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Q's first 4-H Fair as a participant, how it has gone so far - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [My Flickr Photos]
August 1st, 2008
12:43 am

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Q's first 4-H Fair as a participant, how it has gone so far
I think 4-H may be what I think had been missing in Q's life, as Pam and I had decided to forgo Scouting for him1. Miss Frizzlehead, the young hen Q brought to the fair, is just one of the 12 "off-the-shelf" Rhode Island Reds that we purchased from a hatchery as part of the club's overall order. By sheer luck we dodged the virus that hit many birds from that order--there would have been nothing we could have done to overcome that had it hit us, too. However, many other ills can befall a chick, and despite that Q raised all twelve successfully to "young adulthood" and graduation to the coop.2 Upon hearing that a Cloverbud was allowed to bring one--and only one--bird to participate with at the fair, Q selected Frizzlehead based on her seeming particular affinity for him and also because he thought she was one of the biggest, healthiest, and best looking. Yesterday, Q seemed to impress the Judge with his enthusiasm and his eager questions. The Judge also suggested--and backed it up by describing to Q in detail how she was in conformance to the standards--that his chicken would have done very well had Quinn been out of Cloverbuds and eleigible to enter her in competition. I hope I got on video some of LG's mentoring him through his first participation as a Cloverbud. LG is--I think--the eldest of the regular 4-H members. This is her last fair, and I think she is going out in style. Even as busy as she is though, she took Q in hand and showed him some of the etiquette and "rules of the road" for the showmanship competition--things that I am still learning about, and thus am not yet fit to teach. It was really touching and a great example of the sort of youth leadership--both in terms of direction, but also mentorship and setting an example--that were among the best part of my Scouting experiences. Truly, nearly all of the 4-H kids--and adult volunteers and parents, too--seemed to have taken a particular care to make him feel engaged and included. I let him "run with the 4-H crowd" today while I was gallivanting from Purcellville to Sterling and back to Leesburg to pick up the corn donated by Giant and Wegman's. During a "check-in" call and then after I got back to the fairgrounds. This was one of those "it takes a village" moments, as a parent must be chaperoning children according to the fair rules--it doesn't mean you have to be glued to their hip, but you are supposed to be on the grounds. Thankfully a couple of my wonderful fellow parents were willing to take responsibility for him while I was errand-running3; I had several people remark along the lines of how he was talking to people about the chickens and being a "good-will" ambassador for the club. I wonder where he gets that raging extroversion?

Anyway, he has been well-rewarded--in praise and attention, a commodity still precious to most eight-year-olds, but also in tangibles like getting a scoop of ice cream for stints volunteering in the ice cream fund-raising booth, freebies frisbies and other geegaws from the vendors, and of course healthful, balanced fair food meals.4

Oh, shoot...I was supposed to get some sleep so I can work a part-day tomorrow and then go pick up the cooked corn for tomorrow's tonight's Poultry Club Dinner. Good night, gentle readers!


1I am an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. Obviously this was not a decision that I made lightly. My stance is based on the BSA board's despicable, bad-faith dealings with the Unitarian Universalist Association [which was, in a sense, the insult-to-injury that followed from their bigoted--and ulitmately self-destructive--stance on homosexual leaders.
2Mom and dad, I'm afraid, did not do as well--we have since lost six to predation! Coop security upgrades in progress.
3I am truly grateful that I have a child that is on the most part well-mannered, obedient, and [generally] eager to please. Were he more difficult, I'm not sure I would be able to get such generous assistance.
4You know: nachos, cheese fries, chicken tenders, lemonade...Reminds me of my days of eating the four fraternity food groups: Beer, Pizza, Ramen, and Chips

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From:sugared_redhead
Date:August 1st, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
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I was in 4-H and earned many trips to camp for competitions. Cooking, sewing and public speaking were the things I competed in. I think Q will really enjoy the club especially as he gets older and finds all the things he can learn about.
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From:happypete
Date:August 1st, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)

Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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...it sounds like a lot of the things that a youth needs.
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From:sugared_redhead
Date:August 1st, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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SpiralScouts—Started in 1999, this is a program of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church offering a Scouting-type program for Pagan families and others of minority beliefs. SpiralScouts International began in 2001, and has groups in 20 US states and several Canadian provinces. Groups are organized into Circles, which can be composed of Hearths for different age groups: Fireflies (preschool-age 8), SpiralScouts (8-14), and Pathfinders (14 and up).

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From:happypete
Date:August 1st, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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Yes...but I don't think there are any active around here.
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From:sugared_redhead
Date:August 1st, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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I went to their web site it looks like there are a few groups in VA. I also read that the UUs may be trying to start their on groups. I was also a girl scout and I loved the camping stuff....not the girls so much but the camping was great :)
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From:happypete
Date:August 1st, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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VA groups are nowhere near us, and are mostly "proto"-circles...which doesn't sound very promising...
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From:sugared_redhead
Date:August 1st, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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Just trying to help a bit. Sorry it wasn't more usefull.
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From:happypete
Date:August 1st, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Hearing about the various 4-H camps, trips, and activities...

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s'ok...I appreciate the thought. I seem to recall being around when Spiral Scouts first formed..was it CAW folks?
[User Picture]
From:unix_vicky
Date:August 1st, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)

4H

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I was in 4H long, long ago. I had quite a bit of fun doing projects, attending camp and so on. I highly recommend it.

And I'm sorry to hear about your predator problem. Jenny and I had some issues with some animal killing some of our sheep when we had the farm. It was really just one winter, and then I think the carnivore in question (it looked like a coyote from a distance) moved on. But Jenny and I spent a few very cold nights in the barn next to the pasture trying to catch the beast in the act.

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From:starweaver
Date:August 1st, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
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I absolutely loved my 4H and FFA experience. They taught me alot, as did my years in the Girl Scouts
From:technoshaman
Date:August 1st, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Go Q, go you, go 4H! My little sister did 4H, got to regionals in public speaking... and ended up teaching grade school. Know that has to be a hard decision, ixnay on the outscay, but I think you're precisely right...

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