Nov 272011

By Scott Levitt, as originally published in the Tuesday Tactics Newsletter produced by Oakley Signs & Graphics. Reposted with permission.

In your quest for new business, you might want to consider what you can give instead of what you can buy. Specifically, your time.

Raising your profile in your community doesn’t always mean putting your face on a sign. In fact, one of the best ways you can build relationships with people in your market is through regular volunteerism.

While it’s generous of you to sponsor an event, make a donation, or promote a cause, there’s nothing that equals the “boots on the ground” impact that volunteering has when it comes to meeting people.

Consider some of the benefits:

1. You’re helping your community. Whether it’s a soup kitchen, a tutoring program, or a weekend a month on a Habitat for Humanity construction site, you’re making a positive contribution to the place you live and work.

2. You’ll feel good about yourself. There’s nothing wrong with a little private “patting yourself on the back” for your good deeds, and there’s no shame in the feeling of pride you get from giving back through action. You might just find it’s a tremendous stress-reliever.

3. You’ll get better perspective on your life. It’s funny how problems with your smartphone synching sort of fade into the background when you’re volunteering at a hospice care center. Stepping back from the day-to-day can help you refocus your priorities.

4. You’ll meet people. We meet some of our best friends in situations where we’re simply forced to work together. School, summer jobs, sports teams… they’re all great sources for networking.

5. You’ll seem more successful. Having the “free time” to volunteer is a subtle sign that you’re successful enough in your life that you can afford to give back to the community. You must be good at what you do if you’re not running from pillar to post, trying to scrape by.

Look for opportunities in your community to volunteer. While the good you can do should be reward enough, there are probably unanticipated benefits that will develop in time.

Webmaster Note:  The Grange offers lots of “boots on the ground” opportunities to volunteer!

Nov 252011

Words from Walter...

This is the time of year when there’s lots of maintenance to the site… I’ll be removing all the old events soon and am continuing to try to update the pages with “stuff” our members need and want. I’m starting with the program book page and taking inventory… So far I have:

  • The 2011-2012 General Program Book is uploaded to the website and available.
  • The 2011-2012 Publicity “Clip and Win” contest information.

I cannot post information I do not have. I need Committee Chairs and Directors to send me the material they are producing. Making this information available on the site means members and subordinate/pomona officers can answer many of their own questions and makes it possible for the efforts of committees to be fully supported.

As a reminder, documents should be sent as an attachment to an email. I can of course deal with good PDF files or Microsoft Word documents and Microsoft Excel documents.

If you are sending information (news and events) for me to post the best method is to include your information in the body of an email. Don’t forget to spell check! Other than the above listed formats, please do not send files created with desktop publishing programs or Microsoft Works. Remember, you do not have to actually visit the site to send information. Just send an email to webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  .

I will also begin removing links from the program books page to some past projects. This isn’t meant to be a reflection on those projects–it’s an attempt to be sure the membership knows what projects the various committees are currently supporting.

Traffic to the site continues to grow steadily… as does the number of subscribers (people who have signed for email when new posts are made). We are now at 125 and growing. Subscribers, note that while you will receive posts that are made, you will not receive comments and changes made to posts. It will make sense for you to actually visit the site from time to time.

Thanks to those who do participate and support the site… let me know how we’re doing!

Nov 232011

Here’s a few facts about Thanksgiving from our recent Lecturers’ Newsletter by State Lecturer Sherry Harriman:

The Pilgrims did not name Plymouth. Captain Joyhn Smith explored the New England Coast in 1614 and made a map for Prince Charles who later gave English names to locations on the map.

At mealtime in Pilgrim Households, the adults sat down to a potluck stile dinner while the chilrden waited on them. All foods were placed on the table at once. The Pilgrims used a knife, a spoon, a napkin, and their fingers!

The original Thanksgiving as a three day harvest festival which included some fifty colonists and ninety Indians.

So however many people you serve… and however long your festival lasts… have a happy, meaningful Thanksgiving!

Nov 202011

Quick Tip

Got a tip…? Almost anything qualifies… something you do to make your grange operate better and more efficiently… an idea for reducing hall maintenance… 

What lecturer among us hasn’t woke up remembering that it’s meeting night and he or she doesn’t have a program prepared? Here’s an idea you can use!

Grab a manual, turn to the section for degree work. Pick some number of excerpts (2 from each degree feels about right). For your program ask folks to remember when they first “took their degrees.” Chances are much has been forgotten or has turned into a blur. Your program will be about “revisiting the degrees” in short form by reading and discussing portions of the degree work. “We ought to remember the instruction we received and what we pledged.”
Allow for some discussion and use another “charge” for your closing thought. By the way, this is not only a tip for lecturers. Individuals would perhaps enjoy and benefit from “revisiting the degrees.”
Nov 202011

Submitted by Walter Boomsma… I was recently contacted with a question about Dictionary Presentations. “How do you talk about the grange with third graders?” I thought I’d share part of my answer with everybody!

How do you spell "husbandry?"

The biggest challenges are around managing the kids, although the teacher will usually  help with that. Since it’s your first time I would just keep things real short—you can usually get 15-20 minutes out of the kids without too much of a hassle. It’s not that the kids are bad; it’s that they have short attention spans and they get so excited you can lose control of the group quickly. (Make sure to ask the teacher how long you have. Most classrooms are on pretty disciplined schedules.)

I would suggest a “show and share.” Take the staves with you, keep things very basic and simple. “The grange is an organization that was started by farmers about 140 years ago… we use these staffs during meetings to remind us of that.” Then I go through each staff, explaining how the spud is used to pull weeds, etc. I don’t go into the symbolism—that will likely be over their heads—most eight year old brains aren’t going to wrap around that sort of stuff. (When they come to the grange hall we get questions like “Do you sleep here? How many people come here? What do you do? What are those ribbons for? Can I join your grange?)

Here’s what I would tell a third grader the grange is:  “The grange is an organization like a club… that used to be all about farmers but is now just anybody who likes to help people.” Admittedly that’s not totally accurate–but it’s also not wrong.

You could write “Patrons of Husbandry” on a flipchart or white board and say that grangers are called this sometimes… to find out what it means we can look the words up in a dictionary. (Obviously make sure the words are in the dictionary you bought—I know they are in the red one.) “We brought one for each of you—it is going to be yours to keep.”

Things will get a little crazy at this point, you probably will Continue reading »

Nov 202011

Submitted by Marilyn Stinson

Because the price of oil has tripled and water/sewer has doubled,Enterprise #48 in Richmond will have to close our building for the winter. We will meet at the home of our Master – C. J. Roy at 151 Beedle Road, Richmond, until we get ready to host Pomona in March. Items for residents of Maine Veterans Home to give to their loved ones for Christmas will be collected at our Dec. 1st meeting. The MVH ‘store’ is held the first Saturday in December.

There is a ramp so older people will be able to get in her house. We meet the 1st. Thursday monthly. 6:00 for fellowship and snack and 7:00 for our meeting. Come join us!!

Nov 192011

Bangor Grange #372, at the Nov. 15 meeting, donated $245 to the John F. Kennedy DAV Chapter 6 of Bangor. This donation was made possible by the many good folks who attended our Tribute to Veterans Supper and Show on Nov. 12. Taylor’s Grove presented a powerful musical tribute. Many veterans were in attendance and were recognized for their service. Commander Eugene Athner , in receiving the donation, expressed the appreciation of the DAV and told us that it will be put to good use for disabled veterans services. All in all, a very special show and meeting. This will become an annual event.

Nov 172011

The following has been reprinted from recent newsletters received from Maine Agriculture in the Classroom…

Read “ME” Agriculture has been a very successful program since 2008, reaching over 30,000 Maine students. We are pleased to announce its return during Ag. Week 2012. Volunteers will read and give books about agriculture to Pre-Kindergarten through 4th Grade Classrooms across the state. They will tell the students about their farms, programs or connections to agriculture and leave lessons and information for the teachers to use, all supplied by MAITC. Funding for this project is a direct result of the Maine agricultural specialty license plate and grants from USDA.

The registration forms for RMA are coming in quickly. Due to several requests for extensions the deadline will be moved forward to December 1st. Materials are available for 600 classrooms across the state during Ag. Week in March 2012. Volunteers will read and give books about agriculture to Pre-Kindergarten through 4th Grade Classrooms across the state.

Please get your registration in as soon as possible. Schools and volunteers that have previously participated do need to return forms to be included in 2012.

 Find out more information and sign up here.

 All forms must be returned by December 1st.