Volume LVIIIMay 2011Number 2

Masonic Youth Unity Weekend

Top: Participating Masonic youth group members gathered for a group photo with R.W. Deputy Grand Master Jay W. Smith (front row, fourth from left) and Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation Executive Director Bro. Tom Labagh (front row, fourth from right).

Our Masonic youth learned recently that making history doesn't always have to be a dramatic or patriotic event, such as signing the Declaration of Independence or ringing the Liberty Bell.

On Feb. 25-27, 2011, more than 100 young men and women and 40 adult leaders from five Masonic youth groups came together at the Masonic Conference Center - Patton Campus in Elizabethtown for the first-ever Masonic Youth Unity Weekend.

The program was planned by the youth leaders of the five youth groups: Kaitlin Nemec, Grand Worthy Advisor of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls in Pennsylvania; W. Thomas Moyer, State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay; Cecile Madonna, Miss Job's Daughters of Pennsylvania; Robert Williams, Grand Master Knight of the Prince Hall Grand Council of Knights of Pythagoras in Pennsylvania; and Charmaze Banks, State President of the Ruth Mitchell Tucker Girls Youth Department of the Deborah Grand Chapter, OES, P.H.A. Also attending was Jay W. Smith, R.W. Deputy Grand Master.

The program included the customary "get-to-know-you" exercises, and a long session in which each group described their purpose, their beliefs, their structure, their program, their activities and their charities. Each participant was given a white t-shirt with a design created by CeCe Madonna, and had the opportunity to tie-dye it during the weekend. Other sessions included an examination of the stereotypes about boys vs. girls, led by DeMolay State Chapter Advisor Louis Grow and Mrs. Jan Harms, Past Grand Guardian of Job's Daughters. Bro. Brent Richards, P.M., Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown, facilitated a fun exercise in improvisational comedy, and Mrs. Deborah McCoy presented a dramatic program on why bystanders must step in to prevent bullying wherever possible.

The program included plenty of time for swimming, board games, volleyball and Rock Band, and Saturday evening closed out with a dance, followed by a trivia and wings game presented by "Fezzy and the Brain" (DeMolay advisors Seth Anthony and Greg Schaeffer). Sunday morning's Chapel service was led by Miss Kathryn Webster, Grand Chaplain for Rainbow, from Morrisville Assembly No. 107.

The program was a hit with the youth and adults, and they all agreed that they needed to get together and support each other's activities during the year. Visitations and interaction with all of the youth leaders is planned to continue throughout the year.

While the youth were participating in the planned program, the adults were also learning to work together by joining in for some group decision-making games. In the photo, this group of "pirates" had to choose which island to establish their hideout on, while R.W. Deputy Grand Master Jay Smith monitored their discussions.
An interactive session had the boys and girls answering questions and advancing on a giant game board to dispel stereotypes about the opposite sex.
There were a lot of smiles as the youth groups shared information and compared their organizations in fun and creative ways.

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