The following is a brief history of Tex-N-Youth. The Tex-N-Youth Association organizational meeting was held in San Antonio, Texas on October 11, 1958 at the I.O.O.F. San Antonio Lodge Hall #11 which was on the 6th floor of the Crockett Hotel. (At that time the hotel was owned and operated by the lodge and they maintained ownership of the property until 1978 when it was sold to an investor.) There was a group of 18 members of Junior Odd Fellow Lodges and Theta Rho Girls' Clubs from Districts #7 and #8 present at the San Antonio Lodge. Sister Cecil Kemp (McCoy) presided as a temporary Chairman over the meeting. Gary Summers, from the Thomas Wildey Jr Lodge #18 of San Antonio, Texas was elected President and Mae Nell Taylor (Rhymes) from Kerrville, Texas, Theta Rho #19, was elected Vice President.
The first Tex-N-Youth Association meeting was held in Corpus Christi, Texas on December 6, 1958. There were 65 registered guests at the meeting. Due to the death of Gary Summers, only age 16 (he had tragically died in a auto accident on November 7, 1958), Mae Nell Taylor (Rhymes) presided over the first session of the Tex-N-Youth Association.
Semi-annual meetings were held the first Saturday in May and November of each year. Meeting dates were later changed to the third Saturday in April and November. They were later changed to the third Saturday in April and October.
The Association membership included all Jr IOOF lodges and Theta Rho clubs in the southern region of Texas and meetings were held in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Rockport, Sinton, Kerrville, Ingleside, Victoria, Portland, and Austin Texas.
Due to a demise of JR lodges and Theta Rho clubs and a decreased overall membership, and also a demise of all the other district associations, the Tex-N-Youth Association opened its membership to include all lodges and clubs in Texas.
In April 2005, the Association voted to hold meetings once a year on the third Saturday in April. At these meetings the kids practice their charges for June and have their business meeting. At one time in the past Tex-N-Youth Association met at a lodge and everyone arrived on Friday night and spent the night at the lodge. The meeting was held the next day on Saturday. Now, Tex-N-Youth Association makes it similar to the camp out in October. They gather at a campground where everyone comes in on Friday night and spends the night. The meeting is still held on Saturday. When the meeting is over the kids have organized fun for a couple of hours then that night they have a dance. Clean up is after breakfast on Sunday morning and then everyone heads home. The past four or five years the Tex-N-Youth Association has been held in Quitman, Texas at the Woodman of The World Camp. However, this past 2012 meeting was held in another location.
On the day of April 19th, 2008 the Tex-N-Youth Association celebrated it's fiftieth anniversary. There were 65 youth in attendance. Also attending the meeting was the first presiding officer of the association, Mae Nell Rhymes who was the Vice President of the Rebekah Assembly of Texas at that time. Other honored guests attending were: James Teel, Grand Warden; Dorothy B. Dare, Warden. Grand Lodge Youth Committee members attending were: James Daniel (present Texas IOOF Grand Secretary), Chairman, Karen Cook, Secretary; Bobby Newman, Philip Anderson. Rebekah Assembly Youth Committee members attending were: Donna Weeks, Chairman; Angee Dillard, Co-chairman, and Yvonne DeLuca, Secretary.
The present Tex-N-Youth Association membership includes Balch Springs Theta Rho #9, Balch Springs Junior Lodge #64, Humblettes Theta Rho #14, Conroe Junior Lodge #704 Alamo Theta Rho #36, the only original club left in the Association; and Leslie Bishop Junior Lodge #83 of Paris, Texas (which is not presently active).
April 28th 2012 was the Tex-N-Youth Association's first year to camp at the SPJST Cooper farm in Ledbetter, Texas. There were representatives from Balch Springs Theta Rho #9 & Junior Lodge #64, Humblettes Theta Rho #14, Conroe Junior Lodge #704 and Alamo Theta Rho #36. In all there were 43 members in attendance. The meeting was opened Saturday morning by President Tyler Hudson. The Grand Junior Lodge officers and Theta Rho Assembly officers were introduced.
The Grand Lodge and Rebekah Assembly IOOF of Texas officers present were Grand Warden Tim Schuster: Donna Weeks Assembly Warden: and James Daniel, Grand Secretary.
Individual charge competition was given before lunch. After lunch everyone who was brave enough went zip lining and had a super fun time. Later on, the new officers were installed. Raina Murphy became the president for the ensuing term. Awards for competition work were given after the installation. All attendees had a wonderful time.
It is a desire that the Tex-N-Youth Association will continue to grow and new Jr. Lodges and Theta Rho Clubs will be instituted in the near future. These organizations give young people the opportunity for growth, leadership and community service.
ZIP LINE FUN