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!