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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Regional Wildlife Contest

Another early morning so we could head into the woods for a Wildlife contest.  This time the regional contest was just right around the corner!  Since we actually prepared our supplies and clothes the night before, we were out the door without any hiccups!  In fact, I was in such a good mood (since I was not stressed out with last minute prep), I felt like singing!  SO...I did!  We sang out the animal plant preferences as we drove down the road!  I am not sure if it helped the boys but it was a fun way to relieve some of that pre-contest jitters!

We also arrived early enough to read a little more of that incredibly dry reading material...better known as the Hunter's Guide!  We covered a little of the fishing regulations.  The boys were so thankful to see their friends arrive.  They did not hesitate to jump out of the car to greet their team members!  So much for a captive audience!

We made our way through the normal registration paperwork and the contest began by 9:30am.  Thankfully, Zaira slept through most of the morning, so I was able to join some of the other coaches to judge the contest fairness.  This is a great opportunity to not only see the contest during the actual event BUT also speaking with the coaches and listen to their tips on learning the information.  Brendan chose to join me (probably because we were going into a warm was a little chilly at the first part of the morning!) and he behaved as we went through the contest questions.  It is amazing how he knew when we had completed our run through the questions...he immediately began asking to leave!  That is OK...Zaira was starting to wake up also so it worked out well.

We found the rest of the parents and found an extra chair so I could take care of Zaira's needs.  Brendan found the other younger boys and played with his toys.  I ended up sitting with two 4H moms from another county.  It was a nice way to spend the time as we waited for the participants to return.

Then the coaches and parents who wanted to see the contest had a chance to walked through.  I always enjoy going through the contest with others because we can discuss the more difficult questions.  This time we had Christi and Wanda, along Joseph who could not wait to see the correct answers!  For the most part, we all decided the contest was a good representation of what we had learned this year...except the dreaded technique station!  We found badger skulls...bear jaw bones...scat...and gopher traps!  The way I look at it we have some new areas to work on for next year!  You just never know what we will find in this section of the contest.

We then enjoyed another waiting period with talk of various topics over our lunches.  Around 2pm, we learned that we did not place for one of the top two spots.  We took some pictures of our teams and then headed our separate ways.  We left knowing that we could check out our scores on line.

So, I just pulled up the scores and I was so proud to see that we placed 3rd and 5th place!  We were right up there with the other top teams.  As individuals, our 4Hers placed in the top 20 participants.   I am so proud of them for all their hard work! We won't be going on to state but we improved so much this year and we have many more years of contests for this young group of 4Hers!  It still amazes me to see the young ones (9-13 year olds) competing with the high schoolers!  Great job!

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