Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Want a hoagie? Want Pork Roll? Want to see the Liberty Bell? Expanded Travel agreement now in place.


Remember last week when I announced that certain parts of New York could travel to parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey with blanket approval provided we have notice? "Dad" Mossberg raised the stakes (maybe even raised the cheese steaks) and said "why not just do it for everyone?" "Dad" Boyce and I agreed.

This new agreement for the tri-state area is simple: Any DeMolay Chapter or DeMolay in the Great State of New York, or the Great State of New Jersey, or the Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is granted pre-approval for travel and partnerships. The Chapter needs to notify their Executive Officer (For PA and NJ) or their Personal Representative (for NY)

So to recap the rules:

1) We need to know about it before it happens.

If you are a New York Chapter you need to email me a week before you visit.

2) Youth Protection. Our youth protection policies need to be followed the same way we do with anything else. No one on ones, two deep leadership etc. If a young lady is going there needs to be a female chaperone.

Given the expanded scope of this agreement make sure people have adequate sleep and rest.  If you're traveling from Buffalo to go visit Point Pleasant Beach or going from Suffolk County to Westmoreland Chapter make sure you have adequate sleep for the trip and appropriate overnight accommodations. 

3) Your home state comes first.
 It should not take away from events happening in either state. If Erie Chapter is doing an event and there is a state or regional or close by chapter event, the New York Chapters should be supporting their fellow New Yorkers. If something was planned for a long time outside of the state and something else comes up short notice in New York, go with what was planned first.

4) Finally, have fun!
Some of my best friends in DeMolay come from the Keystone and Garden States and I have lost quite a few games of Risk in both states. Plus, the Erie Dances are amazing!

These agreements came out of a request of chapters to make things easier to promote and share brotherhood. If you have an idea let us know!

Monday, January 13, 2020

On Honors

On Honors Nominations

In the past several days we have had our 2020 Advisory Council kickoff phone calls and a few questions about honors. Several of you saw the Ambassador email that said honors nominations are due April 1, 2020, but states may have some earlier deadlines. So we are clear, in New York we must have your honor nomination by March 1, 2020. There are also some guidelines in the SOP that need to be observed (you can see these at the bottom)

I have also had several questions from people about who I would consider or not consider for honors, and a few other things. I wanted to put down on paper some of my basic thoughts.

Honors in General:

- Honors MUST be secret.  A Chapter I was serving with we had someone leak that a person was going to receive an honor to the nominee's loved ones.  Something happened and it was not approved by the Supreme Council.  It put those of us on the advisory council in an awkward position when nominee did not receive it.

- Every year that we do honors I feel a sense of regret that there are brothers who *should* have been honored but were not. Some of them have passed before their time and we missed the chance to recognize them for their outstanding work.  One of these brothers I found out later was under consideration but a few people felt he was “too young” for it. “The time was not right.” If a person does work that is worthy of an honor, please honor them.

- We should not be out there asking for money to spend on honors.  Honors are not cheap. $125 for a Cross of Honor, $125 for a Legion of Honor, and $50 for a Chevalier. It is in poor form to have chapters ask sponsoring bodies or other groups to fund honors. If there is someone who we should honor and we cannot fund, let me know and we can always figure out something.

- A majority vote of the Advisory Council is required, NOT a unanimous vote for a nomination to come from a chapter. In addition to advisory councils, honor bodies and Past State Master Councilors may make recommendations to me for honors.

- If asked for, it must be refused. If a person has asked for an honor we are not allowed to give it to them.

What about criteria?

I am frequently asked about what one needs to do for an honor etc. Some states have strict rules that you have to have a Blue Honor Key for a chevalier, or you have to be a Past Master for an LOH.  I don’t have strict rules, but I have some thoughts.

Chevalier: This honor is for Active DeMolays and Senior DeMolays for conspicuous service on behalf of the Order of DeMolay.  It’s not a prize for being a state officer, or being Master Councilor. What we are looking for are young men who have put a lot of effort into DeMolay, they’ve shared DeMolay, they’ve done work with our programs and projects. Young men who have selflessly gone ‘above and beyond’ what has been asked of them, or expected of them. Yes, you can get it at 17 but that will probably be the exception, not the rule.  Do you need the RD for it? Do you need the LCC? I would not say those are rules, but I would expect someone who is taking DeMolay seriously to have picked those up during his time as a DeMolay. If you put someone forward for this honor you need to be prepared to discuss what the person’s impact is and why they are worthy of it.

I have had a few questions from some people who feel that someone was “passed over” when they were younger and could I reconsider the nomination. I am always happy to have a conversation about this but make no promises or guarantees.

Cross of Honor: This award is a BIG DEAL, it’s for providing conspicuous service as an advisor.  Yes, you need to have been an advisor for three years before you can get it, but that does not mean that you get it at three years. I’ve known advisors who have labored for over a decade before getting this.  I also really like this honor because it is one the young men give.

Legion of Honor:  The Legion of Honor is for service to humanity.  Period.



Yes, service to DeMolay is an example of service to humanity, but it could also be being a doctor, a public school teacher, a religious education teacher, a business leader, a non-profit leader. A loving father, a volunteer sports coach. You name it.

With Legion of Honor holders, I want to be able to point to them and say to an active DeMolay: “Brother, with DeMolay you can be like this person!”

You do NOT need the Chevalier to get the Legion of Honor. You do NOT need the Cross of Honor.  One of our masonic bodies requires that you have to have one honor to get to the next. That’s not a DeMolay rule. There may be a Senior DeMolay who is doing amazing things for humanity but is not a chevalier recognize him with the appropriate honor.

I want to see a better ratio of red cords to white cords. There are so many Senior DeMolays out there that are doing exceptional work for humanity. Let's make sure we honor them and recognize them for their service.













Honors Nominations

Nominations for DeMolay International Honors (Chevalier, Cross of Honor, and Legion of Honor) may only be submitted to DeMolay International by the Executive Officer.  DeMolay Chapter Advisory Councils, Chevalier Courts, Legion of Honor Preceptories and Past State Master Councilors are hereby granted the privilege of making recommendations to the Executive Officer for his consideration.  Nominations are within the sole discretionary authority of the Executive Officer alone and are not subject to review by any person or body except DeMolay International.



The individual under consideration is NOT to know about the recommendation, and absolute secrecy regarding the submission of recommendations to the Executive Officer must be maintained, or the recommendations will be rejected, and nominations to DeMolay International will be withdrawn.  In order to preserve the integrity of these honors, the following guidelines have been established.

These basic requirements should be met in order to submit a recommendation for any DeMolay International Honor, include:

•        Chapter/Court/Preceptory Officer report is current.



•        Previous fiscal year’s Chapter/Court/Preceptory Financial report is filed by deadline (No later than 2/1/2020)



•        Chapter Advisory Council Registrations (ACR) filed by deadline. [November 30]



•        Chapter Insurance Fees paid by deadline. (if applicable): NOTE: The Grand Lodge is covering this fee this year.



•        Chapter has achieved its membership goal for the previous year as established by New York DeMolay and the chapter.



•        A Legion of Honor Preceptory or Chevalier Court must document its services to the Order of DeMolay as performed by the group, e.g., sponsored pages in the Convention Ad Journal, conferred Legion of Honor or Chevalier Degrees, hosted Chapter members at annual observances, contributed to DeMolays attending State Convention and/or Leadership Training Conference, visited local Chapters as a group, sponsored initiation fees for new members in need, etc. The Preceptory or Chevalier Court must have filed their annual report to New York DeMolay on time. [December 1 for Courts, April 1 for Preceptories, For 2020 Preceptories must have their filed by 2/1/2020]



The absolute deadline for ALL Honor submissions is March 1st  of each year. Recommendations received after that deadline will be held for consideration until the following year.  Other requirements may be established by the Executive Officer from time to time.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Travel and Visitation Agreements

Please note: this is for historical purposes this agreement is now superseded by this one:
http://nydemolay.blogspot.com/2020/01/want-hoagie-want-pork-roll-want-to-see.html


The DeMolay Congress often says of DeMolay that it is "Brotherhood beyond Borders." I am not sure which International Master Councilor first coined the phrase, but it's one that I really like!

As we know travel outside of the Great State of New York requires the approval of the Executive Officer Or Personal Rep of New York as well as the Executive Officer of the State being visited.  (See 325.1 (j) in the DeMolay International Rules and Regulations.)

This provision is geared around safety and youth protection. However, we do not want it to be a hindrance to sharing and promoting brotherhood.  I had several questions raised to me about making this more administratively easier for chapters that adjoin other states.  In the past, previous Executive Officers and Personal Representatives have had these agreements.

I am pleased to announce we have negotiated two new agreements with the The Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Great State of New Jersey.

"Dad" Boyce, Executive Officer for Pennsylvania, and I have agreed to grant pre-approval for our Buffalo area chapters to partner with and visit Erie Chapter in Erie, PA.

"Dad" Mossberg, Executive Officer for New Jersey, and I have agreed to grant pre-approval for our New York City based chapters to partner with and visit chapters in Northern New Jersey.

1) We need to know about it before it happens.

For Pennsylvania travel, this is an email into me for the New Yorkers informing me they are traveling into PA and I will let "Dad" Boyce know.

For New Jersey travel, this is an email into me a week before the travel takes place letting me know and I will let "Dad" Mossberg now.


2) Youth Protection. Our youth protection policies need to be followed the same way we do with anything else. No one on ones, two deep leadership etc. If a young lady is going there needs to be a female chaperone.

3) Your home state comes first.
 It should not take away from events happening in either state. If Erie Chapter is doing an event and there is a state or regional or close by chapter event, the New York Chapters should be supporting their fellow New Yorkers. If something was planned for a long time outside of the state and something else comes up short notice in New York, go with what was planned first.

4) Finally, have fun! 
Some of my best friends in DeMolay come from the Keystone and Garden States and I have lost quite a few games of Risk in both states. Plus, the Erie Dances are amazing!

These agreements came out of a request of chapters to make things easier to promote and share brotherhood. If you have an idea let us know!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Senior DeMolay Profile "Dad" Andrew Roberts!

Our first Senior DeMolay profile for 2020, we have "Dad" Andrew Roberts. A Past Master Councilor of Mohawk Valley Chapter and Past State Master Councilor of New York!

Occupation? Social Studies Department Chair & Social Studies Teacher

When did you join DeMolay? July 2002

What was your favorite ritual part? 5th Preceptor

What is your favorite DeMolay Memory? It's really difficult to pin point a particular memory in DeMolay for me. I would have to say that rededication the year I went out as State Master Councilor (2010). My grandfather had been in DeMolay, my dad had been one of my main advisors during my DeMolay career, my brother had paved the way for me as State Master Councilor. That rededication just really meant a lot for me as I looked back on my term as SMC.

What were you most proud of as a DeMolay? I think my most proud moment was winning 5th Preceptor Champion when I was 13. I was a pretty shy individual when I joined DeMolay (which would surprise those who know me) and I didn't really like ritual but I was asked to compete in the competition a few months before Convention. I did participate and it really helped me break out of my shell.



One piece of advice you would give to DeMolays today? Don't take it for granted. I loved my experience as an Active DeMolay. It just seems like it was never long enough.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot



Happy 2020 New York DeMolay!

Every year I make resolutions for myself, some personal, some professional, some fraternal.  Some of these resolutions I manage to keep, others, well, that's what 2021 is for!

Just before Christmas, I sent a note to the 2019 KeyMan University Jurisdictional Officer Track and challenged them to come up with resolutions for themselves and their jurisdiction.  This weekend I am meeting with our State Officers for their State Officer Retreat and will be asking them to also make resolutions.

I wanted to share with you some of the resolutions New York DeMolay is going to make for this year. Do you have thoughts on others? Let me know!

My every best wish to you and yours for a happy and prosperous 2020!

"Dad" Brusoe

1. New York DeMolay Will Have Positive Growth in 2020:  Young men need DeMolay. The brotherhood, the friendship, the education, the moral framework. To grow in 2021 we need to bring in 42 young men. I would like to see us bring in 50! "Dad" Myers, our new director of membership has this awesome plan to get us forward.  To do this all of us need to be sharing DeMolay with our friends, our families and others with whom we come in contact with. The Grand Master's Class on March 21 is a great opportunity for this to happen!
Did you know our friends in Colorado DeMolay just celebrated 11 years of  continuous  positive growth sharing DeMolay. I want that for us in 2031!




2. Better Communication: New York DeMolay has a great story to tell and we are going to do a better job telling that story with our social media, our website, and yes even printed mediums.

3. More DeMolays Attending Leadership Conferences: We have a number of great leadership conferences around us. KeyMan, Ohio DeMolay Leaders of Excellence, Region 1 LTC, Garden State LTC. These are tremendous growing opportunities for DeMolay. We want to see more active participation in these conferences. I believe in these leadership conferences so much that in order to run for any state office in 2020, you will have needed to attend a conference in 2020.

4. More Representative DeMolays:  It's "Dad" Land's dream that every youth be a Representative DeMolay. "Dad" Schneider runs a really good program and he's more than eager to help. Please reach out to him and begin your path to being a Representative DeMolay!

5. More Adult Volunteers: As adults, we need to be sharing the joy of being a DeMolay advisor with our brothers and sisters. How are we going to get there? By sharing DeMolay with our friends and asking them to become mentors and guides.

6. An Awesome Winterfest and an amazing Convention:  Winterfest 2020 is going to be one for the books and we look forward to seeing everyone there! In addition, New York DeMolay will have an awesome convention in 2020! Plans are underway and we are excited about going back to Camp Turk and having an amazing experience.

7. More LCCs: LCCs provide the skill sets you need to be successful in DeMolay. "Dad" Schneider runs this really well and will bend over backwards to help you achieve this.

8. Continued Administration Standardization: You may have noticed I am a bit of a wonk when it comes to administrative policy. We will continue to do more of that this year.

9. A Renewed Focus on Obligatory Days: I loved the huge response to the Day of Comfort, what are we going to do for Patriot's Day in February? Devotional Day in March? These are fun and can be easy events to do!

10. Fun: New York DeMolay is going to have a lot of fun. If it's not fun and we're not enjoying it, why are we doing it?

2020 Here comes New York DeMolay!





Sunday, December 29, 2019

Two New Yorkers in top 10 of first line signers in America!



Have I told you I love e-scribe?

This database allows us to pull reports and get information on the health of DeMolay membership in a few seconds.

Now, for this I need you to go to YouTube and listen to a little bit of Joe Esposito
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p44G0U4sLCE


Today, I ran the report on top line signers in the United States and was very pleased to see two of our own make the list of top 10!




Br. Robin Santos of Knickerbocker Chapter is tied for 6th, and Br. RJ Larson of Richmond Chapter is tied for 10th! This is huge, and I cannot tell you how proud I am of both of them!

WAY TO GO AND GROW DEMOLAY!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Account Audits: A Best Practice

Dear New York DeMolay:


Among things that we are working on for DeMolay is best practices on the finance side. 


As a 501(c)3, New York DeMolay has a fiduciary responsibility to do routine audits of accounts of chapters, honor bodies, alumni accounts, etc/

 I have asked "Dad" Harry Needham III to undertake these audits. "Dad" Needham is a Past Executive Officer of Connecticut DeMolay and an Active Member of our Supreme Council. In this capacity he understands our organization thoroughly and understands how we operate. "

The basic items which need to be submitted are:
 - Bank statements for the past 24 months
- Receipts and Contracts for any expense over $250.
- Minutes showing where the expense was authorized or a signed payment voucher
- Copies of the 990 post card or confirmation email.

This is a routine best practice and I look forward to everyone's cooperation to get these done efficiently.

If you have a question on finance matters please feel free to drop me a note at PWBrusoe@gmail.com

I do want to emphasize this is merely to ensure we are following best practices and NOT because we think something is amiss.

Yours for a stronger New York DeMolay,

"Dad" Brusoe

Want a hoagie? Want Pork Roll? Want to see the Liberty Bell? Expanded Travel agreement now in place.

Remember last week when I announced that certain parts of New York could travel to parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey with blanket approva...