Together we make a profound difference

May is Youth Orders Month

BEST PRACTICE: Supporting Masonic youth

HOW-TO: Get involved with youth orders

Support kindergarten teachers

Raise awareness, build lodge pride

Resources

Question of the month

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May is Youth Orders Month

Throughout our state, young men and women turn to DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow for Girls for a unique environment of brotherhood and sisterhood. There, they transform from timid youths into confident leaders. They learn respect, patriotism, tolerance, and reverence. They form friendships that last a lifetime.

Masons play an important role in the survival and success of these youth orders. As a fraternity, we’ve even made strengthening them a strategic priority.

During Youth Orders Month, connect, communicate, and commit to our Masonic youth.

Here’s a list of suggestions to get you started.

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BEST PRACTICE: Supporting Masonic youth

In the 1910s and 1920s, the Freemasonry family tree sprouted important new limbs: the three youth orders. Despite falling on tough times in the later part of the 20th century, they have survived and are now rebuilding, a testament to their devoted young members and adult leaders.

As a fraternity, we've declared strengthening these youth orders a strategic priority. Lodges tend to get back as much as they put in: By getting involved with youth orders, we reinforce our bond to the worldwide body of Freemasonry. We create meaningful ways for brethren to be active in the fraternity. We even increase our community’s awareness of Masonry.

Antioch-Brentwood Lodge No. 175 has been at it for the better part of a century. These days, nearly 50 young men and women of DeMolay, Rainbow for Girls, and Job's Daughters look to the lodge for support.

Past Master Lou Koch, lodge assistant secretary and Rainbow Girls advisory member of seven years, explains.

Background
Antioch-Brentwood Lodge has a rich history in the San Francisco Bay Area, dating back to 1865. Youth orders have been a theme throughout, beginning with a local bethel of Job’s Daughters in the earliest days of the order’s existence.

Today, Antioch-Brentwood Lodge’s 146 members continue to make youth order support a priority, with the addition of a DeMolay chapter and Rainbow Girls assembly.

Founding Freemasons
The lodge is proud to be involved with three active youth orders.

  • Job’s Daughters: We helped start the local Job’s Daughters bethel about a century ago. Today, the bethel has eight members.
  • DeMolay: About 12 years ago, we started a local DeMolay chapter. Today, it has about 12 members.
  • Rainbow Girls: We gained our Rainbow Girls assembly about 12 years ago, when they transferred to us from another lodge. The assembly currently has 28 members.
  • All told: The lodge makes a difference for nearly 50 young people in the community. We have a lot of fun.

Continued support

  • Member presence: We all try to attend as many events and meetings as possible. It’s an important way to show the kids that we care.
  • Adult volunteers: Six lodge brothers are adult leaders or advisors.
  • Financial support: We support our youth groups by attending their fundraising efforts, and getting them involved in ours (see “special events” below). Lodge wives and ladies are also involved in these events.
  • Physical space: The lodge donates its facilities for youth order meetings and events.
  • TIP: Visit masons4youth.org for information on becoming an adult leader or starting a local group for DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, or Rainbow Girls.

Special events

  • Youth functions: We support youth order fundraisers year-round, such as car washes, spaghetti dinners, and a corned beef and cabbage dinner for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Beyond donations: The lodge pays youth orders for tasks like spring cleaning projects, lodge recycling, and serving lodge dinners.
  • Collaborative effort: Our community holds an annual "Blues, Brews, & BBQs" event in support of the police activities league, which provides after-school programs for local children. Teams compete in a two-day barbecue competition, attended by the public. The youth orders get paid to serve food on both days. This is a favorite fundraiser because all three groups work together.

Raise awareness

  • New media: Young people today spend a lot of time on social media, so we also reach out to our youth orders in that arena. We recognize youth order achievements on our lodge Facebook page.
  • Virtual space: We provide space on our website for our three local youth orders, prominently linked on the main page. On each youth order page, we include the following:
    • history and overview
    • contact information for the local group
    • promotional video

Benefits to the lodge

  • Being involved with youth orders is very rewarding. We get to watch the youth grow in poise and character, and develop manners towards each other and members of the lodge.
  • We hope that someday, these young men and women will want to explore Masonry or Eastern Star.

Benefits to the youth

  • We are setting a good example for the youth and giving them a positive framework to grow up in.
  • Most importantly, we help provide a safe place for them to be themselves, have fun, and make lifelong friends.

Every parent wants something good for his children. It’s up to us to make our communities aware of the youth orders.

For more information, contact:

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HOW-TO: Get involved with youth orders

For the young members of DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow Girls, Masonic youth orders are a safe space, a social network, and a source of support and inspiration. Imagine the difference you can make by getting involved.

Adult leadership

  • Talk with your lodge about sponsoring a local chapter, assembly, or bethel: Visit masons4youth.org to submit your interest in becoming an adult leader or to request information about starting a local chapter, bethel, or assembly.
  • Urge lodge members to join youth order advisory boards and councils.
  • Meet regularly with youth order leaders to offer support, celebrate accomplishments, and discuss challenges.
  • As current leaders prepare to step down, help identify new leaders to fill their place.

Financial support

  • Make room in the lodge budget: Sponsor youth leaders to attend their respective leadership camps or state conventions.
  • Put out a donation jar at stated meetings and lodge events to benefit local youth orders.
  • Offer compensation for youth orders to serve dinners or wash dishes at lodge meals.
  • Buy tickets for youth order fundraisers, even if you cannot actually attend.

Lodge events

  • Invite youth orders and their families to officer installations, cornerstone ceremonies, holiday parties, and other lodge events.
  • Hold an On The Level night just for youth orders to answer questions about Masonry.
  • Invite youth orders to participate alongside the lodge in community events. When appropriate, take a moment to introduce them.
  • Ask youth to create fliers and posters to publicize lodge events.
  • Post youth order brochures and fliers at the lodge.

Youth order events

  • Provide transportation and supervision for youth order activities.
  • Encourage lodge attendance at youth order fundraisers and events.
  • Organize member visits to youth order meetings. Aim for at least one lodge brother to be present at every event.
  • Make time for one-on-one conversations with youth. Ask them about their lives, goals, and challenges.
  • Check in with youth about what kind of support they think their chapter, bethel, or assembly needs most.

Shared events

  • Host a youth appreciation night at the lodge honoring adult and youth leaders.
  • Involve youth orders in Child ID booths, fundraisers, and other lodge volunteer projects.
  • Sponsor a special event like a holiday dance or a game night for all of the youth orders in your area, and let them lead the planning process.
  • Sponsor a young adult driver’s safety class.
  • Provide scholarship manuals at youth order meetings and offer help applying for Masonic scholarships.

Trestleboard and website

  • Allot space in the lodge Trestleboard for youth orders to submit articles and photos.
  • Include youth order contacts and upcoming activities in your Trestleboard and online calendar.
  • Include a fundraising note in your Trestleboard to solicit financial help for youth orders.
  • Provide web hosting and webmaster support for youth order websites.
  • Add links to your lodge website to local and statewide youth order web pages.
  • If the youth order has a Facebook page, make sure the lodge interacts with it regularly. Use the lodge’s Facebook page to congratulate youth orders on their accomplishments and plug their upcoming events.

Have we forgotten something? E-mail suggestions to communications@freemason.org with How-To: Get involved with youth orders in the subject line.

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Support kindergarten teachers this June

Children depend on classroom teachers, especially kindergarten teachers, to provide them with the reading readiness skills they need for success in school and beyond.
 
Next month, we can recognize dedicated educators and, together, remind our communities about the importance of child literacy.

At the June stated meeting, California lodges will recognize local kindergarten teachers or elementary school principals.

There’s still time to:

  • Place a reminder: Trestleboard ad in the May and June Trestleboards.
  • Identify and invite: local kindergarten teachers or elementary school principals to the stated meeting.

At the event:

  • Honor guest educators: with a free meal, classroom donation, or other gesture.
  • Invite guests to speak briefly: about the challenges and rewards of teaching young children to read.
  • Explain the Raising A Reader project: With California ranking near the bottom of the United States in child literacy, the Raising A Reader project aims to turn the page in child literacy by providing this nationally acclaimed program to 200 kindergarten classrooms in our state's lowest performing elementary schools.

For additional planning tips, refer to the event guide.

Questions? Contact the Office of Philanthropy at 415/292-9139 or jhahn@freemason.org.

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Raise awareness, build lodge pride

Two of the fraternity’s 2010-15 strategic priorities are to:

  • Instill a wider Masonic perspective beyond the lodge.
  • Enhance the membership experience.

The Mark Twain Masonic Awareness Award rewards the first, and can be an effective tool for the second.

The annual award, sponsored by the Masonic Information Center, goes to North American lodges that have demonstrated exemplary skill, creativity, and resourcefulness in creating a positive Masonic identity. Lodges are recognized for their efforts to raise awareness about the fraternity, as well as their overall commitment to self-improvement and enlightenment.

In 2009 California’s Moreno Valley Lodge No. 804 was a winner. Your lodge could be, too.

All California lodges are encouraged to apply. Use the application process as a guide for evaluating your lodge’s strengths, building a lodge identity, and honoring and recording the good work that you are already doing.

Visit msana.com/twainaward and register your lodge by June 1.

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Resources

This month, we dedicate a special Resource section to our Masonic youth orders.

These young men and women represent the future, and the reason we strive to make the world a better place. They’re also the future of this Masonic family.

In recent years, thanks to the efforts of dedicated adult leaders and lodges, our youth orders have begun rebuilding.

Let’s keep up the good work.

This month: Ad: Get involved with youth orders
Print and post this ad at lodge, and include it in your monthly Trestleboard. Remind members that the continued involvement of lodges and adult volunteers is crucial to the young men and women of our Masonic youth orders.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge collaborated with another lodge on an event or project in the past year. Of the 125 who responded:

63% - Yes
34% - No
3% - Don't know

Of those who said yes, 65 percent had cohosted a Masonic event. About 30 percent had cohosted a community event.

Here’s your next question.

 

 

 

 

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Please email questions to communications@freemason.org.

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