Sep 262012

Guilford–Valley Grange’s tentative schedule of meetings and activities has been released following a roundtable discussion during which members discussed opportunities and needs in our communities. While planning a full year in advance?is always a challenge, Master Jim Annis notes, “this gives us focus and allows us to manage our personal calendars without missing too many Grange activities.” Program Director Walter Boomsma offered the following preview of coming attractions.

We’re currently gearing up for Dictionary Days during which every third-grader in SAD 4, 68, and 41 are given their own personal dictionary. Piscataquis Community Elementary School will visit the Grange Hall on October 16th and SeDoMoCha will visit on November 5th. A team of Valley Grangers visits SAD 41 on November 2nd, making stops at Marion C. Cook, Milo, and Brownville Elementary Schools.

A bookworm assembly is scheduled for October 10th to kick off our Bookworm Program. Grange Bookworms will be visiting Piscataquis Community Elementary School twice weekly to read with second and third graders. The more you read, the more you know!

Valley Grange also supports the JD Foundation’s annual Keeping Our Communities Warm Project held at 107 Main Street in Abbot from 8 AM until 4 PM. The project provides low and no cost winter clothing to folks who need a little help keeping warm. The event is run much like a “yard sale” but the prices can be as little as a smile. Donations are appreciated. This year’s project is scheduled for October 13th from 8:00 AM until 4 PM. For more information contact Cheryl Morin at 207-876-2295 or visit

On November 16th we will feature Allagash Tails and Tales, a multimedia presentation narrated by local author and former Waterway Supervisor Tim Caverly. The show includes music, scenic and historic photographs as well as stories detailing Tim’s personal experiences while living in the woods.? This is an opportunity to experience the Allagash in a whole new way and become familiar with Tim’s work with schools. Join us for a potluck supper and book signing at 6 PM before the meeting at 7 PM.

While it’s probably too early to start counting how many days remain until Christmas, it’s not too early to mark your calendar for another one of Valley Grange’s successful collaborations with Penquis. On December 1st, our organizations will join hands to sponsor a BBQ and Bluegrass Event to benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund. We’re turning this into a family friendly event that will feature great food and great music. Save the date!

These are just a few highlights… you can always download? a copy of the 2012-2013 Schedule right from our website. Remember that dates and details can change–particularly when meetings are planned well in advance. Check back when making your plans!

(Events will be posted to the Maine State Grange website as dates approach.)

Sep 262012

Everyone at Highland Lake is very happy that our new handicap access ramp has been completed.? The ramp was planned, constructed and financed via an Eagle Scout project; one of the Boy Scouts from Troop 83 which meets at our Grange every week.? Installing a ramp has been a long-term goal finally accomplished!

Sep 252012

Webmaster’s Note: I decided to publish this both as a “Quick Tip” and an event because it’s a great idea as well as a great event! For those Granges who have regular suppers, check out this “different approach.” I’d add the suggestion of considering a “Season Pass” that would allow folks to buy tickets to all?suppers at once.?I’ve reprinted the announcement exactly as received… You can download the 2012-2013 Wilson Passport Dinners?schedule referred to as an attachment from this site. Wilson Grange is located in Wilton ME.

Get ready for the most exciting, delicious Passport Dinner Tour ever!? We listened to all your comments on where you wanted to ‘visit’ and to streamline the dinner dates to make it easier for you to attend.? This season all the dinners will be on the first Friday of each month (October through May).? The 2012-2013 Passport Dinner Tour Schedule is in a pdf attachment…just print and post or save for future reference.? As always the dinners will be reservation only and it is our fervent hope that each dinner will be full.? I ask you to please send out the schedule and future notices to your email list- again a full dinner makes it so much more fun.

One last announcement…not only can we boast of a Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Chef Frank Maccarrone, but we now have a professional Chocolatier & Baker, Pam Yenco West – you know her as the Chocolate Lady.? Pam has joined Wilson Grange and is already thinking up desserts to go with Chef Frank’s ethnic inspired dishes.

For more information, call Chris Krauss at 645.2400 or email chriskraussmeatgmaildotcom  (mewoodatbeeline-onlinedotnet)  

Sep 242012

submitted by Karen Locke

Farmington Fair, September 16th-22nd

Due to a clerical error in the secretary’s office of the Farmington Fair, the grange placings were changed Wednesday, September 19th!

Domestic Exhibit:

1st Chesterville Grange #20

2nd Farmingon Grange #12

3rd Mill Stream #574

Agricultural Exhibit:

1st Farmington Grange #12

2nd Chesterville Grange #20

3rd North Jay Grange #10

4th Wilson Grange #321


Sep 212012

Let’s see… lots of “seasonal” things we could talk about… temperature change, foliage, hunting… and one of my personal favorites–dictionaries!

A rule of thumb used by many teachers is that it takes until Columbus Day for classroom routines and structure to fully develop. At Valley Grange, we always schedule our Dictionary Days in late October or early November so the kids get as much use as practical from them.

If your Grange has a dictionary day or season, it’s good time to start! Order your dictionaries (as of this writing delivery is about 3-4 weeks) and schedule your presentation with your local school.

If you haven’t had a dictionary day, this is a good year to consider starting! When I checked the numbers for our state, I was surprised to see that the program hasn’t grown much in the past three years. As a state (not just Granges), we are averaging about 8,000 dictionaries per school year. While I don’t know how many third graders there are in our state, I’m pretty sure it’s more than 8,000! You can ask the great folks at the Dictionary Project for some help locating a school in your area that could use “the gift of words.” There are many dictionaries to choose from starting as low as $1.25 per copy, so it’s a very affordable project. You can supply a class of 20 third graders for $25.00 and a little of your time!

If you have or start a “Words for Thirds” program, don’t miss the opportunity to visit with the kids! Valley Grange currently is supplying three school districts in our area; two actually make a field trip to our Grange Hall to get their dictionaries. Sometimes we have a Civil War reenactor in full uniform so we can talk about how?the Grange?started shortly after that. At the district where we visit the schools, we have a “traveling road show.” At all presentations we talk about the staves as farmers tools, how the Grange started R.F.D. and give the kids some basic lessons in how to use a dictionary.?(If you’d like more information about our program, visit the Valley Grange website or send me an email.) You can also get some great ideas on the Dictionary Project website.

When you’ve finished, send us a story for this site! Remember your camera, but be prepared to cooperate with teachers who will tell you which kids can or can’t be photographed. For more information and some suggestions?regarding photographs during presentations, check this post.

Now, how do you spell…


Sep 212012

Webmaster Note–The following article is reprinted from the weekly e-newsletter published by National Grange for the Grange Family. This is certainly interesting… and very logical!

The formal, legal name of the organization (which as we know is commonly referred to as “the Grange”) including all of its chapters, divisions and affiliated entities, as created in the original constitution in 1868 and carried forward to this day is “The Order of Patrons of Husbandry.”? The term “Grange” was originally supposed to be used as the designation of a specific chapter of the organization.? Thus, for example, the full and legal name of the District of Columbia chapter of the organization is Potomac Grange (chapter) #1 of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.? The full legal name of the national organization is The National Grange (chapter) of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.? Use of the term “Grange” was originally intended in the 1860’s and early 1870’s as a means of allowing a shortened, truncated version of the full legal name of any particular chapter because once you saw the term Grange in the title of the local state or national chapter, it was supposed to be implicitly understood that the phrase “of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry” automatically followed.

Sep 212012

Webmaster Note–The following article is reprinted from the weekly e-newsletter published by National Grange for the Grange Family. This is certainly a timely issue… and it’s not just about Grange specific?partisan posts. Unless your Grange membership is a well-kept secret all your actions do reflect on our order!

When promoting Grange affiliation in profile, members should refrain from partisan posts.

The age of social media is upon us. In less than ten years, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube have become staples of our daily existence.

In fact, chances are pretty good that you’ve used at least one of them today.

With all of this media surrounding us and making our lives easier supposedly, it can be easy to forget that what you post to these sites is forever – no really, forever. People constantly post things to their Facebook pages seemingly unaware that the content of their site, and the things they post to it, can have a dramatic affect on their daily lives and the lives of those around them.


Sep 192012

Webmaster’s Note–the following information was retyped from a packet of information sent to all secretaries by Jim Owens, Administrative Coordinator.

The computer at State Grange Headquarters “stopped working” around the beginning of September.?There is still a problem receiving email. If you emailed any resolutions for consideration, please mail a “hard copy.”

Committee?reports are due?by October 1st. Please do not email these for the reason noted above. You can send your report to the office on a thumb drive or mail a hard copy.

The 139th Annual Session of the Maine State Grange will be held October 25-27, 2012 at the Elks Lodge on Rankin Street in Rockland. The banquet will be held on Thursday evening, October 25th at the same location. An?Agricultural Luncheon will be held on Friday, October 26th at the Trade?Winds?at 2 Park Drive in Rockland.? (Webmaster Note–I will try to get additiional information regarding these posted later today, along with the reservation form.)


Trade Winds Motor Inn, 2 Park Drive (also Route 1) can be reached at 207 596-6661 for information or 800 834-3130 for reservations only.

Hampton Inn, 190 New County Road in Thomaston can be reached at 207 594-6644.

A tentative program and resolutions will be mailed to each Grange.*

*Information regarding a resolution submitted by Valley Grange is available on the Valley Grange website.

Sep 172012

Words from Walter…

There’s a nip of fall in the air! During my early morning trip to Bangor this past weekend I noticed what might have been some frost in a few low-lying areas and there are some trees already showing hints of color. I happen to be one of those people who enjoys the change of seasons. While I hate to see summer go, it’s an exciting time of year.

This is also the time of year when I write my annual report in anticipation of State Session. As I was looking back over the previous 12 months I was?excited by some of the statistics. For example, we’ve been averaging 35 posts per month–a little over one per day. While I didn’t complete a breakdown by topic, clearly most of those posts are coming from members like you who are submitting news and posting events happening at?your Grange. Thank you!

Since this month’s column follows the theme of change, I’d like to share a personal one I’m making. I recently decided to increase the amount of time I spend working with children and will be accepting occasional substitute teaching K-3 assignments with my local elementary school. One of the truly great benefits I’ve received from being a Granger is the opportunity?I’ve had?to discover the joys and rewards of working with kids. I want more of those joys and rewards.?While this means no fewer dictionaries and no less “bookworming” and other Valley Grange activities for the kids, it does mean I’ll have some reduced flexibility in my schedule.

My goal has always been to have any information you submit posted within 48-72 hours. For the most part since inception?I have?actually been able to post submissions within 24 hours. Please anticipate there may be times when posting takes a day or two because I’m busy with at school!?Remember that it saves time and extra steps if you try to include ALL the information when submitting events. I like to think I’m a reasonably intelligent fellow but I truly do not know where every Grange is located–nor do visitors to the site. If you are submitting an event, try to remember to include who, what, when, and where! If you are sending information to newspapers, you can simply add webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)   to the distribution list–you do not have to submit it separately by visiting the site.

Since I reported one of the Grange benefits of being a Granger, perhaps I can share one of my frustrations–that information is often difficult to find and access. Your attention to detail when sending things to post helps with that! At the same time, don’t do it for me–do it for your Grange and our website visitors.

When I told my brother about substituting, he groaned, “Man, aren’t you EVER going to retire?” I was reminded of the advice, “Do what you love for a living and you’ll never have to work.” While it’s a bit idealistic, it’s pretty good advice.

One thing I love about working with kids is that they seem to know almost intuitively? things are supposed to be fun. So they are to blame for my attempts to make this site a “fun” place–not necessarily by telling jokes and posting cartoons (for one thing there are copyright laws), but by making it about our organization, our members, and our accomplishments. Yes, it takes a little effort to send in an item–but is it really work? Shouldn’t it be FUN to tell people about what we’re doing?

Some years ago Mark Twain observed, “Never pick fights with people who buy their ink by the barrel.” He of course understood the power of the press. I suspect if he were alive today he might suggest “Never pick fights with people who can instantly post information that is available to the entire world.” That’s still a bit negative so I would suggest we consider how we can best use a technology that allows us, our accomplishments and our programs to be instantly visible to anyone who wants to see them. Whaddya think?