How To Build A Boat

in RT&J

by Ginger Banks, Pi Kappa (U of Texas at Austin), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee Chairman

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
– Lily Tomlin

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others.
– Groucho Marx

The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.
– William Ralph Inge

Values. Principles. Beliefs. Getting in touch with them is not only advisable, it’s critical to living.  As Roy E. Disney said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”

Values, principles and beliefs are what our Ritual is all about. In it, our Founders outlined guidelines for living as individuals and as chapters. Failure to explore those standards or find personal use of them is to miss out on a huge aspect of Fraternity.

Assisting that exploration is at the heart of all Ritual education. The Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) is excited to offer two new initiatives to assist collegians in exploring our Ritual to find personal benefit in it.

New Initiate Ritual Education Program

Based on a program originated by Delta Omega Chapter (Murray State U), these workshops introduce new initiates to Ritual basics through weekly interactive and informal discussions.

The optional, flexible program consists of four to six workshops, each of which lasts 1 to 1.5 hours. The basics covered include speeches, handshake, vow, and symbolism. Interspersed throughout is emphasis on each member developing her own interpretation of Ritual and discussions that encourage each to share her perspective so members learn from each other.

The workshops also can be used to help prepare for the International Membership Exam.

Ritual Education Docents (REDs) Task Force

RT&J created the Ritual Education Docents (REDs) Task Force to make available an optional Ritual procedures workshop to as many collegiate chapters as possible. In addition to conducting the workshop, the RED may help with Ritual logistics and offer guidance for maintenance of equipment and materials.

RT&J selected the REDs from recommendations provided by the Networks, members who were former ELCs, Fraternity volunteers, and others. Each was interviewed by members of RT&J and participated in orientation conference calls.

With more than 20 REDs located throughout the networks, travel costs for chapters are reduced. At the same time, opportunities are increased for a workshop conducted by a Ritual-proficient alumna far beyond what the six-member RT&J Committee can provide.

Comedian Steven Wright said, “Someone asked me if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring.  I answered that it would be How to Build a Boat.” Fortunately, our Founders provided us a Ritual that teaches us “how to build a boat” of values that provides ballast for our moral compasses and helps us determine our course throughout our lives.

Further information about these initiatives is available from each RT&J Network Liaison.

For anything Ritual-related, please feel free to contact RT&J at rt&

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