Masonic Youth: The Future of the Fraternity
As the song goes, “children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride.” Whitney Houston used these words to talk about the greatest love of all.
What are we as Shriners doing today to give the Masonic youth “a sense of pride?” What are our chapters doing to “teach them well and let them lead the way?”
Shriners have had a rich history of involvement in Masonic youth groups, from Frank S. Land, Past Imperial Potentate, who founded DeMolay when he saw a need to provide young men a male adult role model in their lives, to the many current Shriners who serve in leadership roles with all the Masonic Youth Groups.
Imperial Sir Land was one of the first who saw a need to provide young people with a place they could go to be involved and learn leadership skills and develop into adults with the goals, principles and values our world needs today, more than ever before.
For many years, Shriners International has had a DeMolay Committee, which worked with DeMolay International on issues of mutual concern, but now Shriners International, and with your help, our chapters, are going to do more! Imperial Potentate Ed Stolze has reorganized the committee to include the three major Masonic Youth Groups: Job’s Daughters International, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay International. The goal is to provide a conduit for all the youth groups to connect with Shriners International and the local chapters for the benefit of the youth groups, the nobility, the chapters, Shriners International, and even Shriners Children’s.
Chapters are, and have been for many years, encouraged to have a DeMolay club or a Masonic youth club. These clubs can serve as a conduit for communications between the chapters and the youth groups. This communication allows for the chapters to share their goals, objectives and needs with the youth groups, and the youth groups to share their goals, objectives and needs with the chapters. This sharing has allowed some chapters to have very productive relationships with the youth groups in their jurisdictions. This has led to some chapters having had great success helping youth groups, and the youth groups helping the chapters. In order to help the youth groups and to get help from them, you need to know who they are, what they do, their structure and how to contact them.
Founded by Frank S. Land, Past Imperial Potentate, DeMolay purports itself to be “the premier organization based on timeless principles, committed to developing and inspiring leadership, team building and networking for young men ages 12 to 21.” The Order of DeMolay teaches seven core values, referred to as the seven cardinal virtues, which are the basis of good character. The local DeMolay chapter is administered by the Chapter Dad, and overseen by an adult advisory board. In 1995, DeMolay established the Squires program for boys ages 9 to 11. It teaches important lessons about Justice, Truth and Wisdom, while participating in a variety of fun events and developing lasting friendships.
DeMolay currently has chapters throughout the United States, as well as in Serbia, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Baja California, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa and Uruguay.
The key point of contact in each Jurisdiction is the Executive Officer. An Executive Officer is the individual chiefly responsible for a Jurisdiction. They implement programs that promote growth and development. They help their Chapters collectively and individually by working closely with Chapter Advisors to identify their problems and seek solutions. Executive Officers travel to their Jurisdiction to show support at DeMolay functions, and represent their Jurisdiction and DeMolay at various other events. Many jurisdictions have an adult staff that the Executive Officer uses to help operate their programs and maintain a high level of activity. Executive Officers are active members of the International Supreme Council. Any Shriner or chapter seeking to get involved with DeMolay, sponsor a DeMolay Chapter or get the local DeMolay Chapters involved in temple activities should reach out to DeMolay International and find out who their Jurisdiction’s Executive Officer is. A phone call to the Executive Officer can make a tremendous difference in the success of chapter activities needing workers and the success of a DeMolay Chapter needing activities to fulfill their Chapter plans and requirements of adult advisors and volunteers.
At the local Chapter level, the leadership is composed of the Chapter Advisors, often referred to as Chapter Dads. Potential Advisors go through a rigorous screening process, mandatory background check, and yearly Advisor renewals, to help ensure the safety of the members. Dedicated Advisors are an important piece of any successful Chapter, and just as DeMolays each have a slightly different role, Advisors lean on their strengths and experiences to guide how they support the members. They brainstorm ideas with their Chapter officers and members, and help recruit new members.
While the advisors serve to give guidance, the real work of running the Chapters falls to the young men in the Chapters. The Master Councilor, Senior and Junior Councilors, along with the rest of the officers, develop term plans, which include community support events, fundraisers for the Chapter and charitable endeavors, and special obligatory days when they observe the significant dates of the fraternity and the principles they teach and follow.
The young men who are members of DeMolay Chapters now are an integral part of the future of the Masonic fraternity and, of course, Shriners International. They need and deserve all the help we, as members of Shriners International, can give them.
To connect with DeMolay, visit beademolay.org.
Job’s Daughters International
Job’s Daughters International is a leadership organization for girls between the ages of 10 and 20. Job’s Daughters International has chapters called “Bethels” in 29 states in the U.S., four Canadian provinces, Australia, Brazil and the Philippines. Job’s Daughters is a premier organization for young women that teaches the values of leadership, public speaking, charity, respect for parents and elders, and teamwork. Members participate in a variety of activities, such as bi-monthly meetings, fundraisers, service projects, leadership workshops, theme parties, dances and so much more.
The adults of Job’s Daughters are parents, guardians, Masons and former members. All of the volunteers go through their Certified Adult Volunteer program, where they receive training on Job’s Daughters as an organization and how to be positive and responsible role models for their members. Every Certified Adult Volunteer has successfully completed their Youth Protection Program and passed an annual background check.
The structure of the organization at the local level is the Bethel Guardian Council. This group of adults includes the primary advisor, called the Bethel Guardian. The council also includes the Associate Bethel Guardian, who must be a Master Mason, and a cadre of dedicated volunteers, both men and women, whose goal is to provide guidance to the young women in the Bethel. The lead person in each jurisdiction is the Grand Guardian, a woman who has dedicated herself to the success of the young women and a desire to see them be successful. The Grand Guardian is assisted by the Associate Grand Guardian, who, like the Associate Guardian at the Bethel level, must be a Master Mason.
The youth leaders of the Bethel are the Honored Queen, Senior and Junior Princesses, Guide and Marshal. Like a Shriners International chapter Divan, these young women develop the goals and objectives for their six-month term. The term plans they develop include their fun activities, service projects and fundraisers (each term, the Honored Queen selects a worthy charity to be the beneficiary of their efforts, and this is often Shriners Children’s).
The members of Job’s Daughters, referred to as Daughters, are always willing to lend a hand to Shriners International chapters and serve as volunteers for chapter activities. As they are often providing financial support for Shriners Children’s, and sometimes even chapter transportation funds, the Daughters are often anxious to visit the hospitals and provide service through volunteer activities with the children we serve. Another way a Shriners International chapter can help the youth groups is by offering tours of Shriners Children’s locations..
To find a local Bethel or reach out to the Grand Guardian in your jurisdiction, visit jobsdaughtersinternational.org.
International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
Commonly referred to as Rainbow Girls, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a diverse, multicultural organization with local chapters called assemblies, which are located in 41 states and Puerto Rico in the U.S.. International Rainbow groups can also be found in Aruba, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ontario, Canada, Italy, the Philippines and Romania.
The mission of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is “to prepare girls for responsible and purposeful adulthood through character and leadership development, encouraging unselfish service and higher ideals in life, and promoting teamwork and effective interpersonal communications.” Rainbow members are between the ages of 11 and 20 years old. Rainbow welcomes everyone, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin. The lessons encourage members to be strong in spirit and kind in heart, respectful toward nature, and giving toward all humanity.
The jurisdictional leadership is the Executive Board, which is chaired by the Supreme Deputy for the jurisdiction. They can serve as a chapter’s point person on finding local assemblies to support, and when seeking support from local assemblies. On the local level, the adult leadership of an assembly is their Advisory Board.
The Advisory Board’s function is to give counsel and guidance to the assembly’s member leadership, including the presiding officer, the Worthy Advisor. She, along with the cadre of officers, like the other youth groups, develops their term plan, budget and schedule, and sets the priorities for the young women who are members of the assembly. Also like the other youth groups, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls assemblies select a charitable beneficiary for their fundraising activities.
To find out more or connect to the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, visit gorainbow.org.
How Can Shriners International Help Youth Groups, and How Can Youth Groups Help Shriners International?
The goal of every Shriners International chapter should be to provide whatever assistance they can to the Masonic youth groups in their oasis. The benefits are fantastic for both the chapter and the youth groups:
- Chapters can receive a high-quality work force of dedicated and hardworking young people who are willing and eager to participate in your activities, and need activities for their calendars.
- Masonic youth groups can provide, in addition to volunteers, a conduit to a new group of potential Shriners. Job’s Daughters International and International Order of the Rainbow for Girls members may have fathers, brothers, uncles, etc., who are prospective Shriners. DeMolay members are all prospective Shriners when they become Master Masons.
- Involvement with Masonic youth gives Shriners another place for them to be involved.
- Allowing the youth groups to use your Shriners International facility opens it up to the participants in their events, exposing another group of potential customers and prospective Shriners.
- Every youth group has an education program and youth protection program to train volunteer leaders on the “dos” and “do nots” of serving as an adult leader in a Masonic youth group.
- You may already have DeMolay, Job’s Daughters and Rainbow parents in your Shriners International chapter. Supporting their children’s’ chapters, Bethels and assemblies only goes to enhance your commitment to your members and shows Shriners International’s support of the entire Masonic family.
The bottom line is there is no better potential symbiotic relationship than a Shriners International chapter and the Masonic youth groups in their jurisdiction. The members of our Masonic youth groups become our members, our supporters and our donors. There are many healthcare providers in our system today who became technicians, therapists, nurses and doctors by being exposed to the incredible care we provide at Shriners Children’s, which they visited and raised money for when they were DeMolay chapter, Rainbow Girls assembly or Job’s Daughters Bethel members.
Specific Ways Members of Shriners International Can Help Youth Groups and Vice-Versa
- Many youth groups are looking for a place to meet, and sometimes even a sponsoring body. As Masonic lodges and Eastern Star chapters struggle with their own membership issues and viability, the youth groups no longer have sponsoring bodies or a cadre of adults to serve as leaders.
- Invite the youth groups to use your facility for their events such as fundraising dinners, car washes, leadership workshops and similar events.
- Partner with the youth groups to work at your events.
- Youth groups can provide a babysitting service or run a kids’ room when your chapter is having a dance or dinner.
- Let the youth groups handle your coat check at chapter events; this can be done for tips to the youth group.
- Youth group members are great at helping seat individuals or selling the novelties at circuses.
- Young people are great at serving dinners, bussing tables, and even emptying the trashcans at your events.
- Engage them to help sell tickets at your Feztival of Trees or sportsmen’s raffle events.
- If you have Shriners Children’s transportation vans, you can hire the youth groups to wash them on a regular basis. As long as you pay them a reasonable wage, what you would pay at the local car wash, you can use your transportation account for this vehicle maintenance.
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