Trying to instill the qualities of chivalry in modern society sometimes seems a bit like shouting in the wilderness – which is why it’s always heartening to discover a group that is working on a similar quest. A recent article in the San Marcos (Texas) Daily Record brought my attention to another group who sees the ideals of the code of chivalry as a worthy template for ethics in today’s world: the Rotary Club of San Marcos.
According to the article (and the Club’s chapter website) the Rotarians of San Marcos sponsor a project called “First Knight/Early Act.” The goal of the program (prepare for some familiar concepts here) is to use the imagery and history of chivalry to inspire first through fifth graders at local schools to take the concepts of ethics and honor to heart. The program uses short, daily homework assignments to get students to understand the practicalities of living by the ideals of chivalry.
Their methodology (based on the principles of the Rotarians) is to give students a four-point checklist to monitor their own behavior and motivation:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all?
- Will it build good will and friendship?
- Will it be beneficial to all?
Wouldn’t it be nice if more organizations today applied these standards to their actions, rather than simply asking questions like: “Is it profitable?” or “Will our stockholders benefit?”
Rotary Club Past President David Brady said: “All kids everywhere are in desperate need of ethics training and learning right from wrong.” A noble and knightly goal indeed! I’m sure I speak for all Chivalry Today fans when I say we salute the First Knight program and the work of the Rotary Club of San Marcos.
Learn more: Read the story Chivalry Is Alive and Well in the San Marcos Daily Record (Link no longer available).
One thought on “Saluting First Knights”
Thank you for posting the article about the EarlyAct FirstKnight program. This program is actually furnished by the Knights of the Guild and the Randall Parr Organization, which is a non-profit that partners with Rotary Clubs across the country. Students use a daily chivalry & business ethics curriculum throughout the entire year, participate in service projects in the community, and receive awards through monthly knighting ceremonies where they receive accolades, medals, and the opportunity to be knighted. Before a program is launched at a school, we actually provide a live-action Tournament of Champions on the school campus with jousting armored knights, warhorses, and special effects, performed on the school campus.
This program is currently serving 30,000 students in Texas, and just launched in South Carolina as well. Our vision is to take this program nation-wide and make a lasting impact in schools everywhere. Thank you again for sharing this program with your visitors, and please let me know if I can provide any additional information.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
Knights of the Guild