Through the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation (P.Y.F.), Masons are helping teenagers across the Commonwealth to pursue excellence, sharing Masonic principles with them and preparing them for their roles as future citizens of our nation.
Concepts central to Freemasonry, and necessary for the survival of society as we know it today, are shared with young people who participate in programs sponsored by the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation. Masonic principles such as toleration, charity, and the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God, are taught through the many activities sponsored by the Foundation.
The P.Y.F. conducts programs at the Masonic Conference Center adjacent to the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown for members of the Masonically sponsored youth organizations -- the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, the Order of Job's Daughters and the Order of DeMolay for young men. The programs offer excellent activities that meet the purpose of the Foundation and provide opportunities for self-improvement in young adults' mental, spiritual, religious and physical development through programs in athletics, sportsmanship, charity, citizenship, morality, public speaking and the arts.
The Masonically related youth organizations, national in scope, were founded in the early part of the last century by Masons and are still sponsored by the Fraternity. Each of those groups has its programs that include leadership training, social skill development, public speaking, and competitive achievement. Generally, membership is open to teenagers who are of good moral character, believe in God, and are sponsored by Masons.
At the Masonic Conference Center, the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation sponsors the cost of food and lodging for all youth programs at this top-quality facility.
Youth programs at the Masonic Conference Center -- one of the premier Masonic facilities of its kind dedicated to educational activities for young people and Masons-- must include educational, recreational, healthful and spiritual activities. Such programs have included demonstrations of self-defense techniques, public speaking, self-improvement skills, career counseling, organizational development, budgeting and personal finance, problem solving and physical health training.
The Life Skills Conference sponsored by the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation is an active, creative and adventure-based learning experience open to all Pennsylvania youth between the ages of 12 and 16 years. It concentrates on teaching respect, responsibility and relationship building in unforgettable experiential learning.
P.Y.F. also administrates a competitive Educational Endowment Fund Scholarship program to provide assistance to children and grandchildren of Master Masons, and members of the Masonically related youth groups. More than $47,000 in scholarship aid were granted in 2001, and more than $350,000 have been granted since 1989.
In addition to awarding the scholarships, the Foundation produces a Masonic Scholarship Resource Guide, which details all of the scholarship, grant and loan programs available to young men and women. The guidebooks are mailed to all high school guidance departments in Pennsylvania and the entire text is available at www.pagrandlodge.org/pyf.
The Pennsylvania Youth Foundation is owned and operated by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania as a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable institution with executive offices located at the Masonic Conference Center, 1244 Bainbridge Road, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, 17022-9423. Telephone:(800) 266-8424.