How is your chapter going to celebrate DeMolay Month? This page is full of information designed to help you with DeMolay Month planning. For a full resource guide, click here to download the 2016 DeMolay Month Resource Pack
If your chapter doesn’t have a plan yet, this packet will make planning quick and easy. Start with Step-by-Step Guide to DeMolay Month Planning below. It will give you an overview of planning your DeMolay Month celebration. There are several more pages of examples, worksheets, and idea starters that will help with every step in the process.
If your chapter already has a plan, this page may help make your DeMolay Month even better. Skim through and make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything. Use the resources in this packet to add an extra element or two to your plan.
DeMolay Month is the time of year when every chapter is focused on activities that involve the local community. The two main goals of DeMolay Month are community involvement and promotion of DeMolay.
DeMolay Month is your best public relations opportunity of the year. DeMolay Month activities should be aimed at catching the attention of people outside of DeMolay. Try to plan events that get the chapter out into the public, or that get the public to come to the chapter. Contact your local government officials to try to get a proclamation or resolution. Encourage your chapter’s members and advisors to talk about what the chapter is doing and to invite friends to attend events. Send information about your events to the local media. After a successful event, send pictures and a description of the event to the media.
DeMolay Week is the week which includes March 18th. During DeMolay Week, chapters put forth an even more focused effort. Most of the major DeMolay Month events are scheduled for DeMolay Week. Try to plan something that will keep DeMolay in the minds of your members each day during DeMolay Week. Your chapter doesn’t have to hold a full-scale event each day. There are creative ways of promoting DeMolay that don’t require a lot of planning or effort.
March 18 is the anniversary of the date DeMolay was founded in 1919. If at all possible, your chapter should plan an event to be held on March 18th, or visit a chapter that is holding an event.
It’s up to you and your chapter to make your community aware of DeMolay. Increased community awareness means increased community support for DeMolay programs and membership.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO DEMOLAY MONTH PLANNING
Select a DeMolay Month Committee
The Master Councilor should select three DeMolays and one or two advisors to coordinate the chapter’s DeMolay Month plans. If your chapter is small, the DeMolay Month Committee should make the DeMolay Month calendar and plan all of the activities. If your chapter is larger, the DeMolay Month Committee should be responsible for laying out the calendar and coordinating the activities, but each activity may be planned by a separate committee.
Fill Up the Calendar
Use the DeMolay Month Calendar Worksheet to find potential dates for DeMolay Month activities. Once you have a list of available dates, start deciding on activities. The DeMolay Month Activities: Idea Starter is full of ideas for great DeMolay Month events and activities. You can pick activities from it and customize them, or use it to start brainstorming ideas of your own. Try to pick activities that fit your chapter’s personality, size, and budget. Carefully consider how many activities your chapter will be able to accomplish. Some events require a lot of planning; others are simple. By selecting a good mix of activities you should be able to fill up DeMolay Month without overdoing it. Be careful to avoid picking several large-scale events. On the other hand, challenge yourself to plan at least one activity that goes beyond your chapter’s usual routine.
Ask for a Proclamation or Resolution
Once you have a basic plan, you are ready to ask your local government officials for a proclamation or resolution. A proclamation or resolution is a great way to raise awareness of DeMolay and will attract attention to your DeMolay Month activities. See the How to Ask for a Proclamation or Resolution guide for more information.
Plan Each Activity
Each event or activity on your calendar deserves special attention. Be sure to follow through with planning and budgeting for each activity. If separate committees or individuals are assigned to plan each event, the DeMolay Month Committee should check progress occasionally to make sure that each activity is well-planned.
VIPs are “Very Important People.” Some activities are built around having a local official or other leader as a keynote speaker or featured attendee. Before you get too far into planning, make sure that the VIP is available to attend. It is a good idea to make a list of other people to invite if your first choice is unavailable. You should also have a backup plan in case the VIP has to cancel at the last minute.
Get the Word Out
Be sure that all of your chapter’s members and advisors are aware of DeMolay Month plans. Give planning updates at chapter meetings. Distribute calendars and other information. Use a phone tree or e-mail list to contact members between meetings.
Once plans are set, it’s time to get the word out to the community. (Remember, DeMolay Month is about community involvement.) You can print up flyers that members and their parents can distribute at school and work. Consider hanging posters or signs at your chapter’s meeting place or in local community centers. (Be sure to get permission first.) Send fliers or printed invitations to VIPs, nearby chapters, and other Masonic groups.
Alert the Media
Use the Press Releases Made Easy guide to create press releases for each of your chapter’s public events. You should also create a press release if your chapter receives a proclamation or other form of recognition. Distribute the press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations according to the instructions in the guide. Invite reporters to attend major events.
Have a Great DeMolay Month
Carry out each activity in your plan. Have a good time! Encourage your chapter members and advisors to talk about successful DeMolay Month events at school and work.
Be Proud of Your Success
After a successful activity or event, send a press release with pictures to your local media to say how great the event was. Also send your press releases, pictures, proclamations, and any newspaper clippings to the DeMolay headquarters so that they can be filed in DeMolay’s archives or used in DeMolay publications. The address is 10200 NW Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153 or email@example.com.
Build on Your Success
Once DeMolay Month is over, think about ways that you can keep up the enthusiasm and community support that you have started. Send thank you letters or cards to VIPs and people who contributed to your DeMolay Month activities. Be sure to write down any good ideas for future events or next year’s DeMolay Month.