LOGAN — An informational meeting for young boys and men interested in joining a new Logan chapter of DeMolay International will be offered in Logan at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 11.
DeMolay International is a fraternal organization aimed at boys and young men ages 12 to 21. Started in 1919, DeMolay describes itself as a premier international youth leadership organization that strives to shape young men into leaders of character.
Members of the DeMolay organization take charge of their own chapter and run it mostly by themselves under the mentorship of trained advisers from the local community.
According to Smitty Baisden, membership chairman and an adviser for the organization, DeMolay was active in the Logan area in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and now organizers are trying to get a chapter re-established. Baisden described DeMolay as similar to the Boy Scouts.
The only requirement for young men to join the organization is that they have to believe in a supreme being/higher power.
“We don’t push denominations, as far as churches, but prayer is an important part of our group,” Baisden said.
Baisden said DeMolay teaches seven cardinal virtues to its members, including leadership.
“We just want to have a good positive influence on young men — steer them from drugs, give them something to do besides get on the streets,” Baisden said. “It’s just to build character in them, to build leadership, let them learn, let them grow, but let them grow in a good way.”
Baisden also noted that nothing is hidden in the organization.
“The group is all young men, but moms can participate,” Baisden said. “When we do ritual work, there’s nothing hidden. Parents are allowed to attend everything that we do and see everything that we do. The advisers, they go through a background check. They have to have a background check done on them before they can become an adviser, and then we go through a training course.”
DeMolay is active in other parts of the state, with the most active being Clarksburg, according to Baisden. Organizers are also trying to establish chapters in Huntington and Martinsburg.
The informational meeting will be at the Logan Masonic Lodge at 422 Main St. in Logan at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 11. Baisden notes that DeMolay is not a Masonic organization, but the Masons are one of the sponsors of the club.
For more information, visit www.demolay.org.