Dec 182014
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

West Bath Seaside Grange #592 would like to inform all members that our Grange will be having meetings over the winter but our meetings will not be held at our Grange. Our next meeting which will be :

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 will be held at Midcoast Pizza and More located at 737 Washington Street in Bath. Our times have not changed we will still meet at 6:00p.m. For Social Hour and the meeting will start at 7:00p.m.

We will then vote on whether our next meeting will be there also. If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact Angela Smith at (207) 504-1012 and leave a message and I will return your call.

Webmaster’s note: As a reminder, we do not post regular Grange meetings to the event calendar–mostly because the maintenance would be too much for one person (me) to handle on a continuing basis. We will, however, post announcements like this when submitted.

Dec 152014
 
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

While our Grange year is well underway, we are about to start a new calendar year. I’m not the sort who makes New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like to give some thought to what my priorities are for the upcoming year. Let me share with you what I see some of the priorities are for communication and the website.

  • Continue to maintain website with frequent posting of positive information of use and interest to members. Encourage use of the site as an information resource.
  • Remain available to directors and state officers to assist with communication and promotion of their events, contests, and other information.
  • Continue to publish the MSG Bulletin, keeping it coordinated with the MSG website and making it useful to members.
  • Produce a rack card of basic information regarding MSG to be used at conferences and conventions. I have this scheduled to be available for the Agricultural Trades Expo in January.
  • Develop a new membership application. This might actually be two projects. There is some sense that the membership application might be separate from a membership brochure.
  • Continue to encourage and participate in the leadership series.
  • Develop a statewide media list for electronic distribution of press releases and media advisories. An unfortunate reality is that the media’s interest in the Grange is often about our history and Grange closings. I often say “it is easier to make news than it is to write press releases,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some opportunities.
  • Work with State Master to develop a communications plan for State Conference. We have business to transact, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun and provide reasons for more folks to participate.
  • Streamline MSG website and look for opportunities to add value.
  • Additional projects as assigned by the State Master.

One overriding bias I have is that we remember we are at our best as a grassroots organization. State-level activities and programs will never be a substitute for an exciting local Grange. To that end, I see the communications and website function as one of service to our community Grange. What is needed in today’s society is not more “big” organizations. While technology makes it possible for global relationships, there is a profound opportunity for local connections.

I recently fielded a comment addressed to the webmaster of the Valley Grange website. It came from a single Mom who had recently moved to our area and she was struggling to provide a good Christmas for her three boys. I was able to provide some local connections that will give her the help she needs. And I followed up to make sure she’d made those connections.

We might find it interesting that she reached out to Valley Grange—she didn’t “Google” or use Facebook to announce her plight. The resources I introduced her to have a strong Internet presence and truly should not be that hard to locate. I believe she demonstrates the value of a strong Grange presence in the local community. Not only are people more comfortable with local contacts, local Granges and local Grangers can do things we at that State Level have no hope of achieving. With that as background, my priority is to help local Granges become an exciting Grange filled with exciting Grangers.

What are your Grange’s priorities?

 

Dec 152014
 
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

While this column is written primarily for the Bulletin (which most Granges will not receive until after Christmas), posting to the website gives me an opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas–however you celebrate it! We also are looking ahead to a new year.

A new year means new opportunities for our Granges. New chances for growth. I challenge each Grange to increase your membership by just one person this year. This is a conservative and very achievable challenge. When every Grange achieves this (notice I didn’t say “if”), we will have an increase of 126 members. That is 126 people who bring a multitude of skills, new ideas and helping hands to our organization.

I also challenge you to set some additional goals for your Grange for 2015—even if it’s just two or three. You might set some fundraising goals, community service goals, or hall improvement goals. Goals should be specific and, whenever possible, measurable. When setting goals we want to be very sure we know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and how we will know if we have!

Goals should be challenging so that when they are accomplished there is a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done. Create goals that all can participate in working towards and helping achieve. When we have clear goals, we can regularly stop and look at how much time and energy we are placing towards achieving them.

My wish for all Granges, Grangers and prospective members a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year. May we all continue to “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”.

Sorry this is so short. I have some training I need to get finished here at the office to complete my work goals.

Together Each Accomplishes More

Dec 152014
 

Androscoggin Pomona Christmas CollectionSMBy Steven Haycock

At a recent meeting of Androscoggin Pomona Grange members gathered for a their annual Christmas Program.  Members were also asked to bring a wrapped toy for the Hope Haven Gospel Mission in Lewiston.  During the program a fun selection of humorous holiday readings were read by the members and traditional Christmas songs were sung.  Pianist Louise Roberts won the attendance drawing.  Members have all year been doing the “It’s in the Bag” Fundraiser and turned in their funds at this meeting.  Anyone who forgot to bring their “It’s in the Bag” project can turn them into at the next meeting which will be on January 7 at Danville Junction Grange.  There will be 6:30 pm supper and a 7:30 pm meeting, the program will be Lecturer’s Choice.

Dec 142014
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

We’ve just been reminded that after 12/20/14 the room rates for the leadership conference in January will be increasing . A regular room will be $99.00 and a suite will be $139.00 per night.

Also, National Junior Director Lillian Booth will be attending to work with Junior Leaders.

Hotel information and conference schedule are both available on this site–visit the conference page.

Dec 142014
 

By Glenys Ryder

DanvilleDecSMOn Thursday evening, December 12, twenty-five members of Danville Junction Grange #65 braved the snow and ice to venture out, bearing gifts for the Salvation Army.  The table was laden down with books, toys, and games of all kinds!  There were even knit hats and mittens!  Pictured are Lillian, Gabby, Envoy Holly Johnson, and Community Service Chair Glenys Ryder.

Lecturer Thelma Quimby presented an interesting and entertaining Christmas program in which many of the members participated.  Louise Roberts of Excelsior Grange was our pianist for the evening.

Following the program were delicious refreshments served by Joyce MacDonald and Marilyn Redmun.

It was a wonderful evening, and members were glad that they had ventured out in the storm!

Dec 122014
 

caution signWe’ve received word from National Grange that they have “received a few complaints from members and non-members who have been contacted via phone from a company who is soliciting business not related or authorized by the National Grange. The phone number used to make these calls, are not originated from the National Grange toll-free number or any other phone number associated with the National Grange.”

It isn’t clear from the National Grange communication exactly how or why people are thinking these calls are somehow connected to them, but they want to assure members they “have not sold and will not sell or distribute member information to third party organizations for profit.”

This is a good time of year to remain alert and suspicious of any phone calls you get with a request for your personal information. Often times scam artists will know just enough about you to disarm you and gain your trust. Just as often they do not deserve your trust.

Your best response is to simply hang up. Engaging in conversation is fruitless and these callers are well-trained with techniques to solicit information from you. If you have received a call and given out personal information, you should monitor your personal accounts and credit reports for suspicious activity.

Please mention this to other Grangers… friends don’t let friends get scammed!

Dec 112014
 

Following our annual Fellowship Breakfast, our Christmas Program at Valley Grange gave all attendees an opportunity to reminisce and share a particularly meaningful gift received or given. There were tears and laughs… and Roger offered to close with a poem he’d written, challenging us to see if we could guess who the visitor described might be… We’ll think you’ll enjoy this description of Roger’s memory of a visit many years ago by then Deputy Guy Ellms of South Sangerville Grange.

The Meeting Before Christmas by Roger Ricker

Dec 102014
 
Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

Currently, I’ve sent two possible bills to my State Senator Paul Davis (elect) of Sangerville. They are Smoke Detectors from a resolution in 2012 and Carbon Monoxide Detectors also from a resolution in 2012. They were sent out previously, but, somehow got lost in the legislative bill pile. We’ll try again.

I have asked the Senator’s help in determining if the following resolutions are already law or can we submit them as bills. They are Bottle and Can Redemption, Deposit Labeling On Bottles and Cans, Texting While Driving and Smoking at Entrances and Exits.

Stricter Bicycling Enforcement already must follow the same rules as automobiles. For example, running a stop sign is a violation. The Misuse of EBT Cards, according to the Senator, is high on Governor LePage’s list and result should be forthcoming in the upcoming legislative session.

Resolutions sent to National Grange were: Military Supplies and Flags (this is a bid item in Maine), Leaks (violations of national security), Social Security and Medicare, Photographs of Children at Grange, Rural Mail Delivery, Use of Ethanol in Maine Gasoline (prohibitive costs for Maine only), Sexually Explicit Language and Healthcare is a Human Concept.

As soon as I find out which of the above possible resolutions can be submitted to the Maine Legislature, I’ll let you know.

Dec 102014
 

by Laurie McBurnie, Junior DirectorMcBurnie

The 2015 National Junior Grange theme is “Join Us Now In Our Red Shoes.” This theme can be easily incorporated into a subordinate activity or program to support the Juniors. Just think – members could come wearing red shoes (actual or improvised) and the program could promote Junior Grange. Or perhaps people could participate in one of the activity requirements for a Junior Grange Merit Badge.

2015 Junior Grange ThemeRequirements for the Book Giving badge include:

  1. Collect 10 or more children’s books for the “Right to Read,” “Book Share,” or similar type of book program.
  2. Take the books you have collected to a shelter, social services agency, daycare, church or anywhere that will make them available for children to take and keep.
  3. Tell your JG Leader where you took the books and how they will share them with other children.

Your subordinate grange can experience a Junior Grange activity and a community service project at the same time by collecting used (or new) children’s books and donating them to a local organization!

Please share photos of your group in their red shoes as well as activities you do.

Individual membership in Junior Grange is possible (actually as part of Maine State Junior Grange). There are many activities that the youngsters can work on by themselves (or with adult guidance). Check out the 2014-15 Maine Junior. Grange program on the Maine State Grange website or contact Junior Director Laurie McBurnie at lmcb293atgmaildotcom  (lmcb293atgmaildotcom)  .

Junior Grange hand fans ($1, Baker’s dozen – $12), Grange Memorial Flags ($7) and a limited number of Grange Flag Holders ($30) are available from Jr. Director Laurie McBurnie and Jr. Committee members Norma Meserve, Roberta Meserve and CJ Stinson-Roy.

The flyer for the Memorial Bricks is posted on the State Grange Website. The materials for the National Junior Grange programs will be updated when the new material becomes available.