Nov 292014

I just posted an incredible event to the calendar… and had lots of trouble figuring out how to categorize it! St George Grange located at Wiley’s Corner, St. George, Knox County is going to be the place to be on Saturday, December 6, 2014!

The day begins with a their Thirty-Third Annual Christmas Fair. How’s that for some longevity! The Fair includes homemade pickles, preserves, fudge, baked goods, soups, hot dogs, biscuits, Carol’s famous Nissua Bread, muffins & cinnamon rolls… along with many local crafters.

Not only is this going to be a great opportunity for gift shopping, they are also hosting the St. George School students Annual Christmas Tree and wreath sale..

Don’t worry about getting hungry–lunch will be available!

But wait! There’s more! A live Nativity Performance at 4:30 pm will remind folks of the true meaning of Christmas.

Don’t leave yet!  There will be a public supper at 5 PM–adults $8 and kids $5, but under ten eat free!

This sure sounds like a fun family day! And it’s a great example of the kind of event that will draw folks to the hall and put St George Grange on the map and on the minds of the community. It might be called “thinking big,” and why not?! You can bet there will be some tired Grangers at the end of the day, but they’ll be “happy tired” and enjoy what they accomplished by working together!


Together Each Accomplishes More!

Nov 282014
Share your ideas with other Granges!

Share your ideas with other Granges!

What follows is a “brainstormed” list of ideas and topics Rick Watson of Fairview Grange in Smithfield developed. Rick serves on the Executive Committee and is membership director for Fairview. Some of these ideas are specific to his Grange, but just about all are adaptable to any Grange. I especially like “Copy and steal everything (from successful Granges).” Feel free to do that!

Masters and Lecturers, why not plan a “brainstorming session” as part of your meeting? These can be great fun—you keep them short and try to come up with as many ideas as possible. Don’t judge or discuss the ideas at first, just get a big list. Keep the topic broad—perhaps something like “ways we can get people interested in our Grange.”

Make sure somebody writes them down! Send them to webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)   and we’ll share them on the website so they’re easy to copy and steal.

Here is a link to an excellent article on brainstorming. You can start by stealing some of Rick’s ideas!

  • Box lunches for construction crews, Bass clubs.
  • Bass club benefit derby with lunch or dinner after.
  • Raffle-kayak, lobster, amphicar ride.
  • Yard Sale
  • Plant sale
  • Hunter’s breakfast
  • Craft Fair
  • Ice Cream Social-car club, Model T Tour, tractor club.
  • Friends of the Grange membership drive.
  • Applications
  • Sign
  • Grange birthday celebration open house.
  • Newspaper articles
  • Summertime in the Belgrade Area
  • Hot Dog vendor at events
  • Coke machine
  • ATM
  • Bottle drive
  • Car wash
  • Santa
  • Bait/box lunch/soup chowder/chili-ice fishermen.
  • Hall rental
  • Grants
  • “Benefactors”– corporate, personal, anonymous
  • Estate
  • Colby Sense of Place
  • Summer lecture series-see MLRC or BRCA sites for ideas
  • What are successful Granges doing? Network. Copy and steal everything
  • Who eats at suppers? Collect names and addresses. Send thank you card-membership application, newsletter
  • Pie sale-turkey pies for sale at dinners
  • Bake sale
  • Mend fences. Promote. Give Credit
  • Grange by-laws, mission statement, reason for being, relevance to today
  • NPA link/conservation link
  • Logo, window sticker, t-shirts, mugs, garden/landscaping stone
  • Antique appraisal
  • Farmington Fair-Skowhegan Fair
  • Docks, Park like setting-landscaping, flower boxes, fence outdoor seating, windows, doors, “sprucing up”
  • Mailboxes, etc.
Nov 262014
By Christine Corliss,
Community Service/FHH Director

On October 28 it was a great pleasure to visit Pioneer Grange and present Master Edward Worthley with the Overall Third Place Award for Officer of the Year.  Dan and I had a great time visiting with them and presenting this award.  Good Luck next year to all the nominees.

On November 13 it was another great day to visit Danville Junction Grange and present Officer Tom Poulin of the Auburn PD with the Overall Second Place Award for Officer of the Year.  Dan and I were welcomed and truly enjoyed ourselves.

Rounding out this Great Banner first year for me as Community Service Director was my visit to Maple Grove Grange on November 24 to present them with an Award for placing fourth at National Grange for their Community Service Book.  It was a pleasure and a joy to see the members faces filled with happiness as I was able to present this award to them.  I want to say to Maple Grove Grange GREAT JOB!!!!!  I was a wonderful night.

Please let’s band together all of us and make this year another banner year.  Please everyone, remember two things:  Let’s Make a Difference One Project at a time and always remember to “HAVE FUN”

Nov 252014

WelcomeWebmaster note: This poem was penned by Wes Ryder of Danville Junction Grange #65 a few years ago. Wes received a blue ribbon for his work. What a great synopsis of the value of Grange Membership!

If your life is kind of boring,
And you’re looking for a change,
If you really want excitement,
Then it’s time to join the Grange.

It used to be just for farmers.
Now if you think that’s strange,
For food, fun, and fellowship,
Then it’s time to join the Grange.

Community service and volunteering
Are just a small part of the range
Of activities that are available
Whenever you join the Grange.

Information on the website
And the meals we will arrange,
For the best cooks within the state
All have joined the Grange.

Surely you do realize
How much you need the change.
No better people anywhere
Than those who’ve joined the Grange.

Nov 192014
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Watch for a new feature in this month’s Bulletin! I’m going to attempt to write a short synopsis of each article at the very beginning of each issue—the goal is to help secretaries who are trying to glean the major points without necessarily reading the entire article. Please let me know how it’s working out for you!

Publicity pays! As a result of an article in the Bangor Daily News regarding Valley Grange’s Dictionary Days, I’ve been contacted by a retired school teacher who wants to start a program in his area… and thanks to the article in Maine Seniors Magazine, a second call came in for some help with restarting a program. Unfortunately, neither call involved a Grange. Is your Grange missing an opportunity?

Communication is definitely a two-way proposition. I’m not just talking about speaking and listening. I’m referring to the fact that we each have an obligation to make sure we are informed. I received a stack of thank you notes from many of the third graders who recently made a field trip to the Grange Hall to receive their dictionaries. The notes are touching, sometimes funny, and often enlightening. One thing particularly “cool” is the number of them that included questions. The kids want to know more and they aren’t shy about asking. Several rather pointedly said they’d like to make another trip to visit the Grange.

Picasso said “Adults are just obsolete children,” and I think part of that obsolescence is due to a lack of curiosity and adventure. For whatever reason, adults seem to forget that asking questions is a great way to learn and get information. So while we have a responsibility to keep your website updated and provide you with a meaningful Bulletin every month, readers also have a responsibility to show interest and initiative. Ask your secretary about the Bulletin. Visit the website and download program books and contest rules. Send an email to directors or call your deputy when you need information about a contest or program. If we aren’t meeting your communication needs, please let us know.

Just recently I received an inquiry from someone wanting to know if there was any sort of “Grange Wedding” ceremony or ritual. While there’s doesn’t seem to be anything specific, isn’t that an interesting question? In my reply, I couldn’t help by wonder if there isn’t, perhaps, some “fodder” within our ritual that would be of great value to an agriculturally-minded couple who wanted to write their own vows. It’s all about communication.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Clip ‘n Win contest:  First Place went to Rita Stone, Granite Grange #192, Second Place to Gail Butterfield, Lakeside Grange #63 and Third Place: to Cathie Spaulding, Mystic Tie Grange #58. Congratulations… and remember to check out the new clip ‘n win contest for this year. It’s different!


Nov 182014
Mr. Boomsma explains the pruning hook to some seriously interested third graders.

Mr. Boomsma explains the pruning hook to some seriously interested third graders.

Valley Grange Members Mr. Annis, Mr. Carroll and Mr. Boomsma recently truck-pooled to Dexter carrying along the staves, RFD mailbox and several cases of dictionaries–a sure sign that another Dictionary Day was about to happen in our area. This is our first year in AOS 94 and weren’t the kids excited!

As part of our program we talk about the history of the Grange and introduce the staves. Most of the kids seem to think the spud is a good idea since it makes weeding the garden easier. One young lady thought perhaps the “pruning hook” was used to get prunes off trees–not an unreasonable guess when you think about it. English is a strange language and she perhaps demonstrated the value of a dictionary!

Valley Grange has one more Dictionary Day to go this year. Harmony Elementary School will be our last but certainly not our least recipient of dictionaries through our “Words for Thirds” initiative. When we put away the props for the year, we will have visited with six schools and twelve classes. Most importantly, we will have placed a dictionary in the hands of over 200 third grade graders.

Special thanks to Mrs. Hersey for coordinating our first visit to Dexter–and to the staff and teachers for helping us begin what we pledge to make an annual event. We also appreciate the community support we receive when fundraising for this project. Contributions can always be sent to Valley Grange, c/o Mary Annis, 28 Orchard Road, Dover Foxcroft ME 04426. More information is also available at the Valley Grange website.

Winston Churchill said, “There is no finer investment a community can make than putting milk into the mouths of babies.” At Valley Grange, we think putting dictionaries into the hands of third graders is a close second.

Dexter third graders getting ready for a "dictionary race."

Dexter third graders getting ready for a “dictionary race.”

Nov 152014
By Karen Flagg,
CWA Director

Karen Flagg

I would like to thank everyone that donated to “House in the Woods” as the total amount collected in the “Penny March” was $1077.66, this was greatly appreciated.

I would like to remind everyone that the baking contest item this year will be “Zucchini Bread”,I realize that I had mentioned banana bread at the conference in August but I had forgotten that we had just had that a couple of years previous so please pass this updated info on as I did have corrected booklets at State Session.

We did receive a wonderful and appreciative thank you from the “Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers” for the generous donations of all the mittens and hats and the check. Perhaps all of you Knitter’s and Crocheter’s would like to do this project again this year? I will have a basket at State Session next year for any donations. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 122014

National Convention is under way! For the latest National News and updates from the convention, check out the daily newsletter called “The Jungle Echo.” (Subscribers will only receive this post once–it will be necessary to visit the Maine State Grange Website to access future editions. A post will remain at the top of our site for the duration of National Convention.

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 1

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 2

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 3

Jungle Echo — News from National, day 4

Jungle Echo — News from 5

Nov 112014

MESR PageNote: We are deeply indebted to Maine Seniors Magazine for their generous permission and assistance in posting this article as well as the feature article “Welcome Grangers” featuring Walter Boomsma. Please visit their website at where you can read the entire issue or pick up a copy at your local newstand!

You may recall an earlier post announcing that Communications Director Walter Boomsma was featured in the October issue of Maine Seniors Magazine… we now have access to the “sidebar” article regarding some of the challenges and successes of Granges in Maine.

Read the original article here.

Read the sidebar here.

And by the way… at least one person is seriously considering starting a Dictionary Project with his local elementary school as a result of this article. Publicity pays!