Our February meeting is Feb 28, 2018 – Topsham – ‘Let’s Take a Trip’ (Share your stories about trips you have taken.) Potluck supper at 6:00, meetings at 7:00. Come join us! Stairlift to the upstairs hall in Topsham’s wonderful hall!
I know we do not usually feature local Grange events as posts to the website, but I’m making an exception with this one. because it may well represent an exciting future of “local” Grange events on several points!
First, at least three Granges are involved in this Community Discussion being held on February 2, 2018. It’s obvious from the flyer that Kennebec Valley Grange is hosting and East Madison Grange is sponsoring. What’s not as obvious is that Halcyon Grange is also involved–Master Heather Retberg and Bonnie Preston will be sharing their experience and expertise as part of the discussion.
Second, there’s some creative scheduling involved with a potluck before and music following. That’s three different incentives and opportunities at Kennebec Valley Grange right in a row–and each truly does follow the “community” theme.
Along those same lines, Highland Lake Grange recently shared information about the Beekeeping Program they offered before their “regular” meeting. As an exciting epilogue, Master Dave McGowen reports that two folks who attended the Beekeeping Program “stuck around” after and expressed interest in information about joining the Grange!
These are great examples of “everybody wins” ideas and programming! We often talk about our “grassroots” and how there can be and are differences in Granges and their focus. But the opportunities for collaboration, cooperation, and creativity abound!
Certainly, our structure suggests this could happen at the Pomona Level–one of the purposes of the Pomona Grange is to provide an opportunity to share and support. If there’s diversity in our Pomona, would it make sense to do a Pomona Event that features every Grange? A piece of the event might be to set up tables for each subordinate/community Grange and invite the public to come and learn about all the Granges in the area. (The host Grange would best be the most geographically central.
But informal arrangements can also work extremely well based on shared interests or physical location. There’s an old example explaining synergy (the combining of energies) as two plus two equals five. When two Granges get together to collaborate and cooperate, one plus one equals three!
And remember, collaboration and cooperation are not limited to other Granges. Valley Grange is currently working on a spring event that will potentially include Project Linus, quilting clubs, and high schools.
Share your stories! Do not underestimate your successes! Something as simple as how you schedule programs and meetings may trigger an idea that another Grange can use. Take photos of your successful events and send them for sharing.
Collaboration, cooperation, and creativity — another example of “the Grange Way.”
The Mid Atlantic Grange Leaders Conference will be held in Westminster, MD, March 16-18. It is for ANY Grange member but includes all the fun of a Regional Junior/Youth Conference and resources of a Leader’s Conference (with the addition of Lecturer’s materials).
National Grange Master Betsy Huber, National Lecturer Chris Hamp, National Junior Director Sam Wilkins and Youth Director Charlene Espenshade are just a few of the presenters. There are options for every age and every member type/interest; food, fellowship, fun… a tour, a service project, membership workshops, nuts and bolts leadership training, and lots of things to take home to your members. Please share this information with your members.
Some of you may not typically attend our regional or be hosting your own (NC/ME) this year, but you may have members who are unable to make your regional due to work or school schedules and wish to have this opportunity to qualify for Youth/Junior programs and more. You can read the full schedule (and share it) below or with the attachment and register online at tiny.cc/MAGLC18 or using the form included in the information packet (available on the MSG website): Mid-Atlantic Grange Leaders Conference 2018.
Danville Junction Grange #65, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is four feet up in the air!! The foundation is being replaced. It will be necessary to dig around the entire building. Two chimneys had to be removed and the kitchen floor and sills completely replaced. A sill on the front porch will also have to be replaced.
While the hall is unavailable, our scheduled meetings are being held at the Danville Union Church, just up the hill from the Grange hall. Instead of refreshments after the meetings, we are now serving dessert at 6 p.m.
Hopefully, we will be able to resume our monthly bean and casserole suppers on Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m. Bingo is played at 7. Hope to see all of our “regulars” as well as some new faces at that time!
Seriously, this is your first reminder to start planning for Grange Month… National Grange recently announced, “One hundred fifty years—what a milestone! This year’s Grange Month should be filled with celebrations in every Grange, coast to coast! We have a proud history of supporting, educating, advocating, and entertaining rural Americans. Very few organizations last for 150 years so this is our time to celebrate.
Our theme for 2018 Grange Month is “That’s the Grange Way.” Following up our Doers theme from 2017, it’s the Grange Way to be doers, to volunteer and give and contribute to life where we live. To be outstanding citizens and be the bridge between two sides who won’t compromise. To teach the world how to get along, what faith, hope, and charity really mean in everyday life. How to love others even if you don’t like them or don’t agree with them. We want to tell the world what the Grange Way means, and why they should care, why they should want to join us and help with our efforts to improve lives from the grassroots up.”
And the really good news is the following resources are already available from the National Grange website:
- Grange Month Cover Letter
- Grange Month Poster (letter size) (You can print posters and add your specific details.)
- Grange Month Poster (black and white)
- External Sesquicentennial Proclamation
- Internal Sesquicentennial Proclamation
- Grange Month Order Form (For promotional items)
- 5 Minute National Grange PBS Video
There are a few more items, so you may just want to visit the 2018 Grange Month Page on the National Grange website. (The one thing that’s currently missing on the page is the order form for community service awards–that was available in the January issue of the Patrons Chain, but I’m also working on making it readily available, perhaps on the MSG website. More to come on that!
While it is traditional to think of April as “Grange Month,” when your Grange celebrates it is truly optional. Here in Maine, some Granges choose to wait until May when the weather tends to be more cooperative.
You’ll need to start making decisions soon, though! A good Grange Month Celebration should include advance planning and publicity. Celebrating a “Community Night” that includes honoring a local citizen is one of the more common practices. But this would be a great year to think outside the box! How about planning a special community service project that ties in? Would it make sense to have a special guest speaker or a panel discussion regarding community… or to announce the start of a community garden? 2018 is a great year to put your Grange “on the map” and in the public eye.
Here’s a publicity idea for you. At your next meeting, have someone snap a photo of members sitting in a circle having an intense discussion. Write a short “cutline” (caption) describing how members are planning your Grange Month Celebration, then send both to your local newspapers–and the MSG website. (Email the photo as an attachment–photos cannot easily be sent using the “submitting information” tab.)
If you need some help or have some great ideas to share, let us know! Let’s work together for the most successful Grange Month ever! That’s the Grange Way!
We’ve just added a link to another subordinate/community Grange Facebook Page. Welcome, New Sharon Grange!
This might be a good opportunity to point out an “easy peasy” way to share Grange Information. I hope those who are responsible for Grange Facebook Pages also subscribe to the MSG Website! At the bottom of every post, you’ll find several social media icons. If you click the Facebook one, a window will open allowing you to share the post. You’ll need to change the setting at the top of that window from your timeline to the page you are responsible for. (You are also welcome to share it to your personal timeline, of course!) If I’m counting correctly, it’s about three mouse clicks to share the post. Those clicks might count as participation in the Communication Department’s “Plus Two” initiative–a focus on what we are doing right in the Grange.
Also as a reminder, I do check Facebook Pages created for subordinate/community Granges from time to time. If a page is not being kept current, I remove the link on the MSG website so we’re not doing the equivalent of sending people to a closed store! The same is true of websites. (National Grange Policy regarding websites and social media is included in the Communications Handbook.)
Some other recent additions to the site include
- the National Grange Handout of twenty tips to retain members (National Grange Section)
- an updated (every month) wishlist of the Veteran’s Administration (Community Service Section)
- the January Bulletin (Communications Resources Section)
All this and more can be found on the “Program Books and Information Page.”
Join our online silent auction benefiting the Grange Foundation and bid on one or more of the more than 40 items or packages that just might make the perfect holiday gift for someone on your list or for yourself!
Go to: www.32auctions.com/Grange150 and make an account. You can pay online if you win through your credit card or PayPal. A few of the items may not be shipped. Shipping cost for each item is listed. Items may also be picked up on site at the 150th Gala at Decatur House at 9 PM Monday, Dec. 4 or make arrangements with a gala attendee to transport your winning items to you. We will require verification for transfer of responsibility for auction items won.
The auction closes at 8:30 PM Eastern Time MONDAY, December 4. Don’t miss out!
Here’s a great story about the St George Grange Christmas Craft Fair. Published in the St George Dragon, you have to love the headline:
It’s Christmas Fair time at a Grange that has become an important community center
The article talks about a lot more than this Grange’s Christmas Fair… you’ll learn about a fund the Grange has created for teachers to purchase school supplies–St George’s way of “giving back” to the community that helped them as they repaired and upgraded the hall. St George Grange also runs an important Window Dressers Program that assists in providing energy-saving window inserts and strives to be a center for community activity. This is a Grange that seems to have boundless energy… after the Christmas Fair, they actually are going to offer a Grange Supper. Check out this story of an exciting Grange with some exciting Grangers.
Valley Grange was proud to host the Spirit of America Awards Celebration recently. When called to the front at the conclusion of the program honoring some seventeen individuals and organizations in Piscataquis County, members were surprised to learn they too were being recognized for their “heart for community service” and had been dubbed the “Top Grange in the State of Maine.”
Parkman Grange was also recognized for the many programs and services they provide including the SAD 4 Santa Program, Veterans’ Appreciation, Mothers’ Day Tea, and a number of activities and parties for children.
There was only one empty chair in the hall as local folks came to celebrate the “Spirit of America” making for a truly warm night in spite of the cold outside.