Aug 312018

Greetings Grange Youth, Youth Committee Members, Youth Directors and Youth Enthusiasts,

We received an email today from our National Youth Director, Charlene Espenshade. We have a few very important items that need attention and I would also like to give details about the Folder Contest. We need all hands on deck during State Grange. I plan on posting more about State Grange this week.

The Folding Display Contest….entries should be at State Grange by 10 am on Thursday morning. The winner will be announced on Saturday morning during the Youth Program. The Contest rules can be found in the Youth Program Book and also were posted on Monday. This contest is open to only youth 14 to 35! The winning entry goes to National Grange in November.

Our note from Director Espenshade, was a reminder that all Applications for Distinguished Granges, Grow Club Scholarship, Trimble Award, Junior Mentor, Leadership Awards, Community Service, Youth Ambassadors and National Youth Officer Team are due. Maine would enjoy having Youth Attend National Grange this year. We have money available and is awarded on a needs basis. If you are interested in going on a trip to Stowe Vermont, get your application in ASAP or you can call, text or email me, so that I can let Director Charlene Espenshade know.

We are asking that the Subordinate Youth Committee people, get together with your Pomona Youth Committee person and bring a basket or a nice item for the Chinese Auction . We will also do a 50/50 and the money raised will help send a Youth to Nationals.

I look forward to helping each and every youth.

Aug 282018

At the request of the Youth Committee, I’ve posted information about a National Grange Youth Display Contest:?Grange Youth Folding-Display Contest. Contact Terry LaCombe Stevens or a member of the committee for more information about the State Contest which I believe will be judged at the Maine State Grange Convention.

Aug 262018

It all started with an inquiry regarding Hope Grange #299. Emily Saladino wondered if we might have, buried somewhere and gathering dust, archived historical information regarding the Grange, their membership, and programming. Fortunately, our conversation didn’t stop there.

As?we talked, I learned that Emily has undertaken an interesting project for The Hope Elementary School. Her project has been endorsed by the Hope Historical Society but they had very little information regarding Hope Grange.

Emily’s filling a large traveling trunk with information, symbols, and items that represent Hope’s history in particular and Maine history in general. The trunk will become a resource when the school children (ages 7-11) study their local history. The starting point is 1792, with concentration is between the years 1856 – 1946. (Some of the best Grange years in terms of membership growth and expansion!) Emily says, “Granges were a huge part of life in this rural town, filling practical and social needs.? As Hope was a farming community up to the early 1960s most kids, then, belonged to 4-H or Young Farmers clubs.

Emily is seeking information and small artifacts or facsimiles to be included in the trunk. At this point, she only has photos of buildings and the Grange Logo. She’d like to have some general history of the accomplishments of Grange, how it influenced the lives of members and some interesting anecdotes about programs and events.

Can we help her with this project? I’ll bet we can! I’ve already sent some information and on my next trip to the Valley Grange Hall will be poking around to see if we have some items we can donate. Obviously, any information or memories specific to Hope Grange would be great but bear in mind general information and historical items will work. This is a great opportunity to help preserve history in a meaningful way while broadcasting the value of the Grange to curious young minds. Emily adds that she would be happy to “include a pitch for Grange participation and any of its youth-oriented programs.”

If you think you can help, you can comment on this post, contact Emily directly by email  (esaladinoatoptonlinedotnet?subject=Hope%20Trunk%20Project)  , or send your information, ideas, etc. to the Maine State Grange Webmaster  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg?subject=Hope%20Trunk%20Project)  ?for forwarding.

Just in case it hasn’t occurred to you… this could also be an idea and inspiration for other Granges around the state. Teachers and administration are currently very busy starting the school year, but in another month or two it would be great to hear about some Granges who’ve contacted their local schools with an offer to provide a trunk of historical resources! It’s also a wonderful way to connect to other community organizations such as the local historical society, bring history to life, and promote the Grange. Let me know if I can help!

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Aug 252018

Webmaster’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from an email newsletter published by Paul Stearns, Maine State Representative for District 119.

The Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards has revised Chapter 11:? Rules Governing Hazardous Occupations for Minors under the Age of Eighteen in Non-Agricultural Employment.? Modification of Chapter 11 aligns State rules governing hazardous occupations with federal standards for minors under the age of 18.

The State has adopted the following changes, which went into effect August 19, 2018:

  • driving restrictions to allow 17-year-olds to drive for work under specific circumstances and conditions;
  • minors that are at least 16 years of age will no longer be prohibited from working alone in a cash-based business, and will be allowed to perform soldering and welding duties in accordance with federal standards; and
  • expanded cooking occupations for minors that are between 14 and 15 years of age to include venues allowed by federal standards.

A new restriction is being added in accordance with 26 MRS §772 (2), which prohibits all minors under the age of 18 from working in any occupation in a registered marijuana dispensary; any establishment that cultivates, produces, or sells marijuana or products that contain marijuana; and any recreational marijuana social clubs.

To view the adopted rule changes, click here.

Aug 232018
Lots of ideas

Grangers helping Grangers… it’s the Grange Way!

By Walter Boomsma, Piscataquis Pomona #11

For several years, we’ve set up an informational booth at the Piscataquis Valley Fair that introduces fair-goers to the Grange in general and promotes each of the Granges in the area. Fortunately, we are able to create an “open” display where people can actually “enter” and spend some time reviewing the information Several chairs are available for folks to “reset their feet.” The stand holding the panels is “homemade” and could be made to fit almost any space. The four panels include a brief listing of every Community Grange with meeting and contact information. One panel includes the entire Declaration of Purposes.

We also publish a one-page “Piscataquis Pomona Directory of Granges” for visitors to take. Postcard size coupons featuring upcoming events at various Granges are available on the table and we try to leave room for posters and flyers of upcoming events.

We’ve considered attempting to staff the booth with members, at least during the high traffic times. We do encourage members who are at the fair to stop by and make use of one of the chairs. This has resulted in some very interesting conversations and opportunities.

A seating area with wall posters is to the right in this photo.? The space is 10′ x 10′, average booth size at most fairs.

Be proud of what you are doing to improve communication among your members and with the community. We are looking for examples of Grange Communication to include, probably as an appendix in the next handbook. Let’s share our successes and ideas. These examples can be copies of things you’ve produced or a short description of something you’ve done.?Be sure to include the name of the person who created the communication and if it’s not clear from the item, your Grange name and number. This is not a contest so you won’t get cash but you will credit. The credit will not only be the item or idea you submit,??it will be the knowledge that you helped your fellow Grangers with ideas and examples. Your contribution will be considered for inclusion in the MSG Communication Handbook 2018-2019.? Examples of things you’ve done might include:

  • especially creative posters or flyers
  • brochures, membership applications, rack cards, etc.
  • postcards and announcements of meetings and programs
  • booklets and directories

These can be submitted using any of the methods available for submitting to the website:

  • For submitting copies of files (pdf, doc files, etc.) or photos, the best method is to send an email to the webmaster with the file attached.
  • For submitting write-ups or descriptions, you may use the “submit” tab on the website.
  • For submitting actual documents, you can always snail mail a copy to Walter Boomsma, 17 River Road, Abbot ME 04406

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Aug 232018

Mill Stream Grange in Vienna held its annual Nonagenarian – Octogenarian Program with members (l – r) Gloria Kelley, Mirjam Wood, Louise Kilponen, Beverly Smith, James Gajarski and Judy Wyman participating. The panel of 80’s and 90’s year old’s were asked questions about “the good ol’ days” and many interesting thoughts and stories were shared. Judy Wyman just completed her goal of visiting all 50 states. Congratulations Judy!

Aug 222018

The Northeast region has announced the 152nd Annual Convention community service project and everyone is invited to participate.
This year, Grangers from across the nation are encouraged to bring to convention personal care items for donation. The items will be distributed among the seven Northeast states – Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts – and donated to male and female veterans of all ages in need.

Please consider gathering a donation to send with your State Delegate or other members who are attending convention or mail donations to Jody Cameron, 31 Blueberry Lane, Brooklyn, CT 06234*

Travel-sized products are encouraged but any size would be appreciated… suggested items include:

? Bar Soap
? Body Wash
? Deodorant
? Shampoo/Conditioner
? Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
? Floss
? Mouthwash
? Lotion
? Shaving Cream & Razors
? Combs
? Denture tablets
? Feminine hygiene products and napkins
? Wet wipes
? Incontinence pads/items
? Tissues
? Lip Balm

*Items will also be collected at Maine State Grange Convention for delivery. See Secretary Sharon’s August Column.

Aug 182018

Webmaster’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from an email newsletter published by Paul Stearns, Maine State Representative for District 119.

As summer draws to a close and children start heading back to school, family life can get pretty hectic.? It is important to remember – and share with your children – some key?tips that?will help?keep them safe and healthy throughout the school year.

Getting to School

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle, or take the bus to school, it is vitally important that they – and the motorists around them – take proper safety precautions.

Walkers ?

  • Walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic
  • Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car
  • Parents:? Practice walking to school with your child, crossing streets at crosswalks when available
  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • Do not walk while using headphones

Bike Riders ?

  • Always wear a helmet that is?fitted and secured properly
  • Children need to know the rules of the road:? Ride single file on the right side of the road, come to a complete stop before crossing the street, and walk the bike across
  • Watch for opening car doors and other hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning
  • Wear bright-colored clothing

Bus Riders ?

  • Teach children the proper way to get on and off the bus
  • Line up six feet away from the curb as the bus approaches
  • If seat belts are available, buckle up
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before standing
  • Do not cross in front of the bus if possible, or walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the other drivers

Drivers, Share the Road ?

  • Don’t block crosswalks
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and take extra care in school zones
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Never pass a bus loading or unloading children
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus

Prevent Injuries at School

The following are more discussion topics and resources for parents of school-age children.

Aug 172018

(Reprinted from the August 2018 issue of The Patrons Chain.)

The National Grange Communications?Department has launched a new service: Grange?Values, a public service announcement series?that will provide members with print pieces that?provide information and are aimed at informing?and advocating on issues important to Grangers.

“This year I had wanted to create outreach?pieces our Granges could use as handouts at fairs,?posters in their halls, handouts for their members,?etc., related to some of our policy concerns or?focused areas of outreach,” National Grange?Communications and Development Director?Amanda Brozana Rios said. “Some of this was?done through informative advertorials included in?the Good Day! magazine about issues like Lifeline?and Medicare, however, these are produced by?outside companies or organizations and address?very specific issues, leaving many gaps in what?Granges have on hand as resources that our?members care most about.”

“I felt that it was important we were able to?produce our own ads that would carry our brand?through to their advocacy/awareness raising?efforts. In this issue, a full-page and a half-page?PSA both focus on issues related to food security.

The first two PSAs focus on issues related to?food security. The half-page ad, which appears?in this issue of the Patron’s Chain as well as the?upcoming issue of Good Day! informs of hunger?in rural America while the full page gives people ways to curb food waste in their homes.

Brozana Rios said the ads will be available to?all members and Granges as PDFs and will be?sent to all State Grange communication directors/newsletter editors.?She said the department intends to produce at?least one new full-page ad each quarter and one?alternate size per quarter.

Webmaster Note: Definitely more to come on this! We’ll make these ads available to you and have some suggestions for how you might use them! Here’s a sample: