The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

4-H Is More than Satin and Parchment


July 24, 2019

A member of the North Chinook Boosters 4-H Club, Gracie Skoyen had a successful fair, earning Grand Champion and Top Quilting status on her Level 2 quilting project, as well as Grand Champion Baking 102 and Top Baking Project with her banana bread. Her talents earned her the Best Overall in the Family and Consumer Sciences category.

According to Juli Snedigar, MSU Blaine County 4-H and Ag Extension Agent, all seven of the 4-H clubs in Blaine County were represented at the Blaine County Fair and the ribbons and awards earned by their members reflect a job well done.

"We were slightly down in numbers for the indoor projects, but the quality of the exhibits was outstanding. The kids did a great job on the projects they did exhibit. From what I have heard from the youth and their parents, and through now having my own children in the program, the biggest limitation on getting exhibits done is time. It takes a lot of time to complete these projects. The kids are so busy with all of their activities, that finding the time to work on their 4-H projects is often difficult. I am very proud of the kids for the work they have done," Snedigar said.

The seven clubs in Blaine County are Big Flat, Harlem Variety, Paradise Pals, White Pine, North Chinook Boosters, Bear Paw Buddies and Valley Clovers.

For the animal projects, the 4-H club that accumulated the most ribbons was Valley Clovers. However, 4-H is about more than gathering the most satin and parchment.

One of the five fundamental life skills in 4-H, according to the MSU-Extensions Service, is "making decisions and taking responsibility for choices." Another life skill important in Montana 4-H is "developing an inquiring mind." Both of these life skills are related to project completion. By not only learning how to complete a project but cultivating the habits and qualities for seeing a project to completion, youth work towards another life skill: fostering positive self-concept.

4-H projects range from aerospace to archery, cooking to cattle, entomology to engineering, photography to quilting, and so much more. 4-H members enroll in projects of their choosing where they learn more about topics that personally interest them alongside adult volunteer leaders who teach them skills through their selected projects.

Youth enrolled in a local 4-H club also learn parliamentary procedure, decision-making, and business skills while fostering cooperation, self-determination, perseverance, and resilience. According to Snedigar, Blaine County 4-H members have the opportunity to gain confidence and responsibility through meetings, projects, and a number of social events, such as the Blaine County 4-H Fair, 4-H Camp, and Project Day, along with statewide or regional events.

Now that the county fair has passed, the 4-H youth will turn their focus on completing their record books. The end of the 4-H year is September 30, Snedigar reported, and the year-end Achievement Night where 4-H members will receive honors for their work in this past year will be in October or early November.


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