At the 147th Annual Session of the National Grange, at Manchester New Hampshire, the delegates adopted changes to requirements for Junior Grange membership which allows for individual Junior Grange membership in any Subordinate/Community Grange. This means any Subordinate/Community Grange can have a Junior Grange Program with as little as one child age 5 to 14 years of age. That is the “1” part of the program. The “+” part of the program is that you don’t have to stop at 1, it is just the starting point.
By using the Junior Grange 1+ Program, any Subordinate/Community Grange, anyplace in the Nation, can start with a single Junior Grange-age child and build a Junior Grange program from there. The process to start a Junior Grange 1+ Program is easy.
- The Junior Granger completes an application, submits it to a Community/Subordinate Grange, and receives the Junior Grange Obligation from the Subordinate President.
- At that point, the Junior member may participate in any and all of the age-appropriate contests and activities open to them.
- As your Junior membership grows, make plans to charter a full Junior Grange in the future. All Junior Grange 1+ members will automatically become members in the newly chartered Junior Grange.
SO, HOW DO WE PROCEED?
As the National Grange Junior Grange Development Director, I would recommend that you take the following steps:
1. Each Grange should appoint a Junior Grange Development Committee the function of which would entail seeking out a need in the community for children age 5 to 14. Then develop a means to fill that need by asking children and families to join the Junior Grange and the Subordinate/Community Grange.
2. A Junior Grange Leader, and assistant Leaders should be appointed. They could also function as the JG Development Committee. The leader and assistants should make themselves familiar with the National Grange Junior Program, and also the State Grange Program for the state in which they reside.
3. Recruit the prospective Junior Grange members, identified in Step 1. Get applications, signed by parents, and submit to your Grange for approval.
4. Chances are you’ll be starting with more than 1 Junior Grange member, if so, you are well on your way to having fun and adventures with these new Junior Grangers. Remember that you need to meet with Junior Grange members at least once a month (See Chapter 4, Article IX, Section 4.9.1)
5. Now you are on your way to growing into a full-fledged Junior Grange – that’s the “+” part!