DLC and SLC went “Back to the Future” this year for the best in DeMolay leadership training, character development and relationship building. Seventy-eight young men, twenty-two young ladies, and twenty-two adult advisors representing DeMolay, DeMolay Sweethearts, Rainbow Girls, and Job’s Daughters from Northern and Southern California, Nevada, and Alberta, Canada met in Sonora at the Sierra Outdoor School for a week of brotherhood/sisterhood, learning and fun!

Conference seminars provided training in self-awareness, goal setting, event planning, public speaking, and the youth orders shared Masonic heritage. Conference attendees also participated in the planning and implementation of several projects during the week including the creation of a conference yearbook, observing one of DeMolay’s obligatory days-Education Day-by putting together pencil boxes for elementary school children, producing a talent show, having a movie night, and even a day trip to Pinecrest for some much deserved fun. Everyone also participated in athletic events including a DeMolay Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course, volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball. The training and hands-on experiences allowed for a unique learning opportunity.

The DLC and SLC conferences were led and instructed by experienced and dedicated advisors. This year marked the fourth year of “Dad” David A. Smith directing DLC with the assistance of fourteen other advisors including the Executive Officer of Northern California DeMolay, “Dad” Terry L. Peters; DeMolay Hall of Fame member, “Dad” Thomas W. Moberly; Past Grand Master of Masons in California and Deputy Member of the International Supreme Council, “Dad” M. David Perry; Jurisdiction Advisor and Deputy Member of the International Supreme Council, “Dad” David E. Killmer; seven past Jurisdiction/State Master Councilors, and three current chapter advisors. “Mom” Tamara McMillan expertly directed SLC for the first time and was joined by “Mom” Jennifer Jaeger, Jurisdiction Sweetheart Advisor, three Past Jurisdiction/State Sweethearts, and two active advisors for Job’s and Rainbow Girls. This year’s staffs were among the very best ever.

This year DLC and SLC was bolstered by Lx2017, an advanced leadership training program for more experienced Masonic youth leaders sponsored by the Masons of California and directed by Col. John M. Hinck, US Army (Retired) and Past International Master Councilor of DeMolay. “Dad” Hinck, who is a doctoral student in leadership studies at the University of San Diego, brought together six other accomplished leadership and communications experts to teach Lx2017. Seminars included activities in interpersonal communication, exploration of personality and how it influences communication and leadership decisions, metacognition and leadership, mindfulness and presencing, decision making during conflict and crisis, creating supportive communication climates for team success, giving and receiving feedback, and communication techniques during stressful and emergency situations. All of the learning was supported by small group conversations and mentoring sessions to insure understanding and application during the conference and beyond.