Demolay is a fraternal organization open to young men ages 12-21. The organization is run by its youth participants, with adults serving as advisors, not “leaders.” The master councilor for a chapter runs meetings and plans events for that chapter, said Wright. State master is head of the state, in charge of planning state events and overseeing all the chapters in the state, he said.
Wright has been a member of his chapter of DeMolay for close to six years, since he was 12. At the time, he said, he’d been involved in other organizations, but never felt as though he really belonged. His uncle, who had been a DeMolay in Vermont, talked to the advisor of the local chapter about him, and how the organization might benefit him. That advisor happened to attend the same church as Wright, and asked if he was interested. After looking into the organization, Wright joined in November of 2007.
|Wright is front, center|
“I immediately felt like I belonged,” he said, when talking about the reception held after his initiation. “After that it was really easy to get involved,” he added. “A lot of the boys in DeMolay have become my brothers. They’ve become my family. I know that I could go to them for anything, and they know that they could come to me for anything.”
In order to become state master councilor, a member must first have been the master councilor of their own chapter, which Wright was twice. They must also hold one state office. For Wright, that was state chaplain. After that, he ran for and was elected state junior councilor, but because the state senior councilor dropped out, he held that position instead. This year, he ran for state master councilor, and was elected by the brothers to that position.
The one year position is a significant time commitment, with events to organize and a great deal of travel. Each state or jurisdiction in the region has a conclave, said Wright, an event where brothers come together for a weekend at a college campus. As state master councilor, he must travel to all of the conclaves in region 1.
One of the largest goals for his year as state master councilor is to increase membership, said Wright. Presently, there are approximately 40-50 active members in the State of Maine, though there are many others who are members, but may not be active. “Once you are a DeMolay, you are always a DeMolay,” said Wright. The goal for the next two years is to increase membership in the state by 80 members, he said.
In addition, he will work closely with the other state master councilors and the region cabinet member, many of whom are good friends of his. They are hoping to work together to get Region 1, which includes New England and Atlantic Provinces, to be the best region in DeMolay.
Wright said when he finishes his term as state master councilor he plans to join the Navy, and hopes to go to school through the Navy.
To learn more about DeMolay, visit www.medemolay.org or www.demolay.org.