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Friday, October 3, 2014

Starting out in a New Location

We are starting out a new 4H year with a new club next week.  Actually, we have already participated in a community service event with the new club last weekend.  So fitting for us as this has always been our favorite part of 4H!

It has been a LONG time since I posted on this blog...over a year.  That does not mean we did not participate in 4H last year...I just think I coasted through the year.  I was not leading a project and the boys were in a Spin Off club for Sean to stay active in Entomology.  Urban 4H seemed very different for me compared to our rural group in East Texas.  I just could not get a handle on things.  I guess I failed at being a 4H Mom in some regards.

However, I was led back in slowly through the graces that be.  I will get back to that after I give a little quick run down of last year.

We tried to be involved in our regular projects...Wildlife, WHEP, Photography, and Entomology.  We also tried out a new project..Dog Obedience...the dog surely needed a way to get out and run since we moved him to a tiny back yard after living his life in the country!  Poor thing!  This really did not take off like we had hoped but we met a nice woman who wanted to help us.  Thank you Karen for being there for us!

We also had a wonderful experience with Entomology.  Miss Molly brought new life into our insect experience.  We could not ask for a better experience for all the boys.  Sean did a great job of blogging about this so please take a moment to read his blog if you get the chance.  All the boys did well and were rewarded for their hard work at district competition.  Sean had the opportunity to go to State Round Up and won first place with his team!  We could not have been more proud of him walking the stage that night!

As far as Wildlife and WHEP, we were sorely disappointed.  There was not a group set up in the county and we could not seem to get the support we needed to get it started ourselves.  I think it is partly because we had lost our county 4H agent.  I did not understand this fully and I would not learn the fullness of this until the State Round Up.  This was actually the first time I felt like we should fully join 4H again.  I met the new agent at the Entomology contest and I knew I could work with her to make the best better.  It felt good to know that was possible again.  Thank you, Natalie!

Unfortunately, we spent the last year floundering through the projects we really loved.  We did attend two WHEP training in College Station and another in Comal County.  We loved the expereience but could not bring it back and convince others to participate.  Mainly, we did not know anyone to spread the word.  So, we decided to let it go for the year.  We did not go to the real contests even though we continued to learn the information on our own.

Henry did turn in a couple of photos for a district contest and won blue ribbons.  He is a natural...I just made sure he had opportunity.  I think he could do this with one arm tied behind his back.  I am glad he was given the affirmation through 4H.

Then I volunteered to judge record books...

Yes, we completed record books...mostly out of habit...we had always done this...for over ten years!  Sean completed his in Entomology (2nd place at county) and Henry turned in a Photography book (1st place at county and 3rd at district).  We wrote about our transition year and how we hoped to get more involved.  

When I went to judge, I just happened to sit next to a club manager.  Marie Hey was so kind!  I am so glad I met her that day!  I think she saved us from leaving 4H.  Her club is within a few miles of our house and it is a small group that reminded me of what we knew about 4H again!  We found out the boys had already met her son (the future club president) when they helped sort record books earlier in the week.  How awesome is that!

Soon after that experience, Sean was asked to join our old WHEP team...they had won the State contest and were going to Nationals...they were short a team member and did not have any seniors who were interested.  Henry could have gone also but his birthday was two months late!

Sean had a great time!  I cannot believe I did not write a blog about this experience...I thought for sure that I had...but I did create a photo book and story about the experience so I will post a blog this week. our new year begins....we go to our first meeting next week.  I look forward to the new experiences.  I already have a blog posts about our community service to post this week.  I also have an exciting event that Sean will need to blog about next week as well.

I guess I am back live!  Watch out world as we continue to let you know about how we try to "make the best better" with 4H!

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