Together we make a profound difference

BEST PRACTICE: Supporting our youth

HOW-TO: Increase your lodge's involvement with local youth orders

New social funds legislation

Save the date 2009

Rewarding academic excellence, promoting education




BEST PRACTICE: Supporting our youth

Brian Messenger, past master, reports how his lodge offers support and maintains a strong relationship with its three local youth orders, and the personal rewards for both lodge members and youths. Here’s a summary:


Background: Orange Grove Lodge No. 293 in Orange is a large lodge with strong “Masonic Family” values. In the early 1990s, we decided to develop a more vital lodge culture and to do so, adopted a “Masonic Family” approach with frequent dinners and events that include our Eastern Star Chapter and the three local youth orders: Orange Assembly No. 86 of Rainbow Girls, Bethel No. 337 of Job’s Daughters, and Orange Chapter Order of DeMolay.

How we support our youth orders

  • Budgeting and financial support: Our lodge’s past masters were instrumental in encouraging new masters to make room in the budget for youth order support. With those funds, the lodge is able to pay for the youths to attend leadership camps and annual conventions.
  • Web site: We provide Web hosting and webmaster support so that each of our youth orders has a public presence. Orange Assembly No. 86, Bethel No. 337, and Orange Chapter have their own Web pages, linked from our Masonic Center Web site,, to post their calendars, newsletters, and group information.
  • Youth-friendly lodge events: We plan youth-friendly events year-round. During the holidays, for example, we invite our youth orders and their families to our annual Christmas party, and charter a bus for youths and lodge members to go caroling together to our widows’ or older members’ homes.
  • Strong lodge presence: Our members sit on advisory boards and councils for all three youth orders, and frequently participate in official visits to youth order meetings and special events.
  • Joint projects: Most recently, our lodge joined with the three youth orders in a community Halloween celebration. We got the youth orders involved in constructing a haunted house inside our lodge building. Lodge members and youths worked together for four days to construct the haunted house, then worked side-by-side at the event, which was attended by more than 300 members of the public. The interaction of the youth orders with each other and with the lodge made the effort well worthwhile.


The benefits

  • Many lodge members participate in our joint events – more than 50 attended the Halloween haunted house – and find the experience and the interaction with the youths very rewarding.
  • All of the youth orders make us proud by developing wonderful youth leaders who set a fine example of Masonic values in the community.
  • Our DeMolay Chapter has produced many strong candidates for our lodge over the years.
  • Our local youth orders are very active and connected to each other, to our lodge, and to the community. They are able to use lodge-offered events as supplements to their own activities, where they have the opportunity to interact with lodge members aged 18 to 90. If they need special support for an event or project, they know they can count on it from us.

Our lodge feels a great sense of accomplishment from all the good we do for our youth orders, who we consider an important part of our Masonic family.


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HOW-TO: Increase your lodge's involvement with local youth orders

This how-to list will help you evaluate how your lodge can be more active with its local youth orders. Consider which activities would be easy additions to your lodge’s usual regiment, which would garner the most support and participation from lodge members, and which would be the most useful for your local youth orders.

Lodge events

  • Invite youth orders and their families to officer installations, cornerstone ceremonies, holiday parties, and other lodge events
  • Hold an On The Level night just for youth orders to answer any questions they may have about Masonry
  • Ask for youth orders to participate in serving meals at On The Level events and/or stated meetings
  • Ask youths to create fliers and posters to publicize lodge events

Youth order events

  • Provide transportation and supervision for youth order activities
  • Encourage lodge attendance at youth order fundraisers and events
  • Plan frequent member visits to youth order meetings

Shared events

  • Host a youth appreciation night at the lodge honoring adult and youth leaders
  • Involve youth orders in Child ID booths, fundraisers, and other lodge volunteer projects
  • Sponsor a special event like a holiday dance or a game night for all of the youth orders in your area, and let them lead the planning process so that it reflects their needs and desires
  • Sponsor a young adult drivers' safety class
  • Provide scholarship manuals at youth order meetings and offer help applying for Masonic scholarships

Trestleboard and Web site

  • Allot space for youth orders to submit articles and photos to the lodge Trestleboard
  • Include youth order contacts and upcoming activities in your Trestleboard and online calendar
  • Include a fundraising note in your Trestleboard to solicit financial help for local youth orders
  • Provide Web hosting and webmaster support for youth order Web sites
  • Add links to your lodge Web site to local and statewide youth order Web pages

Financial support

  • Make room in the lodge budget for youth order support
  • Put out a donation jar at stated meetings and lodge events to benefit local youth orders
  • Offer compensation for youths to serve dinners/wash dishes at stated meetings and other lodge meals
  • Buy tickets for youth order fundraisers, even if you cannot actually attend
  • Sponsor youth leaders to attend their respective leadership camps
  • Sponsor youth orders to attend their state conventions

Adult leadership

  • Meet regularly with the adult leadership of the youth orders to offer support, celebrate accomplishments, and discuss common concerns
  • Urge lodge members to join youth order advisory boards and councils
  • Help identify future adult leaders* to ensure a successful succession plan when current leaders step down

    *Look for more information in coming months on how to become an adult leader.

Have we forgotten something? Please e-mail additional suggestions to with How-To: Involve Youth Orders in the subject line.


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New social funds legislation

Resolution 08-06, regarding how lodges may handle funds collected for social activities, was passed at the 2008 Annual Communication.

Prior to this recent change, the CMC prohibited such funds from being called “lodge funds,” forcing them to be handled outside of the lodge and off the lodge’s books. The result was that some individual brother had to accept the funds and deposit them into an account in his own name and under his personal Social Security number. This placed an undue burden on the brother and was not a good practice for the lodge’s financial accounting and control. The new legislation changed Section 809.210 of the CMC to provide that such social funds shall now be “lodge funds” upon receipt.

Confusion may remain around the issue of the handling of funds used for the purchase of alcohol. The legislation made no change in the issue of funds for alcoholic beverages. Lodge funds could not be used to purchase alcohol before the passage of this new legislation; lodge funds still may not be used to purchase alcohol. If a lodge wants to have alcohol involved in a social function, it has two choices:

  1. The best option, for several reasons, is to hire a licensed caterer or a licensed beverage service company to operate a cash bar at the event. This would keep the alcohol funds separate from the lodge funds. The licensed caterer or licensed beverage service company serving the alcohol must comply with all applicable state Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) laws.
  2. A member or other individual donates the alcoholic beverages, and everyone pays the same price, regardless of whether they will be served an alcoholic beverage. Members and guests may not bring their own alcohol, as such would be a “bottle club,” which requires an ABC liquor license.

The new legislation also modified Section 809.560 of the CMC, regarding what part of the lodge’s financial support had to be counted in calculating the 30 percent limitation rule. It essentially says, among other things, that funds collected to pay the expenses of specific social events should not be counted when calculating the 30 percent limitation rule.


Glenn D. Woody
Grand Treasurer


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Save the date 2009


Secretaries' Retreats
February 20-22, Southern California
March 20-22, Northern California


Wardens' Retreats

Junior Wardens
April 3-5, Northern California
April 24-26, Southern California

Senior Wardens
May 15-17, Northern California
May 29-31, Southern California


Lodge Management Certification Program
June 6, Pasadena Area
June 13, San Diego Area
June 20, Visalia/Fresno Area
June 27, Sacramento Area
July 11, San Francisco Area
July 18, Chico Area


160th Annual Communication
October 2-4, San Francisco

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Scholarship application deadline

Each year, the California Masonic Foundation awards more than $1 million in four-year college scholarships to high school students throughout the state. Since 1970, more than 2,000 students have been assisted with scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 per student over four years.

Please remind your lodge members that the application period is open and continues through February 15. Now is the time for them to urge high school students in their families, neighborhoods, and Masonic youth orders to submit the online application, found in the Scholarship Center at Applications must be fully completed and submitted online.

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