How to Beat the Cool Summer Blues

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Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, but in case you haven’t noticed, the weather hasn’t felt very seasonal. If we look at the city of Madison, the average temperature range in June is 75 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, rarely falling below 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Madison Temperatures

Source: Weather Underground

This year, however, we’ve experienced some abnormalities in terms of weather. Only half of our days have been in the average temperature range, and we’ve only seen three days reach the 80-degree mark. Days have been gloomy and rainy, making it challenging to stay optimistic about the season ahead.

We understand that it can be disappointing to see another cloudy day. Unfortunately, the weather is one of those areas that no one can control. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy the first part of June, even if it is a bit cooler than usual. We’ve compiled a couple of ideas to get you started:

  1. Participate in activities where warm weather is not essential

When you think about summertime, you probably think about activities like swimming and boating, but there are other ways to get outside. Rather than relying solely on the weather, consider taking part in other fun activities such as fishing or kayaking. If you wouldn’t consider yourself to be much of an outdoorsman, you can always plan trips to the farmers market, a local festival or outdoor concert. You might even enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee to keep your hands warm. How of you have that opportunity in June?

  1. Bring your parties indoors

Many people look forward to June because they have an excuse to get out and socialize with friends and neighbors after a long, cold winter. We know it may be easier to host an outdoor barbecue, but there’s no reason why you can’t bring everyone inside for a small get-together. Invite everyone over for a potluck-style dinner, so all of the responsibility isn’t left on one person. We can almost guarantee you will be thanked immensely for being the volunteer host.

  1. Appreciate your layers

Are you familiar with the term, ‘sweater weather?’ Typically, at the end of September, a transformation happens in Wisconsin; pumpkin is added to everything, and people take out all of their sweaters and sweatshirts. We know that it might be a little too early for pumpkin season, but you can give all of your layers an escape from the back of the closet – at least temporarily.

  1. Plan a weekend getaway

Just because it is chilly here in Wisconsin does not mean that you’re going to find that weather everywhere. Cities like Des Moines and Chicago are expected to see beautiful weather on Saturday and Sunday. Even if it’s too late to pack your bags for a spontaneous weekend away, consider planning a vacation for some time this year. Studies have shown that planning a trip can make you happier than actually taking it. Remember, time away is good for you!

People of the Midwest have mixed feelings about summer. Some adore the warm, humidity that Wisconsin brings while others prefer to stay in with the air conditioning turned up. If you don’t much care for summer due to the heat, think of the cooler temperatures a gift. If you long for the warm, 80-degree days, try to stay patient and know they are coming (just look at the 10 day forecast.) Until then, try to appreciate the unpredictably of Mother Nature. How do you plan to take advantage of the cooler weather?

Madison 10 Day Weather

Happy First Day of Summer from Lions Pride!

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Thoughtful Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Photo by Maria Lindsey on Pexels.com

He showed you how to ride your first back, taught you how to change a tire and how to take pride in your work. Of course, he did more than teach you essential life skills, he also provided for his family and gave endless amounts of support as you transformed from a young child to a responsible adult. This Sunday, June 16, is Father’s Day. How will you honor dear ole dad?

Without giving it much thought, you know that there are a few gifts that have become Father’s Day staples; gifts like power tools, ties and wild socks (that will likely take up permanent residence in his drawer.) Rather than relying on one of the traditional presents, consider giving dad an out-of-the-box gift that we know he’ll love:

  • A helping hand: Unfortunately, adulthood typically includes responsibilities that we aren’t always pleasant. For dad, it may be mowing the grass or cleaning up the basement. Help lighten the load by offering to pitch in. You know what they say, “Many hands make for light work,” and we can bet that he’ll love the company.
  • A day together: Do you recall the last time you spent quality time with your father? If you have to think too hard, that means it’s been too long! Allow dad to spend Sunday with the activity of his choice. He might want to get out on the lake, hit the back nine or just soak in the sun for a lazy afternoon together. We know that life can get busy, so keep in mind that a raincheck is always an option.
  • A gift that gives back: If there is an organization close to dad’s heart, think about giving a donation in his honor. As you likely already know, nonprofits wouldn’t get very far without the help of their supporters, as donations as the lifeblood of the organization. It’s not too late to make an honorarium donation to Lions Pride. Your donation will help us continue to preserve, provide and protect the Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects. Learn more about memorial/honorarium donations.

Remember, the best presents in life don’t come wrapped in ribbons and bows.  Show your appreciation for dad with a gift from the heart.

Happy Father’s Day from Lions Pride!

The 12th Annual Lions Pride Shoot

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Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 7.21.07 PM3, 2, 1… Shoot! We know that it may be hard to believe, but we are only days away from our biggest event of the year. Each year for the past 12 years, we’ve held the Lions Pride Shoot at Milford Hills in Johnson Creek.

Our sporting clays fundraiser has become our most popular event that takes place on the second weekend in June. Both Lions and non-Lions come together to enjoy a day out in the beautiful rolling hills of Southern Wisconsin to support Lions Pride.

The day begins with an early lunch, followed by a challenging course with games and door prizes. After shooters have finished the course, they wind down from their action-packed day with cold beer, a live auction and delicious dinner. The Pride Shoot is one of the most, unique and successful fundraisers that take place for the Lions Pride Endowment Fund.

Although the Lions Pride Shoot is a one-day event, the staff has actually been planning for months. A lot of tiny details go into the overall preparation of the fundraiser, including recruiting participants, finding sponsors, collecting both door prizes and auction items, coordinating all of the day’s events with the Milford Hills staff and recruiting volunteers. Now, like the blink of an eye, the final week is upon us.

We’re continually being reminded of Dewey Carl’s spirit, but it’s even more present in the day leading up to the shoot because it was an event that he always looked forward to attending. In honor of our late chairman, we have always challenged ourselves to make each year’s fundraiser even better than the last.

As we diligently work to finish up the last details of the event, we’d like to take a moment to thank our donors, sponsors, shooters and volunteers. We know first-hand that it takes a village of people to create an enjoyable event, and we don’t know where we’d be without their support.

See you on Saturday!

Wisconsin Lions Camp Summer 2019

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Lions Lake

Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

It’s time to start packing your bags because kickoff to camp begins now! The summer staff has now reported for duty, and we are only 10 days away from the start of the 2019 camping season. Each year, nearly 1300 special campers with vision, hearing, intellectual disabilities and Type 1 and Type II Diabetes travel to Rosholt, Wisconsin, for a week of camaraderie, adventure and fun.

See the 2019 schedule below:

Block One

June 9 – June 14                     Adults who are Blind or Visually Impaired

June 16 – June 21                   Children with Type 1 & 11 Diabetes

June 23 – June 28                   Children with Type 1 & 11 Diabetes

June 30 – July 5                       Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Educational Autism

July 7 – July 12                        Children with Intellectual Disabilities or Educational Autism

July 14 – July 20                      No campers at camp; staff transition week

July 18 – July 19                      All staff teambuilding & training

Block Two

July 21 – July 26                      Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

July 28 – August 2                   Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

August 4 – August 9                Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

August 11 – August 15            Adults 18-25 with Intellectual Disabilities or Educational Autism (by invitation only)

August 19 – August 23            Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The Wisconsin Lions Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association. The property is 440 acres in size and includes a 45-acre private lake, which is the center of several camping activities. During the summer months, Lions Camp employs approximately 48 counselors, so the camp can maintain a staff to camper ratio of 1:6.

The goals of Lions Camp are to assist each camper in development of self-confidence, interdependence, social skills, outdoor recreational skills and environmental awareness, but most importantly, to provide the space for the child to have a fun, safe and memorable experience. Wisconsin Lions Camp is proud to give special children the resources, skills and knowledge that will serve them long beyond their childhoods.

Many people may be surprised to learn that when the camp was first debuted, it was funded primarily by Lions Club donations. Sadly, in the last decade or so, expenses for Lions Camp and all other WLF statewide projects have increased exponentially. Annual club contributions remain essential but now account for less than half of all yearly WLF operating expenses. Combatting rising costs was actually the primary reason for the creation of our organization. Read the entire story here.

Today, Lions Pride is proud to support the Wisconsin Lions Camp maintain and expand their operations. We work alongside generous Lions and non-Lions alike as it is the power of individual and organization gift commitments that will preserve the projects of WLF for current and future generations.  Last year interest earned from your donations covered the cost of one week of camp.

To all of our donors, we’d like to express our sincere gratitude. Like all of the campers, we too look forward to the start of summer. We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help create positive change in our world and couldn’t do it without your ongoing support. Thank you for allowing us to continue on in our mission to preserve, protect and provide for Wisconsin Lions Camp and all statewide WLF projects.

National Missing Children’s Day

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, 612,846 reports of missing persons were filed in 2018. Of those reports, nearly 85,000 remained active by year end; sadly, youth accounted for 34.8 percent of all active records.

Since 1983, May 25 has been known as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year, the Department of Justice holds a ceremony to honor the efforts of agencies, organizations and individuals who work to protect children. At the annual presentation, awards are presented to various individuals. Honors include the Attorney General’s Special Commendation, Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award, Missing Children’s Child’s Protection Award and Missing Children’s Citizen Award.

Additionally, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) holds a poster contest, in which fifth graders from all over the country are invited to complete a drawing that illustrates the theme, “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” See this year’s award winner. The contest creates a unique opportunity for schools, law enforcement and child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and/or exploited children with youth, parents and guardians.

We are incredibly appreciative to all agencies and people who work to protect children from harm. In honor of Missing Children’s Month, we’d also like to spread the word by sharing a few helpful pieces of information to teach your child. Many of these tips will not likely be new but will ideally act as a refresher that you can share with your loved ones.

Importance pieces of information to teach your child:

  1. Their first and last name
  2. The full names of their parents, address and phone number
  3. How to identify trusted adults
  4. How and when to call 911
  5. The power of the buddy system

Missing Children’s Month is dedicated to encouraging all parties, including parents, guardians, caregivers, neighbors, teachers and all concerned individuals, to make child safety a priority. Lions Pride hopes these suggestions help keep you and your children safe. Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Armed Forces Day + Ways to Thank a Veteran

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flag of america

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

If you were tasked with brainstorming symbols to characterize each month of the year, what would they be? January might be a party hat, February would be a traditional red heart, March could be best described as a tulip (buried under a foot of snow,) April might be a raincloud and May would be an American Flag.

The fifth month of the year is an especially patriotic time in the United States. At the end of the month, we’ll celebrate veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day, but we have another chance to say “thank you for your service” before then.

This Saturday, May 18, is Armed Forces Day, a holiday that is always observed on the third Saturday in May. The holiday was created to help pay tribute to people of the Armed Forces. Unbeknownst to many, up until 1949, there were single day celebrations for each branch of the military. After the branches were unified under the Department of Defense, leaders thought it best to commemorate them all on one day.

For those of us who have never been involved in the military, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to imagine what time in the service must be like. Members of the military put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, so how do you genuinely say, “thank you?” The best way to get started is with a handshake, but we think we can go above and beyond when it comes to expressing our gratitude. We’ve compiled a few thank you ideas to begin the brainstorming process, with the help of Military.com:

  1. Donate your frequent flyer miles to the family of a veteran

    If you’re an avid traveler, consider donating those extra miles to a family in need. The Hero Miles Program gives airline tickets to wounded, injured and ill service members as well as their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center. Learn how to donate your miles.

  2. Hire a veteran to speak at your next event

    To say a veteran learned a few valuable lessons during their time in the military would likely be an understatement. These individuals have incredible insight about leadership, team work and persistence. The next time you are looking for a speaker, bring in a veteran for the job.

  3. Shop from a veteran-owned business

    Did you know that over 2.5 million businesses in the United States are majority-owned by veterans? Choose to support these entrepreneurs by visiting their facilities or adding them to the supply chain of your company.

  4. Invite a veteran to join you and your club

Veterans have experience turning plans into actions, leading groups and brainstorming new and innovative ideas, and many want to get involved in local service work. They are just a natural fit into the Lions community. Invite a veteran to attend your next club meeting.

These are only four of an infinite number of thoughtful ways to say, “I am so grateful for your service.” How will you thank a veteran? Let us know in the comments below!

The Lions Pride Board and Staff would like to wish all military service members and their families a Happy Armed Forces Day!

 

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The History of Mother’s Day

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sepia photography of flowers

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Think back to your last online shopping experience. Do you happen to recall any ads that you saw? We obviously can’t know for sure, but more than likely you saw something related to flowers, chocolates or other gifts, which can only mean Mother’s Day is upon us. To help commemorate the upcoming holiday, we thought we’d go through a quick history lesson. Without further ado, let’s get started!

The first celebrations of mothers go back to ancient Greece. Festivals were held to honor the mother goddesses known as Rhea and Cybele. The most modern version of the holiday was known as “Mothering Sunday,” in which adult children were encouraged to attend mass at their hometown church, then spend the day with mom. The custom eventually faded in popularity until merging with today’s holiday.

The celebration that we know today was created by Anna Jarvis. Her mother, Ann Jarvis, cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War and became a community activist. As a child, Anna heard her mother say a prayer, hoping that one day there would be a Memorial Day for mothers to honor their good deeds. After Ann passed, Anna became making plans for the official holiday.

On the second anniversary of her mother’s death in 1905, Anna held a special church service in her honor. After a successful event, she took part in a fierce letter-writing campaign, in which she worked to persuade newspapers and politicians to add the holiday to the national calendar. By 1912, many states, towns and churches were already observing Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. Finally, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson officially recognized the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

Today, children all over the world shower their mothers with gifts, but the original idea was to simply spend the day together. Anna hoped that families would be able to attend church in the morning and visit in the afternoon. Gifts didn’t come until later on, and much to her dismay.

This Sunday, rather spending a lot of time and energy on finding the perfect flower arrangement or extravagant box of chocolates for mom, consider giving her a more thoughtful gift, the gift of quality time. Ask her how she would like to spend the day and shower her with attention. We can guarantee that a day together will be the ultimate gift.

Happy Mother’s Day from Lions Pride!

Wisconsin’s Gone Fishin’

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Pack your fishing rod, tackle box and bait because the fishing season has nearly arrived!

landscape photo of riverand pine trees

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

This Saturday, May 4, is opening day for Wisconsin fishing.

Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States. According to the 2018 Outdoor Industry Special Report, more than 49 million Americans enjoyed recreational fishing in 2017. During that year, approximately 16.5 percent of the US population went fishing at least once.

The sport’s popularity has not come by accident. In addition to just being an enjoyable pastime, fishing also brings several important health benefits. If you’re looking for an excellent reason to get out on the water this weekend, we’ll give you five:

  1. Reduce your blood pressure

    Studies have shown that spending time in nature helps to lower blood pressure, but the exact reason is not yet known. Additionally, you don’t have to spend all day outdoors to enjoy these benefits, 30 minutes per week is enough to improve blood pressure and overall health. But remember, the more time outside, the better!

  2. Unplug and unwind

    We live in a noisy world. Let us set the scene to see if you can relate. You start the day with a cup of coffee in front of the morning news, drive to work with the radio blaring, spend the day in front of a computer and constant interruptions before finally heading home to spend the evening watching digital screens. We all need some time away from the modern world and fishing poses as the perfect solution, a time to unplug and appreciate only the sounds of nature.

  3. Stand up

    Too many Americans spend the day sitting. Research has shown that the average person sits about 12 hours each day. This inactivity, which has become known as “the sitting disease,” is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Fortunately, fishing gives anglers an opportunity to stand up.

  4. Keep your brain sharp

    As people age, cognitive abilities will typically decline, and memory problems can take place. The best way to keep your brain healthy is to challenge it with mentally stimulating activities. According to Harvard Health Publications, to stay sharp, people should continue learning, use all of their senses and have confidence in oneself – all of which would fall in line with fishing.

  5. Spend time with family and friends

    Most would agree that there’s no better way to spend time, then with friends and family. Fishing is a great way to pass the morning or spend the day. Of course, you may need to make a few adjustments when fishing with others, especially those who wouldn’t consider themselves to be experienced anglers.

As you may already know, hook and line fishing for many fish species on several Wisconsin waterways begins on opening day, but season dates are often specific to fish species as well as the body of water. The best way to start planning your fishing trip is to download the DNR 2019-2020 fishing season dates.

Before heading out on the water, be sure to purchase your fishing license. Registration is available online, in various sales locations and at one of the DNR Service Centers.

The staff at Lions Pride would like to wish you luck out on the water this season. Happy Fishing!

Easy Ways to Celebrate the Planet

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Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

We’ve had Mother Nature on our minds this week. On Monday, we celebrated Earth Day, and tomorrow marks the 147th annual Arbor Day. With so many unofficial planet-related holidays, the month of April gives us a fantastic opportunity to think about our role as living creatures on Planet Earth.

We have great admiration for organizations who choose to make Mother Nature a primary focus in their everyday operations. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed the birth of successful eco-conscious startups, as well as many large companies (such as McDonald’s and SC Johnson), adopt more sustainable business practices. As we began brainstorming green organizations, another one immediately came to mind; an organization that is a little more local and very close to our hearts. We’re talking about the Wisconsin Lions Camp, of course!

As you likely already know, Lions Camp is located on 440 acres of land centered around Lions Lake in Rosholt, Wisconsin. During the summer months, the camp acts as the temporary home of weekly campers. During their week away, attendees spend the majority of their time outdoors, so it probably isn’t surprising to learn that they have a grand respect for Mother Nature.

While assisting the children with self-confidence, interdependence and social skills, the Wisconsin Lions Camp staff focuses on providing campers with strong environmental awareness. Campers are strongly encouraged to sign up for programs to learn about different areas of the environment. A few of the activities include nature hikes, animal tracking and water studies. They also have the opportunity to hear nature’s stories, first-hand, and play animal trivia. The ultimate goal is to teach the children to leave the environment in better condition than it was found.

As individuals, we can learn a lot from these organizations like Lions Camp by finding ways to show our respect for Planet Earth. Here are a few easy ways to “go green” at home:

  1. Plant a tree
  2. Opt-in to paperless billing options
  3. Dry your laundry on a clothesline
  4. Unplug appliances and charges when not in use
  5. Combine errands into one trip
  6. Use reusable bags instead of plastic
  7. Shop at your local farmer’s market
  8. Fix leaky faucets
  9. Collect rainwater for your houseplants and the garden
  10. Reuse scrap paper

At Lions Pride, our job is to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all other WLF projects. We think those three words can also apply to our responsibility as conscious citizens.

By taking small steps towards greener living, we can all make a big difference to the world we live in. Let’s work together to celebrate the planet every day.

Easter: A Time of Hope and Faith

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white lily flower

Photo by Trina Snow on Pexels.com

We, along with the rest of the world, were devastated to learn the fate of the Notre Dame earlier this week. At 6:20 pm local time, a fire alarm sounded, and the cathedral was evacuated; only twenty minutes later, security spotted flames in the wooden framework of the attic. The cause of the fire is not yet clear, but many believe the restoration construction likely played a part.

Approximately two-thirds of the roof was destroyed, and three large interior holes remain. Sadly, the famous 295-foot tower burned and fell during the fire. The timing of the event, the week leading up to Easter, makes the situation much more tragic.

In today’s world, it can be tough to remain positive when we know war divides dozens of countries, hatred can quickly lead to violence and unexpected disasters can bring about terrible sadness. Fortunately, as we mentioned earlier, we have an upcoming holiday, which should bring a bit of optimism back.

This Sunday, many of us will likely be surrounded by a sea of Easter lilies, which symbolize virtue, hope and faith. In Christian traditions, the white lily signifies a time of rebirth and a new beginning, which is why they are also sent as sympathy gifts. Stories say that these beautiful flowers rose up in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus wept in the last hours before being betrayed, nothing short of a miracle.

The Easter Season gives us all an opportunity to put our negativity aside and instead to look ahead to a bright, hopeful future. A few years ago, leaders of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem spoke the following words, which we feel still rings true in 2019:

“There are indeed signs of darkness around us, which make this a painful time to live through, but the darkest part of the night is often shortly before the dawn. The joyful proclamation of the Resurrection at dawn on Easter Sunday assures us that the last word lies not with violence and inhumanity but with God’s purpose of love, justice and hope which runs like a thread throughout history and will find its ultimate fulfillment in the coming fullness of his Kingdom.”

During this Easter Season, choose hope. We know that life can be challenging, but remember that the Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt and brighter days are ahead. From all of us at Lions Pride, we’d like to wish you and your family a blessed Easter Sunday.