Thursday, September 29, 2011

4-H 101: Projects

Projects are the learning part of 4-H. And we all want to learn!

Everyone belongs to a club. It can be close or far, but is usually in the county you live in. (My county has 18 clubs in it.) Each club offers a variety of projects. The great thing is that if your club is not offering a certain project, you can go to another club's project. For example, if you really want to be in the rabbit project and you are in the Abel Club and they don't offer it, you can attend the club meetings at Abel and go to the rabbit project at the Baker Club. (Club names obviously made up.)

This really opens up all the different projects you can participate in.

Projects need to meet for 6 hours a year. This could be each month through the school year, or a two hour meeting on three different Saturdays. Some projects, like the horse project, are much more involved and meet multiple times a month; but most of them meet once a month or less. This makes it easy to over commit; you have to remember to hold back. (Or at least tell your kids what your project limit is for the year.)

At our last club meeting some of the members had made explanatory boards to entice other members to join different projects.

Here are the projects offered by our club this year:

 Suburban Farm Skills 
{This one was tempting for me......cheese making, preserving, yogurts....}

{Of course we are in rabbits; Mr. Lego is a 
teen leader this year in the rabbit project.}

Arts, Baking & Crafts
{Self explanatory with lots of fun expected.}

 The Goat Project 
{In which I know nothing about.}

The American Girl Project.  
{Each month they will choose a different
character and then read the 
book and talk about it.}

Beginning ASL
{This was another tempting one....}

The other projects offered that didn't have fun displays were:

Hug-A-Pet Project
{Members take different animals
to assisted-living centers,
hospitals and care homes.}

Cooking/Table Setting Project
{This project is exactly what it says. 
Place settings is a judged entry at our fair.}

Rifle Project
{This would be another fun one to do....}

Leadership Project
{Our officers meet once a month to 
plan out the club meetings and talk about
being good leaders. This is a project open 
to all the members.}

 Other projects offered at 4-H clubs in my area:

Fiber Arts: Knitting
Junior Master Gardener
Dog Project
CPR and First Aid
Outdoor Adventure
Cake Decorating
Cavies {Guinea Pigs}

There is no requirement as to how many projects you take or what kind. And that is why I love 4-H. You can put in a couple hours weekly, or as little as 2 hours a month. So flexible!

Most projects are open to all 4-H members ages 5-18, except for a few like the Horse Project or a shooting sports project.

So for our family the limit is 2 projects per year. The Rabbit Project is a given each year, so that only leaves one open project to choose. Our first year we took the Beginner 4-H Project which is offered periodically and was super helpful. Last year we did the Historical Tours Project and went to a different historical site each month. And this year, since 2 of my children are in leadership, the Leadership Project made the most sense for us.

So three hours a month, 9 months in a year, but lots of learning and lots of fun.

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