Jul 032017

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…

Read the entire document!

Apr 052016


National Grange Membership/Leadership Development Director Joseph Stefenoni will be presenting on two topics at the upcoming conference. The first will be “Adopting the Membership Mentality: Changing the ‘Why Would’ to ‘Why Wouldn’t ’. The second topic will be “Grange Leadership: Challenges, Successes & Training the Next Generation” Following each presentation will be an open discussion including Q&A to share ideas and advice.

The conference will be held at the Woodside Building at Taylor Community, 435 Union Avenue, Laconia NH 03246.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Session 1 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Adopting the Membership Mentality

Lunch 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. $8.99 Soup Du Jour, Assorted Sandwiches, Chips, Cookie, Beverage

Session 2 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Grange Leadership

Reservations are due by Wednesday May 18to Adam Paquin Varnum arpaquinatgmaildotcom  (arpaquinatgmaildotcom)   or by phone @ 603-785-1581 or 603-588-2622.

For directions to the Taylor Community Woodside Building: Leadership 2016

Aug 122015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

If you have not already, you will soon be receiving credentials and information regarding sending delegates to State Grange Conference in October. This is a very important part of our Grange work. There are plans in the works to have some guest speakers, including David Neal, the publisher of Maine Seniors Magazine. He will be speaking on “Senior Power” and how important this generation is.

There are lots of reasons to attend Conference this year. This is also an election year for State Officers. As usual, we will be discussing resolutions–those submitted will be sent to Granges in September. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the resolutions, see if there is something important to you and share that with your delegates. Delegates always take this task seriously and offer thoughtful discussion. Ask your delegates for a report on what took place after Conference.

Back home, planning meetings are important and keep us future focused. When you make these plans, stick to them as much as possible. Share them with your fellow Grangers, especially those who may not be able to attend meetings but will contribute in other ways. There is a place in our organization for every member.

I have had the pleasure to attend a couple of mini-golf outings. If you or Grange decides to participate in one, please send in your scorecards to State Headquarters. This can be a fun activity for your Grange. You can invite a prospective Granger or two to join in the fun. Sometimes we need to get them participating in events before trying to convince them to join.

I know of at least two degree days coming up. One on September 20 at Danville Junction starting at 4:00 PM. The other at Harraseeket on October 3 starting at 4:00 PM. This is a great opportunity for folks to observe and participate. This is also the time of year when the Fifth Degree is being offered by many Pomonas. Check with your local Pomona and also check the website calendar. The Fifth Degree will NOT be offered at State session this year.

I hope many of you are participating in or attending the agricultural fairs. Wear your Grange t-shirt or hat if you have one! It is a great way to promote our organization. Whenever you represent the Grange, be sure to “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”!

Together Each Accomplishes More and we shine, shine, shine!

Jul 132015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

Fair season is in full swing and we are preparing for State Grange session.  This is also the time of year for planning the next Grange year. Does your Grange put together a schedule of meetings and programs in advance? How about sharing that information with other Granges by posting your schedule to the State Grange website? There is an events section on the website and people do go to the website looking for information.

We really should plan meetings and put together a schedule for our members and guests. Not only will this help others plan their attendance, it will also keep us focused on the future and where our Granges will be going and what we will be doing. Plan ahead, you will generate interest.

We are approaching the “Harvest Time” of year—it’s a great time to think about sowing and reaping and that should include your Grange. This needs to be about more than plants. Remember those new members? Have you been “cultivating” and nurturing them so they will “yield” even more members? We recognize the need to cultivate our plants. We also need to assist our members and prospective members with growth and development opportunities, looking ever hopeful to the future.

If you are planning degrees (whether it is a degree day or just one at a time) please share this information on the website. There are many Granges that need assistance with welcoming new members to the Grange. We are hearing many degree day success stories with as many as four or five Granges participating, but that won’t happen if no one knows about it! There are many Pomona Granges who confer the Fifth Degree just before State Grange. Please assist in getting this info to Walter so we can share with others.

Enjoy the remainder of summer. I hope to see many at an installation, degree day or State Grange convention. Let’s continue to “shine, shine, shine.”

Together Each Accomplishes More and we shine, shine, shine!

Jun 132015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

Summer is here! I think many of us were wondering if we would ever be able to say those 3 words.

In the Grange ritual, we are taught about the changing seasons and the seasons of life, including the importance of each season and those season’s contributions to our lives and well-being. We learn to embrace these changes just as we should embrace our ever changing lives.

While there are times we do not like some changes we learn over time that to accept change and move on, adjusting our attitudes toward the positive. If we do not change and stay in the rut we’ve created we go nowhere. If we are to be a vibrant organization, we need to focus on the positive and move forward.

Brother Matthew Dunn has chosen to resign as Youth Director for the Maine State Grange. Please forward any bowling or mini golf score sheets to the State Grange Office and they will be passed on to the new Youth Director. I know Brother Matthew will stay an active member in his local Grange and as State Master I wish him well.

Remember, there is not much time left to get those resolutions into State Grange. The deadline is August 15th.

Subordinate and Pomona Grange Officers are elected every year to a one-year term with the exception of the Executive Committee.  It is time to be thinking of when you will be having your installation of these elected officers. Installations can be done anytime after August 1 up until State Grange session. Please do not wait until the last minute to schedule your installation. Some of the areas of the state are having Pomona-wide installations with great success.  At a minimum, check around and see about the possibility of combining your installation with another Grange. This makes effective use of our installation teams.

Enjoy the summer by letting your Grange “shine, shine, shine.”

Together Each Accomplishes More and we shine, shine, shine!

May 162015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

June is here or will be shortly with graduations, summer parties, first crop hay and Grange elections. Election time is a great opportunity to give someone a chance to “grow” in your Grange. No matter what you plant it needs to be watered, nurtured and given plenty of room for growth. Election gives us a chance to allow others to grow.

Northeast Youth Conference is July 10 -12 in Rhode Island. Sign up information is on the website or can be mailed to you by contacting either myself or the State Grange Office. I will be going down on Friday evening and if you would like to attend and need transportation please contact me. I have room for 2 more people.

Don’t forget Family Campout Weekend July 17-19 at Silver Springs Campground in Saco. Come spend a day where there is plenty of “fun, food and fellowship”. The campground features two swimming pools (one for the adults only) and on Saturday we hold a couple of “fun” tournaments and there is ample time for catching up with fellow Grangers. Saturday night features a pot luck dinner and ice cream social. 2015 Campout Weekend Information.

I hope you are working on your resolutions for this year’s State Grange Convention. The deadline of August 15 is fast approaching. I have heard of at least one Pomona that is having a resolution writing session. Brainstorming and working together can make this process much simpler and a lot more fun. There are some resolution writing resources available in the Legislative Section of the Program Books and Information Page.

Enjoy summertime–in the Grange and in your life!

Together Each Accomplishes More

Apr 092015
By Vicki Huff

I think it’s spring in Maine (we keep getting disappointments!) and fair season will be here before we know it. What a tremendous opportunity we have in getting the name of our organization out in the public eye by exhibiting at the local fair. If your town has an event, see if your Grange can have a booth. You may find that they want to help you as much as you want to help them. Check with your local fair association and see if a couple of Granges can exhibit together or your Pomona Grange may be able to pull together an exhibit. We need to let people know we are still here and still shining.

The G.O.A.L membership seminars sponsored by National Grange are coming together. Michael Martin will be visiting Maine and presenting two seminars. The first is on May 30 and tentatively scheduled for Cathance Grange. The second is May 31 at Jacksonville Grange. Mark your calendars and save the dates.

Ammadamast Grange recently had a very successful degree day. There were six candidates and if I am not mistaken they were from five different Granges. Congratulations and thanks to all who traveled and helped make this a success. I believe there were forty people in attendance from ten different Granges.  Collaboration is the key to events like this!

I am seeing and hearing of different events planned in the next few months. Don’t forget to share how your event did with others after it’s over! You can submit your story on the website or if you need to, send a letter with the info to our webmaster so it can be posted to the site. The more ideas we share the better it is for everyone.

Enjoy spring!

Together Each Accomplishes More

Mar 142015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a tremendous job everyone did serving lunch to the State Legislature when they observed Agriculture Day. A big thank you to those who made fudge, baked pies, helped set up, peeled vegetables, cooked, washed dishes, etc. This annual event would not be possible without the help of many Grangers. Once again we all shine, shine, shine.

If your Grange is in an area where there is a FFA chapter or 4-H Club how about extending an invitation to have them come visit and see what the Grange has to offer? The FFA and 4-H teaches these young people many skills that would make them an asset in any Grange.

Don’t forget the Leadership Conference to be held at State Grange Headquarters on April 12. This will be a great day for sharing positive ideas that will help our Granges grow. We can learn so much from each other!

Michael Martin, Membership Development Director for the National Grange, will be leading 2 GOAL workshops on May 30-31. These workshops will be held in the Downeast area so please save the date. There will be more information coming on this in the next Bulletin.

I am hearing that some have already started planting indoors and looking forward to spring and warmer weather. Do not forget to send in your reports and photos of your activities during Grange month so they can be shared on the website. Exciting Granges and Grangers need to be shared so we can shine, shine, shine.

Together Each Accomplishes More

Feb 082015

leader at helmGrange Leadership is about a lot more than holding an office, wearing a pink sash, or  serving on a committee. In fact, some of the Grange’s best leaders may do none of that! Every member is invited to this fast-paced, fun afternoon during which we’ll explore the many forms of leadership and why it’s critical in today’s world. You just may find yourself thinking about leadership in very different ways. We’ve gotten into the habit of thinking leadership is some special gift or magical quality when, in fact, we are each a leader in many ways. An important question we need to ask ourselves is  where are we leading others–perhaps without even realizing it?

Who should attend?

This conference is for anyone and everyone who would like to make a difference in their community, their home, or our Grange. The only requirement is that you have to be interested in leadership and making things happen! In, fact, you don’t even have to be Grange member to attend!

What will be included?

We’re still working on some of the specifics, but we anticipate having some short presentations from representatives of exciting Granges who are making things happen. They’ll share what they did, how they did it and some of the benefits they are reaping. This isn’t going to be a lecture about what you have to do—it’s an opportunity to hear how it’s been done! You’ll also discover how to lead from behind…

What does it cost?

Three hours of your time and a willingness to consider what’s possible instead of what’s not. Reduce your travel cost by arranging a car pool from your Grange. You can stop for ice cream on the way home!

When and where?

Sunday, April 12 at Maine State Grange Headquarters, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

What’s next?

For now, save the date! Watch the website and Bulletin for more information!

Jan 172015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? Instead of resolutions did you set goals for your Grange?

This year at Northeast Leaders’ Conference there was a Leadership Panel. The panel was asked questions about leadership and how they develop it in others etc. This panel was not just made up of Grange Leaders; it included politicians, a Scouting leader, business CEO, a pastor and Grange leader. This demonstrates the obvious–you do not need to be a Grange Master to be a leader in your Grange.

Part of the installation ceremony when speaking to every officer is “Your companions have selected you as their leaders.” But we do not become leaders by being elected. All Grange members are leaders and most of us do not realize that we lead every day. Mentors are leaders, parents are leaders, and experienced members are leaders.

But what path are we leading towards? We should be on the path towards strengthening our Granges. This should be every member’s goal. We strengthen our Granges by leadership and by setting examples. In your Grange is there a designated person to greet new members or members that may have been away for a while or a member who missed the last meeting? Even if there is, should that not be every member’s responsibility?

Deputy School was rescheduled to January 17 and will probably be over by the time you read this. Now is the time to contact your Deputies and schedule visits, we all know how busy spring is for all of us. The Deputies are the folks in your area who should be able to answer questions and if they cannot they will ask the Chief Deputy or myself.

Spring and Grange Month will be here before we know it. Start making plans now and share those plans with us. If no one has a computer you can still mail information in to State Grange HQ or Walter so it can be shared. Be positive, think positive! The Grange and what we do in our communities needs to be shared. We strengthen our Grange when we “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Together Each Accomplishes More