Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
"The Club Co-op" columns for 2000

          This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 2000.

January issue No column this issue

February issue


By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

 to offer that the collector cannot get elsewhere? This question needs to be answered not only for defining the value of your club, but also for promotional materials and to serve as a guide for your activities.

Regular fellowship and face-to-face interaction are perhaps the first points to come to mind, and they are primary. They provide a more efficient means of pursuing the hobby than might be found through any other philatelic resources. Club membership also allows the collector to more effectively support the future of philately on the local level. Further more, the combined effort of a membership aids the lone collector in achieving his/her individual interests. Examples are an annual local stamp show, group orders at discount rates, a club library, etc.

What are your club's benefits of member-ship? Send me your lists and I'll share them with our readers.

What others are doing

The Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) has scheduled a Youth Stamp Fair, which will be held March 11 at the local mall. The three-hour event focuses on teaching the basics of stamp collecting. For the past several years, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society has sponsored a similar Stamps for Kids Night, and the Northwoods Stamp Club (Iron Mountain, MI) initiated a Stamp Camp for Kids in 1997.

Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) officers re-elected for 2000 are Pres. Larry Marten, VP Jim Caldwell, Secy. John Barnick and Treas. Norman Braeger. Philatelic discussion topics for the year will include booklets and booklet panes, coil stamps, commemoratives, cut squares, covers, perforations, watermarks, and forms of printing.

Waukesha County Philatelic Society officers for the 2000 term are: Pres. Robert %lather, VP Wolfgang Magnus, Recording Secy. Bob Ulatt, Treas. Lloyd Rectenwald, Recording Secy. Art Gaffney, and directors Bill Birch and John Romppainen.

To promote member participation, the NN CPS has scheduled two show-and-tell meetings with specific themes: "The Bad and the Beautiful," something from your collection you consider bad, why you consider it bad, and why you are keeping it. Of course, members are also asked to bring something beautiful to this meeting. The other show-and-tell calls for something related to the letter "E" and some-thing unique insofar as it's assumed that no other WCPS member has it.

The Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) encourages its members to bring show-and-tell items to any of its meetings.

The Janesville Stamp Club held a charity auction at its 1999 Christmas-party meeting, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army.

2000 Ripon Philatelic Society officers are: Pres. Marge Beuthin, co-VPs Beth Walters and Roberta Comfort, Secy. Donna Mueller and Treas. Charleen Borchert. RPS reports that its 1999 programs included stamp trivia, show-and-tell sessions, auctions, and presentations on stamps of various foreign countries. The club's Christmas party included a presentation about Christmas seals.

Officers leading the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) for the year 2000 are: Pres. Mike Lenard, VP Bruce Goetsch, Secy. Bill Grosnick and Treas. Fred Ziemann.

The North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee's January-February 2000 newsletter included its annual "Picture Page" showing individual photos of each of its members. Although I've mentioned this idea once before, it deserves repeating as NSPS members concur that the pictures are most helpful in connecting names with faces. While this project could be overwhelming for clubs with very large memberships, a minimum of photos might be published of the officers and newcomers.

NSPS officers re-elected for 2000 are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Robert Henak, Secy., Howard H. Perlick, and Treas. Robert Mather.

The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society holds a mini-auction of three to five lots at each of its meetings. It also holds an annual Stamp Bucks Auction. "Bucks" are credits earned by individual members for club service or participation. The club allots money from its treasury for purchase of quality lots for this event. Bidders pay for lots won with their accumulated stamp bucks. WPS additionally stages an annual Major Auction, whereby lots must have a minimum Scott catalog value of $10 each. Members of all Milwaukee-area clubs are invited to participate in this activity.

A photo depicting typical activity at a Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) meeting recently appeared in the group's local newspaper. Great publicity, if you can get it! •

March issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Let's explore another aspect of club structure. Do you have meetings or just informal gatherings? In my view, a meeting encompasses clear-cut activities, which include a minimum of a business meeting with an agenda and a program.

All too often, I hear of clubs that have fallen into a pattern of hosting nothing more than informal talk 'n' swap gatherings - the prime environment for the creation of cliques. When the newcomer walks through the door, the initial message is that nothing is happening here. It's just a group of good ol' boys chatting with their friends.

This is an especially difficult situation for the novice collector who is already feeling somewhat insecure and yet has to break into a clique. With a meeting as defined above, cliques are at least temporarily broken up and the novice has a chance to learn from the program.

A steady diet of informal gatherings has further pitfalls. Even for seasoned club members, apathy eventually sets in, and they ultimately drift away. For the specialty collector, a shrinking membership and no new blood means no new material. This philatelist might at least survive a dry spell through educational programs on collecting techniques.

What others are doing

The Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) has a great publicity idea if the library where they meet will go along with it. They'd like to purchase a subscription of Linn's Stamp News for the library and then stuff a club promotional flier within each copy as it comes in.

For the past several years, the Northwoods Stamp Club (Iron Mountain, MI) has regularly paid for a Linn's subscription for its local library. Might they add a flier, too?

Members of the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) heard all about local posts at their February meeting.

The Green Bay Philatelic Society's January meeting featured a philatelic quiz presented by one of its members. In February, the group viewed the APS slide show titled "A Doctoring of Postage Stamps."

The Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) held one of its four annual auctions at its January meeting.

Whoever described lots for the Milwaukee Philatelic Society's February auction certainly is a salesman with a great sense of humor.

Here's one from the listing included in the MPS newsletter:

"Several historic 1984 Scott catalogs are offered here to the discerning collector. Countries from G through Z are represented in these two volumes. This is a good way to update your out-of-date 1960 catalogs. "

For internal use only and not intended to be critical, the Sheboygan Stamp Club prepared a "Dealers' Rating Form" and distributed multiple copies to each form asks for ratings from 0 to 10 on each of the following points:

• Courteous

• Helpful - willing to search his stock • know ledge ability -- general

• Table/stock display - neat and presentable • has containers for sold merchandise

• Has adequate change for transactions • does not leave show early

• Willingness to refer to other dealer’s • willingness to accept checks

• Willingness to search stock at home/office and inform customer by phone or mail

• Willingness to assist junior and beginning philatelists

Raters are instructed to exclude considerations of prices and willingness to bargain. Dealers involved are apprised of the rating process and receive blank copies of the form. •

April issue No column this issue

May/June issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

If you've been following this column since last December, you'll have noted that I'm a stickler for club structure. Imagine, then, my shock at reading a newsletter where it was casually mentioned that the club would not meet in January and February! This particular group, according to WFSC records, meets monthly throughout the year.

What's going on here? I have to conclude that this club has neither bylaws nor any type of publicity item. Bylaws normally include an article specifying meeting requirements. The publicity item I refer to is a flier or program card that lists the club's regular meeting location, dates and time. Copies are placed in various locations for public information.

Consider the newcomer who decides to visit the club that just happened to take a two-month recess. Even without having seen a publicity item, that individual may have learned about the club through the WFSC which automatically publicizes its members' meeting schedules via various means.

Understandably, there may be times when uncontrollable circumstances prevent your club from following its re1gular meeting plans. For those rare instances, at least show some courtesy by posting a note on the meeting location door with an apology and a contact name and phone number. Obviously, severe snowstorms and meeting dates that sometimes fall on major holidays are an exception.

What others are doing

The Germany Philatelic Society, Chapter ' 18 "Heinrich von Stephan" (Milwaukee) has come aboard with copies of its newsletters now arriving in my mailbox. Interestingly, the masthead's listing of officers includes a sergeant at arms - must be some feisty group!

So, what does the GPS do? Members currently are making plans for participation at Milwaukee's annual German Fest. They'll prepare a 2-by-4-foot board publicizing the club. They'll also be a part of published publicity for the variety of German-American societies in the Milwaukee area. An auction is planned for the May meeting and, in June, the group will hear about computers and eBay auctions - all in all, not so feisty, but keep tuned.

Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) officers for the 2000-01 term are Pres. Paul Zientek, VP and Librarian Don Arndt, and Secy.-Treas. Bill Carter. NMSC membership comprises employees and retirees of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., which has its headquarters in Milwaukee. Club meetings are held at members' homes.

The March meeting of the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club featured a takeoff on the popular game show renamed "Who Wants to be a Philatelist?" The KMCSC newsletter reports that prizes were awarded for correct answers but no one took home the inverted million-dollar check!

The Badger Stamp Club's (Madison) March educational program focused on the vast variety of U.S. postal stationery. In May, the group will learn about deltiology.

Valentines were featured at the February meeting of the Belle City Stamp Club (Racine). Members brought in valentine covers for a show-and-tell session. They then viewed the American Philatelic Society slide program titled "Postally Used Valentines of the Nineteenth Century."

In March, a BCSC member who recently traveled by boat from Moscow to St. Petersburg treated his fellow philatelists to a slide presentation titled "A Trip on Russian Waterways Through Stamps." The travelogue includes slides of stamps from his Russian collection. The presentation was repeated at the March meeting of the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club.

The Oshkosh Philatelic Society's May 2 meeting topic is postmark collecting. •

July/August issue No column this issue

September issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

With the start of the stamp show season, it might be helpful to note the results of a publicity survey done by the Badger Stamp Club (Madison) when it hosted WISCOPEX 2000. The information was compiled via a question on registration slips asking, "How did you find out about the show?" Responses, from most to least, were:

• Through ATFP or a club meeting

• Mass-mailing (APS members in the area and registrations from previous local shows) • heard about it from a friend

• Internet posting

• Flier seen at the post office or picked up at another show

• Sign on the road

From most to least for philatelic publications:

• Linn's Stamp News

• Stamp Collector

• American Philatelist

• Scott Stamp Monthly

• Mekeel's and Stamps Magazine

Community calendar listings through the various Madison-area media brought only six visitors to the show.

By the way, Global Stamp News now publishes a show calendar and a column titled "News briefs," which includes show announcements.

What others are doing

The Janesville Stamp Club reports great results from a meeting information flier distributed to visitors at its annual local show held in February. The flier, in the form of a redeemable coupon, offers free club member-ship through year's end to all newcomers.

Lake County Philatelic Society's (Gurnee, IL) re-elected officers are: Pres. Fred Schaefer, VP Glenn Zinck, Secy. Howard Shaughnessy, and Treas. Walter Viele.

Kudos to the Rockford Stamp Club (IL) for an outstanding monthly newsletter edited and computer-reproduced by Dwane Kaplenk. It's extremely attractive, well organized, and includes very effective splashes of color. Dwane also serves as editor for the Janesville Stamp Club and Walworth Philatelic Society newsletters.

Officers steering the Oshkosh Philatelic Society through the next year are: Pres. Hank Schmidt, VP Vern Gauger, Secy. Orion Hintz, and Treas. Paul T. Schroeder.

The Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) funds two $500 scholarships through the Nicolet College Foundation, where the club's annual show is held.

The Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) recently adopted a new logo.

2000-01 officers of the Green Bay Philatelic Society are: Pres. Gordy Lindner, VP Bill Feldhausen, Secy. Thomas Johnston, and Treas. Ken Coakley. One-page exhibits have become a popular meeting program with the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) and the Waukesha County Philatelic Society. The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society tried it this year, too.

Recently re-elected for a second term are Badger Stamp Club (Madison) officers: Pres. John Pare, VP Bert Hart, Secy. Charles Shoemaker, Treas. Curt Shawkey, and board members Myra Reilly, John Rettig, Dan Undersander, Bob Voss and Karen Weiet.

The Milwaukee Philatelic Society is organizing a bus trip to November's ~ CHICAGOPEX. If you'd like to be included, contact any MPS member for further information - perhaps while attending MILCOPEX this month.

Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) 2000-O1 officers are: Pres. Tom Pleyte, VP Eric Richter, Treas. Mark Pleyte, and Secy. Jim Stearns.

Seems that one of our WFSC clubs had to improvise for its July meeting program. "Mystery Night" was on the schedule planned several months ago, but no one could remember what it was all about! •

October issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

The Badger Stamp Club (Madison) uses the summer months to plan its upcoming September to August educational calendar. Many of its 2000-01 programs center around postal history collecting as the topic for the year. They include three American Philatelic Society slide shows and a speaker from the Wisconsin Postal History Society.

A complement to BSC's postal history study could encompass "wastebasket philately," a program topic the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) has pursued in the past. The group defined the topic as interesting collections of covers acquired from discarded material usually not bearing postage stamps.

An interest in modern postal history could he sparked by asking members to participate in a show-and-tell of covers received through the mail within the past month. As mundane as some of these covers may appear, a group evaluation just might disclose some collectibles.

Numismatics is also listed on BSC's program schedule. Last year the group heard about deltiology.

The Oshkosh Philatelic Society gets more diversified with other hobbies. Its annual program schedule includes a meeting where all members have the opportunity to talk about their additional interests.

What others are doing

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) continues with what it began a year ago - educational programs focused on basics. Its 2000-01 schedule includes:

• What not to do in collecting • topicals

• Back-of-the-book

• How to buy and sell, and

• Foreign stamp identification

As I've mentioned before, concentrating on the basics is a good means of maintaining the specialty collector's interest. There's always something to learn or share in this area, and new basics keep cropping up. Just a few most notable today deal with proper formats for collecting self-adhesive stamps, panes with decorative selvage, and se-tenant plate number coil strips.

The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society provided a newsworthy attachment to its September newsletter. It included a brief paragraph about the status of each of the club's longtime members who are no longer able to attend meetings. It also introduced new members.

APS slide show "The Division of the Union," a philatelic look at the Civil War, entertained collectors at the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club's September meeting.

In July, members of the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) learned about stamps of Great Britain. In October, the group will stage a youth "stamp scramble" at the local library. -

LCPS's August newsletter began with the catchy and veritable statement, "Just like stamps, this club hinges on you!" •

November issue No column this issue

December issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Introduced here is the new "Video Program Review" feature implemented upon a suggestion from the Badger Stamp Club (Madison). BSC reports that at least a few of the latest video programs received were disappointing and not worth the effort and expense to acquire them. Since other clubs may have had similar experiences, published reviews could be helpful for future video program planning.

Through receipt of club newsletters, I'm often alerted to when a particular group has scheduled a video program. Consequently. I worked up a simple Video Program Review form and several lave already been mailed to those respective clubs. I'd like to stress, however, that reviews can be submitted in any manner and I hope to receive many from clubs that do not publish upcoming meeting activities.

Review information sought can easily be determined by the initial review shown here. Furthermore, although BSC's review is sufficient, I welcome as much additional commentary as you'd like to provide.

Depending on available space, future video reviews may or may not be appended to this column. In all cases, they'll be listed within the "Inside" box published on p. 1.

Latest update: June 12, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_co-op_2000.shtml