New WCGMC Newsletter

The Wayne Country Gem and Mineral Club has moved into the sand business!   Well, I guess you could say we’ve come to the realization that sand grains are minerals and since we collect minerals, well, perhaps we should collect sands.  I guess I fell for the “sport” and then for the documentation part, a new newsletter.  Below is the opening article introducing the newsletter and our mission.  And here is a link to the full newsletter (WCGMC Sand Times Vol. 1, no. 1)

This is the inaugural issue of a newsletter published by the Sand Section of the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club.  In 2019, one of us, Jim Rienhardt, introduced the club to a new aspect of “mineral” collector by sharing a collection of sands and talking about the hobby.  A few members took interest and decided to give the hobby a try.  The other of us, Fred Haynes, fell for the challenge of collecting and understanding sands hook, line and sinker.

One thing led to another and at subsequent club meetings we held sand trades among members, brought in sand displays, often with microscopes, and offered short learnings on some of the sands we have acquired.  We seem to have built an informal sub-group within the club.  The next logical step was to include sand articles in the monthly WCGMC Newsletter.  Last September we did just that, creating the WCGMC Sand Page.  We thank Kathleen Cappon for helping us populate this column in the December issue (republished here, pg. 7).

We plan to continue the Sand Page in the club’s primary newsletter with timely and pertinent news for all members to learn from, perhaps with the hope that the hobby will grow with other club members.  But now, we go one step farther to create a second newsletter dedicated to sand collecting and sand collectors.  The target audience includes not only WCGMC members, but also arenophiles (sand collectors) outside the club.  Both of us have met (mostly via online contact through Facebook Groups) and traded sand with folks from around the world.  We think some of them might find an informal club newsletter dedicated to arenophilia of interest.

We plan to announce this newsletter outside the club and permit free access to all.  In fact, we invite contributions from anyone and anywhere: just send us a short note (preferably with pictures) about their favorite sand, an adventure while collecting or a learning you have made as an arenophile.   As you will see, we already have outside contributions in this issue with pieces from Brian Dear of the Niagara Peninsula Geologic Society and from Robert Winfree of Anchorage, Alaska.  We thank them both for allowing us to publish/re-publish their fine work.

At the start, we plan a quarterly publication, but the timing and length are flexible depending on input and interest.  The WCGMC Sand Times will be an online newsletter only.  We’ll find a location on our club webpage and send links to anyone who expresses an interest.  When new issues are published we will also place notices on our Facebook Group page and to other Groups with a focus on Sand Collecting.  Time will tell how long the WCGMC Sand Times survives.  Right now the energy level seems high and there is plenty of input ….and sand.

If you have read this far, you must be an arenophile.  Either that or it is a boring winter day in your home town!  Regardless, we want to be an inclusive organization.  There is no cost to read this newsletter or to contribute to it.  It will be posted to our club webpage right alongside the regular newsletter.

I would love to hear what you think about our first effort at arenojournalism!   Contact me and I will be sure to add your e-mail to the distribution list for subsequent issues.  But more importantly, send me your thoughts or any stories and pictures about sand collecting you might wish others to see.  Of course, we will accept sands also!




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