Aug 312011

The Trustee’s of the New England Grange Building are looking for interested persons to fill staff positions at the New England Grange Building located on the grounds of the Big E in West Springfield, Ma.

The following positions are: Director of the Grange Experience, facilities Manager, Program Manager, Country Cupboard manager and Caretaker.

If you are interested in any of these positions or more information about them contact Matthew Clark, Trustee President, at:

358 Pond Rd., Surry, NH 03431 Tel. (603) 209-1995 or cfiremedic99ataoldotcom

Aug 312011

Submitted by Sue Hackett, Youth & Junior Director, 207-666-8849, shackett245ataoldotcom  (shackett245ataoldotcom)  

The youth and junior departments were very busy in July with the Northeastern Youth Conference. Everything went well and people had a good time. We had a total of 102 people, some just came for an evening or a day but that is a very acceptable turn out. I would like to thank everyone who helped out, without all of you I would never have made it. I heard through the grape vine that the family camp out was a good time also. I’m sorry I missed it. This is the first time in approximately 20 years. A BIG thank you to those who took over for me!

Do you have a relative or friend that is stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan? If so please send his/her address to Sue Hackett so that the Youth/Junior committee can send a care package to them from the grange. We have a lot of items on hand so that we can make up packages for them. Include their birthday and we will make sure they get remembered.

State Grange is coming right up and I will be there with bells on. I look forward to seeing everyone, please stop by the Junior and Youth tables and the kitchen to say hello. We will be serving lunch on Thursday and Friday, drinks and snacks throughout the sessions and evening meals as long as “leftovers” hold out. There will be early coffee in the morning for the ever busy Deputies and set up crews.

Aug 312011

WM Jim Owens

Brothers and Sisters, we are looking forward to seeing you at the annual State Grange session to be held Thursday, October 20 through Saturday, October 22 at the Skowhegan Community Center. The banquet, with reservations, will be held on Wednesday, October 19 at the Somerset Masonic Lodge. The memorial service will be on Thursday evening, election on Friday and the Sixth Degree on Friday evening. We will also hear from our National Reps, Jimmy and Anita Gentry, on Friday evening. Scholarships will be presented on Saturday morning followed by Installation of Officers.

Aug 312011

Submitted by Walter Boomsma

This little guy is kinda cute… and his kind seems to be in abundance this year. He (or she, I suppose) is known as the Hickory Tussock Caterpillar. Be advised, however, contact can result in a poison ivy like rash according to a number of sources including a recent article in the Bangor Daily News.

No panic, please… not everyone is suseptible and it’s not “poisonous” as such… for the full story you might check the UMaine Cooperative Extension website.  Wear gloves when working in the garden and warn kids who might be especially attracted to the cuteness and think “Caterpillars don’t bite.”

You might consider making this part of your next agricultural report… or family health and hearing!

Aug 282011

Valley's Exhibit features "sheep to shawl."

Valley Grange will be bringing home the Blue First Place Ribbon from the Piscataquis Valley Fair. This year’s exhibit featured a “sheep to shawl” demonstration and our 2010 National Community Service Award, along with a mixture of items, products, and information that the judges felt deserved the Award. Setting up the booth was a true team effort under the watchful and artful eye of Mary Annis assisted by Jim and Kevin Annis, Roger and Judy Ricker, and Janice and Walter Boomsma… along with appropriate heckling by several Garland Grange members and a few suggestions from unidentified passers-by.

South Sangerville Grange received second place for their display and Garland was a close third. A fourth (Pomona) display focused on the grange in general with specific information about each grange in the area.

S Sangerville's both featured lots of bees!Garland's display was put together by many hands to show the many hands of the grange.

Continue reading »

Aug 262011

You’ll remember the old song… “I’ll see you in my dreams…” Well, it appears this Irene is not a dream and we’ll be seeing her soon.

This is not a time for panic–it is a time to focus on what you CAN do–and do it. Mostly it’s about using your head and some common sense. There are some great tips coming out from a number of sources. For example our friends at County Extension advise closing up your greenhouse so any wind can’t get inside.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency has created a special page “Maine Prepares”  which includes links to the National Hurricane Center as well as lots of safety information to review.  Reviewing the information at the National Hurricane Center won’t be as exciting as listening to the gloom and doom from popular media, but you’ll get factual information without the drama.

Be aware that there are already many cancellations and it would make sense to confirm that any grange activities scheduled for Sunday and Monday are going to take place. We’ve already been advised and posted that the degree day planned at Winthrop Grange for Sunday has been postponed until Sunday, September 18, All other details remain the same.

Remembering the fraternal nature of our order this is also a good time to look out for your neighbors and friends. Nurture hope and dispense some charity!

“…and after the dread and darkness of the storm have subsided heaven’s sunlight bursts in upon us, making our hearts glad with the revived freshness of fruitful fields, orchards, and vineyard.”

Aug 232011

Submitted by Walter Boomsma

Our Pomona (Piscataquis #11) attempts to collect a list of all grange events in the area and distribute them together to the media… When I received the list from Garland #76 this month, I was a bit overwhelmed by how much a part of “Garland Days” they are… almost wanted to call it “Garland Grange Days!” Obviously, this is a true celebration of community… and a wonderful example of a grange that is well-connected and identified with the community! I could resist sharing it and suggesting it might be a challenge for us all to find more ways to make similar connections!

Running together makes it work!

On Thursday, September 8th at 6 pm Garland Grange hosts the Garland Days Pie Judging Contest. There are four categories-: Blueberry, Apple, Cream or One Crust, and Kids. Ribbons will be awarded. Pies and the pies will be served at a Pie Social on Friday Night.

On Friday, September 9th starting at 7 pm Garland Grange hosts family concert for Garland Days featuring the musical group “Zevulon.” Cost of concert is $5.00 person with proceeds benefitting Garland Days Committee. Refreshments will be available.

On Saturday, September 10th  Garland Grange hosts American Legion Beano at from 11 to 3. Grange will be providing lunch for beano players and Garland Days attendees.

On Saturday, September 10th from 5-7 PM the Garland Days Baked Bean Supper will feature an all you can eat menu including baked beans, hot dogs, ribs, potato, vegetables, homemade bread and desserts. Price is $7.00 for adults; $3.00 for children ages 5 to 12, under age 5 FREE. Family rates and takeout service will be available. Proceeds will benefit Garland Grange Floor Refurbishing Fund and Committee Service Projects.

On Saturday, September 10th from 7-9 pm Garland Grange will offer family contra dancing called by Chrissy Fowler with music by North Star Sisters.

On Sunday, September 11th from 7-10 am folks are invited to enjoy a Garland Days Breakfast. The menu includes eggs made to order, bacon, sausage, toast, hash browns, coffee, and juice. The all you can eat price is $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for children ages 5 to 12, under age 5 FREE. Proceeds will benefit Garland Grange Floor Refurbishing Fund and Committee Service Projects.

On Sunday, September 11 th Garland Grange hosts American Legion Beano from noon until 4 pm. Grange will be providing lunch for beano players and Garland Days attendees.

On Sunday, September 11th at 2 pm Garland Grange sponsors Garland Days Soap Box Derby Race. There will be three classes: Junior ages 8 to 12, Teen ages 13 to 18, and the adult class (over 18). For official rules or more information contact Ernest Rollins at 717-7057 or href="ewrollinsatymaildotcom">ewrollinsatymaildotcom.

 On Monday everybody goes back to work to get some rest!

Aug 232011

Quick Tip

–>Got a quick tip?! Submit and share it with your fellow grangers! It could be about almost anything! How do you promote membership? Get publicity? Run good lecturer’s programs? Identify community service opportunities? You won’t get cash but you will get credit!

Submitted by Walter Boomsma

In anticipation of  having several granges participating in our officer installation, I put together this officer list form: Officer List Form (You can download a copy by clicking the name.) It’s really quite simple and captures up to five grange officer names on one page. Installing Marshall Harriet Spencer said it really helped–once you get use to looking across in straight lines! (This will also be added to the miscellaneous documents page.)

Aug 232011

Submitted by Rick Grotton

So how are your membership drives going? At New England Lecturer’s Conference the National Lecturer, Pete Pompper gave a talk on the importance of having a membership director in every Grange. He also stressed that the director and the Lecturer work together to increase membership. If your Grange does not have a membership committee or a director then you should appoint someone or create a group to come up with suggestions to increase your membership. If you need ideas, please contact me or Yvonne. It is necessary we all work together for a common cause.

It has come to my attention that the newsletters are not being made available to all members or pertinent information is not being read at Grange meetings. Secretaries, please either give the newsletter to the membership person in your Grange so that they may give a report or if there is no membership committee, please read the column so that members know what is happening. This is very important. All members should be made aware of suggestions and solutions to various problems that arise. Communication is the most important key to keep a Grange running smoothly!

Aug 232011

Adapted from a press release… see the more stories at the Valley Grange Website.

When the moon hits your eye... like a big pizza pie!

“It’s been a long time since I came to a Grange event here and had to park way over in the hay field,” commented Terry Spencer from Skowhegan. He and his wife Harriet had come as part of the state team leading the Officer Installation Program at Valley Grange in Guilford last Friday, and they found it difficult to park because over 120 people were following the smells of lasagna, pizza, and spaghetti into the hall.

As previously reported, Valley decided to try something different this year by teaming up with Penquis to sponsor a public supper before the annual installation. Sheree Brown of Penquis immediately recognized an opportunity to hold a “last minute” fundraiser for the Smart Starts for Students Project—a school supply assistance program for the greater Piscataquis area by providing starter packs of new school supplies for families in need throughout MSAD #4, #41, #46, #68 and Union #60.

“We decided to prove that two community organizations can collaborate effectively and accomplish good things,” said Walter Boomsma, Lecturer for Valley Grange. The combined event brought over 120 people to the hall and resulted in an $850 boost to the Smart Starts for Students Project.

Installation Team Members Linda LaBree, Glenda Barker, Mary Thomas, Harriet Spencer, James Owens, Terry Spencer

Following dinner, 50 officers from Piscataquis Pomona and other granges and Pomonas  around the area were installed in a ceremony lead by Jim Owens, State Grange Leader. While the majority represented Piscataquis Pomona, we were joined by several folks from East Somerset and Penobscot Pomona.

At the close of the meeting Piscataquis Pomona Master Bill Bemis noted that “When Walter called and suggested combining two events like this I said that I didn’t think it had ever been done before. I’m glad we did because we may be on to something and should make it an annual event–another one that connects us to our communities.”