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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kids Are Teaching

We attended our first 4H meeting in our new location.  I think the boys did a great job of becoming a part of the group.  Sometimes it is hard to be the newbie, especially after being the ones who were the leaders for so long.  It was hard for me also...but it was also nice to just sit back and not have the worries of project reports and getting children out the door.

Michael was able to stay how with the younger ones, and Sean, Henry, Edward and I set off for the meeting Tuesday night.  The meetings for this club take place in the club manager's home.  It made for a cozy meeting with a laid back sense of direction.  It was very different from our CEO chairs and tables...and wondering if the speaker would be heard...we were all within a few feet of each other gathered around the coffee table.  Very nice!

Of course, this also meant it was a smaller club....I did not take a count but guessing about 20 members and parents were in attendance.  Most of the members are older but there were a few juniors and intermediates as well.  The president is the club manager's daughter and she will be a good leader for the group.  In fact, she announced that she would be representing Texas 4H at the National 4H Council meeting next month.  I think she mentioned something about being one of the leaders for the meetings as well.  We look forward to hearing about her experience when she returns.

The best part of this new club is the general idea noticed in the club title...the kids are teaching the group.  At every meeting there is time for presentations related to the members' interest.  At our meeting, we had a presentation about entomology (way to jump right in, Sean!), wildlife camp (yep...that was Henry!), public speaking, and general business information.  Next month it could be about other topics of interest.

Sean spoke about his love for insects.  He shared photos (taken by our family) from several of the orders of insects that can be found in the Entomology project.  The following orders were represented:

  • Coleoptera
  • Lepidoptera
  • Hymenoptera
  • Hemiptera
  • Orthoptera
  • Araneae
  • Mantodae
  • Phasmotodea

He also talked about his experience in the project (going back 10 years!), which included his time in East Texas with Mr. Joe and Mr. Kevin, contests, Ms. Molly, and State Round Up.  I think he did a great job of giving an overall view of the project.  He even took questions after his presentation.

Then, we had Henry talk about his experience at the Wildlife Conservation Camp.  He was very nervous and I worried that he would not complete the presentation.  However, he was able to get past the shaking (for the most part) and talk about the first two days of camp (to be continued next month!)  He had asked me to video his talk so he could decide what he needed to work on...but I was so nervous for him that I forgot!

He talked to the group about:

  • General Camp Set Up and Teams
  • Plant Identification
  • Soil 
  • Sherman traps and scent stations
  • Birds and birdhouses
  • Tracks and mammals
  • Livestock as a tool for habitat management
  • Reptiles and amphibians
  • Necropsy
  • Radio telemetry
  • Bird Calls and Owls

The first two day of camp were so full of activities and I think as I he spoke it was easier for him.  I think I will talk to him about putting up more pictures and less writing on his slides because I think following the words on the slides made him more nervous. He wanted to say everything word for word and if he misspoke it frustrated him.  He would be better off just telling a story with his pictures cuing the memories.  However, overall he did a great job in front of a group of people he did not know.

We were also given an opportunity to briefly talk about the wildlife project and WHEP.  We are still hoping to get a group together in our new county.

We were not able to stay after the meeting...we still had a four-hour drive ahead of us, so we could get to another 4H opportunity at NASA.  But, I will let Sean tell you about that experience, in a guest blog post coming soon!

OH...and I would have had pictures but we left the meeting with an empty camera bag so I will update with pictures next week!

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