|Still smiling (at least for the camera) on Sunday afternoon after a successful fair!|
It's been "fair weather" the last couple of weeks around here. And I'm not talking temperature or precipitation.
The girls were here for the Stafford County Fair. They didn't get to stay until the end because judging for their Shawnee County 4-H Fair began. Then, last weekend, we went to Topeka to see the culmination of a year's worth of 4-H projects for Kinley and Brooke. They had quite a fan club, since Eric's parents (and our friends) Alan and Christy were also there.
Since I led with Kinley's photography achievements last time (click HERE for that blog), I'm kicking off the Shawnee County Fair review with Brooke. This was Brooke's second year in 4-H and her second year in the foods and nutrition project.
|At their fair, they take a photo of the food and then show the picture and a ribbon sticker - not the actual food.|
She got a purple on her Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies and a blue on her Apricot Bundt cake. Both are recipes that Jill entered in 4-H during her Stafford County 4-H foods days. (The cookie was slightly modified.) We got to sample practice versions at their house during the weekend. They were mighty tasty!
She got two blues for her arts and crafts projects. Her painting ...
All the Grandmas and Grandpas were served by these lovely ladies and other 4-Hers. But Kinley and dog Summer had a dog show to get to!
They got a purple ribbon in showmanship. Things didn't go quite as well with obedience and agility. However, this was the first year for both of them. They worked hard by going to training classes with their 4-H club and the Humane Society, but both are novices. Summer is just a year old - basically still a puppy - and there were lots of distractions. (I will testify that they have made TONS of progress!)
They'll keep working at it.
Kinley had a banner year. Besides her purple-ribbon photography, she got champion for her framed and matted dog portraits in the arts and crafts division.
Her tennis picture - made with painted beans - got a blue. (She got the idea at the Stafford County Fair and decided to do the tennis ball since she's a tennis player. Thanks Taci and family for the how-tos!)
And she got reserve champion in the 9-11 age division for her angel food cake. Her mother and I especially saw that as a victory: Our angel food cake attempt when Jill was a 4-Her was the least successful thing we ever tried. When we turned it over to cool, it fell right out on the counter. My Grandma Neelly's angel food cakes were superior. I guess the ability to make them skipped a few generations!
Sure, it's fun to collect ribbons. But 4-H is about way more than the fair at the end of the year.
I pledge my head to clearer thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
And my health to better living
For my club, my community, my country and my world.
The 4-H Pledge, Written in 1919 by Kansas 4-H Leader Otis Hall
It would probably be a better world if all of humanity would think about the principles that 4-Hers vow to uphold. Clearer thinking, greater loyalty, larger service, healthy living, better living ... those are all attributes that would do this old world a whole lot of good.
For more than 120 years, 4-H has been changing lives. Back in 2006, we celebrated 100 years of Kansas 4-H. The youth program has been part of the national landscape since 1902.
|Me with a 4-H foods and nutrition project talk|
The girls are the fourth generation in our family to be involved in the Kansas 4-H program. My parents were members back in the 1940s in Pratt County. Both were members of the Lincoln Bluebirds 4-H Club in Pratt County, the club that my siblings and I later joined. (During my time in the club, we consolidated with another club and became the Lincoln Climbers.)
All four of their children and all seven of their grandchildren were part of the 4-H program, two in Pratt County in the same club their grandparents attended, two in Stafford County and three in Clay County. Now that continues for five of their 10 great-grandchildren in Clay and Shawnee Counties.
|Jill and Runaway, her bucket calf. |
Randy's parents were leaders in the Stafford County 4-H program, too, though we're not sure they were 4-H members themselves. For a dozen years, Randy & I were community leaders of the Corn Valley 4-H Club, the same club Randy was a part of back when he took his first cow to the fair. I'm still the 4-H foods superintendent at the Stafford County Fair.
|Randy with one of his first 4-H beef projects|
Eric's family also has lots of ties to 4-H, especially Grandpa Alan, who served as an extension agent and director in both Kansas and Iowa.
The 4-H website says:
The 4-H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills they need to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy. That idea was the catalyst to begin the 4-H movement, and those values continue today.
The 4-H program continues to MAKE THE BEST BETTER!