Together we make a profound difference

May is Youth Orders Month

BEST PRACTICE: Supporting Masonic youth

HOW-TO: Get involved with Masonic youth

Serving families throughout California

Intacct update

Resources

Question of the month

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May is Youth Orders Month

DeMolay International, Job’s Daughters International, and the International Order of Rainbow for Girls provide a structure and family for young people. Within their framework, young men and women are inspired to make good choices and live by Masonic values.

These youth orders need our support. By getting involved, as individuals and as lodges, we continue to rebuild DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow for Girls. We make it possible for their legacy to live on.

During Youth Orders Month, go beyond the lodge to support our Masonic youth.

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

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BEST PRACTICE: Supporting Masonic youth

DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, and Job’s Daughters are formative influences in the lives of young people. These young men and women go on to make meaningful contributions to their communities, and lead Freemasonry and its allied organizations into the future.

That’s why California Masons have made it a strategic priority to strengthen the three Masonic youth orders. In Southern California, Temecula Catalina Island Lodge No. 524 (TemCat Lodge) is blazing the way.

Alan Bergstrom, chair of the lodge’s Youth Orders Committee, explains.

Background

TemCat Lodge attempted to start a DeMolay chapter about a decade ago, but it folded. Last year, three brothers made the decision to try again. In the midst of planning, they were approached by a young DeMolay from Manhattan Beach. He had just moved to town, and couldn’t find a local chapter. The lodge stepped up to help, and that young man was recently installed as master councilor of the new Temecula DeMolay.

Starting the chapter

  • Timeline: In December, we petitioned for our Letters Temporary and began signing up young men. In February, just three months later, we installed 14 youth members. We’ve picked up four more since.
  • Growing the ranks: We need 25 members for a charter, and the boys are working hard to get there. They do all of their own recruiting, mostly by word-of-mouth. The chapter has members from three different high schools.
  • Focus on fundraising: To get ahead of chapter expenses, it’s important to start fundraising right away. Our DeMolays have provided breakfast at a Masonic golf tournament and are planning an upcoming pancake breakfast and “burger fest” -- all-you-can-eat hamburgers for $10.
  • Putting in the time: Starting a chapter is a major time commitment for both the youth members and the adults. So is going through the training and certification required to be an adult leader. But every hour is a positive experience.

Three for three

The lodge is involved with the two female youth orders, too.

  • Job’s Daughters: We helped start the local Job’s Daughters bethel around 2000. Today, the bethel is down to nine members, but they are working to increase that number. Two of the girls just received the prestigious Girl Scouts Gold Award. It was a remarkable achievement for the community, and an indication of how youth orders help kids become leaders.
  • Rainbow Girls: We started a Rainbow assembly two years ago. Right now seven young ladies are members; we need 14 total for a charter. We’re plugging away at that as well. In the meantime, we focus on social events and fundraising.

Continued support

  • Member presence: TemCat Lodge meets every Monday. Every week, I announce the schedule for youth events and ask for the lodge’s support. At every youth order gathering, at least two or three Masons show up. There were 150 attendees at the DeMolay installation, and most of them were from the lodge.
  • Adult volunteers: Six lodge members and two lodge ladies are adult leaders or advisors for local Masonic youth. (Each youth order has special requirements for getting involved. Visit masons4youth.org for details.)
  • Financial support: The lodge provided seed money to start the local groups, and covers the membership fee for any youth who can’t afford it. Every now and then, a brother will just hand me $20 to help out. The lodge also makes a point to support youth fundraising events, and to get the youth involved in ours.
  • Earning opportunities: The lodge pays the youth orders for serving at stated meeting dinners.
  • Collaborative effort: TemCat Lodge always hosts a Child ID booth at our community’s Fourth of July celebration. This year, all three youth orders are going to help out.
  • TIP: Visit masons4youth.org for information on becoming an adult leader or starting a local group for DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow Girls.

Benefits to the lodge

  • It’s rewarding. Listening to the boys’ memory work at the DeMolay installation, every TemCat Mason felt a true sense of pride.
  • These young men and women are carrying on the legacy of Freemasonry.
  • We’re creating better citizens.

Message to Masons

The youth orders need lodge backing, both financial and through a physical presence. If they don’t have it, they’ll fail. It’s that simple.

We are pushing these young people to be role models. We need to remember that we are theirs. If we don’t show up to support them, what example are we setting?

For more information, contact: Alan Bergstrom, bergstromal52@gmail.com.

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HOW-TO: Get involved with Masonic youth

The young men and women of DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow Girls need your lodge’s support, whether it’s to fuel their fundraisers or fill their advisory councils.

Here are some ways to make a difference.

Show up

  • Encourage lodge attendance at youth fundraisers and events.
  • Organize member visits to youth order meetings. Aim for at least one lodge brother to be present at every meeting.
  • Provide Masonic scholarship information and offer help applying.
  • Offer transportation and supervision for youth order activities.
  • Make time for one-on-one conversation with youth. Ask them about their goals and challenges.

Open lodge activities

  • Invite youth order members to participate in community events such as Child ID, fundraisers, and volunteer projects. Take a moment to introduce them to lodge members and the community.
  • Invite youth order members and their families to officer installations, cornerstone ceremonies, holiday parties, and other lodge events.
  • Ask youth to create fliers and posters to publicize lodge events.
  • Post youth order brochures and fliers at the lodge.

Plan special events

  • Host a youth appreciation night at the lodge to honor youth leaders and adult mentors.
  • Hold an On The Level night just for youth to answer any of their questions about Masonry.
  • Sponsor a recreational event like a holiday dance or a game night for all Masonic youth in your area. Let them lead the planning process.

Volunteer

  • Start a chapter, assembly, or bethel: Visit masons4youth.org to get started.
  • Join a youth order advisory board or council. Urge lodge brothers and their ladies to become adult leaders, too.
  • Meet regularly with youth order leaders to offer support, celebrate accomplishments, and discuss challenges.
  • As adult leaders prepare to step down, help identify new leaders to fill their places.

Provide financial support

  • Make room in the lodge budget: Sponsor youth leaders to attend leadership camps and state conventions.
  • Compensate Masonic youth for serving dinners or cleaning up at lodge meals.
  • Buy tickets for youth fundraisers, even if you cannot actually attend.

Promote

  • Allot space in your Trestleboard for youth order members to submit articles and photos.
  • Include youth order contacts and upcoming activities in your Trestleboard and online lodge calendar.
  • Include a fundraising note in your Trestleboard.
  • Provide Web hosting and webmaster support for youth order websites.
  • Add links to local and statewide youth order websites to your lodge’s website.
  • If your local youth orders have a Facebook page, use the lodge’s Facebook page to congratulate them on accomplishments and promote their upcoming events.

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

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Serving families throughout California

If someone in your lodge has a child struggling with emotional, learning, or behavioral difficulties, the Masonic Center for Youth and Families (MCYAF) can help – no matter where the family lives.

MCYAF clinicians are leaders in the field of youth psychology. They work as a team to understand a child’s learning, cognition, and behavior, as well as social-emotional and neuropsychological functioning. Then they collaborate with families to determine the right treatment plan, and coordinate treatment either in their San Francisco center or in the family’s hometown.

MCYAF’s model of care is compassionate, comprehensive, and designed to serve Masonic families throughout the state.

Learn more: Download this month’s Resource, or visit mcyaf.org. The website was recently redesigned, and includes client testimonials, detailed information about MCYAF’s services, and photography of the San Francisco center.

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Intacct update

Rollout for Intacct – the lodge accounting and reporting solution – is in full swing. Last month, two hall associations and 13 lodges participated in an on-site user training in Fresno. More webinars and trainings are planned throughout the fall and winter. Look for further details on training locations and dates in upcoming issues of The Leader.

Digital resources are now available as well. Download a copy of the Intacct Training Manual, and view helpful video demonstrations in the Member Center on freemason.org.

To access them, visit freemason.org, and log into the Member Center. Then go to Resources and Publications > Intacct Resources.

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Resources

By partnering with Masonic Assistance, you can make sure your fraternal family knows where to turn when they need support. This section is designed to help.

We recently introduced lodge leader guides to Masonic Senior Outreach Services and Masonic Family Outreach Services. We continue this month with an essential guide to the Masonic Center for Youth and Families (MCYAF).

You’ve already received several resources related to this branch of Masonic Assistance, including Trestleboard ads reminding members of their benefits. This guide expands on those materials and answers common questions.

This month: MCYAF guide

View, share, and present to fellow officers as a PowerPoint, or print and save as a reference.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if you’ve attended leadership training in the past three years. Of the 112 who responded:

74% - Yes
26% - No

Those who said yes were asked to rate recent training for its relevance to their lodge. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most relevant) 75 percent of respondents rated recent trainings as a 4 or 5.

Here’s your next question.

 

 

 

 

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