Friday, June 24, 2011

Day #172/175 Days - Maine 4H Days

I'm always blown away by all the fantastic opportunities the boys have since we've joined 4H. This year we attended our first Maine 4H Days. This consisted of 2-1/2 days at a local fairground (well, "local" is sometimes used loosely as it took us 1-1/2 hours to drive there) where various workshops were held for the children. The cost was amazing as well - only $5 per child with a $15/family max - for all 2-1/2 days - no matter what they chose to do.

Unfortunately, I decided a bit too late to actually sign the boys up so we missed out on a few things they wanted to try. The other difficulty - for my picture taking ability at least - was that each boy was in a different track. Given Happy's age (only 7) and that he is a "Cloverbud" in 4H terms and needs adult supervision, most of the photos feature him. I was able to catch a few of the older boys and check on them at their various workshops though.

Today was Day #1 and Happy started his day at a workshop called "Wild and Wonderful." The kids learned about various animals and how they  moved and then got to try it out. They all had a fantastic time.

Lego-Man spent his entire first day in a workshop called "Tech Wizards." This was a movie-making class. He and the other kids in this workshop spent the day creating their own mini-film and then editing it. They had to think up the concept, act it out, film it, and create a final product. They had a fantastic time!

Conductor spent his first session in a workshop called "Everyone Lives Downstream." I dropped him off and since a friend and her children were with us at the first session with Happy, I was able to go check on him. He was having a fantastic time and even told me so!

They were playing a game.

The second session had Happy at the "My Dirt is Alive" workshop. This covered composting and all the things that go with dirt. 

Taking dirt samples

What I loved about each session was how hands on fun was interspersed with learning. Cloverbuds in 4H range in age from 5-8 years old so sitting and listening to someone talk can be hard. However, when they are moving and touching and seeing it all themselves, the learning stays.

Happy sharing with one of the instructors his "mud painting."

The "My Dirt is Alive" session had a compost bin as part of it and each Cloverbud took home their own container of dirt in which they planted some seeds. (Happy planted cucumber seeds and they are already sprouted just a week later.)

Conductor spent his second session at the "Be a Beetle Buster" workshop. This was just across from where we were located so while I could see him I didn't get any photos. He thought this one was his favorite of all!

After lunch Happy did the "Everyone Lives Downstream" session. This was similar to the one Conductor had done in the morning. Happy loved all the games! I didn't spend a lot of time with him in this session so I only have a photo while they were playing a "name game" at the beginning.

I had taken my friend's daughter to the "Creativity Tent" where she made lots of sand art and other fun open-ended crafts. 

Conductor spent this session in the "What's in Your Storm Water?" session. 

Each session was 1-1/2 hours long which was sometimes a tad too long for the Cloverbuds. All of the sessions are taught by camp counselors in training for the Maine 4H Camp Tanglewood. Maine 4H Days are used for their training for summer camp. I didn't see one counselor who didn't do a great job with the kids. I know my boys loved it and had a great time. 

Initially we were not going to attend on Friday but only Saturday. I'm really glad we added in the extra day.

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