From August 3 to August 9, 2014, Patton Campus, in Elizabethtown, PA, was transformed from mild mannered conference center to full blown college campus, when nearly 90 DeMolays, along with close to 40 advisors, from more than a dozen jurisdictions came together for the 28th annual Key Man Conference, dubbed Key Man Unversity, or “KMU” for sort.
This new version of the Key Man experience was pioneered by the conference directors – “Dad” Zack Panitzke, “Dad” Dan Loughin, and Bro. Nick Capes. 2014 marked a significant shift in PA DeMolay’s Key Man program. Says “Dad” Tom Labagh, Executive Officer of Pennsylvania DeMolay:
“From a “traditional” DI Leadership Conference, the program was reinvented with the Reality Key Man model in 2000, and now, the Key Man University model of 2014, which successfully provided more choice of topics to study/practice/master to the participants than ever before.”
That was exactly what the program was designed to do! With eight Departments, including Ritual, Sweethearts, Communciations and Media, Education and Personal Development, and much more, attendees were able to “major” in an area of DeMolay study and spend a week getting in-depth training and knowledge on that subject. DeMolays could also choose “minor” and “elective” classes throughout the week, to supplement their knowledge.
It wasn’t all just class work, however! Students and instructors worked hand in hand on capstone projects that were presented to the Conference at the end of the week. These included skits, programs, ritual performances, and planning a full scale community service event for residents of the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. The Sweethearts, working together with the rest of the Conference, were able to raise more than $1000 for the Children’s Dyslexia Centers, PA DeMolay’s State Charity, through a cold water challenge. It really shows that when everyone works together and learns together, great things can happen!
In total, close to 80 courses were offered to the young men and DeMolay Sweethearts. As always, we hope they will take these lessons home to their Chapters to help them grow and succeed over the coming year.
Look for information early next year on how you can be a member of the Class of 2015 at Key Man University!