difference. In the coming months of summer, anybody who isn’t out of town will be looking for something to do so let’s take advantage of this time off from school to plan some awesome events with other Chapters, Bethels, and Assemblies.
So next time your Chapter plans to go to a movie, make sure to invite a couple other Chapters. The next time your Chapter plans to go on a fishing trip, invite a Bethel or two. The next time your chapter plans a barbeque, invite an Assembly. Cooperation can affect the outcome to make events more fun.
The Duties of the Councilors
In a Chapter we have 3 principal officers: The Master Councilor, Senior Councilor, and Junior Councilor. Each Councilor sits in a station that represents a stage of life. However, these officers do more than just sit in a cardinal direction in a lodge hall, they have important roles in the chapter.
The Junior Councilor is mostly in charge of membership. He should be one of the main people in charge of a program which will help new initiates know how to get started in DeMolay. He should be helping them with their obligations and making sure they have a decent knowledge of the Order. It is also suggested that he be a member or chairman of half of the committees in the chapter.
The Senior Councilor’s main duties are to be able to step in for the Master Councilor at any time if the Master Councilor is not present or needs assistance. He should know the term plan and be preparing his own term plan upon anticipation of him moving up to Master Councilor. He needs to know not only his portion of the Ritual, but also the Master Councilor’s part. He should also be the chairman or member of the other half of the committees not taken by the Junior Councilor.
Finally, we have the Master Councilor. This guy is the main man. He must have a term plan, know his Ritual, and know the “ins and outs” of the entire Chapter. He is the face of the chapter, and should be ready to be called upon to speak on behalf of the Chapter. He must know the members and the advisors well and take the Chapter to new heights than ever imagined.
These 3 positions are some of the most important parts of a Chapter’s functioning, and are the role models for the chapter. These positions really help to develop leaders and put the power and control of the Chapter in the hands of the young men, which is one of the best parts of DeMolay.
We need to draw attention to something that impacts the way Chapters are running and the way events get done. This “something” is accountability and the simplicity of this is being held responsible. Not only to hold yourself accountable but to hold others around you accountable.
Accountability is a need in being able to run a Chapter smoothly. Without accountability a Chapter’s plan can fall through, and especially when the plan is to raise money or do charity work, then the reputation of the Chapter could be at stake. No one wants a bad image for themselves or their Chapter. Obviously, there are ways to make sure there is accountability and make events and actions go according to plan. There are many ways to hold the members and adults of a Chapter accountable.
Being honest with one another in the Chapter makes it easier for things to fall into place. One thing to do is ask frequently if the people responsible have gotten their assigned task(s) done by the deadline. This will refresh the thought of the deadline and keep them thinking that it is coming up soon. Another thing is to make a chart and check off what needs to be done and when, but making sure to state the deadline or else things will go undone until the day before or day of the event. These are the two easiest ways to prevent a mistake and to help each other be accountable.
Accountability is a major part in holding a good event and even during the planning process. Both you and others need to make sure that one another is doing their job to make sure things get done. But remember, if one is not held accountable or does not learn to be accountable then they will miss the mark on holding a great event.