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CANDIDATE COACH AND MENTOR
Now that our candidate has been balloted on, the secretary informs the candidate of his successful acceptance and the date and time of his first degree. It is now that the Worshipful Master should name a coach and a mentor.
The coach ensures that the candidate arrives on time, properly dressed and mentally prepared. He is also the Mason who will be responsible for teaching the candidate his examination and obligations. Please keep in mind that each candidate is an Individual and as such each will require more or less time as circumstances present themselves. This candidate will become your brother. Be patient, be kind, be Masonic in your approach. Your work now will pay off later.
The Mentor is responsible for teaching the symbolism and deeper meanings of Masonry to the Candidate, by using the Grand Lodge Mentor Program as well as the video's available from Grand Lodge.
These two Masons should make another visit to the candidate and this is the time to show the video "Understanding What It Means To Be A Mason," which is especially geared to this meeting, and will help to dispel any other questions he may have prior to his Degree. The coach and mentor use this opportunity to introduce themselves and explain what their responsibilities will be over the next few months i.e. help with the examinations, obligations, the introduction of the mentor program and the showing of other films which are geared to answer all his questions as he progresses, and explain what is happening and about to happen during this progression.
The family should then be offered a tour of the Lodge Rooms; for that matter, the whole building. There are two reasons for this: first, it gives everyone a chance to see our memorabilia, Lodge room, dinning area, etc., all of which will be important to the candidate in the near future. Secondly, it dispels the idea of a secret society. Show him the regalia, aprons, collars, charter, furniture anything to attract his admiration, attention and future pride...all the time asking if he has any questions, and answering them when asked.
Take a break at this time, and show him the video "Getting more from your Fraternity," again asking and answering any questions that he or his family may have.
When the tour is completed, thank the candidate and his family for attending, and remind him once again of the date and time of his initiation, and that a brother will be at his home to pick him up. This is something we should really try and do, as this is his first real glimpse of the fraternity, and we should have our best foot forward.
The Coach will continue to work with the candidate through all three degrees ensuring the work meets or exceeds the standards laid down. Beyond the degree work, the Coach may, from time to time, work with the new Brother as he begins to learn the lectures and charges.
The Mentor should stay with the Candidate for at least a year. In addition to teaching and explaining the symbolism and meanings of each degree, the Mentor will introduce him to Lodge etiquette, take him on visits to other Lodges, introduce him to neighboring brethren and generally be there to guide and answer any questions. Even though these learning sessions will gradually diminish, there will no doubt be a bond formed between the two that will last a lifetime. Thus the bond that unites us into common society of friends and brothers is strengthen.
Does your Lodge have a Coach and Mentor program? If not, contact your Grand Lodge for assistance.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014