Vol. XXXXI, No. 1 --- January 2004
All American Awards Program
An Insurance Up-Date
Education Thru Sharing
CFMS Field Trips - North
Wh000eee....... This is January, isn't it?
Have you given up on making New Year's Resolutions, or are you still indulging in a few?
How about --
1. I resolve to attend the CFMS Federation Show in Mariposa May 28 - 30, 2004.
2. As a Director, I resolve to attend the meeting at Mariposa on Saturday, May 29.
And, since that was interesting and fun --
3. I resolve to attend the meeting on Saturday, November 13, at the Quality Inn in Fresno.
So - It's `goodby' Visalia and `hello' Fresno!
For the first time, our Director's meeting was held in Fresno. It went quite smoothly. The management worked very hard with us to make our meeting a good event. Result: Arrangements have been made to have our Saturday, November 13, 2004 meeting there. So there you are, people. Y'all come and enjoy the week-end at Fresno. (I understand the antiquing is quite good --when we don't have meetings).
We had an "air cleaning" session at the Cracker Barrel Friday evening. Anyone with a question (related to our interests, of course) popped it into the microphone. Some discussions became quite interesting. Ah, yes. Heard in passing -- "I learned more tonight about CFMS than I have in the past five years I've been a director".
If you missed Fred Ott's talk at the Saturday meeting, be sure to contact him early if you plan on having a Gem Show, especially if you anticipate more than 300 people attending. Heretofore, our shows were covered by insurance, but due to our poor track record (the propensity for Californians to sue), there will be a charge. Check with him.
May you have good hunting and good health in 2004.
2004 is here! Now is the time to assemble all of your club's activities for the past year. Remember, this is your club's history.
Let's collect the reports of field trips, shows given or attended, exhibits displayed, workshops and classes attended, programs given for your club or other clubs, talks at schools or for youth groups. I'm sure you will be surprised with the outstanding job done by your club!
Let's hear from ALL the clubs. Entries are due FEBRUARY 28, 2004.
One of the most frequently-asked questions about the Federation's insurance policy is whether guests at club functions (dinners, shows, field trips, etc) are "covered". The answer to this question is both "NO" and "YES" depending upon what you mean by the word "covered". Here is a quick explanation:
If, by "covered", you mean to ask: "Are guests at these functions protected against claims or lawsuits under the Federation policy if they accidentally injure someone or damage someone's property? The answer is "no" they're not. It's just as if a friend of yours came to visit you at your home with their pet dog and their dog attacked a neighbor: "They" wouldn't be covered ("protected") under "Your" homeowners insurance policy; only "you" would be protected against claims and lawsuits in this example; "they" would have to file a claim under "their" own homeowners policy to provide protection for themselves.
If, however, by "covered" you mean to ask: "Are guests who get injured while participating in club activities covered for the payment of their medical bills", the answer is "yes", but only to the extent of your or your club's legal liability. As an example, if you failed to clean up a spill on the floor of the dining room and a guest tripped and fell, their medical bills would undoubtedly be "covered" under the Federation policy. If, however, a guest is injured through no fault or negligence of your club or its members. no medical payment should be expected. ... As an example, consider a guest who gets stung by a bee; it's unlikely that you or your club would be held liable for their "injury" so no payment would be made. If you "were" liable, payment would be made up to $1 million.
-- Hope this helps.
In this, the last of my series of proposed "merit badge" ideas, I tackle the ultimate hands-on activity: A FIELD TRIP!
Little can replace the thrill of discovering a precious gemstone or fossil first-hand, and kids seem to be genetically programmed for this thrill. But before you start off down the road, you need to lay out some very specific ground rules both for yourself and for the kids.
First and foremost, be aware of the laws of your state regarding fossils (some areas and some types of fossils are regulated and, if anything, such regulations will increase in coming years). Whether searching for fossils, rocks, or minerals, always secure any necessary permits and obtain permission to collect on private property. With a large group. you'll likely be required to sign a waiver promising not to damage property and obsolving property owners of any responsibility for accidents. In fact, you're likely to get a better reception if you approach a property owner with such a waiver already in hand and with evidence of insurance coverage through your regional Federation. In selecting your field trip site, avoid areas with obvious hazards (high traffic road cuts, steep bluffs, thick clumps of poison oak, etc.)
Remind kids to dress in appropriate outdoor clothing, sturdy shoes and a hat, and before you go, explain the ground rules. Then, remind kids of those rules once you arrive. Kids have boundless enthusiasm and energy, especially if they've been cooped up in a bus or car. If parking near a roadway, be sure your car is fully off the pavement when you arrive, then watch for kids rushing up steep slopes of loose talus. Don't let rocks get tossed into a roadway - or toward other kids! Don't undermine overhangs, and don't leave unfilled holes. Do make sure an adult in the group knows first-aid and has a fully stocked first-aid kit close at hand, with a cell phone and directions to the nearest hospital in the event of an emergency. Finally, Select sites relatively rich in minerals or fossils. By nature, kids are impatient and will want to start finding "stuff" right away. The goal, after all, is to foster enthusiasm, not to tax their patience. If you don't know of any suitable exposures in your immediate area, ask around at a local college. Many college Geology departments and state geological surveys have road logs for field trips.
With rules and recommendations like these in mind, here are some potential activities for your juniors:
Activity #1: Field trip etiquette. Learn and demonstate knowledge of the AFMS Code of Ethics. Make a permission release form. Demonstrate field trip etiquette on your next trip. If the trip was on private land, did you first gain permission? Did you provide the owner with a release form? Did you fill holes you made? If at a road cut, did you keep rocks off the roadway?
Activity #2: Record keeping. Start and maintain a "field journal" of what you did and what you found in a composition or a spiralbound notebook, three-ring binder, or other record book. Take notes while in the field and later write up a formal report including observations about the locality and specimens. Pinpoint where you found your rocks, minerals or fossils so that others could locate the spot. Was there a specific layer containing the fossil or mineral deposit? If so, how could others locate and identify that layer?
Activity #3: Indoor field trips. Organize a field trip to a college geology department or to a museum, calling in advance to arrange a tour - not just of the exhibitions on public display, but the treasures behind the scenes.
With this and the ideas I've described previously, may your kids learn while - as always - having fun!
The holidays are supposed to be a time of warmth, joy and excitement. And for many people, they still are. Still, the anxiety of having too much to do in too little time, the pressure of unrealistic expectations and the tendency to overeat and overspend can overshadow holiday happiness.
You're familiar with the symtoms of stress - a pounding heart, increased perspiration, tight neck and shoulder muscles, anxiety and fear. But you may not know how to prevent or relieve these symptoms.
How can you handle stressors you can't change? The stress busters below are just a sampling of techniques you can use to reduce stress. Try some of these to help you cope with daily stress:
Stress Buster #1: Relaxation Breathing
Sit down at your desk. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly through your nose, thinking in. -Now let the air escape, thinking out. Focus on pleasant thoughts while slowly breathing in and out. Imagine the next breath you take carrying relaxation over face, scalp and the sides of your head. Your next breath carries relaxation to your shoulders, then to upper arms, forearms, hands, chest, stomach, hips knees, calves, ankles and feet. Do this for about five minutes.
Stress Buster #2: Muscle Relaxation
Choose a muscle and tense it for about 10 seconds. Then release it for about 15-20 seconds. Do this with each major muscle group in your entire body. Notice how relaxed your muscle groups become.
Stress Buster #3: Imagery
Sit down. Close your eyes. Imagine the beach at sunset; a walk in the woods on a bright fall day; sitting by the fireplace with snow falling outside, or any other scene that brings a sense of peace and relaxation. Do this for about five minutes.
Stress Buster #4: Shoulder Shrugs and Squeezes
Sit down and slowly raise your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds. Slowly bring your shoulders down. Relax. Repeat three times. Next. put your hands up. Push your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds. Relax. Repeat three times.
Stress Buster #5: Exercise
Take a brisk walk, or if your doctor approves, participate in something more vigorous, such as jogging, swimming or another aerobic activity. Try doing this every day or at least three times every week. Being physically fit helps you to better cope with stress. Without a doubt, exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and tension. Exercise releases natural brain chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals make you feel calm and relaxed.
Stress Buster #6: Time Management
Make a list of everything you want to do today. Prioritize your list and complete the most important tasks that require the most energy and resources first. Delegate as much as possible. Avoid anything that wastes your time. Ask for help when you need it.
To learn the facts on the causes of stress and how to develop stress-reduction strategies for work and personal lives, contact your local Red Cross chapter about our one-hour Managing Stress training module.
SANTA CRUZ MINERAL & GEM Society has chosen HUBER & ELEANOR DRAKE for Special Member Recognition in the CFMS and AFMS Societies this year. When Hubert and Eleanor moved to Santa Cruz after his retirement as an aeronautical engineer for NASA, they planned and built a home with a workshop where Hubert could build his dream of a custom airplane, but arthritis ended that dream. When a casual visit to a gem & mineral exhibit awakened his interest in gems and faceting, he bought faceting books and equipment for his workshop and taught himself the art of faceting. He has shared his expertise by joining the gem and mineral society and teaching faceting to fellow members and others in the community, including professional jewelers for whom he also did custom cutting.
One jeweler even rewarded Hubert and Eleanor with a trip to Kenya. Hubert served as President of Santa Cruz Mineral & Gem Society, and Auditor. Eleanor has been Secretary and Membership Chairman. Hubert always provides a beautiful display at the annual show, and Eleanor has spent many hours at the Treasure Wheel, besides sewing litterally thousands of colorful grab bags beforehand. She also calls every member before the show to make sure there will be plentiful and varied foods donated for the guest's lunches.
The sharing of their time and experience over the years by Eleanor and Hubert Drake has been of great value to fellow members and tomany, many others.
Submitted by Marion Fowler, Federation Director
THE PARADISE GEM & MINERAL CLUB has nominated CHARLES and PHYLISS BROUSE as our 2003 "Rockhounds of the Year" for their long service and dedication to the club and to the lapidary arts. Charles Brouse joined the Paradise Gem & Mineral Club in September of 1980. He has served as Vice President, President, and Club Director. Charles was our show chairman for six years and currently represents our club as CFMS Director. He has taught lapidary classes for 4-H and juniors and continues to teach adults in his workshop. He tumbles rocks for grab bags for both the Paradise and Superior California Mineral Club shows and also demonstrates lapdary techniques at shows, He is a goodwill embassador for the club by going to other shows and exhibiting show cases. Ask for a volunteer and he almost always responds. In fact, I have it on good report that Santa depends on Charles for Christmas duty.
Phyllis Brouse has served as President and Director for the Paradise club and has filled in as needed as Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Chair. She has been the contact for show exhibitors for our annual show for many years. Her opal showcases are exellent to behold and educational as well. They have been exhibited at the Facetor's Guild show and by special request at the CFMS Show, hosted by the Mother Lode Mineral Society, and at many other N. California club shows. Together, the Brouses have graciously opened their home to host the monthly board meetings, and also to dye and fill grab bags for the annual show. Our club has benefitted greatly by their long association with us and we look forward to more in the future.
Charles and Phyllis, thanks so very much!
submitted by Paradise Gem editor Kevin Wright
THE FRESNO GEM & MINERAL Society has selected AL and AUDREY WEYMOUTH as our Rockhound of the Year. Every Society needs a couple like Al and Audrey. In the last 20 years or so, they have held just about all the offices in our Society, some of them several times. They have edited and published our newsletters for several years. They are always helping in our workshops, sewing bags, making rock critters, collecting and tumbling rocks, or anything else that needs doing. Audrey has been Chair of our sales booth several years in a row for our annual show. Al has been Gem and Mineral building superintendant during our show, also acting as liaison between the society and the Big Fresno Fair. Our society would not be what it is today without Al and Audrey and others like them. I proudly present Al and Audrey Weymouth as our Rockhounds of the Year 2003.
Submitted by Jerry Wells, Federation Director
THE CONTRA COSTA MINERAL & GEM SOCIETY would like to nominate DICK AND BETTY PANKEY as our Education Thru Sharing honorees. Dick and Betty have been active members in our club since they first joined. Dick has been President, among other duties, and is currently our Field Trip Chairman. He was our first Education Chairman and set up the monthly classes for our members. He worked through the Mt. Diablo School District, so they are co-sponsors of our classes. This means we are open to the public to join our classes. The only fee they need to pay are the annual dues to become a member of our club. In return, we get the building rent free and the school district advertises our classes in their brochure. Our classes are hands-on, taught by our members, and range from cab making, soapstone carving, faceting, beading, copper enameling, wire wrapping, stained glass, etc. Dick has also served as a Chairperson for the CFMS . He is currently serving as Treasurer of CFMS. Betty currently is our Hospitality Chair and is also the President of Ye Olde Timers Mineral Club,
Submitted by Ann Mathews, President of CCMGC
At the Sunday meeting of the CFMS Officers and Chairmen, Dick Pankey asked me if it was possible to create a graph of the clubs who had sent representatives to the Annual and Fall Business meetings.
Following are the lists going from the last one, November 7th back to 1999. It pretty well explains the problems. Some clubs have been represented at all meetings, some a few and the blank spaces are those who apparently don't .... care about the CFMS.
What to do? Which of those clubs who never come have a membership of over 50? These are the ones we should be working on as they are the least viable. The ones with membership under 25 are probably only "social" in nature at this point and when they run out of time.... will be gone.
(See notes at the end of chart. )
We are continuing our efforts to keep the wheels turning and make a few improvements where possible, but those things don't happen overnight and do encompass some forethought and planning. Then a consensus of opinion from the committee to institute, so they do take some time. Any changes made will be published in time for appropriate action or reaction before being fully instituted. Having heard numerous comments about how quickly Zzyzx was filled with applications and that many who were making an initial application were placed on a waiting list, I will propose to the committee a change in how registrations, for both the spring and fall sessions, will be handled. I am presently designing new application forms to reflect the changes I believe will be beneficial to the program.
Elsewhere in this Newsletter ( Form ) you will find the initial application for the proposed seminar to be held in Big Pine on August 1 - 7, 2004. again, I would like to emphasize that this is primarily directed to benefit the younger members of our societies ages 8 - 18, and the activities we will offer will be scheduled with this in mind. As now planned, such things as basic lapidary, wire artistry, soft stone carving, baroque jewelry creation and evening programs of various sorts; but not necessarily limited to those areas. A couple of field trips will be scheduled to local collecting areas will be a part of the offering. I would appreciate those club officers who have access to the CFMS Newsletter sharing the information and applications with their members to help promote this event, and contribute to it's success.
Plans for a Jalama Beach trip proposed for 2003 in association with BLM had to be put on hold, due to a BLM freeze on such trips. The 2004 BLM situation is not yet known. A CFMS North trip is contemplated in July to take in the Madras Pow Wow and visit sites in Oregon's Ochoco Mountains.
The CO-OP 2004 schedule has been determined and is scheduled for distribution after Thanksgiving.