Members of Princeton lodge #634 who were officers in 1996, came in second at the State Ritual Competition, the highest they had ever placed until that time. Coach Charles R. Carnahan, PDDGER, had participated in several earlier teams that had won the Southwest District competition, but hadn't placed higher than fourth at the state level.
In 1997, when Terry M. Cooper from Princeton was the state president of the Indiana Elks Association, the ritual team won for the very first time. Traveling to Chicago for Grand Lodge were Don E. Parker, the candidate; Joseph Maxey; Gordon Sloan; Sue Ellen Parker; Charles R. Carnahan; Gary Schmidt; Gary Jenkins; and Jonathan Fowler. This was the first team to ever field a female in ritual competition at Grand Lodge.
Following extensive practice for the 1997 competition, few of the officers wanted that kind of time commitment for another year. In 1998, after very little practice -- but with a lot of commitment to the ritual -- the team won again. Traveling to Anaheim for Grand Lodge were Gary Schmidt, front row, left; Sue Ellen Parker, Gary Jenkins; and Joseph Maxey. In the back row are Gordon Sloan; Don E. Parker; Jonathan Fowler; and Charles R. Carnahan. This was the first team to ever field a female as Exalted Ruler in ritual competition at Grand Lodge.