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FlyGap 10-24-2012 01:48 PM

Are any of you 4-H Parents/Kids?
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So DD's best friend's mom and I were talking about 4H. All excited to get the girls involved...
I miss the first meeting, work and out of town in my busy season.
They go and it's a complete disaster. They didn't introduce the new members, didn't give an overview or any sort of plan. Went straight into fundraising! Sign up for this, make a goal on selling that, pay this, community service sign up over here (we need to clean up roads), yadda yadda. They leave and didn't have a CLUE what to do next. They do have a super shooting club, they know the director of that program for their son, but for their DD they don't have a clue. Apparently all they needed her to do is sell poinsettias, no club meetings or schedule whatsoever.

So then yesterday I run into a friend and find out that she is the new 4-H leader. Apparently there are 4 different local chapters, we are really spread out. I ask her how it all works and we're getting together. I'm mostly interested in an Equine program for the kids. The former Equine program got dropped when the woman who ran it got out of horses. New lady picked it back up but the parents got upset with her when they figured out that their kids weren't going to just get free riding lessons. I honestly don't know how it works but volunteered to help her.

I've seen the art division at the fair, three or four projects, nothing stellar there either. I can do that! Gardening too.

Is this standard? What have you done with your kids or as a kid? I'm doing my research, but how does this work?

This community is really tight knit, if you weren't born and raised here you will always be an outsider. Well, that isn't going to be the way for me and my family! I want to be involved and good member!

Klassic Superstar 10-24-2012 02:06 PM

I did 4h as a middle schoolers in our small hometown that I'm actually moving back to and hoping to get back into it to help the kids and the leader out!
What happend to your kid and friends kid (nit being introduced and such) is just downright not okay for a 4h meeting, ESP the first meeting.

When I was in our club, anytime anyone was new or just sitting in on the meeting that we had once a month at 6-7 pm we would all go around say our name, a little about our horse and our goals for the year. Each meeting someone was to bring a baked good, cookies, cupcakes, anything as a group like snack. A lot of the time we all just took something so it was like a fun kids snacky potluck! Both these things, introductions and bringing food made us talk more to one another and open up a bit and helped up get comfortable as a group.
The other thing we did was have an agenda each meeting, this is something our leader would do. We would talk about last weeks meeting incase someone missed it, talk about up coming events in the community that would be of intrested to our group, always **** around ideas for fundraisers. We would bring our 4h binders and our leader would help us with any questions.
Our club would put in a schooling show for our horse community, at ha,oween we still do what we call horse a ween, very fun! Games in horse back, games on the ground, costume classes, prizes and tons of fun!
When it got to be nicer weather we would do more riding as a club as some of us didn't have the means to make it every mounted meeting but of course if we had time to come and watch and learn it was highly recomeneded. Some of the older kids in our community would invite us over with our horses to help teach us more about say showmanship and what to expect at fair and shows, sometimes we would all pile up in a parents car or two and go watch a event to learn more and where expected to come to our weekly meeting and be bake to talk for 15 minutes about what we saw and learned and hoe to use on our own horses, we would go to clinics where they're where just speakers such as vets talking about wrapping, wound care, colic and all sorts of very impotent things and they would hand out pamphlets on feeds, give away vet wrap and simplcaveat care type products. Our 4h leader bred Tbs and so we go to learn a lot of breeding and fowling and why it's important to imprint and the training for a foal and all the safety prociations. That was very fun.

When it got time to prep for fair we had lots of mounted meetings, given checklists for what we would need fir riding, stable care, hauling, and everything in between for when we where at fair so we would be well prepared. We would get groups of us torture and make a trailering buddie list and make sure the hirsute where good with their hauling partners for sftey reasons, go over loading and un laoding for the younger kids.

It wwas very user friendly, parents always helped out with food, carpooling, watching or video taping any kids that needed it.

Hope this helps!
Good luck!

busysmurf 10-24-2012 10:03 PM

Funny thing, I actually just signed my daughter up tonight. I'm only letting her take Explorers, Horse & Pony, and 1 other project (she can't decide on sewing, photography, drama, music, archery, shooting, drawing, plants, and 1 other 1 I can't remember).

I grew up in 4-H, just like my mom, so it's kind of a family tradition. The way our 4-H works is there's a bazillion clubs around the county. Some try & specialize in one project, and some try to make sure that it's very diverse. The way it was when I was growing up, was if there was enough interest in a certain project, and there was a knowledgable adult willing to be a leader, than you would have meetings at the club level in that project. For example, I was always in a club that had a strong H&P project enrollment & had a good leader. We would have club H&P meetings that were required. But we also had the county H&P meetings to attend. So there was an abundance of oppertunities to learn.

I know several kids who were in clubs where they were the only person in the H&P project in their club. They could either just go to the county meetings or they could tag join in another clubs H&P meetings.

There always has been a lot of emphasis on community service & fund raising, but that's a BIG part of what 4-H has always been about so there's no getting away from it. I was told that each child must be a member of at least 1 commitee, and participate in at least 4 community service activities. Participation in the club Brat Fry & Pizza Sales are required. The club we joined also requires the green book thingy at the end of the year (can't remember what it's called right now. I've tried to erase all memories of that vile & wretched thing, lol).

If you have any other questions, let me know since I will probably end up being one of the H&P leaders for our club at least.

nikelodeon79 10-24-2012 10:12 PM

Not all 4-H clubs are created equal.

I was in 4-H way back when. We had a problem with commitment from the adult leaders. I remember being all excited about taking woodworking and we had one meeting where we planned our projects and then never heard from the leader again. This happened in numerous projects... Either one or two meetings or none at all.

The horse project was always a bit of a hot mess because the leaders didn't get along. We did a few fun things but then there would be a blowup and we wouldn't have any activities for awhile.

Our regular monthly meetings always went well, but those were run completely by the kids.

It's always a shame when the adults ruin it for the kids.
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Shawn Abbey 10-25-2012 12:44 AM

I just graduated my oldest daughter last year, and our experience was almost exactly like Klassic Superstar's! It was a great four years! As a Parent that attended almost every ride with my Daughter, I learned a lot as well!
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FlyGap 10-28-2012 07:20 PM

28 Attachment(s)
Thank you guys so much!
Where I used to live 4-H was and still is enormous! I never got to participate and always longed to do it. So here is me trying to live vicariously through my kid!

Hopefully I can make a difference!

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