Teachers, coaches, instructors and guidance counselors all help guide youth and inspire them to be the best version of themselves. Although a parent is the best influencer a child will have, it sometimes takes other adult role models to motivate our youth even further. In this article, we will look at the role of an adult volunteer in our Masonic youth groups from the viewpoint of a parent.
The role of an adult volunteer is to be a guide, an instructor and a leader. In some cases, they provide a parental figure from outside the home environment. For many, they become a second mom or dad, continuing to provide support and guidance when youth are away from home. Although quite a few of our adult volunteers are parents themselves, the role is more about being a supporter and an encourager. Parents trust these volunteers with their children, knowing their daughters and sons are in a safe environment and that these adults will look out for their child’s best interests.
Q: How have the adult volunteers impacted your child’s life?
Jona Green is the mother of two DeMolays from the Elizabethtown Chapter, Holden and Kenton, and a Majority Member of Job’s Daughters. When asked this question, she stated, “It is a special thing as a parent to know you can trust someone with your children. To know the lessons you teach at home and the structure and rules that are in place are reinforced by someone who is not their parent is a great aspect of this organization.”
Dianne Swogger is a Majority Member of Rainbow and the mother of the most recent Grand Worthy Advisor of Pennsylvania Rainbow, Ashley Swogger, a member of the Penn Valley Rainbow Assembly. “The adult volunteers have believed in Ashley when she was not so sure of herself,” Dianne said. “She has looked up to many of these leaders and strives to be a better person.”
Q: How has your child benefited from membership in the Masonic Youth Groups?
“Being a Rainbow Girl has helped Ashley in so many ways,” Dianne said. “It has taught her to be a leader and to serve others. She is now a confident speaker and can speak in front of large groups. She gained confidence and can help others.”
Jona stated, “Watching our boys grow in confidence, maturity and leadership has been one of the greatest joys of our association with DeMolay. The progression from mentee to mentor is powerful.”
Q: What memorable experience comes to mind when thinking about your time in the Masonic youth groups?
“Our involvement with DeMolay has provided many special occasions and memories to cherish,” Jona said. “Holden was able to take his oath as Master Councilor over the same Bible that was from the chapter my brothers belonged to.” Dianne stated, “I can’t think of just one memorable experience. For me, it has been wonderful to see her love an organization that I also was a member of. I have enjoyed watching her be Grand Worthy Advisor.”
Q: What characteristic is essential for the role of a Masonic youth adult volunteer?
Jona summed it up: “Almost all of the great adult volunteers I know have an excellent sense of humor and a lot of patience.” Dianne noted, “Adult volunteers need to have empathy. They need to be able to listen to youth and ‘hear’ what they are saying to know what each particular youth needs. Adult volunteers need to be able to be a leader but also be able to step back and let youth lead in certain situations.”
Have you ever thought about being an adult volunteer for one of our Masonic youth organizations? Would you consider giving a little time to mentor some deserving young people? Our youth organizations need you. Our youth need you. They are worthy of having positive role models, patient mentors and understanding guides on this journey they are forging.
For complete information on becoming an adult volunteer with one – or more – of our youth organizations, please reach out to Brother Joseph Pullin, Assistant Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation, at 717-367-1536 ext. 8, or firstname.lastname@example.org.