Vol. XLIII, No. 2 --- February 2006
The President's Corner
By Colleen McGann, CFMS President
COMMUNICATIONS is the key word for February. I first want to remind all the CFMS societies that CFMS dues were due to Pat LaRue in January. You were also to include your new list of officers and your 2005 membership roster. You were to indicate which three club members were to receive the FREE copies of the CFMS and AFMS newsletters. These newsletters are our best method of communication for our rock community. Do not miss out on this opportunity of communication to know what is happening in California and around the country.
I sit here in the January rain, thinking about the events CFMS offers its club members every year. There are two Directors meetings, one with our CFMS show. There are the two Earth Science Seminars, Zzyzx and Camp Paradise, where you can learn and practice many different rock associated activities, such as field trips for rock collecting, soft or hard rock carving, beading, wire wrap art, lapidary, silver smithing and more.
These same activities, well attended at the Federation level, can occur in our clubs too. How many clubs have these activities? The activities your club offers are a draw for new members, so the more there are the better for your club. I would like to hear back from the clubs on how their activities and events bring in new members. Shared communication helps our societies to grow membership. Clubs working together add visibility within our communities. Look at how your club can increase visibility this year.
CFMS Show News
By Claude Huber
This is the first in a series of articles to inform you about the coming speakers and special exhibitors at the CFMS & CGMS Federation Show, Angels Camp Fairgrounds, 9-11 June 2006. We are excited and proud to tell you about our lineup for the show.
Alan Schaffert is a local physician and an amateur paleontologist with a passion for marine fossils. He found his first fossil by accident at age thirteen when he and his brothers were throwing rocks on a stony beach in Northern Michigan. One rock shattered as it landed and out popped a perfect brachiopod. It was awesome and he was hooked. Many more rocks were enthusiastically cracked that afternoon, alas, they were all duds. Far from being disappointed, this object lesson only served to whet his appetite for collecting more fossils.
Over the next 40 years, Alan has collected specimens from Michigan, Colorado, Utah, and California. He has also purchased numerous marine fossils from around the world. His interests include Cretaceous ammonites and invertebrates from some of the classic fossil deposits known as Lagerstatten. Lagerstatten are fossil deposits that exhibit extraordinary preservation and completeness of the plants and animals from a particular era.
Alan is new to exhibiting and is very pleased to share specimens from his collection. He hopes that the public will enjoy learning about them as much as he does.
The Exhibit: "Sea Dragons and Snake Stones"
While the dinosaurs ruled the land, aquatic reptiles or "Sea Dragons" ruled the oceans. Some Sea Dragons were relatively small and others reached gigantic proportions weighing up to 8 tons with a head larger than a T-Rex! These were the top predators of the ancient waters. Almost all animals were potential prey. Have you ever wondered what a Tylosaur would eat? The answer is simple, anything it wanted! Come and enjoy the mysterious and frightful world of the Plesiosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, and Mosasaurs. Full sized three dimensional casts will be on display during the show.
The great ocean going reptiles lived in a very different ocean than exists today. There were many strange and exotic creatures. The ammonites or "Snake Stones" were squid-like animals inhabiting a great variety of shells. Some had bizarre shapes and others grew up to 8 feet across! There were giant clams with giant pearls. The fish were very different species than we see today. Some of the fantastic specimens on display will be sure to capture your imagination.
From the Desk of Heidi
By Heidi Mauer
Hello, Heidi Mauer here,
For the past four years I've had the opportunity to assist Patt McDaniel in her business of providing the best coverages available at the best pricing for Non-profit Insurance to clubs & organizations. Besides Specializing in Non-profit Insurances, Patt also writes General Liability, Professional Liability, Commercial Business, Bond, Health & Life Insurance.
Before I started working for Patt, I had no idea what any of these insurances were, and had no idea about my own personal coverages. With Patt's ongoing patience I've learned a lot about insurance and even more that I ever cared to know about this subject that I have always avoided! After seeing the lengthy time to obtain the best policy for each client, I can appreciate Patt and her dedication to her clients. Truly and sincerely, my job satisfaction comes from being of assistance to Patt and her clients.
I have especially enjoyed being of assistance to all the CFMS member clubs, their Special Events & Certificate requests, and now processing the new Directors & Officers insurance program, which we are taking applications for on an ongoing basis. I also have been tracking the return of the Coverages & Responsibilities sheets, and to date there are 45 outstanding. The information on these is confidential, for our reference only and they are filed safely in our secured office. If you think you might be one of the 45 clubs, please call us (800- 400-7288) and I'll be glad to check if we have received yours!
As always, any changes to your club's property coverage or premises liability, please contact Patt McDaniel to be sure your coverages are kept current. It is my pleasure to work for Patt and each of you! Have a great year "rocking"!
All American Club
By Dot Beachler, CFMS All American Club Chair
Last month sections 1,2 and 3 of the All American entry form were briefly reviewed. As promised, this month will continue starting with section 4.
Section 4 shows member support:
Section 5 covers community relations:
Section 6 refers to government agency/legislative relations. Did members:
Section 7 is overall presentation:
Again, copies of supporting materials include: fliers, show ads, photos and letters. Check with the secretary's minutes, club members, newsletters and newspapers This information will be your club's history for this past year. How well did your club do? Is there an area that needs a little attention? Hope to see your club entered in the All American contest. Good luck.
Remember: Deadline is February 28, 2006!!!
Recognition and Membership
By Richard Pankey, First Vice President
The CFMS and AFMS have a number of programs that recognize individuals, members, and clubs and societies. Every year CFMS, and by that I mean the clubs/societies and the members, have several opportunities to recognize, thank and honor one of their members or a non-member who makes a contribution to our hobby and goals. There is the Education Through Sharing Award, CFMS Scholarship Honoree, AFMS Scholarship Honoree, Golden Bear Award for service to the Federation, Bulletin and author competition, and I am sure I am missing some others.
Unfortunately we struggle every year to get nominations for these awards. It is so easy to make a nomination: select a deserving person or couple that your club wants to honor (every club has many deserving members), write a letter of nomination with the reasons they are disserving of the award and mail it to the appropriate committee. It is that easy and you will make someone very proud and honored to be thought of as deserving by their club. Saying "thank you for your service" is so easy and it doesn't cost the club anything and the rewards are great for everyone.
The All American Club competition is recognition for the whole club. It is so easy to do, just collect articles, stories, letters, pictures, etc. and make a scrapbook. In reality this is a competition of "Brag Books." It records and documents the activities and accomplishments of your club for the year. Your club historian is (or should be) collecting much of the needed documentation already. The best time to start this project is at the beginning of the year by getting the forms and the rules from the All American Club Chairman. Plan out the information to be collected and assign photographers and reporters. Collect and file this information throughout the year. Prepare your book in December and January then submit it by the end of February. It is that easy!
A special committee evaluates and scores each book against the criteria outlined in the forms, not against each other. Certificates are awarded based on the score: 70 to 79 points, Bronze Award, 80 to 89 points, Silver Award and 90 to 100 points, Gold Award. After the CFMS judging the books are sent to AFMS for judging. AFMS awards certificates and medallions based on the same scoring system.
For some reason very few clubs participate in the All American Club competition. A couple of clubs enter regularly every year or two. These clubs have a great record of the club's activities and accomplishments. What do all the rest of the clubs have? These books are a great membership tool. When a guest or prospective member asks, "what does a your rock club do?" your All American Club "brag book" has the answers. If your clubs has been participating you already have your resource. Don't hide it away in the library or someone's bookshelf. Bring it to all of your meetings to share with the members and guests. With the interest and emphasis on membership this coming year every club should start working on their All American Club book. This will make your membership chairman happy and will make Dot Beachler, All American Club Chairman do cartwheels (extremely happy).
A few more words about member recognition. All the hard working dedicated members do what they do for the club, because they enjoy what they are doing not for medals and certificates. However, a thank you is probably well disserved and appreciated and it helps fight "burnout." And a nomination for one of the CFMS honors really says that the club recognizes their contribution. This can help with member retention. People like to be part of an organization that recognizes and appreciates its members. Have your Federation Director get the information about all the CFMS honors and review your members to decide who deserves a Big Thank You, who you should recognize and honor.
By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair
When it comes to educating young minds, there's an ally in your community who's hard to beat: your local librarian! Here are some ideas on how to go about working with your public library to help inform the kids in your club about various aspects of the rockhounding hobby.
Visit the library to make and maintain a list of books and magazines related to the earth sciences and lapidary arts that are available in their stacks. Give the kids in your club a copy of the list to keep as a reference to guide them toward books that will help them cultivate and build their interests, whether it be rocks, minerals, fossils, jewelry making, field tripping, etc.
Take the kids on a field trip to talk with the librarian. In addition to guiding the kids to books, magazines, maps, and other resources that are physically present within the walls of the library, the librarian might also be able to show them books available through interlibrary loan and resources they can connect to via the Internet. (Most libraries today have computers with web links to a wealth of on-line resources and databases.)
Perhaps help your club's kids become "benefactors" to the library. As a group, talk with the librarian to see what new books on geology, paleontology, mineralogy, and lapidary arts might be of value for the community as a whole. Work with the kids to come up with a fund-raising project and arrange to purchase new books from your library fund to donate to the public library. A library isn't a static collection and would likely welcome help in continuing to grow and cultivate their offerings to match the interests and needs of the community.
Talk with local librarians and tell them about your club. They may be interested in helping arrange fun activities. For instance, I've worked with several libraries that welcomed one-month installations of rockhound displays in their lobby display cases incorporating books about the hobby. This could become a fun and interesting project for your club's kids. I've also worked with two libraries that made fossils and dinosaurs a "summer theme" for their kids book collection and sponsored weekly story-time readings as well as presentations by fossil collectors from the local club and elsewhere. Librarians might be interested in helping to start a "rockhound book club" at the library for young readers to meet and share comments about hobby-related books they've read.
As I noted at the beginning of this month's column, your local librarians are likely your best allies for opening up the world of references and published resources to assist your kids and to deepen their knowledge about our hobby. So head to the library, introduce yourself as the juniors leader for your club, and open up the possibilities for helping kids learn while—as always—having fun!
CFMS Field Trip to Wiley's Well