Thursday, July 25, 2013

Story County 4H Fair

This past weekend I spent most of my time at the Story County 4H Fair in Nevada. County fairs are pretty cool, if you have one in your area you should check it out! They aren't as glamorous as the state fair obviously, but they have plenty of fun events (like rabbit hopping) and the kids are always happy to show off their projects. I really think more communities should encourage their kids to participate in 4H, after all their mission is to engage youth in order to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development (which is quite a mouthful!).

The 4H pledge and emblem.

Saturday I spent the afternoon with the Clover kids (kids in kindergarten through third grade which are too young for the regular 4H program). Each year the Clover kids participate in an exhibition show :). It's so cute watching these little kids show their dogs in obedience and conformation. And watch out, a lot of these kids have skills! Sadly, I didn't take any pictures all weekend, bad Erin. I was way too caught up in responsibilities :).

Sunday I spent the whole day 'hosting' the Dog show for all the 4Her's. That was quite the experience. We had four rings going that covered both obedience (Pre-Novice, Sub-Novice, Novice, Graduate Novice, Open, and Challenge Novice) and showmanship with 61 entries. It was a long day, but what a great day! Now that this year is over, I'm already planning for next year :). There will be a few changes to come!
Source: University of New Hampshire extension

To Make The Best Better

The goal of 4H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills of youth through positive learning programs. And while 4H still retains a strong connection to agriculture, the organization has branched out over many new fields to encompass the urban youth. So even if you aren't into dogs (GASP) or other livestock, you can still many projects to get involved in. While I was in 4H, I also participated in photography, woodworking, computer science, and crafts. See something for everyone :). But while projects are the fun part of 4H, kids also focus on service and community involvement which I think is really important and something that is missing with a lot of our current youth.

Adults can also get involved in 4H, duh obviously because here I am :). Volunteer leaders play a major role in 4H programs and are the heart and soul of 4H. Ah, doesn't that sound pretty :). But seriously it is a ton of fun and we (volunteer leaders) get to help kids achieve self-confidence and self-responsibility. Can't beat that!

In what ways do you help with your community? Are you involved with a local 4H program?

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