Nov 192014
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Watch for a new feature in this month’s Bulletin! I’m going to attempt to write a short synopsis of each article at the very beginning of each issue—the goal is to help secretaries who are trying to glean the major points without necessarily reading the entire article. Please let me know how it’s working out for you!

Publicity pays! As a result of an article in the Bangor Daily News regarding Valley Grange’s Dictionary Days, I’ve been contacted by a retired school teacher who wants to start a program in his area… and thanks to the article in Maine Seniors Magazine, a second call came in for some help with restarting a program. Unfortunately, neither call involved a Grange. Is your Grange missing an opportunity?

Communication is definitely a two-way proposition. I’m not just talking about speaking and listening. I’m referring to the fact that we each have an obligation to make sure we are informed. I received a stack of thank you notes from many of the third graders who recently made a field trip to the Grange Hall to receive their dictionaries. The notes are touching, sometimes funny, and often enlightening. One thing particularly “cool” is the number of them that included questions. The kids want to know more and they aren’t shy about asking. Several rather pointedly said they’d like to make another trip to visit the Grange.

Picasso said “Adults are just obsolete children,” and I think part of that obsolescence is due to a lack of curiosity and adventure. For whatever reason, adults seem to forget that asking questions is a great way to learn and get information. So while we have a responsibility to keep your website updated and provide you with a meaningful Bulletin every month, readers also have a responsibility to show interest and initiative. Ask your secretary about the Bulletin. Visit the website and download program books and contest rules. Send an email to directors or call your deputy when you need information about a contest or program. If we aren’t meeting your communication needs, please let us know.

Just recently I received an inquiry from someone wanting to know if there was any sort of “Grange Wedding” ceremony or ritual. While there’s doesn’t seem to be anything specific, isn’t that an interesting question? In my reply, I couldn’t help by wonder if there isn’t, perhaps, some “fodder” within our ritual that would be of great value to an agriculturally-minded couple who wanted to write their own vows. It’s all about communication.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Clip ‘n Win contest:  First Place went to Rita Stone, Granite Grange #192, Second Place to Gail Butterfield, Lakeside Grange #63 and Third Place: to Cathie Spaulding, Mystic Tie Grange #58. Congratulations… and remember to check out the new clip ‘n win contest for this year. It’s different!


Nov 182014
Mr. Boomsma explains the pruning hook to some seriously interested third graders.

Mr. Boomsma explains the pruning hook to some seriously interested third graders.

Valley Grange Members Mr. Annis, Mr. Carroll and Mr. Boomsma recently truck-pooled to Dexter carrying along the staves, RFD mailbox and several cases of dictionaries–a sure sign that another Dictionary Day was about to happen in our area. This is our first year in AOS 94 and weren’t the kids excited!

As part of our program we talk about the history of the Grange and introduce the staves. Most of the kids seem to think the spud is a good idea since it makes weeding the garden easier. One young lady thought perhaps the “pruning hook” was used to get prunes off trees–not an unreasonable guess when you think about it. English is a strange language and she perhaps demonstrated the value of a dictionary!

Valley Grange has one more Dictionary Day to go this year. Harmony Elementary School will be our last but certainly not our least recipient of dictionaries through our “Words for Thirds” initiative. When we put away the props for the year, we will have visited with six schools and twelve classes. Most importantly, we will have placed a dictionary in the hands of over 200 third grade graders.

Special thanks to Mrs. Hersey for coordinating our first visit to Dexter–and to the staff and teachers for helping us begin what we pledge to make an annual event. We also appreciate the community support we receive when fundraising for this project. Contributions can always be sent to Valley Grange, c/o Mary Annis, 28 Orchard Road, Dover Foxcroft ME 04426. More information is also available at the Valley Grange website.

Winston Churchill said, “There is no finer investment a community can make than putting milk into the mouths of babies.” At Valley Grange, we think putting dictionaries into the hands of third graders is a close second.

Dexter third graders getting ready for a "dictionary race."

Dexter third graders getting ready for a “dictionary race.”

Nov 152014
By Karen Flagg,
CWA Director

Karen Flagg

I would like to thank everyone that donated to “House in the Woods” as the total amount collected in the “Penny March” was $1077.66, this was greatly appreciated.

I would like to remind everyone that the baking contest item this year will be “Zucchini Bread”,I realize that I had mentioned banana bread at the conference in August but I had forgotten that we had just had that a couple of years previous so please pass this updated info on as I did have corrected booklets at State Session.

We did receive a wonderful and appreciative thank you from the “Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers” for the generous donations of all the mittens and hats and the check. Perhaps all of you Knitter’s and Crocheter’s would like to do this project again this year? I will have a basket at State Session next year for any donations. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 122014

National Convention is under way! For the latest National News and updates from the convention, check out the daily newsletter called “The Jungle Echo.” (Subscribers will only receive this post once–it will be necessary to visit the Maine State Grange Website to access future editions. A post will remain at the top of our site for the duration of National Convention.

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 1

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 2

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 3

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 4

Jungle Echo — News from 5

Nov 112014

MESR PageNote: We are deeply indebted to Maine Seniors Magazine for their generous permission and assistance in posting this article as well as the feature article “Welcome Grangers” featuring Walter Boomsma. Please visit their website at where you can read the entire issue or pick up a copy at your local newstand!

You may recall an earlier post announcing that Communications Director Walter Boomsma was featured in the October issue of Maine Seniors Magazine… we now have access to the “sidebar” article regarding some of the challenges and successes of Granges in Maine.

Read the original article here.

Read the sidebar here.

And by the way… at least one person is seriously considering starting a Dictionary Project with his local elementary school as a result of this article. Publicity pays!

Nov 102014
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

The season of sharing is upon us, but Grangers know there are no limits when it comes to sharing. This is, of course, a great time to share all those ideas you received at State and National Grange sessions. We can also do a better job of sharing the news and information that arrives in the Bulletin and communications sent from the State Grange office.

I know that many think our meetings are already long enough and no one wants to hear every communication word for word. We really do try to hit the highlights and remind members of the upcoming events within the committees each month in the Bulletin. Ask your secretaries for copies of the Bulletin and whenever possible post the current Bulletin somewhere in your hall. Ask someone with access to a copier to make copies for members so everyone can read at their leisure. There truly is some worthwhile information in the Bulletin.

I bring this up because I received a phone call from a member today knew nothing about the new contest that the Community Service Committee started last year to honor the EMT, Police Officer and Firefighter of the year. Every Grange was sent the information regarding this contest last spring, but somehow it did not make it to an interested member.

“Together Each Accomplishes More,” includes communication. We can do a better job of sharing and also of asking questions. Gossip can be destructive, but talking can build a strong team.

My wishes for everyone during the holidays are that you are surrounded by those you love and you and your Grange have a prosperous and heathy New Year. We can and will shine, shine, shine in 2015.

Together Each Accomplishes More

Nov 102014

CS MugsSMCheck out these mugs available from the Community Service Committee—they’re classic and classy and have lots of uses, including prizes for local contests and something to give your Community Citizen of the Year. You can order directly at a cost of $7.00 each plus $1.50 each for shipping. The best deal is to order three mugs and get the shipping free! (Three mugs at $7.00 equals $21.00.). These will also make great Christmas Gifts so order now! You can download an order form from the Maine State Grange. Mail your order and check (payable to Maine State Grange Community service) to Christine Corliss, 162 Center Road, Lebanon, ME 04027. If you do not use an order form, please include the address where the mugs should be shipped!

Download your order from: CS Mug Flyer. In fact, why not post a couple of copies on your bulletin board for others to use.

The mug says, “making a difference one project at a time.” How about saving money, three mugs at a time!?

Nov 082014

CS MugsSMby Christine Corliss

Community Service Mugs are for sale $7.00 ea.  Please contact me if you would like to purchase any.  I will be at Chesterville Grange on Saturday November 8 and at Danville Junction Grange on Thursday, November 13, if you will be in that area and would like to purchase some.

Webmaster note: We’ll have an order form available here within the next day or two. If you are unable to purchase at Chesterville or Danville, the cost per mug is $7.00 plus $1.50 for shipping and handling. Order three mugs and the shipping is free! Make checks payable to Maine State Grange Community Service and include address where you would like them shipped.  Orders and checks can be mailed to Cjristine Corless, 162 Center Road Lebanon, ME 04027.

Nov 062014
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

If you haven’t yet, you’ll soon be starting to look for a 2015 calendar and writing dates on it… One important note you should have is that Maine State Session will be taking place October 22 – 24, 2015. As is traditional, the banquet will be Wednesday, October 21. We’ll be returning to the Skowhegan Community Center. Save the dates!