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Wednesday, September 08, 2021

California Lodge Restarts Its Youth Groups

by Christopher Hodapp

Turlock Masonic Lodge 236 in Turlock, California got some decent coverage in the local paper this morning. The lodge is bringing back their youth groups, which have been dormant for several years now – Job's Daughters for girls, and DeMolay for boys.

From Job’s Daughters and Demolays give young people a space to foster their growth by Pawan Naidu in the Turlock Journal:
Within the lodge they have separate divisions that help young people grow and develop as individuals. Job’s Daughters help young women ages 10-20 while Demolays helps young men ages 9-21.

Former member of Job’s Daughters, Amanda Sargenti Gomez, said she believes one of the most valuable things the organization taught her was the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community.

“A very important thing for me was being active in the community by volunteering. During my term as Honored Queen we collected toys and books to take to Shriner’s Hospital. We also assisted the Masons by serving at their dinner events,” she said.

“I learned many things from my time in Job’s Daughters. First off, respect for myself, my elders and my peers, as well as proper etiquette. Secondly, I learned public speaking and how to run and organize a meeting. These things have been very important as I developed within my career,” said Gomez.

According to former Demolay member James Banta, the Demolays aim to foster that same growth among young men and have a place where they can be among their peers.

“I think young men in particular find comfort knowing there are other people out there that feel the same way they do,” he said

What sets the Demolays apart from other youth organizations is that it gives their members autonomy about what they want to do.

“The members decide what activities they’re going to do. We do have older individuals there to help guide them along, but the members do all the organizing,” said Banta.

The Demolays do not adhere to one religion and accept members of all faiths as long as they agree to the values of the organization.

“We put our values front and center and as long as you transcribe to those values, you’ll be welcomed,” said Banta.


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