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At the last Northwest District Fall Business meeting it was recommended by the holders of this appointed office that the position of Education Director be abolished mainly because most classes no longer relied on printed material for lesson reinforcement. U-Tube and various websites present the square dance moves in real time using dancers who perform the various calls. Probably abolishment action will be taken on this proposal at the spring 2015 meeting at which time we will end writing this column. But for now: 

Recently while talking to long time caller and Harper County Squares caller Fred Trujillo we discussed some things which were a lot of fun at one time but which weren’t being used nearly as much anymore. Most of these activities were used to encourage travel to the various district or area clubs. Probably some readers will remembers the banner and dangle programs. Both of these programs when used were organized and administered by a designated couple who were usually one of the district’s vice presidents. 

At one time most clubs had a large fancy banner displaying their club name, town and logo. At the district festivals each club brought its banner and placed it on a specified area which signified that the particular club was in attendance. A certain number of smaller replica banners were prepared and these were used for banner raiding purposes. Generally to steal a banner a visiting club had to bring at least one square of dancers to another clubs dance. In order to retrieve a banner it was necessary to take a square to the club’s dance who had originally stolen your banner. Fred related that sometimes when a club might have all their banners taken that perhaps the club president’s shirt was taken in ransom. 

Another program which was popular in the Northwest District was the dangle program. To participate in this activity couples had to buy a badge which contained spaces for dangles to be displayed. For instance in 1990 and 1991 the N.W. District dangle program badge was a white VW car with “We’re buggin Ya’ll to Travel for Fun in 1990 and 1991”. Each club bought smaller replicas with their clubs initials printed on them. In 1993 and 1994 a small white plastic tomahawk with the words, “Travel for the Ten Little Indians” was used. Obviously ten clubs were active in the N.W. District at this time. Spaces were also available for attendance at special district dances such as festivals. Often prizes and recognition were awarded to those who were successful in filling their travel bars. Some even filled them several times over. 

Unfortunately it has probably been close to fifteen years since either of these programs was being used in the Northwest District. With the declining interest in traveling to other clubs it might be an option to consider in the future. 

Rod & Lois Ford NWD Education Director