A Weekend of Brotherhood

    Friday, October 18th through Sunday, October 21st was Brotherhood Weekend for Connecticut DeMolay at Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut.  I had the absolute pleasure of planning, coordinating, and running the event with the help of Dad Earle and the State Officers.  Brothers from all across the state, and even from Massachusetts, attended the event.
    The weekend kicked off on Friday with the State Chapter opening and inducting several candidates, and now brothers.  After some brief announcements, we headed out into the dark to play some manhunt (always a popular event at Brotherhood Weekend, two giant teams broke out the black and the camo to hide, chase, and capture the other).  One of the highlights of Friday evening, in my opinion, was when the Camp Hazen staff, aided by my family, celebrated my 18th birthday with the entire camp (this is truly my favorite memory of Brotherhood Weekend so far because I not only celebrated my birthday, but I spent it with all of my brothers at one of the most popular events of the year! You can't ask for anything more than that).
    Saturday started with a polar bear plunge (which most of the State Suite Officers dove in for), and a marathon of dodgeball (which seemed absolutely endless).  Following that, we participated in the camp-run activities (archery, climbing, and kayaking/canoeing) (the staff at Camp Hazen work hard in order to run these events for us and make them fun).  Upon our return from those activities, we broke out the bats and balls and played a good, old-fasioned game of BEEF (devised by Past State Master Councilor, Paul Evangelista, the game is essentially slow-pitch softball with a couple of twists: there is a permanent pitcher who also acts as an umpire, you must use a tennis ball, and each team is only allowed three gloves among the entire defense).  The turnout for BEEF was excellent and competitive, despite the low-scoring affair.  Rounding out Saturday, was an outdoor DeMolay Degree (concluding the induction of our new brothers), and a game of capture-the-flag in the main field of the camp (Four teams, and a team of wild-cards, caused chaos chasing after each others flags and capturing those unfortunate enough to be caught.  The State Suite Officers served as the boundaries and referees of the proceedings.  Sound easy?  It wasn't.  Each was responsible for a huge area and for knowing, and seeing, all that happened within that area.  Kudos to the SOs for keeping the order!).
    Sadly, Sunday was the day the weekend wrapped up.  State Master Councilor, James Cavanaugh closed the State Chapter, remarks were made, and goodbyes uttered.  But I saw it as more than merely the end of a fun, popular event, I saw it as the closing of a victory.  An assurance of the fact that I not only planned an event on such a large scale but that I did a good job doing it.  I cannot enumerate how much each congratulatory handshake, each smiling face, each joyful laugh over the course of the weekend meant to me.  I could plan, and plan, and plan, all I wanted but if you, the members, don't enjoy yourself and want to come back, what's the point of planning?  I just want to thank you, brothers.  Thank you for coming out to Brotherhood Weekend, thank you for supporting the State Chapter, and thank you, most of all, or futhering DeMolay.
     Dad Gannon of Robert H. Heller Chapter, was the weekend's photographer, pictures can be found here.  Thank you, Dad Gannon, the pictures really captured the weekend for us.
Nick Carpenter
Deputy State Master Councilor

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