The Dads & Daughters Issue

99 Steps to a Better Future

A COMPENDIUM OF TIPS TO HELP MASONS STRENGTHEN THEIR TIES TO THE YOUTH ORDERS.

By Russ Charvonia, PGM

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Masons everywhere recognize the importance of supporting the youth orders. Problem is, for those who weren’t involved as kids, or who don’t have kids of their own, it’s hard to know where to begin. In truth, it’s easy to get involved with a local youth order—and they’re probably desperate for your help. You can make your contribution as big or as small as you want, from donating money to volunteering as an adviser. You can go it alone or get the entire lodge to pitch in. Any support you provide will not only be appreciated, it’ll probably mean as much to you as it does to them.

So, in celebration of the centennial of Job’s Daughters International this month—along with last year’s 100th anniversary of the Order of DeMolay and the upcoming centennial in 2021 of the Rainbow Assembly for Girls—here’s nearly a century’s worth of ways that today’s Masons can strengthen these historic fraternal bonds.

  1. Sponsor a local chapter, assembly, or bethel. Your lodge doesn’t have to do it alone; you can cosponsor with another Masonic lodge.
  2. Invite a youth group to present at your lodge. It’ll pep up stated meeting nights and give the youth an important event to rally around.
  3. Allow a group to serve or help with a fundraising dinner. They serve, you give.
  4. Spread the word about the youth orders to your children, nieces, nephews, and neighbors. Our youth orders are still one of the most common ways members learn about Masonry.
  5. Offer a scholarship for attendance at a conference. Help a youth order member meet and network with other leaders.
  6. Send cards congratulating newly elected officers. Showing that the fraternity has their back deepens the leadership experience for members of the youth orders.
  7. Complete youth order adviser training and be available as a backup. There can never be too many volunteers at the ready.
  8. Provide transportation to youth order events. Most don’t have their driver’s license!
  9. Sponsor the printing of a newsletter or other publication. Print will never die.
  10. Link to the youth orders from your lodge’s website. And boost their YouTube views by subscribing to their channels.
  11. Offer to buy a suit or gown for a youth who can’t afford one. They’ll never forget the gesture.
  12. Visit a meeting and report on it to your lodge. Having adults witness events lends credence to the youth groups.
  13. Sponsor a membership petition. Most youth orders no longer require a family connection to a Master Mason, just a Masonic sponsor.
  14. Serve as your lodge’s youth representative… Become a liaison and ensure the lodge stays up to date.
  15. …or, if your lodge already has a one, ask how you can help. There are always opportunities for pitching in.
  16. Serve on a youth order’s advisory council or board. It’s a rewarding experience and a way to demonstrate leadership.
  17. Help a youth member learn a ritual part. The youth orders’ rituals are written, so you can easily help.
  18. Help with costumes, floor work, or rehearsal for degree conferrals. As Masons know, practice makes perfect when it comes to degrees.
  19. Send a note. Make sure you aren’t just reaching out when something’s wrong. Let them know when things go well, too. (“Thanks for leaving the kitchen so clean after your spaghetti dinner!”)
  20. Share your hobbies. It’s all part of being an adult mentor.
  21. Sponsor a statewide youth order contest. Camaraderie through competition.
  22. Wear a youth order pin, T-shirt, or emblem to show your support. It’s definitely a conversation starter.
  23. Hold a one-off event, or start a new one. An annual bowling night, or Youth Orders Night at the Ballpark—the list is endless.
  24. Sponsor a new piece of equipment, or refurbish it. Often equipment hasn’t been replaced in decades.
  25. Put up the groups’ fliers or brochures in your lodge. It’s great publicity, especially if your hall is used by other organizations.
  26. Include youth order leaders as invited dignitariesat public lodge events. Drive home the Masonic connection in the public eye.
  27. Contribute to a youth order scholarship fund. College and vocational scholarships are among the most important elements of the youth orders.
  28. Be a mentor. Sometimes an adult taking an interest makes all the difference.
  29. Brag to lodge members about youth order events you’ve attended. FOMO is a powerful force.
  30. Attend a meeting of a youth order’s advisory board. Get to know who’s on the board and what they need. You may be in a position to help.
  31. Read a book on the youth orders to learn more. Masonic youth orders have incredible histories.
  32. Say hello to everyone you see wearing a youth order emblem and introduce yourself as a Mason. Let them know they’re part of a special club.
  33. Sponsor their merch. Hats, jackets, and T-shirts are all invaluable, wearable PR.
  34. Include youth calendars or flyers in lodge mailings. Trestleboards are a great way to keep members informed.
  35. Offer the youth orders a bulletin board in the lodge for photos and other memorabilia. It shows an active and engaged culture that will appeal to candidates.
  36. Hold a testimonial dinner for youth leaders. Celebrate their accomplishments and get buy-in from the lodge.
  37. Put a youth order emblem on your car. All publicity is good publicity!
  38. Present a Masonic education program at a youth order meeting. Strengthen their connection to the rest of the fraternity.
  39. Bring refreshments to a youth meeting. And do better than soda—it’ll show you care!
  40. Offer in-service opportunities. Youth order members often have service requirements; finding odd jobs for them around the lodge can fulfill those while helping you clear the rain gutters.
  41. Make a financial gift to the operating budget of a local youth group. Every little bit helps.
  42. Invite youth to accompany lodge members to visit widows and elderly members. Guaranteed, it’ll make a senior citizen’s day.
  43. Find out about special needs in the families of local youth members, and get your lodge to help meet those needs. Whether it’s a medical issue or home repairs, use the strength of the lodge to help.
  44. Offer to tutor or help with homework. Especially if you’re a teacher or have specialized knowledge.
  45. Teach a skill. Teach basic car maintenance, carpentry, or how to throw a curveball—pass your knowledge along.
  46. Adopt a needy family for the holidays, and bring youth to shop for and deliver gifts. Demonstrating community service is the best way to instill it as a value.
  47. Offer to photograph youth functions. It will help them with their websites, mailings, and social media.
  48. Donate computer equipment to a youth order chapter. New or used—for groups operating on a shoestring budget, tech gear can be hard to come by.
  49. Hold a lodge yard sale fundraiser with a youth order. Clear out your attic and fill their coffers.
  50. Donate tickets to a Shrine Circus they can use for prospecting. Tap into an entertaining Masonic connection.
  51. Recommend capable lodge members as youth advisers. Those without kids in the youth orders can still serve.
  52. Sponsor a blood drive, and invite youth members to recruit donors and volunteer.Help them get volunteering efforts off the ground.
  53. Hold a presentation at your lodge on the youth orders’ charities. And then support them.
  54. Start a lodge scholarship fund for local youth. It doesn’t have to be much—even a few hundred dollars can make a difference for a college freshman.
  55. Coach a Masonic youth order sports team. If your youth order has a team, they probably need assistants.
  56. Donate athletic equipment. Whether or not they have a team, it’ll find a good home.
  57. Allow the youth orders to use lodge equipment. Whether it’s a computer, an iPad, or a projector.
  58. Consider waiving their rental fees. Or, if your lodge doesn’t own its hall, offer to help pay the youth orders’ rent.
  59. Hold a Shadow Night.In which lodge officers sit with their youth order counterparts and learn about their work.
  60. Include youth orders in publicity opportunities, especially at public schools.And ask that the youth orders be mentioned in any press coverage.
  61. Sponsor a lodge career night. Members can provide information to youth orders about jobs and opportunities.
  62. Be prepared to answer questions about youth orders. Familiarize yourself with their purpose, rules, and eligibility.
  63. Tap into your network. Allow the youth orders to recruit among those you know—relatives, friends, and neighbors.
  64. Organize a new chapter, bethel, or assembly. Or reorga­nize one that used to exist in your area.
  65. Share your successes. Email the Grand Lodge communica­tions team (communications@freemason.org) and tell them about a successful partnership with a youth order. Or post about it online and spread the news.
  66. Purchase youth order road signs. Especially if your lodge has its own road sign; post them together.
  67. Hold a dinner to recognize youth advisers in your area. Celebrate adult volunteers that help the youth orders thrive.
  68. Purchase books about the youth orders for a local public or school library. It may spark an interest!
  69. Keep an up-to-date list of youth orders in lodge publications. Like trestleboards, emails, and social media channels.
  70. Offer to serve on your lodge’s youth committee. And if you don’t have one, start one.
  71. Play the piano or provide other music for youth order degrees or ceremonies. Musical accompaniment transforms events.
  72. Recognize lodge members who received honors from the youth orders. It’s all part of their Masonic résumé.
  73. Commandery? Offer to provide an honor guard for special occasions. It’ll make those events memorable.
  74. Scottish Rite? Don’t throw away old costumes or sets. Offer them to DeMolay first!
  75. Put a “DeMolay/Job’s Daughters/Rainbow meets here!” sign outside your lodge. Help get the word out.
  76. Start a Student of the Month program at your local school. When an honoree is a member of a youth order, have that mentioned in the school announcement.
  77. Find a small way to help the advisory board. Even if you can’t regularly make meetings, you might be able to serve as webmaster or legal adviser.
  78. Ask for the youth orders’ “sickness and distress” lists. And send a card from the lodge to ailing members.
  79. Become a certified adult volunteer. Youth orders provide training and safety screening.
  80. Help organize a prospect party. Host a youth orders night in your lodge hall.
  81. Sponsor a CAV training session in your lodge. And get as many lodge members as possible to attend.
  82. Offer to pay someone else’s CAV registration fee. Or subtract it from their lodge dues.
  83. Ask new lodge members to attend a youth order meeting. They’ll familiarize themselves with the opportunities they provide.
  84. Have lodge members rotate through youth order functions. That way the lodge is always represented at youth events without the burden falling on one person.
  85. Have senior DeMolays participate in degrees when one joins your lodge. Invite DeMolay advisers, as well.
  86. Clown around. Are you a Shrine clown? Offer training to local youth orders.
  1. Host a family picnic. Invite nearby Masonic youth orders.
  2. Notify DeMolay when a petitioner in your lodge is a senior DeMolay. It’s good to keep them in the know.
  3. Include youth orders in your education programs. They’re an important part of the fraternity’s story.
  4. List youth order activi­ties on your lodge calendar. Both online and IRL.
  5. Provide a display case or shelf in your lodge. Allow youth orders to show off awards, trophies, and memorabilia.
  6. Attend a public installa­tion. Bring your family—the more, the better.
  7. Host a program on Masonry. Demystify the fraternity.
  8. Help make contacts with local newspapers and radio and TV stations. It’ll help them place PSAs and news items.
  9. Invite a youth group to use your members’ facilities. Do members of your lodge have a swimming pool, fishing cabin, or other getaway they can use?
  10. Check Masons4Youth.org to stay informed. The website and social channels are updated frequently.
  11. Remember Masonic youth orders in your estate planning. It’s probably the most meaningful way to leave a legacy.
  12. When in doubt, call and ask, “What can I do?” There’s always something that needs an extra set of hands.
  13. Pass on this list!

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