2016-12-03 / The Bullhorn

Bulldog attends national Grange convention

Sara Coates
Bullhorn Report er

Amber Long Amber Long Roxboro Community School junior, Amber Long, has been a part of the North Carolina State Grange for approximately six years. This month, Long was given the opportunity to attend the National Grange Convention in Washington D.C.

According to its official website, the North Carolina State Grange serves as a family-oriented organization committed to serving its members through a variety of programs and services, promoting agriculture as an essential industry for North Carolina’s economy.

Long said that, like most others, she became a part of the North Carolina State Grange when one of her friends invited her to camp at the Eastern 4-H Center in July of 2010.

Long went on to explain the meetings Grange members attend throughout the year, leading up to the National Grange Convention.

In February, the Grange meets in the mountains for the Winter Youth Conference where they listen to guest speakers and learn about leadership skills.

“Then, youth are chosen for the Youth Leadership Team. This team assists our director, Jennie Gentry, in all activities for the rest of the year,” said Long.

Annually in March, Long said, the Grange has a Family Conference at the Outer Banks where the youth and their families go to spend time together and participate in community service projects.

Similarly, in July, they attend the Grange Camp at the Eastern 4-H Center that originally got Long involved. Here, she said, they have a week full of activities such as sailing, high ropes, and rock wall climbing.

“Here we also learn about the Grange’s history and hold a mock meeting with a marching drill, a tradition that has been practiced since 1867,” said Long.

In September, the North Carolina State Convention, where all North Carolinian Grangers meet, is held.

Long said that here, there is a silent auction, baking, painting, knitting, crafting, and many more competitions that youth and adults can enter.

“The youth also do a community service project. For example, one year we went to a nursing home and passed out flowerpots that we painted,” said Long.

During the National Grange Convention in Washington DC, Long said, many of the states across the U.S. attend and receive different service awards. She said that national officers were elected to serve the Grange for the next year by making decisions for the organization.

“I went and took part in the 7th Degree, a very old ritual where I learned more about the values and traditions of the Grange,” Long said.

“I love the Grange, it has given me friends I consider family. It is such an inclusive organization that makes every member feel valued and appreciated. I feel like my service through the Grange is an important contribution to society and it helps me gain teamwork and leadership abilities,” concluded Long.

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