Friday, February 5, 2016

Masonic Youth Groups

There are a variety of organizations considered under the Masonic umbrella. This includes the youth groups like the Job's Daughters, DeMolay, and Rainbow Girls, but there are also lesser known groups like the Knights of Pythagoras, Organization of Triangles, Inc., and Asociacion de Jovenes Esperanza de la Fraternidad. These youth groups provide a place for young men and young women to learn important life skills, and Freemasons can provide guidance and mentoring. I have served as Associate Bethel Guardian for a Bethel and have begun to get involved with a local DeMolay Chapter. Serving in these roles has been very fulfilling and even if the day has been long, busy, hectic, or just plain awful, attending a youth group meeting always brought a smile to my face and made my day better.

Job's Daughters International is an organization for young women age 10 to 20, and who are related to a Master Mason or a Majority Member (a woman who was in Job's Daughters). As in Freemasonry, young women are required to have a belief in a Supreme Being.

It was founded by Ethel T Wead Mick (affectionately known as "Mother Mick) in Omaha, NE, on October 20, 1920. The purpose of the order was to band together young girls with a Masonic relationship for character building through moral and spiritual development, teaching a greater reverence for God and the Bible, patriotism, and respect for parents.

The local organization is called a Bethel which is presided over by an Honored Queen and supervised by a Bethel Guardian (and a Guardian Council). The state level is called Grand Bethel which is presided over by a Grand Bethel Honored Queen and supervised by a Grand Guardian (and council). Job's Daughters International is headed by a Supreme Bethel Honored Queen and with adult supervision from a Supreme Guardian (along council and Board of Trustees). There are Bethels all over the United States, but are also found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the Philippines.

Job's Daughters takes its name and rituals from a story in the Biblical Book of Job, but membership is open to young women of any faith; Job 42:15 states "And in all the land were no women found so fair as the Daughters of Job."

The Order of DeMolay is an organization for young men (12 to 21). Unlike Job's Daughter, the young men do not need to be related to a Mason to join. Though like Freemasonry, it does require young men to hold a belief in a Supreme Being.

The Order of DeMolay was founded by Frank Land in Kansas City, MO, on March 24, 1919 (though March 18th is also used to commemorate the death of Jacques DeMolay).

The basic organizational structure of the order is the Chapter which is presided over by a Master Councilor. The young men receive guidance and mentoring from adult advisers known as "Chapter Dads." Chapters form the State Chapter and is presided over by the State Master Councilor. The adult adviser is called the "Executive Officer." DeMolay International is presided over by the International Master Councilor along with the Grand Master (adult adviser). There are Chapters located in Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, Serbia, the United States, and Uruguay.

This youth group takes its name from Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, who was executed in 1314 by the French King, Philip the Fair, during the suppression of the Knights Templar. The virtues of reverence, love of parents, comradeship, patriotism, courtesy, cleanness, and fidelity are taught through the rituals of the order. DeMolay also teaches leadership skills, financial responsibility, civic awareness, and public speaking. Aside from the initiatic ceremony also confers the honors of Legion of Honor, Chevalier, Blue Honor awards, and Merit Medals.

The International Order of Rainbow for Girls is an organization for young women, ages 11 to 20. Though, unlike the Job's Daughters, applicants do not need to have any relationship to a Freemason.

This group was founded by Reverend William Mark Sexson in McAlester, OK, on April 6, 1922.

The basic organizational level for this group is called an Assembly which is presided over by a Worthy Advisor and Mother Advisor (adult supervisor). The next level is called the Grand Assembly which is presided over by a Grand Worthy Advisor and Supreme Deputy. The international level is known as the Supreme Assembly and is unique in that there is no young woman or youth leader. The Supreme Assembly is governed by adult advisors in a group known as the "House of Gold," composed of 50 Supreme Inspectors. Outside the United States, there are Rainbow Assemblies in Aruba, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Paraguay, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Romania.

The Rainbow ritual is based on the story from Genesis of Noah and the Great Flood. After the waters receded, God made a promise that He would never again destroy the Earth. As a sign of that promise, He placed a rainbow in the heavens. Although its teachings are based on Christian writings, the order is open to children of all religions; the Christian lessons are simply used to show basic values that are integral to many religions. The lessons encourage members to be strong in spirit and kind in heart, respectful toward nature, and giving toward all humanity. Each of the colors of the rainbow is associated with a particular virtue or source of inspiration: Red (love), Orange (religion), Yellow (nature), Green (immortality), Blue (fidelity), Indigo (patriotism), and Violet (service).

References

1. Youth Organizations. (n.d.). http://www.msana.com/youth.asp

2. Our History. (n.d.). https://demolay.org/our_history/

3. Masonic Bodies. (n.d.). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masonic_bodies#Youth_organizations

4. Hodapp, C. (n.d.). Freemason Youth Groups. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/freemason-youth-groups.html

5. Masons & Youth Initiation. (n.d.). http://www.carnaval.com/masons/

6. Masonic Youth Groups. (n.d.). http://roadrunners.us/masonic-youth-group

7. Job's Daughters International. (n.d.). http://www.jobsdaughtersinternational.org/

8. International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. (n.d.). https://www.gorainbow.org/

9. International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. (n.d.). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Order_of_the_Rainbow_for_Girls



10. DeMolay International By Laws. (n.d.). https://demolay.org/wp-content/uploads/resources/2015_2016_di_bylaws.pdf

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