Archive for Thursday, July 30, 2009

5 questions: 4-H 4 life

July 30, 2009

Q: How long have you been involved in 4-H?

A: My involvement in 4-H started when I was in elementary school. I can't remember exactly how I found out about it, but it sounded like a lot of fun. I, along with my brother, participated in Douglas County 4-H until we "aged out" at the age of 18. When I became a parent, both my husband, Mike, and I wanted our boys to be involved in some kind of service organization. I serve as a project leader for the Eudora 4-H club as the bucket calf leader. My husband and I also serve as the club's community leaders

Q: I think it's a common misconception that 4-H is for farm kids. What is your response to that?

A: My response to the notion that 4-H is for farm kids is to ask if anyone has been to the Douglas County fair lately? Sure we have the requisite livestock, but photos and canning, rockets and robotics all abound and in fact, probably the total number of nonlivestock exhibits is larger than the livestock exhibits.

I am not sure that the notion of 4-H being a farm kid thing is ever going to go away since that's been its historical basis, but if you come out and investigate, you'll find 4-H is so much more.

Q: Why should someone join 4-H, and do you think it's for everybody?

A: I do think 4-H is for everyone because there's no limit on what you can or can't do. I may not have the skills my kids need to accomplish a particular goal or project, but someone in the club does, or knows someone who does. In that sense, the feeling of community is very real and present in 4-H.

Q: What kind of time commitment do you think the kids make in order to participate in the fair?

A: The time commitment leading up to the fair and week of the fair really varies from family to family and is age dependent as well.

The week of the fair, too, depends on how much time you have to put into it. It's also really flexible for families — another great plus.

Q: What is your favorite part of the fair?

A: My favorite part of the fair is seeing the growth in the 4-H'ers from the start of the year in September. There have been several younger members in our club who were very shy as they began their career and now they are asking questions, seeking help, and, best of all, passing that information down to their younger family members.

What a great thing to see these kids grow and become confident self advocates. Plus, who can resist the appeal of a small bucket calf or a baby rabbit?

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