Staff Officer's article for September 2012

Camp Turk & Mentoring

Brothers near and far: On August 4th. I traveled to Camp Turk to take part in Grand Master's Day festivities. It was a beautiful day, warm with a pleasant breeze and the kids there were definitely taking advantage of it. I was just a little disappointed that there weren’t more brothers there from Central New York. Grand Master's Day is a great opportunity for any brother to talk face to face with our very approachable Grand Master, MW James Sullivan. He is a brother who instantly makes you at ease and will listen to what you have to say, good or bad. The Camp also provided us an excellent free lunch. I had never been before, but I do not plan on missing it again.

Camp Turk is a really wonderful facility. When I arrived the girls were all out on the water swimming, sailing and exploring Round Lake in their kayaks. As the day progressed I also could not help but notice the friendships that had developed among the girls along with the great guidance they received from their counselors.

This brings me to a topic more in line with my responsibilities as Staff Officer. One of the principal reasons that Camp Turk is so successful is its staff of young councilors, helping and directing the campers. Several of our lodges have done a pretty good job making new brothers. Those that seem most successful in keeping them active, however are the ones with at least some semblance of a mentoring program. When a new brother is initiated we need to have a mentor ready to befriend and work with him. To make him feel part of the lodge. To let him know how important he is to us and that we want him to enjoy Freemasonry. In his first year this may well be the most important task before us. If we show apathy toward our new brother how can we expect him to show excitement towards our beloved craft. As our Grand Master would say, these new brothers are 'special' they will sustain Freemasonry.