Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
"The Club Co-op" columns for 1996

          This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 1996


January issue

Are You An Active Member?

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

To be an active member,

The kind that would be missed,

You're more than just contented

That your name is on the list.

You attend all the meetings

And mingle with the flock,

You always greet the others

With praise and never knock.

You take an active part

To help the work along,

You're one who's always seeking

To do more than just belong.

You work on committees

To keep the club running slick,

You do the work that's needed

And don't complain and pick.

You come to meetings often

And help with hand and heart,

You're more than just a member,

And take an active part.

Think this over, members,

You know what's right from wrong,

Are you an active member,

Or do you just belong?

I found a version of this verse in a 1989 issue of The Postrider, newsletter of the Central Coast Stamp Club. Since the author was cited as "unknown," I took the liberty of making some changes to try to neutralize the negative tone of the original text.

Guilt trips often don't go very far when it comes to getting members involved. In fact, they might even be construed as a form of criticism, which drives people away. A more effective means of "activating" a member is through thanks and praise. Think about it; there's inevitably something positive you can find about your most deadbeat member, Focus on that positive and approach that person with encouragement. It just might work.

An additional benefit of focusing on the positive is that it tends to lighten frustrations. This is, after all, a hobby club and not everyone is capable at all times to participate on an active basis.

Neither does everyone possess equal talents for performing needed tasks. I can operate a computer and produce a newsletter, but heaven help the club for which I might volunteer to serve as treasurer!

For the most part, I believe that everyone pitches in to a certain extent. What would I do without those who come forth to carry boxes from my car on the days when my youth group meets. Then, there are those who take the time to merely lend an ear while I'm trying to brainstorm an idea.

Moral support is an important contribution, too.

You've read this far? I appreciate your interest - thanks and praise!

My old friend Carl Burnett recently sent me a copy of a membership hand-book produced by the Missile Stamp Club, of Melbourne, FL. Carl is a member of that club and he played a large role in putting the book together.

This illustrated 37-page publication is worth emulating. Contents include a president's message, meeting information, club history and bylaws, listing of past officers, and policies and procedures of 24 of the group's most popular regular activities.

With this handbook, new members can immediately feel confident about joining in on club activities. Carl states that another advantage of the book is that the club will no longer have to use newsletter space to publish rules and regulations for its auction and circuit book activities. It also serves as an agenda for new club officers.

The handbook is free to all MSC members. Other clubs and individuals can order it by sending $5 (checks payable to Missile Stamp Club) to: Carl M. Burnett, P.O, Box 1987, Melbourne, FL 32942-1987. The $5 includes mailing costs and a gift booklet titled Tips & Guides far Production of show/Bourse Programs.

What others are doing

New officers of the Milwaukee Philatelic Society are: Pres. Bill Otto, VP Arthur Petri, Treas. john Fagan, Secy. Irene Orz, and Directors Gunther Heller and Wilson Scott.

Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) officers for 1996 are: Pres. David Suelzer, VP Rick Rodriguez, Secy. Bill Grosnick and Treas. Fred Ziemann.

The Polish American Stamp Club (Milwaukee area) has changed its meeting location. They're now at the First United Methodist Church of West Allis, 1574 So. 76th St. The group meets the second Sunday of each month (September-June) at 7 p.m.

February issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Holiday party reports filled the majority of January club newsletters. And, while food, door prizes and stamp bingo dominated as entertainment, a great variety of other activities were described as well. Rather than relate holiday functions in February, I will present the complete rundown this November, when 1996 parties are in the planning stages. This also will give me time to investigate the essential details of some of those activities. Excluding parties, therefore, here's -

What others are doing

Many clubs devoted their January meeting to participating in the Linn's Stamp News annual stamp popularity poll. Some offered a prize to the club member whose poll sheet most closely matches the final national tally.

The Ripon Philatelic Society reports that 1995 functions included show and tells sessions, two stamp auctions, postal videos, the WFSC trivia contest, presentation of Ripon postcards, program on English stamps and postcards, and slides of the Space Center. In October, the group provided a stamp exhibit for the Ripon Public Library, which was enjoyed by many.

1996 RPS officers are: Pres. David Borchert, co-VPs Terry Huelsrnan and Beth Waiters, Secy. Marge Betithin, and Treas. Charleen Borchert.

Waukesha County Philatelic Society officers are: Pres. Bob Mather, VP George Streiter, Recording Secy. Walfgang Magnus, Corresponding Secy. Bob Ulatt, Treas. Kurt Albrecht, and Directors Ken Tapper and Roy Marks.

On. February 27, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society will stage its annual children's stamp collecting symposium at the Wauwatosa Public Library. The group expects to entertain approximately 50 youngsters.

The Germany Philatelic Society, Chapter 18 (Milwaukee) is hosting the 10th annual Distinguished Philatelists Appreciation Dinner, where one Milwaukee-area philatelist is honored each year. The event will be held on March 9 at the John Ernst restaurant. For dinner reservations, contact: Dona Fagan, W140 N7470 Lilly Rd., Menomonee Falls, WI 53051.

The winning entry in the Green Bay Philatelic Society's latest annual Way Out Topicals contest was titled "The New Boston Pops - Name that Tune." As described in the club newsletter, "The stamps were laid out on the page in the way that an orchestra is arranged, with the conductor at center front, but a number of the instruments represented were never in any classical orchestra. Particular mention must be made of a Papua New Guinea stamp showing a nose flute." •

March issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

I collect stamps, but for the past two years I've been collecting WFSC member club logos, too. My main interest in logos lies in my commitment to someday prepare a WFSC Membership Manual. Within the manual, I plan to include a bit of history of all our clubs, and the logo artwork will dress up the pages.

Actually, that's pretty much of what a logo is all about, a decorative symbol that provides a sense of immediate identification. One might look at a logo in terms of a family crest. Logos, however, are often updated to conform to art-style changes.

If your club doesn't have a logo, it certainly isn’t necessary to run out and hire an artist to design one for you. It will come in handy, though, for that time when you want to add a touch of prestige to a special document.

My collection is far from complete, and if your logo isn't shown here, please send me a copy.

April issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

I'm accumulating a backlog of club news, so this time, I'll get right at -

What others are doing

New officers of the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) are: Pres. Larry Marten, VP James Caldwell, John Barnick, and Treas. Norman Braeger. Programs for the last two meetings focused on the Washington-Franklin series of 1908.

Sheboygan Stamp Club officers for 1996 are: Pres. Margaret Goldmann, VP David Smith, Secy. Robert Keppert, Treas. Ruth Hoppe, and Directors Perry Harris, Vern Witt, Robert Kuhlmann and Mike Steeb.

In response to a past column where I discussed compensation for club service, Ruth Hoppe reported that the SSC gives her free dues for serving as treasurer.

This helps cover the hidden costs involved with her duties.

The topics of recent SSC displays at the Sheboygan Post Office were booklet stamps and the post office on wheels.

The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point) has a club exhibit depicting the basics of stamp collecting. It was displayed at the Wisconsin Rapids post office during October National Stamp Collecting Month in 1995.

1996 officers of the Walworth County Stamp Club are: Pres. David Valley, VP Dan Hammell, Treas. Eugene Joyce and Secy. Michael Yopp. Club meeting activities include an auction every other month.

Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) members volunteered to assist elementary school teachers in the area who are interested in incorporating any of the U.S. Postal Service's Kids' Post materials within their classroom curriculum. Thirty fourth-grade area teachers receive the Kids' Post publication.

On March 23, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society held its annual public auction.

Bob Krauss is the new newsletter editor for the North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee.

Julio Santiago now edits the Milwaukee Philatelist, newsletter of the Milwaukee Philatelic Society.

Members of the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) will hear a presentation about plate number coil stamps at their April meeting.

In January, the Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) invited a popular area dealer to the meeting. He brought in his stock exclusively for club members to peruse.

A Love stamps quiz was featured at the February meeting of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee).

Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) members staffed a table at a recent hobby show held at the local mall. •

May/June issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

The Janesville Stamp Club scored seven new members with its innovative "Stamp Bingo and Welcome New Members Nite" held in March. Such success, however, required prudent planning, and action was initiated on February 17 at the club's last annual stamp show.

For starters, each visitor to the show received a free JSC membership until June '96, the remainder of the club's fiscal year. Publicity fliers (see illustration) about the club's bingo/new member night also were distributed at the show.

On bingo night, veteran members brought in an assortment of philatelic lots with a value of up to $2 each. Donors received reimbursement from the JSC treasury for 90 percent of the actual value of lots provided. These lots served as prizes from which bingo game winners had the opportunity to choose. At the end of the evening, the club auctioned off the remaining lots.

JSC reports that the new-member campaign was not only successful, but also fun for all, and the club definitely will consider repeating it next year.

Perhaps your club is interested in adopting this idea, but it doesn't sponsor an annual show for distribution of fliers. With a bit of imagination, publicity could be accomplished through other means.

If your club doesn't have access to stamp bingo cards, they can be easily created on standard 8 ½" by 11" paper: a square for an airmail stamp, commemorative, etc. Place each sheet in a page protector, make some small caller cards, and you're ready to play.

The Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) recruited a new member via cyberspace. By scrolling through America Online subscriber profiles, an individual in the club found an unknown stamp collector in the area. Through an e-mail message, the prospect was invited to attend a LCPS meeting. He showed up and joined! •

July/August issue No column this issue

September issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Through the wonders of e-mail, I'm now receiving regular news from the Ripon Philatelic Society. This group doesn't produce a newsletter but its secretary, Marge Beuthin, has a computer and recently went online. I've enjoyed our exchanges through the Internet and always welcome messages via the modem.

Marge reports that since January, RPS members have enjoyed meeting programs featuring Civil War stamps, the WFSC trivia contest, postal videos, show and tell, a stamp quiz, an auction, and a tour of the Oshkosh Post Office.

What others are doing

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club Newsletter (West Bend) has a very active youth program and the membership often gets together on non-meeting nights to sort stamps for kids. In April, the adult meeting focused on a discussion of the Civil War and how it relates to our hobby.

Here's an interesting item that appeared in the April issue of the club's newsletter: "If you don't own a postal scale but want to know if your letter weighs more than an ounce, try making your own scale. Lay a pencil on the table. Place a 12-inch ruler atop it, centering the ruler on the 6-inch mark. Put five quarters on the 3-inch mark and center your letter on the 9-inch mark. Since five quarters weigh exactly 1 ounce, if your homemade scale doesn't tip to raise the quarters, your letter weighs less than 1 ounce." This is a coin and stamp club, folks.

Numismatics emerged too when the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) produced wooden nickels to promote its 1996 two-day show. Members provided a two-hour stamp and coin-collecting workshop for youths on both days of the event.

New officers of the Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain) are: Pres. Tom Pleyte, VP Al LeBlanc, Secy. Jim Steams and Treas. Mark Pleyte. The club is currently preparing a President's Book. The three-ring binder will include bulletins, official correspondence, membership lists and other helpful club information. This action probably was prompted by the lack of a nominee for the vice president position on election night, which consequently produced a scramble to find a copy of the club bylaws.

Recently elected officers of the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) are: Pres. Fred Schaeffer, VP Glenn Zinck, Secy. Howard Shaughnessy and Treas. Walter Veile. Members who attended the June meeting saw a demonstration on the use of various watermark detectors.

The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point) distributed U.S. Postal Service literature and 560 packets of stamps to youth at the area's Children's Festival held in April. In June, the club participated at the Point Basse Pioneer Festival and offered a cacheted cover commemorating the event.

Want a mini-auction with a twist? Try what the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club did at its May meeting. Each member brought a maximum of five items and served as his or her own auctioneer. That same month, the group gave stamp packets to children who attended the Kenosha Post Office Open House.

Helen Larson was re-elected to serve as KSCC's secretary. Walter "Bud" Petersen will serve as the club's new treasurer.

The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society also has two new officers: Secy. Joe Ryan and Treas. Jim Beck.

Here! Here! The Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) voted to appoint a club philatelic agent, whose duty is to order material from the U.S. Postal Service Philatelic Fulfillment Service Center. Furthermore, the club will pay the shipping and handling fees as a benefit to its members. Great move if you can get worldwide collectors to agree.

BCSC's membership toured the Milwaukee Post Office in June. This month, members will staff a table at the local Kiwanis Senior Citizen Fair, with a focus on promoting stamp collecting to youth who come in with their elders.

Youths in the Appleton area also were introduced to stamp collecting when volunteers from the Outagamie Philatelic Society participated in a Youth Activity Fair sponsored by the region's Tri-community Crime Reduction Coalition.

The Green Bay Philatelic Society has a new set of officers: Pres. Kirk Becker, VP Mark Schrceder, Secy. Clete Delvaux and Treas. Ken Coakley. In conjunction with one of the club's buy/sell/trade meeting sessions, members were urged to comment on their buying practices. The July meeting featured a roundtable discussion on stamp mounts and mounting techniques.

When the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) wrote to the Wausau Post Office about problems collectors were having with the philatelic window services, it brought results! But then, two WVPS members also serve on that post office's Customer Advisory Council.

Three members of the Oshkosh Philatelic Society serve on their city's post office Customer Advisory Council. The club provided a stamp collecting display for Customer Appreciation Week, held in May.

October issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

We're one month into the new stamp collecting season, and while some clubs will scramble from meeting to meeting to schedule educational programs, those who did their summer homework will simply follow up on predetermined plans. The Oshkosh Philatelic Society is one of those that have its ducks in order. Here's the OPS agenda for the 1996-97 year:

Sept. 3 - Pick 'a' Poke Mixture

Sept. 16 - U.S. Stamped Envelopes 1853-65

Oct.1 - Coin Collecting

Oct. 21 –Auction

Nov. 5 - APS Slide Show "The Story of the Penny Black"

Nov. 18 - Club Banquet: Guest Speaker Wayne Youngblood of Stamp Collector, Iola, WI

Dec. 3 – U.S. Coast Guard on Stamps

Jan. 7 – Linn's Stamp Popularity Contest

Jan. 20 – Traveling with Jim Ryan Auction

Feb. 4 – Auction

Feb. 17 – WFSC Club Trivia Contest

Mar. 4 - APS Slide Show "The World's Columbian Expo"

Mar. 17 – Stamp Dealer Phil McCormick

Apr. 1 – Philatelic Round Table

Apr. 21 – Members' One-Page Exhibit

May 6 - Amelia Earhart: Theories of What Happened

May19-Election of Officers

June 8 - Potluck Picnic

July 8 - Swap Meet

Aug. 18 -Swap Meet

OPS officers for this stamp club year are: Pres. Hank Schmidt, VP A1 Marcus, Secy. Orin Hintz and Treas. Paul Schroeder.

Brainstorming by Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) members resulted in the following schedule with youth participation in the assigned topical/thematic clothesline exhibits (in italics):

Sept. - Stamp Varieties. Your Vacation

Oct. - The Four Mail Classes. Something from your Collection

Nov. - Tagging and ZIP Codes-What they Mean. Thanksgiving or Elections

Dec. - Bingo and Party. Christmas or Birds

Jan. - Fractional Currency. New Year's or Black Americans

Feb. - Maximum Cards and First Day Covers. Valentines or Presidents

Mar. - Treasure Hunt. Spring or Flowers

Apr. - PNCs and Plate Blocks. Baseball or Easter

May - Auction. Stamp Sesquicentennial

June - Perfins. Insects or Sports

July – Picnic

Aug. - Planning Meeting

What others are doing

October programs scheduled for Central Wisconsin Stamp Club meetings are Belgium stamp die varieties (Wisconsin Rapids) and American Philatelic Society slide show "Rotary International on Stamps" (Stevens Point).

Waukesha County Philatelic Society members also will see an APS slide show in October: Vernon Moore's famous "Sing Along With Stamps." At the second meeting of the month, they'll participate in a scavenger hunt.

The Walworth County Philatelic Society (Elkhorn) will hold a stamp question/identification help night at its November meeting.

In 1993, the Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain) purchased a three-year subscription of Linn's Stamp News for its local library. This year, the library will cover the renewal cost and the club will donate a one-year subscription to Stamp Collector. A survey at the end of a year will determine which publication is most popular with library users.

Visitors to WaUSApex '96 found great incentive to take the time to register at the door - a process show sponsors encourage to compile a mailing list for next year's event. The Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau), held a drawing at the end of the two-day show for a copy of Scott's 1997 Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps.

Due to renovations at the Warren-Newport Library, the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) has temporarily moved its meeting site to the Saddlebrook Farms Community Lake Lodge, located west of Libertyville on Route 137.

Badger Stamp Club (Greater Madison area) 1996-97 officers are: Pres. George Cook, VP Art Arntsen, Secy. Gary Small, Treas. Ed O'Brien, and board members John Rettig, Myra Reilly, Dan Undersander and Ron Hayes.

The Milwaukee Philatelic Society is sponsoring a bus trip to CHICAGOPEX '96 on November 23, with two Milwaukee-area pickup locations. Since the sign-up deadline isn't until November 12, there's still time to participate. Contact any MPS member for further information. •

November issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Ready or not, the snow will soon be flying and thoughts will turn to the holiday season. Most WFSC member clubs engage in some type of holiday celebration, and some already have their plans in place. For those whose plans are still in limbo, I reserved this month's column to relate a few party activities reported in last winter's club newsletters.

Food, of course, was foremost on each agenda. While most clubs gathered for a meal at a local restaurant with spouses and guests, some preferred potluck holiday snacks in the meeting room.

Stamp bingo with prizes was a popular activity, and the majority of clubs provided numerous door prizes, both philatelic and non-philatelic. Some groups exchanged gifts and sang Christmas carols.

The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society used its holiday social to induct new officers and present awards to exhibitors who participated in the club's annual fall show. The evening also included a speaker, who gave a presentation about a collecting specialty

The Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) reported a particularly gala affair. Guests included the local postmaster and his wife. One member recorded interviews with everybody, which is now on tape for posterity. Six white-elephant items were offered as door prizes. After the six lucky winners had carefully selected their prizes, two more names were drawn for a bit of take-away fun. The club provided additional prizes for the high scorers in a Christmas card/stamp topic-matching contest.

Generally, contests and games geared for non-collecting spouses greatly enhance the success of club social gatherings. This probably is why stamp bingo is so popular. And although "Peephole Philately" hasn't been mentioned as a party activity, it could be simplified to the non-collector level.

Peephole philately often appears on the Waukesha County Philatelic Society's meeting schedule. Members of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) enjoy an annual "Peep Quiz" using the previous year's U.S. Postal Service commemorative issues. The activity is prepared by hinging a stamp to a 3" by 5" card. Create a small hole in an opaque overlay exposing a tiny portion of the stamp and attach the overlay to the card. The object is to identify the stamp issue. Non-collectors might receive a handicap by having the opportunity to study a display of the selected stamp issues immediately before the quiz begins.

Let me know if your club reserves some special activity for its annual holiday social. We could all use a variety of fresh ideas.

What others are doing

Some of our clubs are on the move. For the Chain-o-Lakes Stamp Club (Waupaca), it's for positive reasons. The group has grown so much that meetings can no longer be accommodated at the president's home, where members gathered for the past 10 years. Much of the growth is due to increased philatelic interest in the area generated from Krause Publications' acquisition of Stamp Collector and The Stamp Wholesaler.

The Chain-o-Lakes club now meets on the second Sunday of each month at the Oakwood Inn, 1040 W. Fulton St., Waupaca. Meeting time is 1 p.m.

Beginning in January 1997, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society will meet at the Wauwatosa City Hall, 76th and North Avenue. The club lost its former location when the facility decided to convert its community room to offices. Unfortunately, this is where the AAMS General Billy Mitchell Chapter also held its meetings.

Just when the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) thought its location problems were solved, it was forced to move again. The vagabond group's newest meeting site is Bertrand's Bowling Lanes in Waukegan, IL.

Knowing member collecting interests is important for buy/sell/trade purposes. This is the reason many clubs prepare an annual member-ship directory. The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society keeps on top of collecting interests by inviting members to announce their want and sell lists as part of the business meeting.

In preparation for its fall club auction, members of the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) were asked to submit anonymous want lists. They were then published in the next club newsletter as a guide for lot submissions. Wants reported were Scouts on stamps, United States perfins and precancel, used Washington-Franklin heads, and used stamps from the State Birds and Flowers, American Wildlife, and Wildflowers issues. •

December issue No column this issue

Latest update: June 12, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_co-op_1996.shtml