Oct 172014
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

The 141st Annual Session of the Maine State Grange is in the books! Encourage your delegates to give reports as to which resolutions passed, how many candidates were present for the 5th and 6th degrees. Ask them questions. We are gearing up for the next session of the National Grange which should prove to be an interesting one. Once again Nancy Clark and I will be your delegates and we will either be getting ready, already there or back by the time you have your Grange meeting. I am sure there will be lots to report so prepare yourselves.

Brothers and Sisters this time of year tends to make us reflective and as you gather together with family and friends think about those who may be less fortunate than you. One of the greatest gifts we can give to another is a helping hand and a smile. It is time to “enjoy the fruits of our labors” and to share them with others.

May all your holidays be joyful. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”

Together Each Accomplishes More

Oct 162014

To: Christine Hamp, LAS of the National Grange, Duane Hamp, Master of the WA State Grange, Officers, Delegates and Members of the Maine State Grange,

We have had many successes over the past year. Let’s congratulate Sister Christine Corliss for setting a goal of having 25% of the Granges in Maine turning in Community Service reports and then meeting her goal. This year, for the first time in a few years, we have money from National Grange to present to the Granges that will be announced as placing in the contest. There was a huge push from Christine and a few Deputies and State Officers to convince Grangers to submit these reports at the last minute. While presenting a notebook with pictures and a full explanation of the Community Service work you did over the past year is a great way to earn some extra dollars for your Grange there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from seeing that year’s worth of work all together in one place. Most of our Granges do Community Service without even thinking about it—that’s good, but it can mean we are missing some of the joy. I challenge you to go back to your Granges and not just report the number of hours but also find ways to celebrate and share your successes. For some reason we have this tendency, like the song some of us may have learned in Sunday School says, to “hide our light under a bushel”. Brother and Sisters we need to “Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine”.candles

We owe special thanks to Enterprise Grange #48 and Riverside Grange #475 for taking the time to fill out and send in their Distinguished Grange applications to National. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” These two Granges will be recognized for this outstanding achievement at National Convention and I will be honored to accept your awards on your behalf. Would the members of Enterprise Grange #48 and Riverside Grange #475 please stand and be recognized. There are probably other Granges within our state that could have qualified for this honor and I hope that you will check out the form and see if your Grange meets the criteria for a Distinguished Grange award next year. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

I have some exciting news. We are so very close Continue reading »

Oct 132014
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

October is about endings… the end of summer and fall. But endings are usually about beginnings as well. We’re at the beginning of winter, like it or not.

As this bulletin goes to press, many will be in Skowhegan hearing the results of another Grange year gone by… Contest winners will be announced and budgets will be reviewed and passed.

This is also the time of year when your website undergoes some major revision as old program books, contest information and entry forms are replaced with new. Sometimes the changes are very minor, but this year we have at least two brand new (and significantly different) contests announced so far.

The Communications Department (of one) is pleased to announce an entirely new “Clip ‘N Win” contest. For 2014-2015 we are revising the contest and making it about the quantity of one article written or initiated by a Granger, not simply clipping and counting versions of articles containing the word “Grange.” You’ll find details elsewhere in the Communications Handbook 2014-15 that will be available to delegates at State Conference and can be downloaded from the MSG website.

Remember also, if you do not have access to the Internet you may request copies of program books from State Headquarters. Please remember that mailing costs mount quickly and attempt to get your copy from your delegates first, then only request mailed copies of information you truly need.

I’m also pleased to note that my colleague Christine Corliss, Director of Community Service and FHH has announced a new contest encouraging FHH Chairs to team up with Lecturers and offer monthly FHH related programing. I’ve long felt that it’s past time to review the myriad of contests we conduct and create contests that are more focused and get higher participation. These two should bring some interesting results and entries!

You might be interested in some lessons learned from the former Clip ‘N Win Contest:

  • We have some Grangers with “eagle eyes” who can spot the word “Grange” in some unusual areas—like an advertisement by a business that included the Grange Hall as a landmark in their directions.
  • We have some overlapping of news articles. Entries from Granges located quite some distance from each other often included the same articles. (And a number that I had a written!)
  • We have a huge opportunity to improve our communication with the media. Most of the articles submitted were short meeting announcements clipped from community calendars.

When I do dictionary presentations, I often ask third graders what, if anything, they know about the Grange. I always remember one young fellow who said with great confidence, “It’s a bunch of people who like to eat and meet.” His perception is funny, somewhat accurate, but also disappointing, really.

One notebook submitted included nearly 40 obituaries of Grange members—in spite of the rule against including them. But the real tragedy is that notebook did not include one article mentioning a membership installation or published photos of new members.

How about a theme for this year of, “Let’s make some news and share it!”


Sep 182014

November may seem a long way off, but as nights get chilly it’s time to start thinking about your trip to Sandusky Ohio to attend National Grange Conference. National Grange has made  a paper registration form for this year’s convention available. They prefer that all attending register online but recognize the challenges this presents for some. Please note that the Youth MUST register online using the form designated for them.

The deadline for securing a room at the Convention Hotel is October 10, so you should start planning your trip soon.

For links to online registration forms, a link to the Seventh Degree application and a printable convention schedule please visit the National Grange website at: www.nationalgrange.org You may download the paper registration form from the Maine State Grange website:

148th National Grange Convention Registration Form

Note this information will remain posted on the Conference Page so you can find it easily! Just scroll down past State Convention information.

Sep 122014

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

We are counting down to State Session… and building up your website to support it! This morning I’ve added several more features:

But wait, there’s more! This information is readily accessible from the Conference Tab, but we’ve also added a temporary small box in the side bar with direct links… check it out!

If we haven’t answered your question, let us know and we’ll do our best to get you an answer or point you in the right direction!

Sep 102014
Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

The State Grange resolutions for the legislative committee passed in 2013 could not be submitted to the Maine Legislature. It was the second session in the term and they were not accepting new bills. Believe me, they had enough problems dealing with the bills left over from the last session.

There were six resolutions referred to the Maine State Grange Legislative Committee. They were, Traffic Ticket Fines” submitted by Androscoggin Pomona No. 1, “Rural Mail Delivery” submitted by Bauneg Beg Grange No. 382, “Healthcare Is a Human Right” submitted by Farmington Grange No.12, Maine Retirement Income Tax Exemption” submitted by Cumberland Pomona No. 15, “Use of Ethanol in Maine Gasoline” submitted by Cumberland Pomona No. 15 and “Ballot Initiative Phrasing” submitted by Cumberland Pomona No. 15.

1.   Traffic Ticket Fines

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass. However, it was felt by the committee that this   resolution will have little chance to pass in that a fiscal note would surely be attached to the bill going to the legislature. Traffic fines are generally part of the state police budget.

2.   Rural Mail Delivery

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass as amended. The last Resolve should read, “…to include the continuation of Saturday rural delivery and be it further: Resolved to send this resolution to National Grange for approval.”

3.   Health Care is a Human Right

Committee recommendation. Ought not to pass. It was felt by the committee that this resolution is too politically oriented and that Grange should distance itself from politics as demanded by Grange Bylaws..

4. Maine Retirement Income Tax Reduction

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass as amended. Minor corrections were added to the resolution.The fiscal note for this bill would be astronomical thereby condemning the bill while still in the hearing committee.

5.   Use of Ethanol in Maine Gasoline

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass. However, for Maine to pass a law forbidding the use of ethanol in gasoline would place Maine as the only state in the union not using ethanol. The cost of non-ethanol based gasoline would be extremely costly to the Maine consumer. It was also recommended by the committee that this resolution be sent to National Grange for country-wide approval.

6.   Ballot Initiative Phrasing

Committee recommendation. Ought to pass.

Resolution 1 is part of the Maine budget, resolutions 2 and 5 were sent to National Grange for adoption, resolution 3 was voted ought not to pass at the State Grange Conference, resolution 4 has the attention of the current governor and he already has reduced it (I know because my retirement increased because of a reduction in the Maine state tax) and I don’t see submitting a bill to the Maine legislature for resolution 6 as having much of a chance. Maine’s Secretary of State does a great job of proper wording of any initiative. However, I shall discuss its possibilities with a Maine legislator soon after the elections.


Sep 092014
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

The daily schedule for State Convention is now available! Get your copy here: 2014 State Convention Schedule or visit the “Conference Page” on the website.

We are planning to add a “frequently asked questions” feature about State Convention to the site–that means we need to know what your questions are. We already have a few:

  • What does it cost to attend state convention?
  • Do I need to register in advance?
  • What is required if I want to receive the Sixth Degree?

If you have a question that’s general in nature, please let us know–you can use the form at the bottom of your post. We won’t post your name or contact information, but would like it in case we have a question about your question!

Sep 062014

Jr. LogoThe Junior Committee will again be responsible for serving food during the State Session, October 16-18 in Skowhegan. The Committee welcomes donations of food or other needed items from all Grangers. Cookies/bars, bottled water, soda, individual bags of chips, sandwich supplies, biscuits, etc. would be most appreciated. So please ask around and let Junior Director Laurie McBurnie know who’s donating what by September 24 so the Committee can plan to purchases. (Even if this date is missed, please bring items anyway. You can especially surprise the Committee with the cookies/bars.)

The Committee plans to sell yogurt, cereal bars and muffins in the morning; sandwiches (ham & cheese, chicken salad, tuna salad, PB&J), fruit, cookies/bars, chips) and a hot meal (chop suey one day, mac & cheese the other, with biscuit) at noon; beverages (coffee, tea, hot cocoa, water, soda). You can also look forward to an Ice Cream Social Thursday evening.

Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen (schedule somewhat flexible). Depending on the time of day, anywhere from 3 to 7 people  will be needed in the kitchen–again, let Laurie know if you can help. You can reach Laurie at 207-563-5347 or by sending an email:  lmcb293atgmaildotcom  (lmcb293atgmaildotcom)  .

Read on for a complete list of items need… Continue reading »

Aug 232014

TEAMThere’s still time –one week–to sign up for the first Leadership Meeting on Sunday, September 7 at MSG Headquarters. Here’s your chance to find out what a “lollipop moment” is and a whole lot more!

State Master Vicki reminds patrons, “One of the valued benefits of Grange membership is an opportunity to grow and learn. Not only will we do that, we’ll also be discussing opportunities we have to grow the Grange. This first meeting will also include information regarding State Convention.”

Attendees should plan to arrive at headquarters by 2 p.m.  An “RSVP” is not absolutely required, but it will help with planning if we have some idea how many will be attending, so please send an email to Vicki if you are planning to attend or just use the form below! Don’t forget to click the submit button at the bottom!

WHAT: Leadership Meeting

WHO: Maine State Grange Officers, Deputies, Directors and Committee Members

WHEN: Sunday, September 7 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Maine State Grange Headquarters

Aug 162014
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

The August Bulletin has been released for printing and mailing! Get your copy here. This month’s issue includes some of the basic information regarding State Convention… a reminder this is a good time to think about a “Words for Thirds” program… some information about borrowing kids… why not print some copies for your members!

Also… don’t forget there’s still time to register for the Leadership Meeting on September 7! We’ve had a lot of people sign up already, but there are many we haven’t heard from officers, directors, and deputies. You can sign up online with just a few mouse clicks. Hope to see you there for an exciting and fun time!

Remember also, this is the time of year with lots of deadlines… contests, preparations and reservations for state convention, etc. Directors are reminded annual committee reports are due by September 15th… You could bring yours to the Leadership Meeting! (Electronic submission is greatly preferred.)