Observing International Day of Friendship in 2020

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You are likely familiar with the phrase, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” right? We know that this saying is typically used to describe star-crossed lovers, but in today’s current environment, we think it also works to describe the way people are feeling about their beloved friends.

We don’t have to tell you that life has seemingly changed overnight due to COVID-19. Many people are choosing to eat in, postponing family gatherings and other significant events and avoiding contact with close friends. Although saying no to getting together may be a wise choice to stop the spread of the virus, there’s no denying that continually making these decisions have been difficult, particularly the last one. Friendship is one of life’s greatest blessings, so not being able to spend time with those we love is challenging, to say the least.  

One way to get through the foreseeable future is to start by celebrating International Friendship Day, which happens each July.  

The holiday was first created in 1958 (previously known as World Friendship Day) by the World Friendship Crusade to foster a culture of peace and friendship. Over 50 years later, in 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as International Day of Friendship. The idea behind the celebration was the message that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can work to inspire world peace and build bridges between communities.

Now you might be wondering, how can we observe International Day of Friendship during a pandemic? Don’t worry! We have a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a photo collage of special memories of you and your friend and then frame it to deliver an extra special gift. The happy memories will likely inspire you to plan your next adventure when life has settled down.
  • Send a small gift of flowers, chocolates, or cookies to let a friend know that you are thinking about him or her.
  • Put your creativity to work by crafting a handmade item such as a knitted scarf, homemade salsa or special care package. There’s never been a better time to try a new hobby!
  • Write a post on Facebook or your favorite social network to brag about your best friends. Your status update could include all of the reasons you enjoy being their friend or something as simple as saying, “I miss seeing you!”
  • Honor a friend with a donation to their favorite nonprofit organization. Consider donating to Lions Pride and designating your gift for the Wisconsin Lions Camp. It is, after all, the place where hundreds of friendships are made each year.
  • Try to call, text or email your friends to let you know that you’re thinking about them and feel so lucky to call them friends.

We know that we may not be able to see our friends as often as we like given the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tell them how we feel. How will you celebrate your friends today?

Happy International Day of Friendship from Lions Pride!

The 2020-2021 Council of Governors Meeting

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We are nearing the end of another month, and it may be somewhat hard to believe that it is already time for the new Wisconsin Lions District Governors to meet. The entire MD27 Council of Governors is scheduled to meet this Saturday at the Hotel Mead & Conference Center in Wisconsin Rapids.

The first meeting of the 2020-2021 Lionistic Year will be an exciting one as it will be filled with lots of information and, for many of us, it will the first time that we are able to see friends in person. The day will begin with the call to order, introduction and opening remarks, the approval of the agenda and last July meeting minutes, followed by the ratification of all previous action and minutes.

Afterward, the new District Governors will hear brief reports from nearly 30 district chairpersons. Yes, we know that sounds like a lot of reports, but remember they only meet four times each year, so there’s plenty to discuss.

As the meeting continues the DGs will listen to MD27 and state committee reports. They will also hear from many of the State Lions organizations, including Lions Pride.

We are looking forward to seeing our fellow Lions in person but want to ensure everyone stays safe during the pandemic. At this time, we recommend the following safety tips:

  • At this time, it is believed that COVID-19 is spread mainly from person to person. Avoid close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least six feet.
  • Consider wearing a cloth face cover when in the presence of others, just in case the social distance is hard to maintain. 
  • Remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds.)

We are thrilled to be able to see the friendly faces of friends, even if they are partially covered by masks. We know there are smiles underneath. We’d like to wish all of our new DGs a safe, productive weekend and a successful year!

Fun Facts About Ice Cream

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Photo Credit to Priscilla Du Preez

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! We understand that this summer feels different from those of years past, but there is one frozen dessert that is still available and ready for you to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Sunday, June 19, is National Ice Cream Day. We thought there was no better way to commemorate this delicious unofficial holiday than sharing a collection of fun facts:

  • New Zealanders consume more ice cream per capita than any other country in the world. Americans hold the second slot.
  • Thomas Jefferson is credited with having written the first ice cream recipe in the United States. You can see a copy from the Library of Congress.
  • Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in the country.
  • Chocolate syrup is the world’s favorite ice cream topping.
  • It takes about 3 gallons of milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • About 9% of all milk produced in the US is used exclusively for ice cream.
  • According to Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus, 8 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for serving ice cream.
  • 87% of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time.
  • Brain freeze” happens when something cold touches the roof of your mouth, causing the blood vessels that run between your mouth and brain to tense up. You may be able to reduce the tension by placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth to warm up the surface.
  • NASA has said that ice cream ranks in the top three most missed foods when astronauts leave for space missions; pizza and soda also make the list.
  • 1 in 10 Americans admit to licking the bowl clean.
  • It is believed that it takes about 50 licks to finish a single scoop ice cream cone.

There you have it – a dozen fun facts about America’s favorite frozen treat. Now, we encourage you to celebrate with a scoop, whether it comes from the freezer or your favorite local shop. What do you like best about ice cream? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy National Ice Cream Day from Lions Pride!

Celebrating Motorcyclists

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On humid days like today, it’s difficult to enjoy the sunshine without a breeze. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with our plans, so sometimes you need to make your own. If you have to ask yourself how then we would guess that you don’t often find yourself on the back of a bike!

July 10, 2020 is National Motorcycle Day, an unofficial holiday dedicated to celebrating the spirit of adventure and freedom. From what we could find, the creators of the event (Sentry Insurance) thought the second week of July was the perfect time to continue the celebration of Independence Day one week later.

If you consider yourself to be a fan of Lions Pride, you probably already know that motorcyclists have a special place in our hearts.

For the past ten years, we’ve helped host the Friendship 100, an invitation-only motorcycle ride. Riders raise a minimum of $100 to participate, then the group takes a beautiful 100-mile ride from Fond du Lac to Rosholt.

Upon arrival, the riders enjoy a seated lunch, followed by a tour to experience life as a camper at Wisconsin Lions Camp.

Last year’s event was held on July 25, 2019. We were incredibly grateful to have received combined donations of $8270, nearly 50% more than their original goal. To date, the participating rides have donated almost $45,000.

Year after year, we look forward to seeing the friendly faces of our Friendship 100 Riders, but like many other summer events, we’ve had to postpone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, we are disappointed that our 11th annual ride will not continue as usual, but we hope to host it later this fall. Perhaps the ride will coincide with the extravagant autumn colors.

To all of our Friendship 100 Riders, we’d like to send you a virtual message since we cannot see you this month as we’d like. We cannot tell you how much your generous support means to our organization. We are so appreciative of your giving hearts and hope to see you soon!

Celebration in the Age of Social Distancing

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Family Fishing at Sunset

July has finally arrived! It’s time for us to flip the calendar month and start thinking about the upcoming holiday – Independence Day!

Typically, America’s birthday is filled with many different types of public celebrations including parades, fireworks and fairs, but the majority of these events have been either canceled or postponed due to COVID-19.

We understand that you’re probably not thrilled with the idea of celebrating another holiday during a pandemic, but it is still possible to safely enjoy the 4th of July. Consider incorporating these tips into your weekend itinerary.

  1. Review your local community updates

    Before planning a get-together, be sure to review updates from your local health department to have a better understanding of the situation in your community. You can also learn about local orders, business re-openings and other safety guidelines.

  2. Keep your group small

    The more closely you interact with others and the longer the interaction, the greater the risk of spread. If you choose to gather with loved ones, please try to keep your group number low.

  3. Try to stay outdoors

    “Social distancing” has now become a phrase that we have become all too familiar with. To safely stay within 6 feet of others, choose an outdoor space. Indoor spaces, in general, are riskier than outdoor spaces because there’s less ventilation, and it’s more challenging to keep people apart.

  4. Bring your own supplies

    If you are dining together, consider bringing along your own food, beverages and picnic supplies to avoid sharing items with those outside your immediate family.
  5. Wash your hands

We know, we know; this is a rule you probably won’t ever forget, but we think it never hurts to give friendly reminders. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will work while spending time outdoors but don’t remove all types of germs. When you return home, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

We’ll be the first to say 2020 has been tough. It’s challenging to spend holiday after holiday without the large company of family and friends, but with a little perseverance and dedication, we can all work together to fight coronavirus.

The Lions Pride Board and Staff would like to wish you a safe, healthy 4th of July!

Paul Bunyan & Folklore Fun

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Sunday, June 29, is Paul Bunyan Day, and we thought it might be fun to offer tales that you may have not already heard from the most well-known folklores of all time.

  • As a child, Paul Bunyan was so big that five storks were required to deliver him home.
  • The first time he clapped his hands as a child, he broke all of his house’s windows.
  • Ever wondered where Paul might have acquired his big, blue ox? Many believe that Babe was a gift to Paul from his fellow woodsmen, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.
  • Legend says that the Grand Canyon was created by Paul, dragging his ax behind him.
  • A common myth behind the Great Lakes Formation is that Paul needed to create a watering hole for Babe to drink.
  • One winter, it has been said that Paul and Babe were lost in a Minnesota snowstorm. The 10,000 lakes were created from their footsteps.
  • While camping in northern Oregon, Paul needed to find a way to extinguish his campfire. His solution was to pile up a bunch of rocks, thereby forming Mount Hood.

Paul Bunyan Events, where you might find log rolling competitions or chainsawing demonstrations, have become a tradition in cities all across the Midwest. Sadly, many of them have already been cancelled due to COVID-19. Though, we can all still celebrate everyone’s favorite lumberjack through the power of folklore.

It seems that tales just don’t get taller than Paul Bunyan! What is your favorite story about the largest lumberjack ever known to man? Please share with us in the comments below.

Happy Paul Bunyan Day from Lions Pride!

Creative Ways to Celebrate Dad

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undefinedWe’re hoping that we’re not the ones to tell you that Father’s Day is only 48 hours away. We know it’s hard to watch another special holiday come and go while we slowly make our way through the pandemic, but it is possible to celebrate dear ole dad while maintaining social distance.

We all know that gratitude comes in the form of gifts, but gifts don’t necessarily need to include the standard card and new tie. This Father’s Day think about giving a more creative present to the dads in your life. We have a few ideas to get you started:

  • Volunteer to take on a few of his usual tasks: It’s no secret that we all have responsibilities that we don’t much care for, especially when spring turns to summer. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters or edging the sidewalks, take one or all of those duties to give him a chance to put his feet up and relax.
  • Create a rain-slip for an event of his choice. If you’re like many of us, you probably remember making homemade “certificates” for items like a free hug or one hour of silence. You can replicate that same idea in the age of COVID-19 by thinking an activity that he loves but can’t necessarily celebrate given the nature of the situation. It may be a boat fishing trip, a trip to the movie theater or just an afternoon together. 
  • Giving a gift that keeps on giving: We bet that Dad has a special cause that he can’t help but support any chance he gets. Help that organization carry on in their mission by giving a donating in his honor. If your dad is a Lions Pride supporter, consider giving an honorarium donation to help us continue preserving, providing and protecting for the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects. Click her for a memorial/honorarium form.

We know that many of us feel that the pandemic may never end, but don’t forget that we’re all in this together and it shall pass. Hang in there! And, from all of us at Lions Pride, Happy Father’s Day!

Cancelled Lions Pride Shoot

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If you’ve been following Lions Pride for any time in the last decade, you know that June is typically a big month for us. For the past twelve years, we’ve hosted the Lions Pride Sporting Clays Fundraiser at Milford Hills Hunt Club. Sadly, this year, we felt no choice but to cancel the 13th annual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic and continuation of social distancing.

Participants and supporters are sometimes surprised to learn that although the fundraiser is a one-day event, it takes months of preparation to pull it off. Several tiny details are involved in organizing a successful full-day fundraiser. Usual tasks include participant registration, sponsorship requests, door prize and auction item collection, volunteer recruitment and coordination with the hunting club staff. Since canceling the event, we must admit that we feel a bit lost in our ways.

We are disappointed that we will not be able to move forward with this year’s event in more ways than one. We always enjoy spending the day with supporters and volunteers, many of whom remember that this particular event was our late chairman Dewey Carl’s favorite the time of the year. He, of course, came up with the idea for the fundraiser after participating in a similar event. At that time, we would have never guessed that it would become an annual tradition.

We know that we are not alone in our feelings of sadness and disappointment. Many individuals, organizations, and businesses worldwide have felt the pandemic impacts of postponing or canceling large events. Still, that doesn’t make the affliction any less tolerable. The Lions Pride Shoot has become the most well-known and popular event, as both Lions and non-Lions participate and contribute to our single greatest fundraiser. Undoubtedly, we will be feeling the effects of its cancellation for the remainder of 2020. If you are able to donate at this time, we would be incredible grateful for your support. Click here to make a donation today.

We already plan to hold the sporting clays fundraiser next year. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 12, 2021. We will need sponsors, shooters and volunteers. The Lions Pride Board and Staff will miss seeing everyone this weekend, but fully acknowledge that public safety surpasses tradition. Continue keeping up with the CDC guidelines and stay safe. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Looking Back at Our Favorite Classic Toys

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Photo Credit to Mick Haupt

This Saturday, June 6, is National Yo-Yo Day! We know that some time has probably passed since you’ve shown off your yo-yoing skills, but let us tell why and how it’s worth celebrating.

You might be surprised to learn that the world-famous Duncan Yo-Yo was produced in the Dairy State for most of its existence. The yo-yo first gained popularity in the 1930s. To handle the increase in demand, the Duncan Company began searching for an area with better access to Wisconsin’s hard maple trees. In 1946, they built a plant in Luck, Wisconsin, and were able to produce 3600 yo-yos per hour, earning the village the nickname, “Yo-Yo Capital of the World.” Today, you can still find yo-yos, but they, of course, aren’t nearly as popular as the toy industry has continued to modernize over time.  

We’ve said it once, and we’ll probably say it at least a dozen more times, but we are living in unprecedented times. For the past decade, technology has become an ingrained part of life, but during the coronavirus pandemic, most of our communication has been taking place primarily through video conferencing. The increase in screen-time has left many of us in need of a technology break. We thought it might be fun to take a look back at a brief history some of our favorite classic toys, in honor of the unofficial celebration:

  • Slinky – In 1943, Mechanical Engineer Richard James created the Slinky by accident. After working to develop springs that could necessary ship equipment steady at sea, he knocked a few samples of the shelf and watched them gracefully “walk” down instead of falling. He and his wife Betty devised a plan to turn the discovery into the next novelty toy.
  • Magic 8 Ball – The Magic 8 Ball is credited to Albert Carter, who grew up in Cincinnati, during a time when spiritualism was hitting its peak. Albert’s mother’s job as a Clairvoyant inspired him to create a fortune-telling device of his own. He forged a business partnership with Abe Bookman to mass-produce the toy. Unfortunately, he passed before seeing the product patented, but Bookman was able to perfect and patent the toy to what we know and love today.
  • Silly Putty – Here’s another example of a toy created by accident! Engineer James Wright worked for the US War Production Board during World War II to construct an inexpensive substitute for synthetic rubber. After he dropped boric acid into the mixture, he created a substance that was stretchier and bouncier than rubber. As a bonus, it could also pick up a perfect copy of print when flattened against a newspaper or comic book. The government wasn’t interested in his “nutty putty,” but partygoers loved the discovery.  

These are, of course, only four of a multitude of classic toys. What was your favorite toy as a child? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

This weekend, Lions Pride would like to encourage you to see if you still have one of these toys hiding in a box. There’s no better way to take a technology break than with a trip down Memory Lane.

Happy National Yo-Yo Day!  

Wisconsin Lions Camp Summer 2020 Updates

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2020 Lions Lake

Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

Although the shelter-in-place orders have been lifted and businesses are starting to open up again in Wisconsin and all over the country, there’s no denying that coronavirus remains on everyone’s minds. Since we have already seen major summer events either canceled or postponed, you may be wondering, “Will Lions Camp be open during the summer of 2020?”

We are happy to inform you that the answer is yes, but modifications have been made in light of the pandemic. As you know, we learn new information every day, so not all programming has been finalized. At this time, the Block One Programs have been scheduled, but you’ll notice many limitations that have never been seen before. Unfortunately, the biggest change relates to the camper age requirements. All Block One Programs happening from June 28 to July 15, will only allow campers between the ages of 16 and 17 years old. Below you will find the updated schedule (as of May 18, 2020):

June 8 – June 18
Staff Training (Required for those working the full summer and block one)

Block One

June 21 – June 26
Adults who are Blind or Visually Impaired (Cancelled)

June 28 – July 3
Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism – Limited to ages 16 and 17 campers only

July 5 – July 10
Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Limited to ages 16 and 17 campers only

July 12 – July 15
Mini Camp Program: Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism (Cancelled)

The application deadline has recently passed for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Blind or visually impaired children with epilepsy programs. The Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing application will be available until July 17. The staff hopes to have the Block Two Program Schedule by Monday, June 22. See the entire schedule here.

The staff continues to evaluate the situation as additional information becomes available. Stay tuned for updates. For questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus update, please contact Andrea Yenter, Camp Director, at ayenter@wisconsinlionscamp.com or Evett Hartvig, Executive Director, at ehartvig@wlf.info.

Life may feel may normal than it has in quite some time, but coronavirus continues to have an impact on businesses and organizations all over the country. We believe it’s worth mentioning that we are all learning how to navigate the world post-COVID. Be sure to practice patience and compassion as you go about your day. It’s been said dozens of ways, but remember that we’re all in this together.

From all of us at Lions Pride, be kind and stay healthy!