DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide. DeMolay alumni include Walt Disney, John Wayne, Walter Cronkite, football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton, legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, news anchor David Goodnow and many others. Each has spoken eloquently of the life-changing benefit gained from their involvement in DeMolay.
DeMolay is different from other organizations in several ways. First, it's open to all kinds of guys with all kinds of interests. If a chapter decides they want to, they can devote their chapter's entire attention to basketball. If they want to focus on soccer, chess, video games, drama, mountain cilmbing, volunteering, or stamp collecting, that's O.K. too. Each chapter has its own personality and each member has a chance to make the chapter what he wants it to be. Rather than focusing on any one thing, most chapters do a variety of activities. DeMolay is infinitely adaptable to the interests of the chapter members!
Another difference is DeMolay's emphasis on training you to be a leader. It doesn't happen by accident. When you join DeMolay, you're on the fast track to learn skills that will help you in school and through the rest of life.
One of the qualifications of membership is that you believe in God / a supreme being, so a lot of people ask whether DeMolay is a religious organization. The answer is no. DeMolay teaches that one of the steps toward becoming a happy and successful person is developing strong faith in your beliefs and being true to them. But just as important, DeMolay teaches that you must have respect and toleration for the beliefs of others. DeMolay doesn't teach a specific religion and doesn't require that you belong to any church. Membership is open for young men from all religions.
Officers for each chapter are elected from among the membership. Those officers are responsible for running the chapter meetings and coordinating the responsibilities of event planning. Every six months, the chapter elects new officers so that different guys will have the chance to lead. The decisions of the chapter are discussed at chapter meetings and voted on by all members. The adult advisors can give input, but they won't interfere with the chapter's decision unless it's absolutely necessary. The overall direction and operation of the chapter is up to the members themselves.
Each DeMolay chapter has a life membership fee that is surprisingly affordable. This entitles you to take part in the meetings and events. Some of the chapter's other activities are paid for by the chapter's fund-raising activities. Other times, members must pay their own way. But don't forget...you're going to get a lot more out of each activity than you put in.
In order to join DeMolay, you have to be at least 12 years old, be younger than 21, believe in God / a supreme being, and strive to be a good person.