Apr 242017
 

With apologies for the last minute announcement, the Youth Committee has announced a Youth Public Speaking Contest (not to be confused with the Junior Public Speaking Contest to be held in June). The contest will be held Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Topsham Grange Hall on Pleasant Street in Topsham at 4:30 pm, before the Maine State Grange Variety Show which is at 6:00 p.m. The rules as provided are:

There are 3 age divisions based on their ages on January 1, 2017: 1. Youth 14 – 21 years of age, 2. Young adult 22-35 years of age, 3. Adult (Sr. Youth) 36 + years of age.

Props are allowed but must be appropriately sized for the room. Points can be deducted for props.

For all categories, voice and stage presence are important. Speak clearly, easy to understand; dress appropriately and neatly; expression, emotion, enthusiasm, confidence all matter. Points will be taken away for going under or over the time established.

Category A: PREPARED SPEECH

Contestants choose their topics and will be given an impromptu question, relating to the speech, at the end. A minimum of three minutes and maximum of fivc minutes.

Category B: RADIO SPOT CONTEST

A radio spot is an advertisement promoting the Grange. Pretend you’re a “DJ” and you’re doing a commercial for the Grange. Can include one or two people in the radio spot.

Radio spots should be exactly 60 seconds in length and may include a musical or sound effect introduction and/or background, but may not include a spoken introduction or “tag” by another other than the contestant. If music or sound effect is used, the contestant must provide and operate the sound-making device. The contestant will provide a complete written script (including notations about music/sound effects) to the timekeeper to aid in timing accuracy. Musical/sound effect introductions and endings are considered a part of the radio spot and must not cause the 60 second time limit to be exceeded. The spot should relate to the Grange, be original and created by the contestant.

Category C: IMPROMPTU SPEECH

An impromptu speech is delivered without preparation or thought ahead of time. No note cards are used, and topics are generally drawn.

  • We hope that by establishing an impromptu speech category that members will build confidence and in the future participate in the prepared speeches or the radio speech category.
  • Impromptu speeches should be at least one minute in length and not longer than 5 minutes.
  • Time keeper will hold up hand when the 1 minute mark has been reached and then 4.30 minute mark has been reached so speaker knows when he/she can stop.
  • Participants will draw two topics, select their choice of the two and return the other one.
Apr 242017
 

Lois McCarthy and Lisa Goucher (in back row) of Mill Stream Grange in Vienna visited the Mt. Vernon Elementary School on March 16 to present dictionaries to the third graders there as part of the national “Words for Thirds” program. Each student signed his or her own copy and played a word game to become familiar with the dictionary. Teacher Carolyn Watkins expressed much appreciation for the “wonderful presentation” and said that her kids were “over the top” excited to receive their own dictionary.

Apr 212017
 

by Marilyn Stinson

Enterprise Grange #48, Richmond, Maine will celebrate 150 years of Grange by honoring citizens of Richmond and Dresden with Community Citizen Awards, Sunday, April 30th at 3:00 pm. at Enterprise Grange #48 Community Room, 15 Alexander Reed Road, Richmond.

The recipients are Laurie Saunders of Richmond and David Probert of Dresden. The public is invited and encouraged to share stories about the two great citizens of our respective towns. This is a free program and light refreshments are included.

Laurie is well known to Richmond residents for her work with the Senior Center and taking care of so many of our older residents’ needs as well as her being the producer and director of The Richmond Players. She has served on the Selectboard, Richmond Days Committee, and has been a very important part of Richmond’s past and present days.  She had The Front Porch Boarding home for many years, doting on older women to help them stay out of nursing care. She has two adult children and was able to start a Senior Citizen Group in Gardiner.

Dave was on the recycling committee to get the center going and later was the “Recycling Coordinator” for 16 years. He has served on The Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Conservation Committee, and is currently on the Budget Review Committee and Recreation Committee. He and his wife have one daughter and grand-daughter living in Freeport and Auburn. He is currently active with Lincoln County Historical Association (LCHA) and on the Pownalborough Court House Stewardship Committee.

The Grange is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization with more than 160,000 members across the United States. Our more than 2,100 Granges contribute millions of volunteer hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to our hometowns each year. We have a proud past and an exciting future!

Apr 202017
 

We’ve made some minor updates and changes to the ODD Directory (Officers, Directors, and Deputies) and uploaded it to the website! Please download and print some copies for yourself and your members: ODD-Directory-04-17.

Also, note that we’ve added a new section to the “Program Books and Information Page” for the soon to be officially announced Agricultural Education Committee. There are already a few resources listed under this heading!

Happy Grange Month! If your Grange did something special, send us a report for featuring on the website! Photos are great–just attach them to an email to the webmaster. (Smaller file sizes are really helpful. If you are using a photo program that allows you reduce resolution and file size, please consider doing so before sending!)

Communication Consideration:

Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

Heinrich Heine

Apr 182017
 

Heather Retberg,
Ag Ed Committee Director

Click to view larger image.

Even though you haven’t heard much about us yet, I’d thought I’d offer some examples of the kind of programming Granges can offer to promote Agricultural Education. This upcoming event might be of interest to share outside of our home community as an example of what our newly formed committee might be interested in at the state level. This event makes me so happy to host as we aren’t even organizing it, but a few of the local garden clubs reached out to us (I think through one of our member’s “cross-pollinating”) to see if we’d like to be involved.  YES!

We’re also having our last farmer-homesteader potluck of the season on the April 22 and will have a short talk about our newly built CoolBot that we’ve constructed to add another component to our community food security network and augment our shared-use kitchen space with food storage!!

All you need to create a DIY walk-in cooler is a well-insulated room, a CoolBot, and a standard window or mini-split air conditioner with digital controls. The CoolBot works with several major brands of air conditioners. One source of additional information is StoreItCold.com.


Farmer-Homesteader Potluck w/CoolBot Talk at Halcyon Grange

April 22, 2017  Talk at 5:00 p.m.  Supper at 5:30 p.m.

Our last farmer-homesteader potluck of winter is coming up this weekend.  If you raise food for your community, for your family, for friends & neighbors, OR…if you just like to be around people who grow food, you’re invited to join us at Halcyon Grange for a potluck.  Bring a dish to share, a food growing tip, your best farm story, planting tips, or tales of animal husbandry.  We’re breaking bread and nourishing each other before we run headlong into another growing season.  At this month’s potluck, we’ll be showcasing our new CoolBot completed with a grant from Maine Farmland Trust’s Community Food Grant.  We’ll share how we did it, pass along what we learned and head down cellar to have a look at the finished space for food storage.  Family friendly event.  All welcome.  Free.

Halcyon Grange is located at 1157 Pleasant St., North Blue Hill, Maine

Apr 182017
 

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Over thirty people were present recently to help Danville Junction Grange celebrate the one-hundred-fiftieth birthday of the Grange at their annual Open Meeting in conjunction with National Grange Month.

A birthday cake was enjoyed during the dessert, which preceded the meeting.

A re-dedication ceremony, which was issued by National Grange for their 125th anniversary, was conducted by Lecturer Norma Meserve and other officers.  Wes Ryder read an original poem commemorating the occasion.

Angelo Giberti entertained the audience by providing music on the guitar.

Maine State trooper Elgin Physic was presented with the Community Citizen Award by State Community Service Committee Chair Christine Corliss and Danville Community Chair Glenys Ryder.  Trooper Physic was named “Officer of the Year” at state session last fall.

State Community Service Chair Christine Corliss surprised Sister Glenys and Danville Junction Grange by presenting a framed certificate of appreciation for their continuous service.

A Membership Award for sixty- five years of continuous membership was presented to Glenys Ryder by her husband, Past Master Wesley Ryder.   She is still active at the Subordinate, Pomona, and State levels of the Grange, currently being Chairman of the Maine State Grange Executive Committee.

It was a marvelous evening of food, fun, and fellowship!

Apr 152017
 

A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

During National Grange Master Betsy Huber’s visit, it was my distinct honor to facilitate the “town hall” discussion during the Piscataquis Pomona Meeting. There were nearly a dozen Granges represented and over thirty Grangers and guests. The conversations were spirited and encouraging throughout the entire evening starting with our supper. This was a rare opportunity for Grangers at all levels of the Order to communicate: National, State, Pomona, and local.

When the evening ended, one of the comments made was how helpful it was for so many different Granges to talk about their accomplishments and challenges. “We thought we were the only ones who…” While not all challenges were resolved, a sense of reassurance developed, in part because if we all have similar challenges, the odds of overcoming them increases. Chances are, someone solved that problem or challenge you are having. This became obvious as Granges reported their successes. The meeting truly was one of sharing with an eye towards solving problems and growing our Granges.

I later found myself thinking we had perhaps witnessed a meeting the way Pomona meetings are meant to be. While surely Pomona meetings were social events in the early days, I suspect those meetings including a lot of discussion—both formal and informal—on topics ranging from the best time to plant to what is working in your Grange.

While I’m admittedly biased by my position as communication director, I think the purpose of every meeting is communication in some way, shape, or form. A little thought and structure should go into why we are meeting and what we are communicating. Let me share two examples.

The Pomona Meeting includes a roll call of Granges that often means a brief report from those Granges attending. Many times these reports begin, “We are meeting regularly…” which I suppose is an accomplishment. (In some cases, it’s “We are trying to meet regularly…”) Why not make an effort to find at least one exciting thing about your Grange to report? Or, for that matter, why not report on a challenge your Grange is facing and ask your fellow Grangers for help and ideas? One of the points of Pomona Grange is communication and sharing resources. We should structure our meetings to do just that.

My second example is committee reports during meetings. If we see an important purpose of meetings as communication, we should be sad when it’s announced, “Nothing to report.” Yes, the original purpose of committee reports was to share what the committee is doing—but if it’s doing nothing, there still could something to report. A couple of sentences regarding what is happening in the world we live in will at least suggest we aren’t totally disconnected and out of business! Even a brief reminder of something important could qualify as a report.

I’ve attended Grange meetings where it seems like the purpose of the meeting is to get it over as quickly as possible! I’m not suggesting we turn meetings into long, drawn out affairs. I am suggesting that the purpose of every Grange meeting is not simply to have a meeting. When attendance at our meetings is poor, we might allow ourselves to wonder why. If the only reason we’re meeting is because it’s scheduled, that’s not much incentive for people to make the effort.

When I am responsible for leading a meeting, I always create an agenda with time estimates and outcomes. If at all possible, I share it with participants so we share the responsibility for getting “the labors of the day” completed in a timely and effective manner. Why not do the same for a Grange meeting? Let’s communicate with purpose and energy!

Apr 152017
 

By Terry Lee LaCombe-Stevens
Youth Committee Member

We will be having the Sign a Song Contest, in Topsham at The Grange Hall on April 29th at 4:30 p.m.! For contest rules go to nationalgrange.org and click on Youth!

The Maine State Grange Youth will host the 2018 Northeast Youth Conference! We are looking for Youth and ALL ages to join our committee! Our first meeting will also be on the 29th for dinner! We will meet at The Topsham Grange Hall at 4:15 p.m. and will decide on a dinner meeting place! (Youth are encouraged to attend and if purchasing dinner is a problem the committee will purchase the meal…. let me know and all requests are confidential.)

We would like to attend the NEYC in Massachusetts on July 7th-9th this year with a Maine Youth Drill Team… so let’s get together! We are allowed a few over 35 members on this team! Let us know if you are interested in drilling! The NEYC is really fun and a great way to make lasting relationships and memories!

Please contact me if you would like more information or would like a ride!

Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you on the 29th in Topsham.

Apr 152017
 

By Steven Haycock, Chairman

By the time some of your read this article the Variety Show fundraiser for 2017 will be in the books.  If by chance you’re reading this online, the Variety Show is on April 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Topsham Grange on Pleasant Street in Topsham.

Looking ahead we have a Yard Sale at State Grange HQ on Saturday, June 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  We’re again seeking donations of gently used items for us to resale.  You will need to contact State Grange HQ at 1-800-464-3421 to arrange a time to drop your items off.  We may be able to arrange pick up of some items.  Gently used clothing is acceptable, but please no exercise equipment or old TVs.  A light lunch will also be available.

We’re also renting tables for $20.00 if you would like to sell your stuff that day as well.  Please contact Steven Haycock at 998-2586 or granger04071ataoldotcom  (granger04071ataoldotcom)   by June 21 to rent a table.

Please keep in mind that we know have a supply of the green agricultural pride t-shirts $12.00, & Grange car magnets for $3.00.  If you would like to order on of these items contact me at the information above.

Apr 142017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Hatch Gagne, Director

March was a challenging month as winter was clearly still here in Maine.  The snow is finally melting and we have had some delightfully warm weather these past few days.  Time to be getting ready for gardens (I still have snow on my garden though).  The Agricultural Committee was busy gathering Maine-made items for our scholarship basket and preparing for the agricultural luncheon for the State Legislators.  Special thanks to Agnes and Bob for heading up the food preparation, Sharon and Jim for purchasing what was not donated.  A special thank you to those who donated food for this annual event: UMaine/High Moor Farms donated apples; Maine Blueberry Commission donated placemats, magnets and Wyman’s blueberries; and the True North Salmon Company donated the salmon.

Thank you to all state officers and directors who made and delivered fudge for our statehouse table and pies for the agricultural luncheon.  A special thanks to Chef Heidi Parent, Director of the Culinary Arts Department for the Capital Area Technical Center and her students from the culinary program as they prepared all the salmon for lunch.

Currently, I am completing a score sheet for State Grange Educational Exhibits and will be contacting Grange members who have been willing to judge our Grange Exhibits at our Maine Agriculture Fairs.  The Agricultural Committee will be judging Agricultural Scholarships next month and gearing up for High School graduation and celebrating our scholarship recipients.

The Maine Agricultural Fair Season will be upon us soon, I encourage our Granges to plan to set up one Grange Exhibit at your local Agricultural Fair.  Let’s make our presence visible in our communities.  If you are unsure how to make the connection with your local fair you can look online or call me and I am very willing to assist you through this process.

The Agricultural Committee is also working on providing an agricultural luncheon and speaker during our State Grange Convention in October.  There will be more to come in the near future.

I welcome any questions or suggestions!  Call me at 207-592-6980, email Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu  (Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu)   or text me.