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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mad Scramble to Wildlife and Robotics

I spent the morning gathering up supplies and finishing power point presentations.  I also had the fun of teaching all of the information we needed to cover at Wildlife to Michael.  Yep...once again my super stunt double was taking on the work for me as I stayed home with Zaira.

What made this even more amazing is that Michael had his first Robotics meeting tonight also.  He still had to gather up all his supplies which meant one more round at the stores.  I am so thankful for him and hope that he and Paul have a good experience leading their project and the youth enjoy the experience as well.

Today Michael covered our first round of habitat management techniques and tree identification.  But first the group had the first animal presentation from Zachary about White-tailed Deer.  I heard he did a great job and I have his presentation (so cool!) on my computer at home.  Michael added to his presentation by showing a sneak peak of the techniques we will be learning related to deer in a couple of weeks.  Here are some websites for those interested in learning a little ahead of time:

Age of a Deer

Measuring Deer Antlers

Michael also did a quick review of the concepts learned last week.  We talked about communities (animal and plant species), ecosystems (area with living communities and nonliving resources together), and habitat needs for focal species (food, cover, water, space).

This is the list of habitat management practices discussed:

  • Animal Damage—(animal to animal) control pests that are damaging the target species
  • Population Management—(survey target species) monitors birth and death rates as well as age of population and sex ratios of target species
  • Brush Management—(woody plants) used to restore natural plant community, to give balance to ecosystem, for cover/forage quality, and to allow for diverse habitat needs
  • Food Plots—(help during stress periods) NOT BAITING; must have an average population to avoid further problems for target species, planting for needs of target species
  • Grazing Management—(livestock to wildlife) add or take away grazing livestock to assist wildlife, determined by stocking rate and kind of livestock…some wildlife and livestock are compatible with each other; also relates to the needs of the plant life to avoid pasture distress…allows for rest periods for pasture

Then he ended the day with a Power Point Presentation about tree identification by leaves. The group had an activity to identify leaves from trees and relate the animal preferences. They even had time to find trees behind the museum.

Then Michael raced over to the location for the Robotics training. I know he did not have a lot of time to prepare and set up before 4Hers started to arrive. However, the evening went well.

There were about 16 youth and nice adults gathered in the building. The large group was divided up into smaller multi-age teams to learn about the first module. They first got a large pile of miscellaneous parts (paperclips, washers, coffee stirrer, rubberbands, etc) that needed to be sorted. This helped to teach the youth about categorizing items by form or function. They had to sort by color and then each group chose a second way to sort items. Some of the teams sorted by individual item, others sorted by material make up, and another sorted by the shape of the item.

Then the group learned about orthographic drawings. Do you know what that is? I haven't a clue. But Michael tells me that it is a perspective drawing of an object from all angles. Each 4Her had to then choose an item from the room and draw an orthographic image. Then they exchanged drawings with another 4Her and explain their drawing to another person in the room. They talked about why this type of drawing was a good way to communicate. On reason is because it crosses international barrier of language. Also, it provides a good physical or visual reference for an unknown object. This part of the class also showed the importance of measurements.

Then the teams had to build a book support using a minimum of four paperclips and piece of printer paper that would hold a book at least five inches off the table. One team used only the minimum supplies to create their support, and it held four Bibles! The other teams made very elaborate structures that could barely hold one book! It was great to see so many different attempts. The 4Hers are very creative. They made a very good first attempt at creating a structure out of junk!

They all are looking forward to building marshmallow catapults next week! I am hoping Zaira and I can attend so we can eat all the extra marshmallows! Plenty of room for more to join us! This is an awesome new project! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting Via the Internet

I was supposed to go to a Project Leaders Meeting tonight.  This is when we get together for the new year to make sure the various projects in the county are represented and opened up to as many youth as possible.  However, Zaira began the day with the rash that went from head to toe.  Upon closer examination and researching the rash, we think it might be Rubella but hoping it is a simple rash that goes away.

So, I did not make it to the meeting.  My SUPER AMAZING STUNT DOUBLE...better known as my husband, Michael...went in my place!  He was so clever!  He messaged me throughout the meeting to let me know what was going on.

It sounds like we were well represented by our club.  Renee came to see if there was an interest in Rocks/Geology project.  Paul came to represent the Shotgun project as well as Robotics project along with Michael.  Brenda  and Jamie were there to make sure our other projects were announced from our club, including their main projects of Food Challenge and Clothing&Textiles. Heather came to talk about a digital scrapbooking project to go along with photography! Christi came to talk about Food & Nutrition.  Sheri talked to the group about animals, specifically the rabbit project.

Other topics of interest were:

JAKES day is September 15th.

Youth Fair is changing this year...scheduled for February 26 through March 2, which is a Tuesday-Saturday.  The hope is to try to build it to a full county fair w/carnival, concerts, etc.  Also, the youth fair entry prices will go up to 10 dollars for non-livestock to pay for around the clock security for the duration of the fair.

Gold Star Banquet is October 1st to recognize all those who turn in record books.  Also, the Gold Star award, Spirit awards and Youth leadership awards will be announced.

Club and Council Meeting Training for all 4Hers will be on September 20th/27th.  The training is an overview on parliamentary procedures

There was a meeting following this one to discuss Food Show and Clothing & Textile events.  I will need to get this information and re-post at a later time.

So glad I was able to 'attend' the meeting in some way.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A 4H End to a Long Day

After a long day of family activities that needed to be done, we made our way to our club 4H Family Fun Night!  I must say it was the first long day of events, so I was tired.  I am so thankful for Michael and his enthusiasm for 4H.  He did a great job of talking with new parents and the youth about the many different opportunities 4H has to offer.

I was just there in the sidelines to help for a change.  It was kind of nice to take a back seat.  Holding a newborn gives me that privilege.

The night started out slow with one family arriving early.  They watched us set up the booths and prepare the meal.  However, by 6pm we had about 12 families in attendance (50 guests plus another 50 from our club!).

We had a nice meal of chicken spaghetti with several side dishes and desserts.  It was a nice welcome for our guests to introduce them to our little group.

Then we had set up several booths with hands on activities.

Computer Science/Robotics
Food & Nutrition
Clothing & Textiles
Shooting Sports
Food Challenge
Animals (Poultry & Rabbits)

There was a lot of interest in the various projects.  We look forward to the new membership.  Always seeking new friends and the ability to teach new youth about the projects.

The night ended quickly with the families cleaning up and we were out the door by 8pm.  Mission accomplished to "make the best better" by promoting 4H.

SIDENOTE:  If you have been following my blog, you will remember our county extension agent had to deal with a daughter being diagnosed with leukemia last year.  Tonight we found out that his niece (2yo) has now been diagnosed with leukemia as well.  Please pray for this family.  I can only imagine the hurt they are feeling...may God bless them with the strength they need to endure another struggle.  Give them the faith they need to know that God is there with them through this struggle.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wildlife...on the move again!

We are back on track to another great 4H year.  The Wildlife project always gets a head start because the contest is so early in the year.  We will most likely have our first contest in October (actually we have a contest for plant ID mid-September).  

Here is a quick review of terms we learned today:
  • biotic community-living plant and animal populations living in a defined area (WHEP book pg 6)
  • abiotic resources-nonliving entity of a community-soil, water, air, and sunlight (WHEP book page 6)
  • communities-population of animals and plants in an area (WHEP book page 6)
  • ecosystems-the plant community along with the animal community together with soil, air, water, and sunlight (WHEP book Glossary page 202)
  • habitat (specifically, food, cover, water, and space)-physical and biological resources required by wildlife for survival and reproduction (WHEP book page 6)

We will also have leadership opportunities for the project members each week.  I really enjoyed learning more about the biological facts fro each species last year.  So, this year we will continue the animal presentations.  The presentations will include:
  • Color page with Clover Kid information (basic facts for animal)
  • General Biological Information page (see example attached)
This was my example for a color page to study javelina:
I am looking forward to seeing these presentation on the assigned dates:
  • White-tailed deer-Zachary-August 28th
  • Gray Squirrel-Henry September 4th
  • Fox Squirrel-Jarron-September 11th
  • Bobwhite Quail-Katy& Matt-September 18th
  • Wild Turkey-Taylor-September 25th
  • Mourning Dove-Becca-October 2nd
  • Waterfowl-Sean-October 9th
I have decided to give 'homework' to the group as well so they stay focused on what we are learning.  This week the group was asked to review the habitat needs for the focus species (shown above).  This information can be found in the Wildlife book (pages 109-111 and in the biological facts section for each animal).
We also discussed our own contest that we will create for the Forest Festival in September.  We will have five stations:
  • Shooting targets
  • Animal Facts/Identification
  • Plant Identification
  • Entomology
  • Pine Identification
The plan is to have a walk up contest entitled, "Do you know as much a 4Her?"  The participants will be able to walk up to the contest and take a try answering the questions.  We will have prizes for top three adult and youth participants.  We hope this will help showcase some of the projects in 4H that are not as well known.  We thought we should work with the outdoor projects to go along with the goals of the Forestry Museum (our sponsor for the contest).

We had a long enough break after the Wildlife meeting to go home and have dinner.  Then Michael took the older boys back into town to go to the Officer training meeting.  Brenda did a great job of explaining the different duties for each office.  Sean was very excited to be given his first check register.  Henry is all geared up to keep track of the pictures for the scrap book.  

There will be some changes for our club meeting as well.  We have had trouble with keeping an accurate roll of attendees in the past.  It is hard for the younger ones to remember to sign in each meeting.  So, Brenda decided to have a vocal roll call.  The decision was also made to have project reports given to the club president for announcing new events.  This will give our president more leadership but takes away from our teen leaders.  I guess we will need to add more to their duties at the project level.

So, we start the year off with a bang...a lot of energy as we learn about the outdoors and about how to be good leaders.  So looking forward to see how we are able to "make the best better" this year!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Working out the Details

Just a quick post to say that we DID get the sandwiches served for the Veterans today.  Myra graciously came to help me make the sandwiches with the boys and we had the sandwiches made in record time.  Then we had another volunteer show up on her off day.  I had never been so happy to see her.

So it was not like we would normal complete a community service but we DID make the regular 50 sandwiches AND the sandwiches were served to the veterans...mission accomplished.

I hope to be back to our normal schedule next month with a baby a little older which will make the task easier.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ending the Old and Starting the New

Hard to believe another 4H year has officially come to a close.  I had little to do with the meeting tonight.  I was happy to sit back in a corner and hold little Zaira.  Although, I must say, Zaira was in her finest as she sported her new 4H dress to match the boys for the evening.

The meeting began with our regular recitation of pledges and opening prayer.  Then we watched a slide show of pictures representing our 4H year.  It is amazing how much our club members were able to accomplish in such  a short time.  We had much to be proud of for the accomplishments and growth.

Then we installed the new officers.  Brenda did a great job of continuing the theme of building up our club.  She had tools for each of the club officers.  It was a nice symbolic message for each of them.

How to build a great year -
dry erase board & marker - President
sand paper - Vp
block of wood - 2nd vp
paintbrush - 3rd vp
pencil & ruler - secretary
nuts & bolts - treasurer
spool of wire - reporter
small plastic storage box - historian
light bulb - parliamentarian
nails - delegate & alternate
planner - community servcie project 
phone - call committee
money bag - fund raising

I was not sure what the boys would think about taking home a tool but the message stuck as both Henry and Sean set their tools up in their rooms to remind them of their goals for the next year.

The meeting continued with reports and I had Michael announce the information about Wildlife for me.  I am so thankful for having such a great husband willing to fill in for me when needed.

Then Myra gave out some awards overlooked at the last meeting, as well as recognition for the State Round Up group.  This included our Wildlife teams from last fall, hushpuppy championship awards, project medals, and San Antonio Food Challenge.  It is hard to believe that we could have so many awards given tonight as we had already had such a full meeting giving out these awards.

I made my only announcement at this time.  I was able to make a special presentation to our club president for his hard work over the last year.  This is an award our family started after watching our daughter, Amanda, work so hard to run the club smoothly.  This year the award was given to Caleb.  He did a great job so we were honored to present him with a engraved gavel.  I hope that he will remember his final 4H year with great fondest for many years to come.

I then announced that we would be serving sandwiches to the veterans at the VA clinic in the morning.  I think we will be serving on our own tomorrow.  Hopefully, we can make it work.  I guess we will just have to play it by ear.  Thankfully the boys have done this without too much trouble in the past.  If nothing else it will make for an interesting blog post for tomorrow.  LOL!

Josh then provided the group with a slide show of the outgoing senior 4Hers.  It is amazing how much these young men have grown over the years.  They (and their parents) can be proud!  The hard work and dedication shown in these 4H years will carry them into adulthood.

Last minute thought allowed Michael the opportunity to promote Wildlife and Robotics projects.  He told the group about supply lists for these projects before the meeting ended with ice cream treats for the group.  And believe it or not we finished all of this in less than two hours!

I cannot end the post tonight without a big thank you to Brianna and Brenda who made the cutest little outfit for Zaira!  Brianna made a pink sundress with zebra print bows and Zaira's initials on the front.  She also made a matching knit hat with flower on top.  Brenda added to the outfit the cutest little knit shoes that look like flip flops!  The hat was a little big but will be perfect when the weather gets a little cooler. I love the frilly flower on top!  I have to say...Brendan was all about her trying her new clothes on...he insisted that he was the only one who could put her hat on her head!

Then Sheri came over with a knit hat that she created during the meeting.  It was so precious and soft!  Unfortunately, the hat did not figure in the 15 inch head that Zaira so nicely carries on her shoulders!  LOL!  Sheri said to keep it as a souvenir of how truly BIG she is at such a young age!  So disappointing because it was made out of the softest yarn...I wanted to rub it on my face a million times!  But it is the thought that counts after all, right?!  I am so thankful for all our caring friends at 4H.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Missing in Action

While we were in the hospital for the birth of our precious new addition to our family, life did not sop for this 4H family.  Here are some of the things that kept the boys busy while they waited for their opportunity to meet their sister, Zaira Dominique.

Wednesday-The results of the State Record Books were in and Sean received a second place award for his Entomology Book!  Great job after struggling with the new forms and entering his first Senior Record Book! Also congrats go out to our other 4H seniors-Katy and Treyton for their fourth place awards for their books!

Thursday-Thankful for Renee for staking on all four boys in addition to her own while we headed to the hospital!  She not only took them to her home for the day but then headed out with them to a Home School Back to School Night!  This was our club's first opportunity to reach out to others in the community to promote 4H.  Our 4Hers talked about the fun of 4H and the different projects available.  We also invite the families to our annual Family Fun Night that will take place later this month.

I am so thankful for all the well wishes from all the 4Hers and friends.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Our New Little 4-Her

Welcome to the newest member of our 4-H Family, Zaira Dominique.

Born at 5:32PM on August 9th.  She was 10lbs 9oz and 21.75 inches.

If you'd like to see the rest of the story, check out my other blog

Monday, August 6, 2012

County Performance

So we have almost completed our circuit with the Ragged Old Flag.  We performed today for our county council members who attended the monthly meeting.  We have one more scheduled performance in November for Veteran's Day parade.

The 4Hers were a little out of practice and their costumes probably needed a little more dusting off, but they managed to perform in front of their peers.  Sometimes that is one of the hardest audiences.  I was proud of them.

We also lost our Davy Crockett for this performance so Henry stepped into the 'rawhide' coat with fringes and did a great job!  AND, our disabled veteran really WAS disabled after a fall not long after our State Round Up adventure.  She broke the lower bone in her leg, so the wheelchair came in handy for this performance.

As for the county council meeting, the old were sent on their way with good tidings and the new were ushered in to their positions.  Caleb did us proud by using this opportunity to give a pep talk to the group of newbies.  He told them to enjoy the experience because the council was not "Mr. Merrell's council but theirs," and they should make it their own by active participation.  I hope this advice to heart.  We will see what this next year brings the council.

The only new information given at the meeting was about the project leaders meeting.  Youth leaders are also welcome to attend this meeting. Then an announcement was made about a training for youth leaders to learn about officer duties and parliamentary procedure (September 20/27 at the CEO).   Also, a reminder to register for the new 4H year.

While the 4Hers were in the meeting the moms AND dad had a good talk about what it is too come for our club.  We also just enjoyed the time to just relax in the heat.  It was a nice venture out for our family as we still await our new little one's arrival.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Big Day!

Now...I know what most of you are thinking...I have had the baby!  Well...I hate to disappoint you but the baby has not seen fit to make an entrance into this world yet.

NO!  The big day for us was harvesting our first full season of honey.  We only have the one hive with a single super collecting honey for us.  However, we were so excited to get out there this morning with the help of Marie and Larry.

The plan was to get out to the hive early in the day to beat the heat, but I don't think that is possible in Texas in August.  So, it was hot but it made it easier to harvest.

We started by gathering all of our equipment and setting up the extractor in our garage.  Larry was kind enough to bring his hand cranked extractor to the house.  It only holds two frames, but with only ten frames it was just right for the job.  He has created his own stand that lifts the extractor up high enough to be more efficient.  It will also be helpful when we begin cranking the spinner.  He even set up a template around the base that allowed the extractor fit right into the base.  This also helped decrease the chances of tipping the extractor when the spinner was cranked.  A simple but useful form that made the job easier.

Then we headed out to the hive to collect our top medium-sized super.  We had to smoke the hive and spritz the front opening with makes the bees think there is a fire or rain.  Then we were able to get into the hive with little effort.  The super was removed quickly and an almond spray was administered to a piece of cardboard to place over the super.  Apparently, bees do not like the smell of almond so they fly away.  This allowed us to take our super away from the hive without a lot of bees following us.  We loaded the super into a wheelbarrow because it was so heavy with honey!  And then headed back to the garage.

When we arrived at the garage and opened the super, we were surprised to see so many bees still remaining in the super.  I guess we did not leave the almond sprayed cardboard on long enough.  We learned something for next time...slow and steady is better.
Beetle trap

Beetles and their larva
We also discovered that we have a beetle problem.  This is common problem but we did not have a lot of these guys in the past.  So now we know we need to treat for beetles soon before they take over our hive.  This type of beetle has only been in the United States for a short period of time.  They entered into Florida from Africa sometime in the mid-1990's and have since quickly taken over hives across the nation.  They especially like weak hives that they can take over easily.  They lay their eggs in the comb and can ruin a hive.  The fact that they exist and have spread so quickly tells us that it is not a matter of IF you have this problem but WHEN it will happen.  Treatment should take place as soon as possible to avoid losing your hive.  So, next week will be calling our bee supply dealer for some beetle traps.  Supposedly it is just a matter of filling these traps with used cooking oil and placing inside the hive to remove the beetles.  I hope this works because we have a very strong hive and would hate to start over!

So, once we were reminded of the importance of ridding our hive of beetles, we were able to get started with our extracting.  We removed the bees that remained in the super and pulled our first frame.  It was FULL of honey!  Marie showed us how to remove the cap off the honey with a serrated knife and a scraper.  Both of these methods are needed to ensure the caps are completely removed.  This allows us to reap as much of the honey as possible.  The boys really enjoyed uncapping the comb and took turns throughout the process.  One thing I learned was the comb is capped on both sides so needs to be removed on both sides to extract all the honey.  It took a bit of time to do this.

We uncapped two frames at a time to place in the extractor.  We did this uncapping process over a five gallon bucket to catch any honey that flowed out.  Then we cranked the machine up to spin the honey out of the frames.  It did not take much from these eager boys to get the extractor going!  We then flipped the frames to extract the other sides.  Sometimes we would need to scrape comb that had not been uncapped the first time.

The first time we opened the spout at the bottom of the extractor the honey flow was so fast we almost lost the flow onto the floor instead of into the bucket.  We had set up an additional five gallon bucket with a net to catch the honey and other particles that would flow out from the comb.  The net would collect the waste, which often included  beeswax and bees that had flown into the extractor to recapture the honey.

The main bucket that was collecting our honey was reworked by Larry to have a spigot at the bottom.  This was nice as we can not bring the entire bucket into our house and remove honey as needed.  He was so kind, refusing to take money to pay for the supplies.

The nets were then pulled up and honey was allowed to drip out.  The main bucket collected about 2 gallons of honey and the cap bucket collected an additional half gallon.  That is not bad for a single super hive.  We were pleased.  We never planned to sell our honey so is was just the right amount for us to enjoy over the next year.  We might even be able to share a  little with friends and family.

We finished up by cleaning all our tools and placing the 'empty' frames out at the hive to allow the bees to clean off the excess honey we could not extract.  This should take about 12 hours.  Then we will place the empty frames in the freezer to avoid the spread of beetles and moths.  Once thee frames are rid of any possibility of insect damage we can place them in a dark area inside a plastic bag through the off season.  We will place this super along with the frames back on the hive next spring.  We might even be able to split our hive at this time.

This process was slow going for us amateurs.  We were outside in the heat for about 3 hours.  Larry was really feeling the heat and watched the boys in action.  It was good for the boys to have this opportunity to work with Marie who is so patient.  So with the combination of Larry's expertise and Marie's patience (along with lots of bottled water!), we survived our first real honey harvest.  We cannot thank our beekeeping friends enough for their hard work.  I would have never have been able to do this with the boys without their help.

Our faithful beekeeper cat was also around for the adventure!  He just could not stay away from the honey harvest.  He was good and did not get in the way.  He did not even get honey on his coat.  I really need to write a children's story about our beekeeper cat!

Another fun adventure that was made possible from our 4H adventures.  I am always so amazed at how many doors that have been opened to our family through the 4H programs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Starting the New 4H Year with a Plan!

The parents met tonight for our annual parent meeting.  We were a small group (10 of us!) but came with lots of great ideas.  It is good to know that we have such dedicated parents willing to create opportunities for our youth.

Brenda and Jamie started our meeting by thank the parents for allowing them the opportunity to be the new club managers.  Then she inspired us with her vision of building up our club this year.

Imagine the foundation as the club leaders and our county extension agent along with the basic idea of 4H (head, heart, hand and health).

Then the outer walls are the youth leaders. The interior walls are the members of the club.  The windows are the Clover Kids as they are looking out for new adventures.  The project leaders are the doors because they open up new opportunities for everyone.  (As I write this, I think the roof must be the motto of 4H that reminds us all of why we all come together..."To make the Best Better.")

Brenda told us she would continue this theme throughout the year.  She will begin with the installation of the officers later this month as they are given the tools to perform their duties for the club.

As the meeting progressed, anyone who doubted the year was upon us was quickly set straight.  With calendars open, dates for events were added quickly.  Here are a few of the events coming up in August that I will be blogging about later:

  • Home school Back to School Night-first big opportunity for our club to invite new members and promote 4H. (August 9)
  • Last Club Meeting for previous year-I know seems odd but we will be installing new youth leaders and closing out any unfinished business so we can start fresh for the new year (August 16)
  • Serving at our VA Clinic (August 17)
  • Club Officer Training Meeting-for the new officers to see their duties (August 21)
  • 4H Family Fun Night-Second opportunity to recruit new members with a fun night of activities based on our various projects and a nice spaghetti dinner. (August 23)
  • 4H Project Leaders Meeting-county wide planning meeting to recognize leaders and put more dates on our calendars! (August 27)
  • Also, many deadlines are already looming for contests that take place in September.  It is hard to believe that contests begin that early but these are usually for the fall festivals and fairs that have good practice contests.  

Our final portion of the meeting was spent discussing specific projects.  This was mainly to determine who would be the leader of the projects within our club; however, there were also details that needed to be discussed.  Brenda told us that she really wanted to see the following components in all the projects:

  • 4-6 learning opportunities
  • 1+ leadership opportunities for each 4Her, for all age levels
  • 1+ service opportunities
  • Clover Kid activity for each project meeting
I think this is a great opportunity to enhance our projects.  We personally have always encouraged these components in our projects so we look forward to seeing all the projects do this.

Along with that idea, Brenda asked me to discuss the Presidential Volunteer Award with the group.  This is not a 4H ward but with all the community service our members and leaders perform each year, I was happy to tell about this opportunity.  The idea is to show national recognition for outstanding community service in a given year for individuals of all ages.  I hope we will be able to encourage this in our club and possibly at the county level.

Here are our project leaders for the next year:

  • Animal Projects (dogs, goats, horses, rabbits, poultry)-determined these are individual projects
  • Photography-that's me!--looking forward to our monthly photo sessions but decided we will not begin until October
  • Theater Arts-hoping to find a dynamic individual to take on the project...We have some ideas of who that might be and hope she will accept the opportunity to use her talent for our youth
  • Clothing & Textiles-Brenda...we already know that there are going to be new opportunities for this project this year!
  • Entomology-Sheri...looking forward to finding new opportunities for the members
  • Food & Nutrition-Christi...with the help of Jamie for Food Challenge (one of those contests that is coming up fast!!)...also new format for the Food Show this year!
  • Forestry-hoping Wanda continues to be the leader of this project
  • Shooting Sports-county wide project with the help of our good friend Robert leading
  • Wildlife/WHEP-that's me again! We have to get a jump start on this big project that has an early contest...also we are planning a walk up contest to promote all outdoor 4H projects at a state festival in September....much to do this fall!  Also, we will begin meeting for the project on August 21 from 3-5pm at Grace Dunn Park.
  • Computer Science-Michael with help from Paul...hoping to add in some robotics to the mix this year!
Other miscellaneous topics for the evening included:
  • Making pillowcase dresses for girls (shorts for boys) in Haiti
  • Possible need for Health & Safety Officer for club
  • Discussion of having some of our youth become 4H Ambassadors
  • Hushpuppy sign up (by August 24)
  • Food Challenge contest in College Station in September (sign up by August 15)
  • State Recordbook judging on August 8th
So, as you can see we have a wide variety of opportunities for the members this year.  Also, many exciting opportunities for our youth in the community this fall.  Looking forward to the year.  And always looking for ways to "Make the Best Better!"

I would also like to add a big thank you to Lufkin BBQ for allowing us to use their big meeting room for this parent meeting.  It was nice to sit down and enjoy a meal with the others!