Over the past week, Masons Jim Crockett and George Whitfield from Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM delivered more than 100 backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area.
George Whitfield and Jim Crockett passing out backpacks at Burney Elementary as teacher Michael von Schalscha and school psychologist Brent Beyer look on
On Friday, August 18 they delivered 12 backpacks to students in Montgomery Creek.
Montgomery Creek (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)
On Tuesday August 22, they gave out about 40 backpacks at Fall River Elementary School
and another 40 at Burney Elementary School.
Burney Elementary (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)
Then on Thursday August 24, they drove to Big Valley to deliver another 17 back packs to grateful children.
Big Valley (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)
This is the 16th year that Fort Crook Lodge 250 has done this program. Each backpack contained a ruler, a composition book, pencils, crayons, and erasers.
At each school, Crockett and Whitfield gave a short presentation before presenting the backpacks.
Crockett and Whitfield explain about the Masons
For instance, at Burney Elementary, the children listened attentively as Master Mason Jim Crockett spoke about the history of the Masons. He told them that this year is the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry.
George Whitfield asked if any of the children had heard of George Washington and explained that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Masons.
To help the children understand the Masons in their own terms, second grade teacher Joy Ford told the children that “the Masons are a club like the Boy Scouts, only for adults.”
Joy Ford helped the students to understand the Masons
The children appreciated the explanation and nodded and smiled.
The three core principles of Freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth.
Mason George Whitfield shakes hands with a young student as he hands him a backpack
After hearing that the Masons were 300 years old, one young boy raised his hand and asked Mr. Crockett, “How old are you.”
“Older than George,” he replied.
“And I’m too old to be asked that question,” Mr. Whitfield quipped as the children laughed.
When questions were finished, all the children lined up in two orderly rows and advanced to share a friendly handshake and receive their pack.
Master Mason Crockett said, “We truly enjoy the kids and their expressions and gratitude in receiving the backpacks with the school supplies inside.”