Category Archives: Other VGMS Activities and Programs


VGMS on the Radio!

Jim Brace-Thompson and Diane Cook at KDAR

Jim Brace-Thompson and Diane Cook at KDAR

Here is the audio of the “Community Connection” which aired March 2, 2016, courtesy of KDAR, 98.3FM, featuring Diane Cook and Jim Brace-Thompson. VGMSRadioBroadcast2016.mp3

VGMS Showcase at the Foster Library in Ventura

VGMS once again has set up a display in the E. P. Foster Library through May. The display is pictured below, and below that, members Jim & Nancy Brace-Thompson,  John Cook, Angela and Luther Brown, and Jean and Ron Wise who brought specimens from their own collections and set up the display.



Educational Outreach

Members from the VGMS regularly visit local schools for demonstrations and hands-on activities. A half dozen of our members are kept busy visiting schools and hosting museum visits at our clubhouse.

The Ray Meisenheimer Memorial Museum, located in our clubhouse, is home to the Bruno & Opal Benson Fossil Collection and our hands-on educational exhibits. Several exhibits and collections are geared to match California earth science curriculum standards for elementary and high school students as well as to help Boy and Girl Scouts earn badges related to geology. To arrange a field trip visit with your classroom or scouts, call (805) 312-VGMS (8467) or contact us here.

Rock Box Swap Project


We have exchanged rocks with several clubs, including clubs as far away as Australia and Scotland. It’s a great way to get to know other clubs, as well as see what kind of rocks, minerals and fossils they have in their area. Materials will end up enriching our clubhouse museum cases, and duplicates  of the same material will be used in our Silent Auctions or Ways & Means Raffle to generate funds for the many education programs we provide to the community, and for our yearly scholarships.


What’s In It: Generally, 15-18 rocks, minerals and/or fossils (depending on what is available to you in your area), with tags identifying common and scientific names, and location item is from (preferably what’s available in your area), in a small compartment tray box (like what’s used for tackle or hardware; I found some inexpensive ones at Harbor Freight). The size I usually aim for is ‘walnut size’, as it fits in those compartments.  Flat rate boxes from the Postal Service work great for mailing and aren’t too expensive. We have very generous members who donate some really nice pieces to the project out of their own collections; there are no ugly/scrap ‘leaverites’ in these boxes!

Clubs that are interesting in participating should contact the editor for more details. See Contact page.

Results from CFMS/AFMS Show in June 9-11th, 2017; the editor is proud to announce that the  display featuring the Rock Box Swap Project won First Place for a Society Education Case!  The Editor would like to thank the following clubs for their participation: Huntsville Gem & Mineral Society (Alabama), Spring River Gem & Mineral Club (Arkansas), Geelong Gem & Mineral Club (Victoria, Australia), Scottish Mineral & Lapidary Club (Leith, Scotland), New York Mineralogical Club (New York), Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society, and the No. Mississippi Gem & Mineral Club.