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Around The Grange
Impressions from first Session positive, powerful

By Austin Miller, National Grange Program Assistant (National Grange Website 9/27/12)

  OCTOBER 2, 2012 --

I had the honor of attending my first State Grange Session this past week in Raleigh, N.C.

I have to be honest, I was nervous about the whole experience. I wasn’t sure if everything would go smoothly or how people would take to me.

I am happy to admit that my trepidations were unfounded.

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who attended the North Carolina State Session. The kindness and support that you showed me while I was there is something that I cannot fully express in words. You welcomed me into your family with open arms and, for that, thank you. You made me feel at home. This goes to the staff as well. I was happy to be a part of the great event that you all worked so hard to organize.

Not coming from a Grange background, it was important for me to see how a Grange operates. It is one thing to be told about it, but it is another to see it in action.

I was able to sit in on some committee meetings and hear the things that mattered most to Grange members. It was refreshing to witness people talking over issues and working out problems without resorting to what we see in Congress on a daily basis.

I was also able to work with the Youth a little bit. I was given the opportunity to accompany them on a group outing to visit the elderly at a nearby nursing home and also the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

I was amazed to see how passionate the Youth were while visiting the nursing home.

Generally, people at nursing homes are very lonely.

These kids and young adults set out with a goal to brighten the day of as many residents as they could, a goal they easily achieved.

Both groups were smiling ear to ear at the end of the visit.

The Grange talent show was an event that I won’t forget anytime soon. The acts were all great and it was wonderful to see such a diverse set of abilities and talents.

During the judge’s deliberation, there was a halftime skit that I am so glad I caught on video. It involves a State Master and some imagination and will hopefully be up on the Internet at some point. It truly was a great event.

Not all of the highlights were happy occasions though. At the end of the event, there was a memorial service held for the members who are no longer with us. It was very beautiful and moving and made me glad to be a part of an organization that cares so deeply about its members.

All in all, I had a great time. I was glad to be given the opportunity to attend. It was a pleasure meeting all involved and I hope to reciprocate the goodwill at National Convention in November.

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