Vol. XLII, No. 5 --- May 2006
The President's Corner
By Colleen McGann, CFMS President
I have been asked to do a survey of CFMS clubs to find out what clubs are offering/teaching classes to the public as well as their members. This list will be shared with the CFMS clubs an publicized on the website. Please take a few minutes to answer these questions and send your answers to both me and Bural LaRue at our emails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can also call or use snail mail.
Does your club teach classes to the general public? What are these classes? Where are the classes offered?
I would like to have some answers before the CFMS Directors meeting in June at Angel's Camp. I will bring this up for discussion during the Friday evening "Cracker Barrel" casual get-together and wold like to have some data to share. This gathering will also be a special CFMS 70th Birthday Bash! Join us for the celebration.
This brings me right into the 2006 CFMS Show and Directors Meeting happening at Angel's Camp hosted by Calavares GMS June 9-11. They have scheduled a great lineup of program speakers, field trips, children's activities, vendors and displays. How are you going to participate? Show us your collection or compete with your collection of minerals, fossils, petrified wood, scrimshaw or fluorescents. All information forms are on the club website http://www.calaverasgemandmineral.org.
One more President's request. The Bulletin Aids Assistant has moved to Texas and I am looking a replacement. If you experience with bulletins and would like to be on this CFMS committee, please contact me or Terry Yoschak.
CFMS 2006 Show
Quick Reminder from the Show Committee
It's almost show time so please get your banquet and camping or lodging reservations in NOW so the host club can notify the caterer of the total number attending. Also as the Calaveras club is relatively small they could use your help so come early if possible. If you can help please contact Tom Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to get your competitive entries in by May 19. For more info. on the show and the forms for entries or reservations go to http://www.calaverasgemandmineral.org.
By Richard Pankey, 1st Vice President
Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs, if you haven't received it by now, you should receive it shortly. What is it? The call to the June Directors' meeting with the agenda. This call to the Directors' meeting is sent to the Director of record for each club. If none is designated, then to the club address/contact. The June Directors' meeting will be held on Saturday, June 10th, during the Federation Show at Angels Camp. Will your club be represented at this important meeting? With changes in club officers the CFMS office doesn't always have the latest list. It is important that each club is represented. Check with your Federation Director to be sure that he/she got this announcement and is planning to attend.
Also, review the agenda for the topics to be presented and discussed. At our Directors' Meeting we conduct a lot of important business that impacts our clubs and members. We need the input and participation of all our clubs through the attendance and participation of their directors. Directors: Are you planning to attend this meeting? Have you sought input, questions, and direction from your club to bring to this meeting? Clubs/societies: Do you have a committed, active director that will attend this meeting and represent you? Do you support your director with guidance, encouragement and help covering travel expenses?
An active, committed director is key for a participative relationship between the clubs, its members and CFMS. The stronger this relationship, the more the clubs and the members will get from CFMS and the stronger CFMS will be and the more it can do.
Welcoming and Involving a New Member
By Richard Pankey, Membership Committee
They filled out the application, paid their dues and were approved by the board. Another new member, Oh Boy! But now what? Will they ever come to another meeting? Will they get active? Will they be back next year? There is more to membership than getting the money. What do you want names on a list or active members on field trips, at your classes, helping at the show, participating new rockhound friends? It is hard enough to attract new members and once you get one to sign up and pay the dues you don't want to loose them.
So what can you do? Let me propose a few ideas that I have seen work for some of our societies. The key seems to be welcoming and involving. When a new member is accepted he/she should be called and welcomed to the club and make sure that they will make it to the next meeting. At the meeting welcome them when they arrive. Introduce them during the meeting and have them tell something about themselves. Give them their name badge, membership packet (whatever that is); make a big deal over them because a new member is a big deal. Before and after the meeting make sure they get introduced to members who have similar interests. Every (many) member should make an effort to personally introduce themselves. Every new member should be introduced in your club bulletin with a short article about them and their interests. Everyone likes to see their name in print. Bottom line, make the new member feel genuinely welcome and a part of your group. Let them know that they are wanted and are expected to be active and involved.
Involving a new member also takes effort: it doesn't just happen. Occasionally a new member will jump in and get involved no matter what you don't do. Especially if they are joining because the have a friend already in the club. But more often that is not the case. New people need and appreciate help and encouragement. A welcomer/mentor can help and encourage that new member. They can help the new member learn more about the club, the other members and club activities. The welcomer/mentor should learn more about the new members interests and help them find other members with the same interests. They can help the new member find and get involved in club classes, field trips and activities. If a new member is not becoming active, is getting lost and falling by the wayside, the welcomer/mentor should follow-up and restart the process.
Try to get your new member involved by utilizing their special skills, talents and/or interests. Get them on a committee. Invite them to a show or field trip. Get them involved with your show. Each person is unique and special. You will need to tailor your approach, the process to fit them, but the concept is the same. These are just a few ideas that I have seen and heard of that are being used successfully. I am sure there are others. But I believe that active welcoming and active involving are key and essential to a successful membership program. If you have additional ideas and techniques for welcoming and involving new members or any other ideas for attracting new members please let me know.
Promoting Your Society
By Fred Ott, Secretary
If your club wants to attract new members, it's important to attract new members; it's important that you consistently advertise and promote your society in as many ways as possible. Here are some easy ways to do just that.
Newspaper advertising: every newspaper has a special place in their Classifieds Section devoted to advertising organizations such as Rotary, Soroptimist, AAA, etc. The cost is very reasonable and it's amazing how many people respond to these ads.
Telephone listing: consider purchasing telephone answering machine and arranging for a permanent telephone number for your society. The monthly costs are nominal, and the number can be reflected on all your club's advertising.
Reply postcards: make your own postcards (on heavy paper stock) or have them professionally printed. As long as your club doesn't change its mailing address, these cards can be used for many, many ears with impressive results. Four postcards can be printed on every 8˝ x 11 page. The front of the postcard should reflect your club's name and address and a place for a postage stamp. The back of the postcard should say something like "Yes, I'd like more information about the...Mineral and Gem society", followed by four lines indicating name of requestor, address, city/state/ZIP and telephone number. Then design a "holder" in which to place these blank postcards and distribute these "holders" to various locations of high foot-traffic such as libraries, senior centers, museums, etc. One particularly eye-catching "holder" can have the words got rocks? Emblazoned on bright paper, followed by the invitation to "Join the ... Mineral and Gem Society". A few highly polished rocks glued to the holder really does the trick. If you distribute these holders in more than one location, you can place a small code on each reply card indicating where the "got rocks?" holder was placed. This will provide you with a convenient way of judging the effectiveness of each site.
Library displays: Contact your local library (and other similar locations) which often have display cases in their foyers available for local clubs to exhibit and promote their organization. Exhibits provided by mineral and gem societies are some of the most popular displays. One display can be filled with photographs of members and actual rocks collected on field trips. Another display can be filled with information regarding your club's lapidary program and include samples of finished lapidary art items. A third can promote your rock and gem show, etc. Just be sure to place a supply of "got rocks?" postcards near these displays!
Slide, Video and CD Program Library
by Bill Gissler CFMS Audiovisual Program Librarian
Did you know that your CFMS Program Library has some interesting slide and video programs about GOLD? These included V-55, F-124, V-28, V-32 and V-50. To borrow these for club meeting programs contact Bill or Sharon Gissler at 408-241-0477 or :email@example.com.
For orders during May, contact Colleen McGann at 831-212-1951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To assist you in making a program selection, here is a brief description of the programs about GOLD:
These and all the library programs can be found on the CFMS web site in the file - "manuals". Also, an order form can be found there. Again, during May contact Colleen McGann to place a loan request; the Gisslers will not be available.
DVD-6 - The Benitoite Mine, Rod Dallas, and Coalinga is a 17 minute DVD professionally prepared. The video describes the work done by Rod Dallas to establish the Dallas Mining Company near Coalinga California. It includes historic pictures of Coalinga and the Benitoite mine, and of Benitoite - the California State Gem.
By Chuck McKie, Safety Chair
This is the time of year we start going on field trips. Often we or our guest do have small injuries, which may require some first aid. Following is the current recommendation of the HSA for a first aid kit.
CFMS Member Recognition
By Loretta Ogden
Just a few words of apology and correction. Fossils For Fun nominated Don Tadlock and South Bay Lapidary nominated Leslie Neff and Larry Hoskinson.
I have the list of the winners for 2005 and will mail the pins to the club address unless otherwise notified. The 2004 recipients are a different story so if your member did not get their pin please notify me with a name and mailing address. Again I am sorry for the misspelling and omittance.
Ventura Gem and Mineral Society is nominating Shirley Layton for the Education Through Sharing Award. Shirley is editor of the club bulletin Rockhound Rambling which has won numerous awards, including first in CFMS and first in the American contest. Besides the routine committee reports Shirley includes in the bulletin: important news items from the BLM, CFMS, AFMS bulletins as well as lapidary and safety tips from exchange bulletins which are very helpful. Shirley does all of the printing necessary for the club show. As we have said to each other many times, we don't know what we would do without her.
Submitted by Florence Meisenheimer
Trouble in Tecopa
I left for Tecopa, California early on a bright Friday morning. I wanted to have plenty of time to reach camp, only 9.2 miles southeast of Tecopa, according to the instructions.
Tecopa is quite a number of miles towards Death Valley and the middle of nowhere. I arrived in plenty of time. My instructions weren't very clear, one reason why I had emailed others for verification before leaving, only to find out they had never been to the campsite either. I wasn't sure what road to take, but there seemed to be only one main road that went through. I counted my miles carefully and looked for the turnoff, but the darn thing seemed elusive. There were a few small dirt paths off the main road, but since I wasn't sure, I decided to drive back to town and ask around.
"Anyone happen to know the way to Noonday Camp?" I asked, but the locals at the Tecopa Hot Springs seemed as perplexed as me by the crude map I had in my possession, little more than a squiggly line with a dot at the end of it and the mileage. Of course, there WERE some GPS coordinates on it, but since I didn't have a GPS, that was of little use to me. Finally a friendly old man claimed to know the way. "Ya know where the sign is for the Date Farm? Yeah, it's past the date farm about 8 miles. You'll see a bridge there to cross, I think, or maybe not. I'm not sure about the bridge. But it's about 8 miles. Then you turn right towards the camp."
So I went back to where I had come from and looked for the turn. Looking at my own map, I realized it said turn LEFT. And of course there was no bridge in sight, but I had indeed gone past the Date Farm sign about 8 miles, 9.2 or so out of Tecopa, so this HAD to be it! FInally, I figured the man must have been mistaken and meant left because there was only one road at 9.2 miles and it went left. I took it.
The road was not the best and I wondered if trailers could make it on such a road. I went about one quarter mile from the main road and then became concerned. The road was continuing to degrade. I decided to stop, get out, and climb a small hill on foot to see if any camp lay beyond. Not surprisingly, it didn't. Time to turn around.
The only problem was that my truck refused to comply. Sure the shale covered road looked hard enough, but under the shale was soft fluffy dry dirt and the wheels of the truck began to spin and spin. Since the truck is a rear wheel drive, I found that backing up often worked to get me free, but eventually, I slammed backwards into a small hill of rock and then I was REALLY stuck. Getting out the shovel, I started to dig, but nothing I did seemed to get the rear wheels to stick. I finally realized the truck was high centered in the back and so the wheels were not making good contact with the ground. The sun was setting behind the mountain and I was probably not going to be able to escape before dark. Curses at my map abounded!
I had little choice but to pitch camp and wait until morning to make my escape. I figured if I had enough time, I could simply dig out the loose rock that was holding up my truck and then the back wheels would settle back down to Earth. Setting up camp, my dog "Gecko" began to stare at a bush and growl. I hoped he was merely as on edge as I was. I could see nothing near the bush so I set up my tent heater and we both went to bed.
In the morning, I woke at the crack of dawn, packed everything back into the truck, and started digging. The rocks were jammed under the truck so the going was slow. Meanwhile, my dog Gecko kept himself busy scouting the area. I dug and dug until I realized that I was facing worst case scenario. After I had pulled away the rocks, I discovered the truck was not actually resting on any rocks. Instead it was resting on a large creosote bush stump that had been hidden amongst the rocks. And that stump would not be moving with any mere shovel! Then I looked up and realized something else. Gecko was nowhere to be seen.
...to be continued next month
By Jim Brace-Thompson, Jr Activities Chair
Ventura County is blessed with three active societies within the CFMS: the Conejo Gem & Mineral Club, Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society, and Ventura Gem & Mineral Society. Together, they occasionally undertake "Tri-Club" initiatives. Usually, these involve joint field trips for rock and fossil collecting. This past year, through the "Tri-Club Educational Committee," they've undertaken a truly nifty project to help teach kids about the basic rock types. They are preparing three-box sets of rock specimens that will be provided to each school in Ventura County to support earth science education.
And these aren't just the little thumbnail variety of specimens you usually see in educational sets sold by such companies as Ward's or Edmund Scientific's. A sample was on public display at the recent annual show of the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society, and it was truly impressive. Three boxes are built to fit snugly and securely atop one another with a lid for the top box to keep out dust and keep in rocks. And the rocks themselves are big, fist-sized specimens. Along with each box are laminated sheets with photos and text that tell about sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous processes. Again, truly impressive!
The big challenge is finding enough big specimens to fill each box. If you have any of the following that you'd be willing to donate to the effort, you're encouraged to contact Donna Knapton, (805) 647-8762. This includes:
Sedimentary rocks: sandstone (gray), sandstone (red), shale, breccias, conglomerate, limestone, coquina, diatomite, coal (bituminous), chalk, gypsum, and travertine or chert.
Metamorphic rocks: gneiss, marble (limestone variety), marble (dolomite variety), quartz, schist, serpentine, greenstone, slate, garnet schist, soapstone, mariposite, and hornfels.
Igneous rocks: granite, basalt (different varieties, such as aa and pahoehoe), rhyolite, pumice, scoria, gabbro, pegmatite granite, andesite, obsidian, tuff, and diabase.
With big impressive specimens like these, it's a sure bet the kids of Ventura County will soon be learning while—as always—having fun!
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