Twenty simple ideas can convert even the most down-trodden, hopeless Chapter into one that all of the others in the state look up to. Yep, the Grand Chapter’s Arch of Excellence Award is the single best program that will turn a Chapter on the brink of extinction to one that is firing on all cylinders. Let’s take a look at the first five requirements. We’ll present another five every month:

Grand Convocation Attendance: Two of three dais officers plus one extra Companion need to attend the annual Grand Chapter Grand Convocation in July. There’s no better chance for your Chapter to get “in the know” and to learn about how to be a better Chapter than by taking advantage of everything the Grand Convocation offers: Who’s who, learning about bylaw and other updates, getting a glimpse into the new MEGHP’s programs and initiatives, networking with other Companions from around the state, and more!

District Deputy Grand High Priest’s Official Visit: Your Chapter will open in form (without books), receive the DDGHP, and do everything it can to have a favorable report submitted on your behalf to the Grand Chapter. A successful DDGHP visit means your officers know our simple ritual and that the day-to-day (maybe, month-to-month) workings of your Chapter are in fine order (finances, ritual, equipment, membership growth, etc.).

Open Installation of the Chapter: What better way to celebrate and acknowledge your Chapter’s leaders than to host an open installation of officers? It bestows pride on the Chapter’s officers and members. It shows our families and friends that you care about your Chapter. And it showcases the Chapter to others in the district and state. Why not invite the local newspaper or radio station to attend? Local governmental leaders like the mayor or aldermen? Important local business leaders? Members of other clubs and fraternities? This is your Chapter’s chance to shine (and maybe attract a few new members!).

Membership Retention Committee: It’s far easier to keep a member than it is to get a new one. Appoint a couple of Companions to make regular and productive contact with inactive members and then report on their actions at EVERY meeting. Chapters that do this will soon see old members showing up — and new ones less likely to wander off.

Dinner Meetings: The Chapter needs to have (at least) three of these during the year. Companions that eat together care about each other — and their Chapter. Invite in a speaker or ask a member to give a short talk or program. Have themes to your meals or plan them around holidays. Invite family, friends, prospective members, the local Lodge(s), and even other Masonic Bodies.

These are just five of the twenty requirements for the Arch of Excellence Award. See how many your Chapter can get done this year and you’ll find your worries about new members, participation, and who’s taking what officer chair next year will all fall behind.