Jun 262012

Here’s a great warning to teach your children and grandchildren… while we don’t need to be afraid of thunderstorms, we do need to respect the lightning that may accompany them! You can also download a free lightning safety coloring book from the NOAA website where you’ll find tons of resources and information.  Why not pass some of this information along at your next meeting?

NOAA reports there have been twelve deaths so far this year due to lighting. Be safe! When thunder roars, go indoors!

Jun 252012

Webmaster note: Here’s an opportunity for a lecturer’s program and perhaps some community service by supporting this program in a local school, helping kids learn more about Maine!

Allagash Tails and Tales is a multi-media presentation intended for any school, library or civic organization who would like to have a discussion about one of our nation’s premier wild and scenic Rivers.

Narrated by author and former Waterway Supervisor Tim Caverly, the show includes music, scenic and historic photographs as well as stories detailing Tim’s personal experiences while living in the woods.  Canoeing down the river, people will experience the Allagash in a whole new way.

While the visual portion of the program lasts about an hour, Tim is also available to do readings from one of the Allagash Tails books.  Accompanied by the artistry of Franklin Manzo Jr, the program has been very well received.  By the spring of the 2012 school year Tim had given 57 programs and reached out to 1800 students in addition to libraries and civic organizations.  But talking about the books isn’t enough for the Allagash Tails guys.  Thanks to the support of the King Foundation, banks, health organizations and civic organizations over 1428 books donated to 83 Maine schools to date.

The presentation normally lasts from 45 to 60 minutes, but can be modified to fit time available.

Caverly is now scheduling programs throughout New England for 2012-2013.  If you would like more information or to arrange a visit, please call (207) 907-0517 or visit http://www.allagashtails.com/ to contact by email.

Jun 252012

Maggie Soule, librarian at Park Avenue School and Kate Dargie, fund raiser for this program. On the right is Joyce MacDonald, community service chair of Danville Junction Grange.

At a recent meeting of Danville Junction Grange, members collected $75 for the Park Avenue School BackPack Program. This program provides students suffering the effects of chronic hunger at the Auburn school with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to eat during weekends and school vacations when these crucial school meals are unavailable. For $250 a year per student, Good Shepherd Food Bank is able to provide a variety of staple meal items, breakfast foods, and healthy snacks in discreet, resealable bags.

Jun 192012

DAR Regent Nancy Battick presents award to Master Jim Annis while A.S. Floyd Marsh looks on.

Nancy Battick, Regent of the Tisbury Manor Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution attended the June Meeting of the Guilford-based Valley Grange to present the organization with an award for Excellence in Community Service. In making the award, Battick noted that the DAR has a long-standing interest in literacy and that Valley Grange was selected “for everything you do, but especially your Words for Thirds Dictionary effort and Bookworming Program.” Since inception ten years ago the Words for Thirds program has placed over one thousand dictionaries in the hands of third graders throughout the county. The Bookworm Program is based on Grange Members spending time at PCES in Guilford listening to second and third graders read.

The award included a commemorative pin which Grange Master Jim Annis later presented to Walter Boomsma, Program Director for the Grange noting, “…because you were instrumental in implementing the Words For Thirds program along with the Bookworming program in our local schools, I can think of no one more deserving of this pin than you. You have worked hard getting these programs off the ground, encouraged great relationships with the local educators of our children and encouraged your fellow Grangers to be participants in these programs.”

Boomsma responded that he feels strongly “the work is the reward, but it’s also nice to receive appreciation.”

Community Service Chair Mary Annis notes that Valley Grange has won the Maine State Grange Community Service Award two years in a row and placed first in the Nation in 2011. “We love what we do,” she observed. “Folks who’d like to see how much fun we have should drop in for a meeting or visit our website (http://valleygrange.com) to learn more about what we do.”


Jun 192012

Cynthia Maxwell, Kathy Lorrain, and Shirley Hatch

Several Danville Junction Grange members have taken on the Memory Pillow project. They have sewn over one hundred pillows for Operation Military Kids to support Maine children whose parents are deploying. Materials are purchased, cut out, and then distributed to members who are sewing the pillows to be presented to these children. The pillows are unique as a voice box is inserted into each pillow, so that the parents can record a message, read a book, or sing a song to their children before they deploy. This helps provide a consistent voice and tradition for children to play whenever they need to hear mom or dad’s voice during the time that they will be sharing their parent with our country in support of Freedom. The state of Maine has over 4,000 school-age guard and reserve children who are impacted by the deployment of our service men and women.

Jun 172012
Laurie McBurnie
laurie_mattidewaterdotnet  (laurie_mattidewaterdotnet)  

On behalf of the Junior Grangers and the Junior Committee, I would like to thank all the subordinate and Pomona granges as well as the individuals who have made donations to support the various Junior Grange activities.

The Junior Grange camp weekend, July 7-8, will be here soon. A couple weeks later judging of the Junior contests will take place at the Family Campout Weekend.


Jun 152012

Quick Tip

It might seem like it’s awful early in the summer to start thinking about fair season… but your planning calendar might benefit from a visit to Maine Department of Agriculture Website where you’ll find a complete list of Maine Agricultural Fairs and dates for the 2012 season. A similar list is published on the Maine Fair Association Website. As Membership Co-Director Rick Grotton pointed out in this month’s column, participating in your local fair is a great way to gain visibility and involve members!

Jun 142012

How are the membership drives going? There are many exciting drives going on throughout the State. I am happy to hear that new membership is happening. Make them feel welcome, involve them, and keep activities happening in your communities. Especially keep the positive attitudes. Remember, we are a family and are always there to help by sharing ideas and giving a motivational boost. This is an election month so there are many things to consider in order to build up your membership. Understanding that many granges cannot fill their offices due to low numbers, do the best you can do. With the membership you do have, plan some activities that involve non members and focus on how you can get new members. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I have been making visitations to those who are asking, with great results. The enthusiasm is high and plans are being made. The idea is to have fun with it, it does take effort and hard work, but we are grangers and we will persevere. Our membership conference scheduled in June was postponed to a later date. Our National Membership director is excited about coming to Maine to share ideas.

The agricultural fairs will be starting up soon so make your grange visible by having a membership booth or setting up exhibits. If you are interested and have never set up an exhibit, you can always ask for guidelines on the requirements and what the judges look for in the exhibit. This is a great way to involve many members by asking for exhibit items such as baked goods, crocheted items, fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly canned fruits and vegetables, jellies and jams, afghans, quilts, paintings, herbs. This is just a partial list. There are many talented grangers out there with a variety of interests. Having put together many exhibits in my time, it has been fun and rewarding for all. It involves all members of all ages. This is a good way to bond, to raise funds and to keep members active.

Keep all members notified of Grange activities. Send a newsletter to those who do not attend regularly or give them a call to let them know you are thinking of them. Ask them for advice and ideas, especially those who can no longer attend. They certainly would be happy to know what is going on and to be still involved no matter what the limitations are to their involvement. They are still grangers and still have much to offer.

If you contact me please call me at 215-3064.


Jun 142012

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

Dr. Seuss

Words from Walter…

 A little Dr. Seuss wisdom seems appropriate on several counts… for one, “bookworming” at school is over until fall and I shall miss the joys of simplistic wisdom and problem solving the children offer… as well as their giggles and joys. For another, this year the kids aren’t the only ones getting a vacation–so is your webmaster! And there’s nothing like a vacation to create perspective!

Of course planning a vacation is not without its challenges and troubles–and one of those challenges is how to manage responsibilities that truly can’t just be put “on hold.”

As regular visitors of the site know, I do my best to post news and events in a timely fashion—usually within a day or two of receipt. Thanks to the use of a laptop, I will be able to continue to service the site but I’m asking for some help. If you have information and events coming up, send them to me as soon as practical—the more I can get done before vacation, the better! Also, I’m asking for some patience and understanding if “customer service” seems to diminish from late June through mid-July. (Since this is our first official vacation in over ten years, we’re making it a long one!)

Speaking of troubles, there are plenty to go around– including what finds you on the Internet. Several things might be worth calling to your attention.

Facebook users may have noticed a recent flurry of activity suggesting users post a personal privacy policy prohibiting the use of personal information. Sorry, that won’t work. The minute you signed up as a Facebook user and every time you use it you are agreeing to their terms. I can assure you that their terms are to their advantage and not to yours. Facebook mines data—it’s their product and their reason for being. They are very good at what they do. I’ll bet, for example, you didn’t know that if Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world based on population. So when you post on Facebook you are potentially “sharing” information with a lot of people.

I recently saw a proud parent post her children’s photographs, report cards (which included their home address), list of awards, etc. on Facebook. That should be frightening. What benefit outweighs the risk?

On the more amusing side, I chuckle when someone tells me how busy they’ve been and how sorry they are they didn’t get something done I needed. Do they not realize a check on Facebook reveals this overworked person was playing one of the many Facebook games for several hours just before apologizing for unfinished work?

For the record, I am not campaigning against Facebook. I am campaigning in favor of critical thinking and discretion. A little fear is not such a bad thing, either.

One thing to be fearful of is some of the email you’re probably getting that looks very official and asks you to change your password, check your order status, etc. Many of these use logos of familiar companies (including Facebook) but are really just trickery to get you to click links, visit sites, and provide information.

Come to think of it, one word that we hear during the closing of our meetings might fit well with our activities online. “Let us be mindful of…”


Jun 102012

It is my duty as Chaplain of Hudson Grange #457 to report the passing of our oldest Grange member and resident of Hudson……Emma (Mayo)Stone. She was 104! Graveside funeral services will be held 1 p.m.Monday at Hudson Cemetery. A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday,June 23, at Hudson Baptist Church.


Terry LaCombe-Stevens, Hudson Grange #457