Betwen the Lines

Betwen the Lines By David Lias Every year at the Clay County Fair, it's easy to observe 4-H'ers in action, doing everything from scrubbing a stubborn calf to modeling hand-sewn clothing ensembles.

We think, from giving these young people an extra amount of scrutiny during the week of the fair, that we can easily predict everything they've learned from working on their projects that summer.

That's not as easy. Not with a program like 4-H, that, through real-life experiences, teaches our young people so much.

A refreshing part of the 1999 4-H Recognition Event, held Sunday afternoon in the 4-H Center in Vermillion, is the back page of the event's program. The heading of the page reads: What I Gained From 4-H This Year. It contains a listing of comments written by several Clay County 4-H members. Some are serious and thoughtful. Some are rather humorous. All of them realistically reflect the various lessons offered by 4-H.

Here's the list:

* I learned how to add glitter glaze to my ceramic angel and to make her eyes look real.

* �I was able to show my calf all by myself this year at both the County and State Fair.

* �I learned that some calves will never be totally tame � "he had it in his blood."

* I learned that being nervous makes you forget stuff that you thought you knew (referring to the Illustrated Talk Contest).

* This year I learned that there is a lot more to 4-H than just the County Fair and project areas.

* The second demonstration went o.k. but I wasn't prepared for all the questions the members asked me when I was finished. I'll know to be more prepared the next time. But everyone clapped when I was finished so I guess I must have done all right.

* 4-H has encouraged me to try new things without being self-conscious.

* I think the very best part of 4-H is working in the Food Stand. I don't like taking the money but I really like getting the pop and ice cream for the people.

* My 4-H experiences have taught me about people and the mass amount of needy people in it. No matter how small your town is, there are always people who could use your help, talent or even a smile.

* I learned how to make muffins this year. I made a lot of batches and had fun eating the different kinds.

* 4-H has taught me to be confident speaking in front of others. Demonstrations definitely were NOT my favorite part of 4-H, but in retrospect, I see that they helped boost my confidence while speaking in front of others.

* I found that if I tried I could take pictures of the train set without including the pure white of the wall behind it.

* I learned how to make lasagna this summer and enjoyed making sauces. Next year I would like to learn more about adapting recipes to make them healthier.

* Lambing season found me assisting in lambing deliveries. I owned ewes which produced my 4-H lambs.

* I had a lot more clothing projects. I was so into my sewing that the take-up lever hit me on the forehead five times.

* I learned how to pick my chickens better and how to look for disqualifications.

* I think my dad is really nice. For all the time and effort he put in for us.

* Beef management also allows me to have a chance to keep track of my own financial records.

* I baked cookies for the County Fair and got a blue ribbon. I wanted to know why I got a blue, because as far as I could see, I did nothing wrong. And when I got my comments back, all the judge said was " good cookie." So, I still don't know why I didn't get a purple.

* I only wish learning at school was as much fun as learning in 4-H.

* One of my chickens got loose and we found out it is very hard to catch a loose chicken under campers.

* 4-H is great and it means a lot to me because we get to help so many people and have fun while we do it.

* I baked a lot of cakes and cookies this year for after-school treats and I am learning to start supper. I have been trying to eat more healthy because I know it affects the way I perform at track meets.

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