2016 Membership Bootcamp


Bro. John M. Hinck, from San Diego, CA, retired US Army Colonel and Past International Master Councilor of DeMolay



C-I-C Ken Beard and Bro. Tim Devine practiced their recruitment skills to illustrate how to connect with potential members.





The skit about member retention was presented by a group of volunteer players with just one read-through, and showed of their versatility, as well as the lessons of the day. From left to right, Tom Matincheck, Henry Federowicz, Greg Pappas, Monte Kemmler, and Danny Crawford. Not pictured, Bro. Dick Auchey and Tom Labagh.





Recruiting New Members with Strength and Honor!

That was the message brought to 74 members, officers and committee chairmen of the Valley of Harrisburg on Saturday, April 2nd at the Consistory building. Bro. John M. Hinck, a retired US Army Colonel, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of California and nationally known speaker on the topics of leadership and membership recruitment and retention, lead us through a discussion of finding our personal authenticity to set up an understanding of why people join and stay in organizations, and finally, to help us honestly recruit Masons to join the Scottish Rite. We also witnessed a fun and instructive skit that taught several great lessons about new member retention and the duties of leadership. An insightful SWOT evaluation of our Valley (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) brought some important insights to the officers, and we will build upon this at the upcoming Spring Reunion. To close out the day, the county membership committees had a chance to meet and make some preliminary recruitment plans for the fall one day class.


150th Anniversary Reunion & Banquet


150th Anniversary Reunion & Banquet

Honoring: Sovereign Grand Commander

Illustrious Brother John William McNaughton, 33°

Golf 2015


Patriots Camp



Patriots Camp 2015 pictures are the slide show above.

A note from our Director of Work,  Thomas R. Labagh about our Patriots Camp:

2014 was the fifth consecutive year of our support of the Patriots Camp program, which strives to teach children ages 6-12 about the Founding Fathers, the principles that started and sustained our great country, and the freedoms which must be preserved and protected. 

The camps started 5 years ago, and has grown with the cooperation and support of the Constitutional Champions Foundation. The co-founder of the camp, Deb Seneca, extended an invitation through her husband, Bro. Jim Capp, to the Valley of Harrisburg to provide costumed brethren to portray the Founding Fathers and other American patriots over the years.  We started supporting just one camp, in Paxtang, for three years and have now grown to support three camps.

In the pasts 5 years we have had 36 different members learn about a character and then improvise their performances based on their knowledge and creativity. This is infinitely harder than learning and reciting lines in a degree.  They must be able to answer questions and speak with knowledge while maintaining the illusion that they ARE the character at all times.  Some of these brethren are very experienced stage workers but improvisation is an entirely different skill.  What they have done is nothing short of amazing!

The following members have participated in this program also recognizing the number of camps they have worked: 

One Year

Andrew Sterling, Art Dinger, Chad Hopple, Dave Wolf, David Labagh, Frank Davila, Gene Albright, Greg Pappas, Ivan Arnold, Jim High, Jim Knepp, Ken Beard, Ken Meloy, Merrill Shaffer, Randy Knapp, Ted Shumaker, and Tim Settlemyer (a member of the Valley of Williamsport).

Two Years

Dick Wenner, Darwin Chilcote, Drew DeWalt, John Austin, John, Mickle, Richard Suter, Tim Devine and Teddy Sizemore.

Three Years

Dave Berry, David Gui, Frank DeStefano, Bud Baker and Larry Wolford.

Four Years

Dave Willard, Drew Bitner, Jeff Piccola, and Jim Capp.

Five Years

Gene Herritt

Six Years

Dick Auchey

We have also had the participation of 6 non-members, to help portray a total of 27 different characters over the years, including 2 females (played by female volunteers!)
Two of our members, S Eugene Herritt and Dick Auchey, have portrayed characters during ALL FIVE of those years!  Three of our members have each portrayed three different characters– Jeff Piccola, Jim Capp and Dick Auchey.George Washington has been played by 5 different actors. James Madison, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Sam Adams have each been played by 4 actors. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams have been played by 3 actors.Our late Bro. Rick Gillardy, Bro. Randy Knapp, Bro. Tracy Bitner and Bro. Paul Mummert have also been instrumental in providing continual support for the program by organizing and dressing the actors and even providing morning Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee.These brethren all have gone well beyond the call of duty to serve youth and our fraternity. 
Thomas R. Labagh
Director of Work
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Abbott Scholarships

Named for Leon M. Abbott, Sovereign Grand Commander from 1921 to 1932, the Scholarship Program provides financial support for the continuing education of young men and women from Scottish Rite families and Masonic-related youth groups. Since 1951, more than $3 million has been awarded to students from each state of the Northern Jurisdiction.  For more information, download the scholarship form.

Scottish Rite Clubs

Scottish Rite Clubs Contact Guide

Local Scottish Rite Clubs are a vital part of the Valley of Harrisburg. Here is a list for 32° Masons who wish to contact our local clubs. Geographic descriptions are for informational purposes only. Clubs are not based on exclusive geographic areas. A Brother may join whatever club is most convenient to him. You are also welcome to join more than one club if you so desire. Each club holds periodic dinner meetings with short programs. Many clubs offer annual or semi-annual events in which ladies are invited as well.

Shippensburg Scottish Rite Club
Secretary/Treasurer: Brian K. Van Scyoc
Cell: (717) 658-3767

Red Lion Scottish Rite Club
(York County)
Secretary-Treasurer: Charles J. Wilson
Email: cjwilson32@gmail.com

Greater Lebanon Area Scottish Rite Club
Secretary: Thomas J. Wiest, 33º
Email: tjwiest@verizon.net

Somerset County Scottish Rite Club
Secretary-Treasurer: David M. Krentz
610-869-2778 dkrentz@wwdb.org

Bedford County Scottish Rite Club
President: John C. Wilson
Secretary/Treasurer: Erle W. Sipe

Mifflin-Juniata Counties Scottish Rite Club
Secretary- Steven G. Ramsay
717-436-5047 chicke007@embarqmail.com
Treasurer – Frederick C. Powell, 33º

Snyder-Northumberland Counties Scottish Rite Club
Secretary: Henry E. Moyer

Huntingdon County Scottish Rite Club
Secretary – Kenneth R. House, 33°

Fulton County Scottish Rite Club
(McConnellsburg Area)
Secretary – Jack D. Fields, 33°

Lancaster County Scottish Rite Club
Secretary – Peter W. Null, 33°

South Penn Scottish Rite Club
(Greater Waynesboro Area)
Secretary-Treasurer – Robert W. Nelson, Jr.

Central Penn Scottish Rite Club
(Hanover, Gettysburg, New Oxford Areas)
Secretary/Treasurer: David A. Auchey, 33°

White Rose Scottish Rite Club
(Greater York City)
Secretary – Robert B. Casbeer

Capital Area Scottish Rite Club
(Greater Harrisburg)
Secretary – Stanley E. Johnston Jr.
Email: sejshark@yahoo.com

Aruba Scottish Rite Club
Club Rep – Bob Brightbill

Reunion Spring 2015


Reunion Fall 2014


Valley Activities




What is the Scottish Rite?

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and), commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.

The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.[1] [2]

The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Rite


 Growth of the Rite 

Masonic historians still seek answers to the origin of the Scottish Rite. The first reference to the Rite appears in old French records where the word “Ecossais” (meaning Scottish) is found. During the 17th century, when the British Isles were torn by strife, many Scots fled to France and resumed their Masonic interests there. This influence may have contributed to the use of the word “Scottish.”

Records from the 18th century show activity of the Rite in Bordeaux, France. From there it spread to the West Indies and then to the colonies. Antecedents of Scottish Rite existed in Albany, New York as early as 1767.

As the growth continued and to bring order out of chaos, a Supreme Council was established at Charleston, South Carolina in 1801, to control the activity of the Scottish Rite. This later became known as the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. A Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States was organized in 1813.

The Northern Jurisdiction headquarters is in Lexington, Massachusetts and coordinates the activi-ties of Scottish Rite within 15 Northeastern, Middle Atlantic and Midwestern states. The Southern Jurisdiction headquarters is located at Washington, D.C., and covers the remaining 35 states.

The 15 states in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Each state has a Deputy responsible for Scottish Rite activity within that state.

Today, the Northern Jurisdiction has official and friendly relations with more than 50 Supreme Councils throughout the world. The CEO for each Supreme Council is referred to as the Sovereign Grand Commander.

Why a 32° Mason?

32nd Degree Double-Headed Eagle

You took the necessary steps to become a Master Mason. You earned the right to become a part of the oldest and greatest fraternal organization in the world. Now you have an opportunity to expand upon your knowledge of Masonry, to widen your circle of acquaintances, and to serve humanity in unique ways.

You may approach a 32° Mason to take the next step into the Scottish Rite. Or he may approach you to suggest that you continue your Masonic journey, which should be a never-ending path. There is always room for improvement in our lives.

Although there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason, the 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite serve to enrich the philosophy of the Symbolic Lodge. A Mason who chooses to further his Masonic experience by becoming a 32° Scottish Rite Mason will be expanding upon the fundamental principles of Freemasonry. The moral and ethical lessons will allow him to be constantly reminded of his duty to God, family, country and fellow man.

Degree Structure

Whereas a Symbolic Lodge appears in almost every community in the United States, the Scottish Rite units tend to be regional and are called “Valleys.” Most Valleys have four distinct parts, although in some areas a candidate may be required to continue his degrees in a neighboring Valley.

The Lodge of Perfection confers the 4° – 14°. These are commonly referred to as the Ineffable degrees. In the 11 lessons the candidate will observe many references, scenes and characters which recall and amplify the three Symbolic degrees.

The Council of Princes of Jerusalem confers the 15° and 16°, which teach lessons using the settings based on the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews and the building of the second Temple.

The Chapter of Rose Croix confers the 17° and 18°, and is the spiritual heart of the Scottish Rite. These degrees teach that the only lasting Temple is in the soul of man. The Consistory confers the 19Q -32Q. These degrees portray many memorable lessons that range in settings from the days of chivalry through the 20th century.

A Scottish Rite degree can offer a new reflection each time it is performed or observed. The lessons are taught through parables in the form of plays, allowing Masons the opportunity to bond through theater, stage work, costuming, makeup, set design and musical activities. Cast members present the lessons, which are taken from Biblical and modern historical events, to candidates who learn from observing the performances.

How long will it take?

A Master Mason may become a 32° Scottish Rite Mason in one day, or he may take each body of degrees separately over a period of time. Each degree requires elaborate stage preparation, so not every degree is presented in full form during a degree-conferring session. The lessons for degrees not performed are summarized for the candidates. Every 32° Mason should strive to witness in future years as many degree presentations as possible. Each degree is performed at least once within a six-year period.

Is memorization required?

A candidate is not required to commit the Scottish Rite degrees, signs, passwords, tokens or grips to memory. No examinations are given either during the degree work nor for admission to the meetings of other Valleys.

Following initiation, a member gains entrance to meetings of any Scottish Rite Valley by presenting a current dues card. A new member receives a 32° passport to record the date each degree is witnessed.

 Are you ready to volunteer in the Valley of Harrisburg?  

The following are year round volunteer positions within the Valley of Harrisburg: Door Tylers for Special Events, Fund-Raising Events for the Children’s Dyslexia Center, Building Maintenance and Projects, Publications and Mailings, Website and Social Media, Membership Recruitment, and Membership Retention.

The following are volunteer positions at our semi-annual reunions: Choir, Orchestra, Stage Crew, Degree Cast Member- Speaking Roles, Degree Cast Member- Non-Speaking Roles, Stewards, Registration, Ushers, Marshals, Tylers, Robing, Make-Up and Video and Photography.



 The Scottish Rite Valley of Harrisburg, approximately 7,000 members strong, draws most of its membership from 17 Central Pennsylvania Counties: Adams, Bedford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset and York. Its headquarters or “Cathedral” is located at 2701 North Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Telephone (717) 238-8867 or 800 742-6500.

Degrees (4°-32°) are conferred semiannually at extra meetings called “Reunions” which are usually held over a two-day period, either the Thursday and Friday, or Friday and Saturday following  the Second Friday (our Stated Meeting day) in the months of May and November.  Because of time constraints not all degrees are presented at each Reunion. We try to present ALL of the degrees in a 3-year cycle.

Candidates must be present for both days to receive the necessary degrees to become 32° Masons. NO MEMORY WORK IS INVOLVED. At the conclusion of our Reunions candidates are awarded beautiful Scottish Rite Bibles.

Meals are provided at no cost to all those attending our semi-annual Reunions. Because each Reunion requires about 500 volunteers to fill roles in the degrees, work as stage hands, marshals, registrars, tylers, make-up artists, choir, orchestra, robing and stewards, every member is encouraged to become involved in some aspect of the Reunion.

The fee for initiation and membership is currently $300.00 and the annual dues are $73.00, plus $27.00 due to the Supreme Council, and provides a subscription to “The Northern Light”, the quarterly magazine published by the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Each petitioner must be a member in good standing in a Blue Lodge and hold a current dues card. In addition, to retain membership, it is a requirement that each member remains in good standing in the Blue Lodge.

The following are included AT NO CHARGE: Eight Stated Meetings with refreshments, Spring and Fall Ladies Entertainment for you and your lady with refreshments, a Christmas Program for you and your lady with refreshments, an Easter Program for you and your lady with refreshments, Spring and Fall Dance and Bingo Party for you and your lady with refreshments, Six Valley Echoes per year, Two Reunion Books per year, Spring and Fall Reunions with seven meals and refreshments, Maintenance and upkeep of the Cathedral, Utilities, taxes and expenses, Administrative Staff salaries and insurances.  The  lessons  taught  in  the  degrees,  the  long lasting  friendships  made,  the entertainment for you and your family, the opportunity to grow as a person and the knowledge that you are helping young people with Dyslexia.   PRICELESS!  Isn’t it time that you share this information with all your Blue Lodge brothers?  

The Valley of Harrisburg sponsors entertainment following each Reunion, to which ladies are invited, an annual pool tournament, various productions for the whole family, such as “The Story of the Crucifixion” and “A Christmas Carol,” and other theatrical presentations from time to time. In addition, a Consistory golf club functions during the playing season.

The Valley of Harrisburg pioneered the formation of Scottish Rite Clubs in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in 1934. Since that time 15 clubs have been founded bringing the Valley of Harrisburg to the entire 17 county area. Members of the Valley are encouraged to join a club in their area so they might enjoy the fellowship of other members who live nearby. Most clubs have several meetings throughout the year, some of which are Ladies Nights, while some hold golf outings, picnics or other events for the family.  Recently, we have also established a club of members who reside in the country of Aruba!

The Valley also sponsors the Children’s Dyslexia Center, located on the lower level of our building, which provides young people with dyslexia-based reading problems very specific training in the Orton-Gillingham method of skills remediation.  It is a very successful program that requires intensive one-on-one training by qualified instructors.  And it is provided at no cost to the student!  It costs about $5000 per student, per year, in this national program, and our role is to support, fund-raise and promote this effort, which is part of a national Scottish Rite charitable outreach.  For more information, click here for the national website.