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100 Years of Masonic youth
DeMolay International celebrates its centennial this year, marking a century since Mason Frank S. Land had the idea for a boy’s club based on fraternal values. The female orders of Job’s Daughters and Rainbow for Girls followed, and today, the three organizations provide friendship, values, and life skills to young men and women ages 10 to 21.
In the Southern California city of Thousand Oaks, Conejo Valley Lodge No. 807 makes it possible.
Like all youth orders, this community’s DeMolay chapter and Job’s Daughters bethel rely on local Masons for support. Conejo Valley Lodge proudly steps up in a number of important ways. Master and DeMolay advisor Brandon Lippincott; secretary and Senior DeMolay Stephen Wurtzel; and past master and Grand Master's Youth Service Award recipient Steven Cooley explain.
- To succeed, the youth orders need a dedicated, cohesive group of adult advisors. Young people are incredibly intuitive, and pick up on any discord among the adults. Advisors should be as supportive and positive with each other as they are with the youth.
- We have a very cohesive advisory group, made up of Masons from Conejo Valley Lodge, Simi Valley Lodge No. 806, and Channel Islands Lodge No. 214, as well as non-Masons.
- Adult advisors often get as much out of our involvement as we put in. We form close friendships with each other, and witness young members grow into extraordinary adults.
- We try to have at least one brother attend every youth meeting. A lodge presence is one of the most meaningful ways to show these young people that we care.
- We always support youth order special events, from attending their installations to donating to fundraisers. For example, the DeMolay chapter recently sold movie theater tickets for a special viewing of Aquaman as a fundraiser. With the help of our brothers, the theater was packed.
- We do not charge the youth orders rent for our hall, a critical savings for them.
- The youth orders often play a central role in our lodge’s special events. They present the flag at our installations, and DeMolay gives a special presentation for mothers at our annual Sweethearts Dinner. The youth feel valued and get to learn what goes on at lodge. Everyone gets to experience the true meaning of brotherly love and fraternal family.
Youth Orders Month and DeMolay Centennial
- In support of Youth Orders Month, we are challenging everyone to attend both of our local youth meetings in March.
- We’re encouraging brothers to participate in SoCal DeMolay’s Honorary Degrees event, part of DeMolay’s centennial. It’s an opportunity for Masons who were not in the youth order to receive DeMolay degrees and become life members. Sign up at scjdemolay.org/honorary-degrees.
Benefits to youth
- The youth orders instill core virtues and values in their young members, making them exemplary citizens and leaders.
- The youth orders prepare young people for the rest of their lives – teaching them public speaking, management skills, and event planning, as just a few examples.
- Young men and women gain a support network for life, connecting them with lifelong friends and trusted adults.
- In addition, DeMolay is a wonderful opportunity for young men to learn about Masonry.
Benefits to the lodge
- Being involved with the youth orders is an ongoing source of pride and inspiration for our brothers. These young men and women bring fresh perspective, energy, and life experiences into our lodge.
- Through their presence in the community, the youth orders promote Freemasonry in general.
- There is something special, and especially fun, about getting the whole fraternal family together. The youth orders remind us that when our Masonic family comes together, we can accomplish amazing things.
*Want to read inspiring stories about DeMolay’s past, present, and future? Keep an eye out for the upcoming March/April issue of California Freemason magazine, devoted to 100 Years of DeMolay!
Prepare for Youth Orders Month
Your lodge’s support of Masonic youth orders gives young people a safe place to learn values and leadership skills – and your lodge a lasting sense of pride. Lodges with a close relationship to Masonic youth gain a stronger fraternal family, and a constant reminder of fraternal values.
To ramp up support during Youth Orders Month, choose a handful of these ideas for March. Then select a few to implement year-round.
Attend youth order events
- Organize member visits to youth order meetings, aiming for at least one brother to be present at every meeting.
- Encourage strong lodge attendance at youth fundraisers and special events. Make announcements at stated meeting several months in advance, and arrange transportation for elder members.
- Attend the 2019 Symposium in June, which commemorates the DeMolay centennial. The event will feature a live, tiled demonstration of the DeMolay Degree as conferred in 1919.
Plan a special event
- Plan a joint community service project each year with local youth.
- Host a youth appreciation night at the lodge to honor youth leaders and adult mentors.
- Sponsor a recreational event like a holiday dance or game night for area Masonic youth. Let them suggest the event and lead the planning process.
Integrate youth in the lodget
- Invite local youth orders to stated meeting dinners, and to participate in the lodge’s community events and volunteer projects.
- Give Masonic youth an important role to play in officer installations, cornerstone ceremonies, and other lodge events.
- Post youth order brochures and fliers at the lodge.
- Add links to local and statewide youth order websites to your lodge’s website.
- Use social media to congratulate Masonic youth on their accomplishments and promote their upcoming events.
Form meaningful connections
- Whether after a youth meeting, while volunteering together in the community, or during a stated meeting dinner, make time for one-on-one conversation with youth. Ask them about their goals and challenges
- Plan a special youth meeting where Masons shadow youth officers.
- Around the holidays or anytime throughout the year, pair Masons and youth for Secret Santa or “Adopt-A-Mason” traditions.
Provide financial support
- If you own your hall, provide meeting space at reduced or no charge.
- Compensate Masonic youth for serving dinners or cleaning up at lodge meals.
- Buy tickets for youth fundraisers, even if you cannot actually attend.
- Make room in the lodge budget to sponsor youth at leadership camps and state conventions.
- Provide Masonic scholarship information and offer help applying. Create a lodge scholarship for Masonic youth.
To make a lasting impact
Become youth leaders
- Adult leaders are crucial to youth order success. Approach local youth orders about joining their advisory board, or visit masons4youth.org for contact information.
- As adult leaders prepare to step down, help identify new leaders to fill their places.
Start a local group
- If your area isn’t already served by a youth order, consider starting your own chapter, bethel, or assembly. If your lodge doesn’t have the resources to support a youth order on its own, partner with another local lodge to double your impact.
- To get started, visit masons4youth.org.
Your February checklist
Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your February checklist
- Schedule inspector’s official visit and examination of the books, due by end of March.
- Register for 2019 leadership retreats.
- Share with your lodge the dates and topics for the 8th Annual International Conference at UCLA (Diversity and Exclusivity in 18th Century Freemasonry) and 2019 California Masonic Symposium (DeMolay: A History, Journey, and Legacy)
- Plan to include retreat fees in upcoming budget discussions.
- Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement.
- Begin preparing 2020 program plan.
- Begin preparing 2020 budget.
- Begin preparing 2020 officer appointments.
- Begin preparing 2020 installation of officers.
- Present secretary’s annual report to the lodge at stated meeting.
- Send list of members with late dues to the master for the Retention Committee.
- Send any suspension notices.
- Charity Committee considers remissions.
- Present treasurer’s annual report to the lodge at stated meeting.
- Prepare financial reports for Grand Lodge, to be filed by end of March (unless your lodge uses Intacct, in which case you do not need to submit anything).
- Submit semi-annual report to the lodge at stated meeting.
- Begin auditing lodge books, to be completed by end of April.
Questions? Contact Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 776-7000.
For your Trestleboard
A century since its founding, DeMolay has shaped the lives of more than 1 million young men around the world and established itself as one of the fraternity’s most powerful legacies. Attend the Symposium this June to explore the youth order’s inspiring history and join its centennial celebration. Use this ad to spread the news.
Share in your Trestleboard.
Find it on freemason.org
The young men and women of DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow for Girls rely on lodges and adult leaders for support and mentoring.
Interested in getting involved, but don’t know where to start?
At masons4youth.org, you can
- Learn about the three youth orders
- Submit your interest in becoming an adult leader
- Request information about starting a local chapter, bethel, or assembly
The role of an advisor is fulfilling and rewarding – and vital for the future of Masonic youth. Get started now at masons4youth.org.
Download upcoming proclamations to read at stated meeting, include in your Trestleboard, announce in the lodge app, and share in any other way with fraternal family.
Question of the month
Last month we asked you to share something new that your lodge tried in 2018. Of those that responded:
- 75% - Intacct
- 46% - Tax Preparation Services
- 21% - Payroll Services
- 13% - PayPal for online payments
- 67% - MARSH insurance policy
- 8% - TULIP insurance program
- 33% - Contacting Financial Services for financial advice and information
- 17% - Contacting Investment Committee for help with lodge investments
- 21% - Contacting Real Estate Services for expertise on real estate assets