Apr 172015

One of our presentations at the April Leadership Conference raised the question, “What does classical music and the Grange have in common?” We didn’t so much try to answer the question as get our thought wheels turning. The audience for classical music seems small… is that true of our list of prospective members? Classical music is old–so is the Grange. Classical music has transformative power. Does the Grange?

This presentation by Benjamin Zander is actually about a lot more than classical music. It’s definitely about leadership and probably about life. While he doesn’t specifically mention the Grange, you may see some analogies. You may have to watch it several times to receive the full benefit.

Apr 162015
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

The April Issue of the Maine State Grange Bulletin is now available on the website and will be mailed soon: MSG Bulletin April 2015–download your copy and print a few extra copies for members and friends!

We’ll be working on posting some information from “The Leader in Each of US” Conference held on April 12. We did have close to fifty folks attend, including some special guests who came all the way from New Hampshire! We’re summarizing the evaluations, but the typical comments include “Everything was great!” and “It was very interesting and a great way to spend three hours.” One person wrote, “I enjoyed Wes and Glenys Ryder’s presentation on food, fun and fellowship…we the most positive and inspiring presentation I’ve heard in years.”

There have been some requests that we post “the kindergarten poem,” and will do so forthwith!

Every line needs a leader and it needs a caboose.
It needs to be straight and it needs to be loose.
My arms are at my side. I’m standing straight and tall.
My lips are very quiet. I’m ready for the hall.

I should note that this is the version I learned at our school and thank Miss Smith, Mrs. Violette, and the kindergarteners for helping me learn it. In attempting to attribute the source I’ve found many different versions and am truly uncertain of its origin. (For those who didn’t attend, it was the basis for my presentation “Leading from Behind.”)

Apr 162015

by Master Vicki

There was much discussion at last year’s State session regarding expenses and the budget. In an effort to be more efficient and effective, this year we are forming a budget committee has been formed to review and make specific recommendations. The appointed members of the budget committee are Steve Call, Jim Owens, David Gowen and Maynard Chapman. As part of this process all committee directors have been asked for information regarding fund-raising and expenditures of their committees. (For those who have already sent yours in thank you, for those who have  missed Wednesday’s deadline, you should send the requested information ASAP.) Those who have thoughts or recommendations regarding next year’s budget should contact the budget committee or me. The budget the committee is developing will be voted upon during the State Grange session in October.


Apr 162015

DanvilleApr2On a dark, rainy Thursday night, Danville Junction Grange #65 observed their annual Open Meeting in conjunction with National Grange Month.  They welcomed forty people in a cozy, festive atmosphere to celebrate their 140th Birthday!  The dessert table was laden with cheese, crackers, fresh fruit, and all kinds of yummy desserts, including birthday cupcakes.

The upstairs hall was decorated with a large birthday banner (shown in the photo) donated by Steven Haycock.  A bulletin board also was decorated in a birthday theme.

State Officers in attendance were Master Victoria Huff, Overseer Rick Grotton, and Flora Debra Ivers.

Wes Ryder read an original poem entitled “140th Anniversary of Danville Junction Grange #65″, which included a lot of historical facts about the grange.  A list of several people who had sent birthday greetings on Facebook, including National Lady Assistant Steward Chris Hamp, was read.   Counselor David Young brought birthday greetings from the City of Auburn.

Delightful musical entertainment was provided by Kathy Haley and her daughter Shawna Haley-Bear.

DanvilleAprState Master Victoria Huff presented  65-year Membership Certificates to Wesley Ryder and Julien Beaulieu, accepted by his nephew, Bob Bealieu. (Shown in the photo.)  Unable to be present, the following people will receive  Membership Certificates at a later date:  Russell Hammond (80 years), Dorothy Coffin (70 years), Shirley Keene (60 years), Ernest James (55 years), Elaine Brewer (40 years), Henrietta Hines (40 years), Edith Lyons (40 years), and Mary Thornton (25 years).

A Community Citizen Award was presented to Norman Smith for all the many things he does to aid those in the community.  Appreciation Awards were given out by Lecturer Thelma Quimby to Kathy Haley, Shawna Haley-Bear, Louise Roberts, Vicki Huff, and Kathy Lorrain, who was unable to attend.

Androscoggin Pomona Lecturer Steven Haycock presented Glenys Ryder, who recently retired as Lecturer of Danville Junction Grange after fifteen years with a Past Lecturer’s Pin and a letter of congratulations from National Lecturer Jim Tetreault.

It was a wonderful evening and a great celebration of our 140th Birthday!


Apr 152015

A Degree Day will be held on Sunday, April 19, at Danville Junction Grange #65, Old Danville Road and Grange Street in Auburn, at 4 p.m.  The degrees will be conferred by members of Androscoggin Pomona Grange #1.  A light luncheon for a small fee will be served between the second and third degrees.  Any Grange having candidates is welcome to bring them.  They should be there by 3:45.  All Grange members are welcome to attend.

Sagadahoc Pomona Grange will be instructing the Fifth Degree on Wednesday evening, April 29. We begin with a pot luck supper at 6 p.m., and the meeting and degree beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting is at Enterprise Grange in Richmond that evening. If your Grange has candidates for the degree, we would be happy to have them join us. Please be sure they have proper credentials to take the degree. Several guest officers will assist on the degree team, with Sister Laurie McBurnie acting as Master. Those on the degree team are reminded that there will be a rehearsal on Sunday, April 26.

Androscoggin Pomona Grange #1 will meet at West Minot Grange on Wednesday May 6.  There will be a 6:30pm paid supper with a 7:30pm meeting. The Officer’s will be conferring the Fifth Degree or the Degree of Pomona.  There will also be a 50/50 raffle and an attendance drawing.  Any Grange members who would like to take the degree should contact or for more information please contact Pomona Lecturer Steven Haycock at href="granger04071ataoldotcom">granger04071ataoldotcom or call 998-2586.

Apr 152015
NelsonRobert and Agnes Nelson, Co-directors

The weather is finally changing, I hope. Today is beautiful. It looks like we are going to get some much better weather this week. The snow seems to be going slowly. The farmers are waiting patiently to get onto the fields. Between the snow and the mud it will be awhile before it actually happens here. We are beginning to see a number of deer and turkeys in the fields. Several deer have been hit crossing the road near our house on Route 139 in Thorndike already.

We were at Ingraham’s Open House April 8th. They had a really good crowd. The sun was shining but the wind was really cold that day. They had breakfast in the morning and lunch around noon. Dirigo Grange members helped serve the food that day. We sold Ag Scholarship Raffle Tickets and talked with people. It was a successful day.

We will be having a Grange judges meeting for Grange fair exhibits in a couple weeks. We could use a few more interested grange members as judges this year. If there are any willing to help out please contact Bob and I at 568-3479 or state grange headquarters ASAP. We will be attending a fair meeting at Fryeburg next month.


Webmaster’s Note: The Ag Scholarship information is also available on the page “Program Books and Information.”

Apr 142015

Webmaster’s note: Normally, we post Grange events to the calendar but do not create “news” posts about them. For the next month or so, I’ve decided we will post events that include Community Citizen Awards or Grange Month Events/Open Houses so we can all be aware of these events of the season. As always, please remember to include all the details!

On Friday, April 17, the Intergalactic Yurt Band will be performing a concert at Danville Junction Grange #65, Old Danville Road and Grange Street in Auburn, at 7 p.m.  Admission is $5.  Homemade pie and beverage will be sold during intermission. This is a musical event to benefit the Danville Junction Grange Dictionary Fund.  This year we distributed dictionaries to over 350 third graders in Auburn and Gray/New Gloucester. It promises to be a “toe-tapping” event.

Ammadamast Grange at 46 Lowell Road in Enfield is celebrating on Saturday, April 25, from 12:30 – 4:30 with an open house and our first Fiber Arts Day. Fiber Arts is the art of working with raw materials through creative processes that change the raw material into finished items or art pieces. Artisans from around the area will be demonstrating a variety of activities which include spinning, needle felting, rug hooking, rug braiding, quilting, tatting, knitting, crocheting, thread painting, stitching. There will be displays throughout the building including one from our local 4-H chapter, paintings from local artists who are members of Ammadamast Grange painting group, hand-made and home-made quilts, and some “tools of the trade”. This event should be interesting to all ages. It is free to the public and pie and coffee will be served. Bring your family and friends and join us for a fun afternoon at Ammadamast Grange.

Apr 102015
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Abbot Village Press is going to be the publisher of the Piscataquis Community Elementary School Yearbook for 2014-2015. Frankly, it’s not so much a commercial venture. My rewards for being the publisher include an opportunity to work with the kids, in part because a requirement for this year is “more student involvement” in the process.

In an effort to achieve that, we assembled a “yearbook team” of interested fifth and sixth graders to “help with the yearbook.” These kids were willing to sacrifice their lunch recess to do just that.

But after the first couple of meetings, we realized there was a lot of wheel-spinning (or treading water-chose your idiom) happening. I’ll take credit for the all too common mistake we’d made.

And I should know better. I’d recently sent some colleagues a cartoon that showed some folks sitting around a conference table. The caption was, “We will keep having meetings until we figure out why we’re not getting anything done.” Most laugh because they recognize the truth. A recent survey showed that company CEO’s spend an average of one third of their working time in meetings. Of that, it’s estimated 50% is wasted.

Since I’ve been busy preparing for our Leadership Conference on Sunday, I find myself wondering how this might apply to Grange Leadership. I don’t have any data, just questions. How much time does the average Grange Master spend “working” at the job? Of that time, how much is spent in meetings? Of that meeting time, how much is wasted? (Note this doesn’t just apply to masters, anyone who has leadership responsibility could go through the exercise.)

Most organizations love meetings. The Grange is certainly no exception. But our founding leaders didn’t create an organization so there would be meetings to attend.

I’m hinting at the error I’d made with the Yearbook Team. Simply stated, we hadn’t established clear-cut outcomes. We were just getting together to work on the yearbook—as long as everybody looked busy it didn’t matter what they were doing. We needed some outcomes—a reason to work! Once we established “deliverables,” (for example specific pages that needed designing) the kids really got focused and started working. I’m not surprised that we are producing more than we planned. The kids now have specific goals and are coming up with ideas and plans that I certainly hadn’t thought of!

As Pomona Overseer, I have answered the Worthy Master’s question countless times. “Worthy Overseer, are the labors of the day complete?” The answer is always the same. I rise, and reply with enthusiasm, “They are, Worthy Master!” I’m now asking myself whether or not I’m telling the truth! Why did we meet? What did we plan to accomplish? Did we make any progress toward the outcomes we are trying to achieve? How do we know if we’re finished?

I suppose it wouldn’t be good form, but maybe the next time I’m asked, “Worthy Overseer, are the labors of the day complete?” I could answer, “I’m not sure! What did we hope to accomplish tonight!?” My tongue is only slightly in my cheek.

  “Let’s make some news, take some photos of it, and share it!”

Apr 092015
By Vicki Huff

I think it’s spring in Maine (we keep getting disappointments!) and fair season will be here before we know it. What a tremendous opportunity we have in getting the name of our organization out in the public eye by exhibiting at the local fair. If your town has an event, see if your Grange can have a booth. You may find that they want to help you as much as you want to help them. Check with your local fair association and see if a couple of Granges can exhibit together or your Pomona Grange may be able to pull together an exhibit. We need to let people know we are still here and still shining.

The G.O.A.L membership seminars sponsored by National Grange are coming together. Michael Martin will be visiting Maine and presenting two seminars. The first is on May 30 and tentatively scheduled for Cathance Grange. The second is May 31 at Jacksonville Grange. Mark your calendars and save the dates.

Ammadamast Grange recently had a very successful degree day. There were six candidates and if I am not mistaken they were from five different Granges. Congratulations and thanks to all who traveled and helped make this a success. I believe there were forty people in attendance from ten different Granges.  Collaboration is the key to events like this!

I am seeing and hearing of different events planned in the next few months. Don’t forget to share how your event did with others after it’s over! You can submit your story on the website or if you need to, send a letter with the info to our webmaster so it can be posted to the site. The more ideas we share the better it is for everyone.

Enjoy spring!

Together Each Accomplishes More

Apr 092015

McBurnieby Laurie McBurnie, Junior Director

I recently attended the Sagadahoc Pomona meeting for its program honoring the juniors. Lecturer Marilyn Stinson included many facts to educate members on the Junior Grange Program. There were even a couple people who came with red shoes! In support of Junior Granger William Barone, members filled a basket with children’s books which William will bring to a day care or similar program to give to the children. This is part of the requirements for the Book Giving Merit Badge. This is also an excellent community service project for both William and Sagadahoc Pomona. I hope other Granges choose to undertake a similar project – it’s not very difficult or time-consuming.

Maine State Junior Grange #17 will meet on Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. until noon at Maine State Headquarters in Augusta. Craft time will run from 9-10 and juniors will get a chance to work on entries for the Bird Feeder Contest. The Junior Grange meeting, including the Obligation Ceremony, will start at 10 a.m. Subordinate grange members are always welcome; we appreciate your support and assistance.

All youngsters ages 5-14 are welcome to attend. Those not already members and those who have not yet been obligated will have the opportunity to become official members. As always parents and grandparents, whether or not Grangers, are welcome to attend.

Lunch (sandwiches) will be served following the meeting at no charge for juniors, a donation from adults.

Junior Camp is scheduled for June 27-28 at South Sangerville Grange with an optional overnight on June 26. Participants will be instructed in Grange ritual, work on their craft entries as well as a community service project, and just have fun. Children who are not presently Junior Grange members are invited to attend and will become members during the official meeting on June 28. Please contact the Junior Director for more information.

As spring and summer approach, so does the time to honor those grange members who have passed. Grange Memorial Flags ($7) and a limited number of Grange Flag Holders ($30) are available from Junior Director Laurie McBurnie and Junior Committee members Norma Meserve, Roberta Meserve and CJ Stinson-Roy.