Vol. XXXXI, No. 8 --- September 2004

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
Directors Meeting, Fresno
Directors Meeting, Mariposa
Jury of Awards
From CFMS Exec/Sec/Tres
CFMS Scholarship Report
All American Awards
Field Trip to Tourmaline Mine
Earth Science Report
Junior Activities
Notes From Amador G&MC
Child Safety

Prez Message

By Lois Allmen, CFMS President

CFMS President

One Person's Opinion. Let's talk competition.

We all know that we like to participate in those things in which we are successful. If that feeling of success is beaten down we don't participate. Many years ago when I first started to teach I was told. "Never give a student high marks the first semester so there is room to improve." The idea being that if the score was low the student would try harder the next time. Over the years, personal experience has taught me that is a fallacy. Unfortunately, I think the theory is still practiced. The person who gives it his best shot and gets a low mark says, "I've done the best I could", and seldom enters again, or goes to another field or subject. Is this part of the problem in our competition?

This last week the Ventura County Fair started. In the Gem and Mineral Department there was 100% competition. 90% of those are members in one or more of the three CFMS Gem & Mineral Clubs in the county. Mariposa had five cases in CFMS competition. What makes the difference?

One example:
When the present Superintendent (Bob Stultz) first took over for Gems and Minerals at the Fair, entering in competition was low on the totem pole. Instead of seeing how many points could be taken off on an item, the judges were instructed to take off the minimum, the minimum being one or two points. Be sure and have the clerk write down what is good as well as what needs improving. Anymore, there are rarely complaints about entering competition, instead they proudly state, "I got a 96% or 92% ", and come back year after year even if those scores may not have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd. This has taken a few years to accomplish, but it has paid off.

Is there a lesson here for us? I think so.

November 13, Fresno: Directors Meeting

By Lois Allmen, CFMS President

The annual Fall Business meeting and election of officers for 2005 will be held at the Quality Inn at 4278 West Ashlan Avenue, Fresno, CA on Saturday, November 13, 2004.

The Cracker Barrel social will be held Friday night November 12, 2004 at 7:30 PM in the Banquet room behind the hotel. Coffee will be served. Directors, please bring cookies, fruit, or other healthy munchies.

Societies A through M bring snacks to the Cracker Barrel on Friday evening and N through Z bring snacks to the Saturday Directors meeting.

The Business meeting will be held on Saturday, November 13 at 9:00 AM. Directors be sure to bring your copy of the Agenda you receive in the mail. Any CFMS members may attend the meeting and are encouraged to do so, but only delegates may vote.

Room reservations must be made directly with the Quality Inns at 4278 West Ashlan Avenue, Fresno. Phone 1-559-275-2727.

Be sure to tell them you are with CFMS in order to get special rates. Make reservations by Nov. 1, 2004. Our special rate is $62.00, plus tax per night for 2 persons, with additional charges for 3 or more. Take the Ashlan Avenue exit from Hwy 99 in Fresno. The Quality Inn is located on the west side of the freeway. QUALITY INNS ACCEPTS NO PETS.


Our Saturday Evening Banquet will begin at 6:00 PM with a no-host bar and Get-together. Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM.

Brooks Ranch green Salad
Prime Rib or Chicken Marsala
Vegetable medley, garlic potatoes, bread and butter
Cheese cake
Coffee and Iced Tea

Cost is $22.50 per person (includes tax and tip), make banquet reservations by Nov. 1, 2004. Mail your check with dinner choice reservation to:

P.O. BOX 1657
Rialto, CA 92377-1657


Committee Chairmen, please reserve time now for your committee meetings on Friday, Nov. 12 at the Quality Inn. Call or write Lois Allmen for reservations at: 407 Magnolia Ave., Oxnard, CA 93030-5309, (805) 483-6871, email allmenL@vcss.kl 2.ca.us.

Tentative Schedule - Friday
2:00- 4:00 PM Executive Committee
9:00-10:00 PM Scholarship Committee (following Cracker Barrel)

CFMS Directors' Meeting
May 29, 2004 Mariposa, CA

Submitted by Eva Umhohz, CFMS Secretary 2004

The meeting was called to order in the Mariposa Senior Center by President Lois Allmen at 9:00 am,

  1. The PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was led by Cal Clason.
  2. The INVOCATION AND MEMORIAM was given by Chuck McKie.
  3. INTRODUCTIONS: President Lois Allmen introduced those Past Presidents attending: Ruth Bailey, Bill & lzzy Burns, Dee Holland. Mike Kokinos, Pat LaRue, Shirley Leeson, Bev Moreau, JoAnna Ritchey, Bob & Jeane Stultz, Jack Williams, and Past AFMS Presidents Ruth Bailey, Izzy Burns, and Dee Holland. New Directors: Steve Blocksage #18, Del Air Rockhounds; Jack Canfield #39, Kern County Mineral Society: Jennifer Rhodes #132, Reno Gem &Mineral Society: Cheri George #73, Palmdale Gem & Mineral Society.
  4. WELCOME by Judi Gooch, President Mariposa Gem & Mineral Society.
  5. ESTABLISHMENT OF A QUORUM: Pat LaRue. Exec. Sec-Tres announced a quorum with 74 Directors. 5 Officers and 22 Chairpersons. There are 135 Clubs in the CFMS Federation.
  6. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA: Moved by Jennifer Rhodes # 132, Reno G&MS that the Agenda be adopted. Second by Teresa Masters #21, El Cajon VG&MS. Carried.
  7. ADOPTION OF THE STANDING RULES: Moved by Bev Moreau #106, Southern California Micromineralogists to adopt the Standing Rules. Second by JoAnna Ritchey #56, Monrovia Ruckhounds. Carried.
  8. MINTUES of the November 8, 2003 Directors' meeting: There being no corrections to the Minutes, they stand approved as written.
  9. Report of the ACTIONS of the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: by Secretary Eva Umholtz. Motion by Chuck McKie # 25, Fairfield Lapidary Society, to accept the Actions as written. Second by Shirley Leeson # 88, San Diego M&GS. Carried.
  10. Report of DELINQUENT SOCIETIES by Pat LaRue, Exec. Sec-Treas. The Autonetics Gem & Mineral Society has disbanded. To date, six clubs have not paid their 2004 dues and insurance. Report in packet.
  11. TREASURER'S Report by Dick Pankey: Motion to accept report by Bev Moreau # 67, Northrop Grumman G&MS. Second by Chuck McKie #25, Fairfield Lapidary Society. Carried.
  12. NEW MEMBER APPLICATIONS: Eva Umholtz reported that no new applications have been received.
  13. 2004 SHOW REPORT: Ruth Bailey reported that the Mariposa club encountered several problems but were able to resolve them and they hope everyone is having a good time. It will be awhile before financial reports can be prepared.
  14. 2005 SHOW REPORT: Ruth Bailey reported that planning is underway for the 2005 show in Roseville. Gloria Tomezyk # 83, Roseville Rock Rollers, gave an enthusiastic invitation to all to attend the show and reported on facilities and camping.
  15. SHOW BIDS FOR 2006: Bob Stultz has received a bid from the Calaveras G&MS to host the 2006 show, target date is in April. Tom Reeves, President, Calaveras G&MS, reported that the Fairgrounds will charge them only half the usual fee. Motion by Shirley Leeson # 88,San Diego M&GS. to accept the Calaveras G&MS bid. Second by Gloria Tomezyk # 83, Roseville Rock Rollers. Carried.
  16. SHOW BIDS FOR 2007. Bob Stultz has received a bid from the Palmdale G&MS to host the 2007 show. This will be the 50th Anniversary for the club. Cheri George reported that the target date is late May. Motion by Fran Todd #2, American Opal Society, to tentatively accept the bid, pending site visit by the screening committee. Second by Maureen Levitt # 126. Woodland Hills Rock Chippers. Carried.
  18. NEW BUSINESS: None.
    1. ALL AMERICAN CLUB: Dorothy Beachler reported the 2003 entries: Contra Costa M&GS, Fossils For Fun, Orcutt Mineral Society, Roseville Rock Rollers, and Sutter Buttes G&MS. Results will be announced at the banquet.
    2. BULLETIN AIDS: Anna Christiansen has report in packet. The Editors' contest had 8 Bulletins and 27 Articles entered, plus excellent judging.
    3. BYLAWS: Bev Moreau reported that Updated Bylaws and Operating Procedures manuals are in the packets. Motion by Bev Moreau #106, Southern California Micromineralogists, to accept the proposed change to Article IV of the Bylaws which clarifies that it is CFMS Honorary Members which are exempted from dues. Seconded by Teresa Masters # 21, El Cajon G&MS. Carried.
    4. CAB CASES NORTH: Bob Pevahouse reported that the North cases were displayed at all scheduled shows, plus one unscheduled show.
    5. CAB CASES CENTRAL: Cal Clason reported cases were displayed at all requested shows.
    6. CAB CASES SOUTH: Bob Backus absent.
    7. NEWSLETTER EDITOR: Colleen McGann thanked all who submitted articles and encouraged early submission of material because the newsletter is prepared well in advance of distribution.
    8. CFMS REPRESENTATIVE TO AFMS: Shirley Leeson reported that new AFMS competition slide shows have been reviewed and the quality is very good. Support for the AFMS Endowment fund raffle helps support the Competition.
    9. EARTH SCIENCE STUDIES: Cal Clason reported that the 2004 Zzyzx seminar was successful. Next year's dates are April 3-9, 2005, and an Open House is being considered as that will he the 20th year at Zzyzx, Big Pine reservations have been slow and the seminar may need to be opened to participation regardless of age; day classes for local children may be offered. Camp Paradise applications will he in the bulletin and on the Internet at the same time. Seminars will start September 12th.
    10. EDUCATION THRU SHARING: Loretta Ogden reported eight nominations so far this year, with three more to be announced at the banquet. Report in packet. Directors were urged to encourage more nominations.
    11. ENDOWMENT FUND CFMS: Ray Meisenheimer has report in packet. Donations for 2004 were $925.00 and earnings for 2004 $1,559.56. Club # 90, San Gorgonio G&MS presented check. Please donate items for sale at the Endowment Fund table, next year in Roseville.
    12. ENDOWMENT FUND AFMS: Dee Holland reported that items for the AFMS raffle are listed on the AFMS web site.
    13. FIELD TRIP NORTH: John Stockwell report in packet. John will lead a trip June 28-29 to Ochoco Mts in Oregon.
    14. FIELD TRIP SOUTH: Bob Fitzpatrick's report on the past Cady Mts trip is in the packet. The Thanksgiving trip will be to Wileys Well, Bob thanked Don Ogden for his work posting field trip information on the web site.
    15. FINANCIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Report in packet. Motion by Mike Kokinos #66, Northern California Mineralogical Assoc, to approve Audit Actions of the FAC. Second by JoAnna Ritchey # 56, Monrovia Rockhounds. Carried.
    16. GOLDEN BEAR: Frank Mullaney will report at the banquet tonight.
    17. HISTORIAN: Shirley Leeson reported a great response to her request for items for a "CFMS Past Presidents" exhibit. Results to date in report in packet.
    18. INSURANCE: Fred Ott. report on sign-in table. Fred has not been able to get even one other company to submit a competitive hid. Premiums for the 2004-2005 policy are expected to be about 15% higher than current policy year, and there will be some changes in procedures. Information on insurance coverage is on the Forms tab of the web site.
    19. INTERNET COMMITTEE: Don Ogden, report in packet. There will he a new web page with information on "Tailgate" events, which Doug Arnold will coordinate.
    20. JUNIOR ACTIVITIES: Jim Brace-Thompson absent but report in packet.
    21. MUSEUM: Debbie Bunn report on table.
    22. NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Report in packet. Bill Gissler reported that nominations have been received for all offices except Treasurer. Clubs wishing to nominate a person for office should send a letter signed by the club President or Federation Director to Bill Gissler. The list of nominees will be presented and elections held at the Nov 13th meeting.
    23. PROGRAM AIDS: Cheri George reported that the new Podium People manual is in the packet. Get in touch with Cheri if you know of someone who has a program and might be willing to be added to the list.
    24. PUBLIC LANDS ADVISORY: NORTH Frank Monez. report in packet. Encouraged clubs to publicize openings on PLACs. Norvie Enns warned that the sage grouse is to be added to the endangered list and this will affect collecting opportunities.
      SOUTH Isabella Burns reported that the Desert Advisory Council need a rep and applications with club and CFMS endorsement should be submitted by August.
    25. PUBLICITY/PUBLIC RELATIONS: Report in packet. Teresa Masters urged Directors to share the questionnaire from her report with their clubs, and to provide input back to the Publicity and Public Relations Committee.
    26. RULES COMMITTEE: Bural LaRue reported nine in competition this year and winners will be announced at the banquet. Directors were urged to promote the competition for next year.
    27. SAFETY: Chuck McKie report in packet.
    28. SCHOLARSHIP CFMS: Report in packet. Isabella Burns thanked clubs for donations this year and announced that some recipients would be attending the banquet. Five scholarships are being given this year.
    29. SCHOLARSHIP AFMS: Report in packet. Montella Lopez presented Shirley Leeson with an award in recognition of her contribution honoring three CFMS Past Presidents.
    30. SLIDE & VIDEO LIBRARIAN: Report in packet. Bill Gissler reported that the catalog has been updated and will be distributed at the November 2004 meeting: it includes four new slide programs and five new videos. The committee is testing the process for scanning existing slide shows for transfer to CD and will prepare estimated costs and plans for conversion. Don Ogden has equipment for converting the slides to CD and volunteered to do it at no charge.
    31. TAX ADVISOR: Mike Kokinos, report in packet. Mike warned that clubs should not post their shops on the web with "members only" notation, as this could cause them to lose their exemption. Motion by Shirley Leeson # 88, San Diego M&GS. for CFMS to pay for the yearly Tax Update manuals Mike uses as CFMS Tax Advisor. Second by Maureen Levitt #126, Woodland Hills Rock Chippers. Carried.
    32. TROPHY COORDINATOR: Frank Mullaney has 2004 Officer and Chair tags ready. When ordering triangles and bars, remember blanks equal one. space and these orders should go to Pat LaRue first.
    33. SHOW DATES. Cal Clason, reporting for Dee, reminded Directors to use forms in packet or from website to submit dates for newsletter.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. Next Directors meeting is in Fresno on November 13, 2004. at the Quality Inn.
The banquet will be at the Quality Inn. Social hour at 6pm and banquet at 7pm. The Nominating and Public Relations Committees will meet following todays meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 am. Submitted by Eva Umhohz . CFMS Secretary 2004

Jury of Awards Committee

By Colleen McGann, Chairperson

The Jury of Awards Committee needs your selection for honoree, with a summary of why you selected this person, by the end of October so selection can be made at the Fall Meeting.

This is a request to all the CFMS clubs to send candidate nominations to Lois Allmen, Marion Roberts, or Colleen McGann, addresses in CFMS newsletter. The candidates should be active members who have worked to further the earth sciences in our communities. Isabella Burns is the CFMS honoree for 2004.

Every year all six regions honors one of their own as their honoree for the AFMS Scholarship Fund distribution. The honorees then choose a college to receive the scholarships and the colleges choose the student(s). The AFMS scholarships are awarded to graduate students $2,000 for two years and CFMS Scholarship Fund distributions are awarded to undergraduate students.

From The CFMS Exec. Secretary/Treasurer

By Pat LaRue

Deadline for committee reports for the November Directors meeting is October 25.

As in the past, I will accept them by e-mail or snail mail. If unable to meet this deadline, please bring at least 100 copies to the meeting for distribution. Thanks.

CFMS Scholarship Report

By Isabella Burns, 2004 Chair

It was the pleasure of this year's committee to present scholarship to 5 outstanding students of Earth Sciences of Lapidary Arts.

Each year a Diedrick Scholarship is given to a student of Geology at the University of California Berkeley or Earth Sciences at Stanford University who will be attending their junior or senior year. A grant of $2,000.00 is given from the special Diedrick Fund. This year this went to Elizabeth Bartelt.

These students have received financial help $2,000.00 this year. Afton Van Zandt of the San Diego State University chosen by Honoree Greg Andersen. Byia Lyles of Cal State Univ. Northridge chosen by Honoree Keri Dearborn. Jenni Carstensen of Cal State Univ. Northridge chosen by Honoree Dick Flaharty. Molly Wingland of Humboldt State Univ. chosen by Honoree Jack Williams.

Each year CFMS clubs and or societies are asked to nominate candidates for Scholarship Honorees. Candidates for this honor need not be a member of CFMS. They can be authors of books or magazines relating to geology, college or university instructors, museum curators, or other people who are contributing to the further study of the earth sciences. At the Scholarship Committee meeting, these nominations are reviewed by the committee and the next year's honorees are chosen. The committee needs to know the contribution of the nominee to choose who receives this honor.

The names of these recommendations should be sent to the Scholarship Committee before the November meeting.

All American Awards-Final Awards

By Dot Beachler,CFMS Chair

The All American Awards program national results for the year 2004 were announced at the AFMS banquet on Saturday, July 10, 2004. Participation improved somewhat with eighteen clubs competing this year as compared to fourteen last year, six Federations this year compared to five last year. Also, with five entries each the California and Midwest Federations tied for the most entries.
Congratulations to all.

All American Final Awards
Club Federation Scores
Large Clubs
  1. Che-Hanna Rock & Mineral Club
    Sayre, PA.
  2. Midwest Mineralogical & Lapidary Society
    Dearborn, MI
  3. Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society
    Springfield, IL.
  4. Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society
    Walnut Creek, CA.
  5. Austin Gem & Mineral Society
    Austin, TX.
  6. Wisconsin Geological Society
    Milwaukee, WI.
  7. Arlington Gem & Mineral Society
    Arlington, TX.
  8. The Georgia Mineral Society
    Chamblee, GA.
  9. Minnesota Mineral Club
    Minneapolis, MN.
  10. Waco Gem & Mineral Society
    Waco, TX




South Central


South Central



South Central









Hororable Mention
Small Clubs
  1. Stillwater Mineral & Gem Society
    Stillwater, OK.
  2. Fossil For Fun Society,lnc.
    Gold River, CA.
  3. Northwest Wisconsin Gem & Mineral Society
    Cumberland, WI.
  4. Orcutt Mineral Society
    Santa Maria, CA.
  5. Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral Club
    Marysville, CA.
  6. Roseville Rock Rollers
    Roseville, CA.
  7. Tri-City Gem & Mineral Society
    Temple, TX.
  8. American Fossil Federation
    Falls Church, VA.
Rocky Mountain






South Central









Field Trip to Oceanview Tourmaline Mine on Sunday July 18th

By Bob Fitzpatrick, CFMS Field Trip Leader South

We had a total of 13 rockhounds that showed up for this field trip at the Oceanview Tourmaline Mine. Lisa, one of the owners of the mine let us start digging in the tailings at 10:45 a.m. and right away a real nice 8 inch long Quartz Crystal was found. Some of the gems found were bi-colored, pink, green, black Tourmaline, Quartz Crystal points, peach color Morganite Beryl, Clevelandite, purple Lepidolite Mica and so much more.

Everyone got to take a tour of the mine and that alone was worth the money we had paid to dig in the tailings. It was warm during mid-day but when you are finding a lot of nice gems, you don't really care. The mine had some good size assorted Crystals for sale that had been found in the mine and some of us bought a few of them at good prices. Being a small group of 13, we had the large tailing pile all to ourselves. Most of their Sunday field trips have large groups of 30 to 40 people, so we were able to go through the gems that were meant for a large group, and when we left at 5:30 p.m. it was almost gone, in other words, we picked it clean. For every one that did not go on Sunday, you missed a good one.

Earth Science Committee Report

By Cal Clason

Again it's time to commit to paper some of the things happening in Earth Sciences. Camp Paradise is fast approaching and at present the first week is full, but we will still accept applications for the second week. Disregard the original August 1 deadline!! Applications will be still processed if received by September 5, 2004.

Another alternative is for short term (day to day) attendance. No pre-registration will be required, and all fees payable at the function. The cost on a per day basis:

Room, meals & classes -- $37.50
Lunch, dinner & classes -- $27.50
Lunch & classes -- $22.50

If you wish more information regarding the above, call me, Cal, at (661) 589-4169.

Dates for Camp Paradise 2004 are September 12 - 18, and 19 - 25.

Other changes are also being made in the application process. In the future all applications will be made available much earlier and for extended periods of time. I anticipate releasing them the month following each seminar and will have other changes •   all, we hope, to improve the processing and viability of the classes offered. This will apply to both Camp Paradise and Zzyzx.

Our next event will be our 20" Anniversary at Zzyzx and plans are being made to make it a memorable one. More information on the special functions will be available as they are confirmed. The dates for the seminar are April 3 •   10, 2005. We will offer the usual classes in silver work, lapidary, wire artistry, soft stone carving, beading and of course fantastic field trips. Applications will be available in the next CFMS newsletter, and on the web page about the same time and as is my custom, I urge you to file early. It historically fills up very quickly and we are limited to the number of people we can accommodate.

The ESS committee reviewed the Big Pine event that had to be cancelled, and with a somewhat different approach will investigate trying it again at sometime next summer. We are in agreement that it would be a service to the younger generations and the Eastern Sierra region. More on this at a later time.

Junior Activities:
E-Z Rock & Mineral Guides for Kids

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair

There are a great many beautifully illustrated guidebooks out there for learning about and identifying rocks and minerals, with glossy, full-colored photos and lots of helpful information about mineral characteristics. However, a lot of these can go into quite a bit of technical detail and they can be a bit pricey for a child's budget. Fortunately, there are some nice alternatives in the form of what I call "E-Z Rock and Mineral Guides".

Of course, the old stand-by has long been Zia' and Shaffer's Rocks and Minerals: A Guide to Familiar Minerals, Gems, Ores and Rocks, put out by the Golden Guide Series. In fact, my copy even states "Easy-to-Use" right on the cover. It's inexpensive, thorough, and at alevel many kids can follow, although even this handy little pocket books goes into quite a hit of text at times.

A nice alternative I've found are "quick-guides" sheets. These consist of convenient fold-out sheets of heavy cardstock that has been laminated. They have an abundance of colorful photos of the most common rocks and minerals and take an approach that is less text-heavy than a book. Instead, the emphasis is on visual learning, with useful diagrams, photos, and artwork supported by a minimum of text that convey "just the facts, ma'am".

Over the years, I've collected four of these:

  1. "Minerals' Quick-Guide to Mineral Identification'. Published in 1998 by Bob Brumbaugh as part of Bob's Geology Guide Series and distributed by Local Birds, Inc., P.O. Box 620491, Woodside, CA 94062, phone 650-367-1986;
  2. "Earth Science". Quick Study Academic guide series, published in 2000 by BarCharts, Inc, Boca Raton, FL., website www.quickstudycharts.com.;
  3. "Rocks & Minerals" another in the Quick Study Academic guide series; and
  4. "Geology, An Introduction to Familiar Rocks, Minerals, Gemstones and Fossils". Part of the Naturalist series of Waterford Press, phone number 800-434-2555, website www.waterfordpress.com.

Convenient, visual basics-level "E-Z Rock and Mineral Guides" like these are a great and inexpensive resource for the juniors in your club to learn while - as always - having fun!

Notes From The Amador Gem & Mineral Club

By Betty Egger

Members of the Amador Gem & Mineral Club compete each year at the Amador County Fair. This year one of our Junior members made us very proud. 13 year old Amanda Christiansen entered 10 pieces of hand made jewelry and cabochons she has made this fair year. She soldered and used a jeweler's saw for the first time. She received 8 hlue ribbons, 1 red ribbon, 1 white ribbon, and 1 Best of Division ribbon.

She has been working on stones and competing since she was 8 years old. Her grandparents are very interested in jewelry and lapidary. The judge said "her polishing and completion was better than most of the adults".

Judge Chris Reese, owner and operator of the Rare Exceptions Jewelry Store in Jackson, also gave Amanda a $100. Scholarship stating she deserved it for her good work".

Child Safety - Keep Your Child Safe

By Chuck McKie Safety Chairman CFMS 2004

Always supervise young children in the kitchen. Keep sharp objects out of children's reach. Always turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward so that children can't reach them. Be careful not to leave cups or other containers of hot fluids where children can reach them. Keep the temperature of hot water below 120•  F (49•  C) by turning down the temperature of your hot water heater.

A Good Baby Sitter

What makes a "good" babysitter who is asked back again and again? There is no one characteristic that makes someone a good babysitter. Instead, a good babysitter successfully combines the knowledge and skills associated with leadership, safety and safe play, basic care, first aid, and professionalism. Here are some tips to get you started on the road to safety while babysitting. Always be aware that an infant or child can be burned by anything that is hot, including food, bath water, heaters, and stoves or ovens. Make sure that homes where you babysit are equipped with operating smoke alarms. Keep matches, lighters, and candles away from children at all times. Talk to parents or guardians about a Family Fire Escape Plan. Know how to use the fire extinguisher and where it is located. Teach children to Stop, Drop, and Roll if their clothing catches on fire. If fire occurs, get yourself and the children out and don't return to a burning building. Your job is to protect the children, not their belongings. To learn more about safety, prevention, and babysitting, take the American Red Cross Babysitter's Training course. For information on signing up for a course, contact your local Red Cross.

Child Safety

With a baby or young child in your family, you know there is nothing more important than safety. Whether you're a parent or a child caregiver, there are steps you can take to keep babies and children safe. Follow these general safety rules. Use sate playgrounds. Use gates on stairs. Always supervise children in or near water. Buckle up. Never keep guns in any child care setting. Call the poison control center if you think a child has been poisoned. Post emergency numbers next to your telephone. Take an American Red Cross course in first aid and infant/child CPR. Make sure that others caring for your children are certified as well. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.

Other Resources: The ABCs of Safe and Healthy Child Care from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross Babysitter's Training, American Red Cross First Aid and CPR, Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Child Care Association, National Child Care Information Center, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care.

Information found Via the Red Cross on the internet.