Good afternoon, Brothers!
This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend Arizona DeMolay’s annual Chevalier Luncheon and Investiture. During my time there, I was asked to present briefly on the history of the degree and why Dad Land felt that its creation was important to our organization. In addition, I was given a good amount of time to answer questions from the young men on a public forum. Although I had a blast getting to represent DeMolay International, the conversations I shared with their members and State Officers are what have stuck with me the most.
As their annual investiture is still new and becoming a staple in their yearly schedule, many of them asked me what value a court of Chevaliers can provide to a Jurisdiction. After all, it’s just an honors ceremony and a good meal one day out of the year, right? Personally, I couldn’t disagree more with that sentiment. Who WOULDN’T want some of their most heavily contributing members to be honored through the years? When a Chevalier is given to someone, it is a statement that that man has given exceptional service to our organization. This honor can only be outranked by the Legion of Honor, which cannot be attained by the active members of our organization.
Giving them yet another reason to keep coming back is imperative to the growth and retention of our organization. As I discussed with the young men of Arizona, life gets tricky once you hit your majority. College is in full swing, perhaps you have a job, and it is your main goal to establish your life for years to come.
In that period, it can become extremely difficult to give back to your chapter or jurisdiction, especially as an advisor. Because of this, it is all too often that we see our members leave and, unfortunately never return. When we have reasons to reach back out to them and keep them involved, it reminds them of the organization they grew up in and that we are always DeMolays. In doing this, we are able to make them feel valued and that there will always be a place for them whenever they can come back to advise the generation that comes next.
To tie this all up neatly, providing value to our members – even after they majority – is more valuable than we can quantify. When we are able to show our appreciation for our brothers frequently, this organization is at its best.
Thank you to all the young men of Arizona for their hospitality and, more especially, for the work they are putting in daily. They are on track to grow in membership for the year, and I was even able to deliver the charter for Saguaro Chapter during my time there! DeMolays everywhere should see their efforts and take some good notes. I am beyond proud of what they are doing, and I truly hope you all are as well.