Youth Groups – Does DeMolay Allow Teenage Men to Find Knighthood While Having Fun?Mukesh Kulothia
Modern youth groups today have slightly differing themes for their organizations. For example, scouting relies heavily on outdoor camping and survival skills among others. Church groups focus on the religion, spirituality, and high-level fellowship. Another group, DeMolay, focuses on brotherhood, social skills, civic awareness, and teamwork. Here is a brief review of that group.
What is it?
DeMolay is a fraternal group for young men aged 12 to 21.
What does it do?
DeMolay prepares young men for happy productive living, civic awareness, personal development and responsibility, socializing, teamwork and leadership. It allows young men to hold their own business meetings and conduct memory and ritual work, mistakes and all. They can also hold joint dinners, picnics, pizza parties, dances, and social activities with their counterpart female groups. Members can also participate in sports and relative amounts of charity work.
Who can join?
Any young male between the age of 12-21. Applicants provide the names of three friends or references who have known them for a year or so.
DeMolay was founded by a Kansas City businessman who saw a need for a group or organization that helped fatherless boys. It started with nine boys in 1919.
Leadership and sponsors.
The local chapters are the central points of the organization. New applicants generally will join a chapter near where they live. Each chapter is led by councilors, who are elected by their memberships from line-officer nominations. DeMolay also has divisions at the area, state, jurisdictional, and regional levels under the international one. Although this organization is not directly connected to Freemasonry, its meetings often are held in Masonic buildings.
Leadership is also provided by the sponsoring adults at all levels. One important leadership role beyond its own councilors is the adult advisor in each chapter. These adult leaders are called Dads. Of course, numerous mothers are also involved in the chapters. Much of the adult leadership comes from the parents of its members, who are willing to learn, train, and carry out these working roles.
Most of the dress in the organization is modern casual. Yet, certain ceremonies and events are formal, which require at least casual-business attire, and the occasional wearing of a cape-like robe with the DeMolay emblem on the right chest. Generally, this cape is a solid color (black, red, blue) lined with a different one, e.g., outer black lined in red with gold-colored braids on one shoulder. This robe is worn when the members perform in special events, like forming an Arch of Sabers at certain installation ceremonies.
One highpoint of DeMolay is when its members are knighted at the age of 17. This knighthood allows members to plan more educational and social events with emphasis on career planning and coed activities. The existence of this older group could be related to its members now having drivers licenses.
Another highpoint is the annual conclave, which is a combined business meeting and competitions between the individuals and chapters of select areas or regions. Aside from the memory and ritual competitions, some of the sporting games could include basketball, football, tennis, free throws, softball, bowling, volleyball, several track events, swimming, and others not-so-athletic events, depending on the facilities available at the time. All of the attendees will return from this annual get-together with certificates, ribbons, medals, trophies, or awards.
In conclusion, this organization does allow teenage men to have fun while finding their so-called knighthood. Members also mature through the organization by aspiring to virtuous living and by how much they put into their active memberships. See the following sites.