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I am President of the Lincoln County 4-H Board of Directors. This isn't a huge deal, most days. We meet once a month and talk about fundraising and things that we can do for the kids and community. It's a good gig, really. Help raise money, spend it on kids. Awesome.

However, in addition to that, I'm also the 4-H Ambassador advisor. 4-H Ambassadors are kids grades 6 - 12 who want to learn better leadership skills and take on some leadership positions in the county program. I get to help focus them, help provide guidance and try to balance the "responsible" and "fun" aspects of the program. Just last week we took a day trip to Peshtigo to visit the "Forgotten Fire"* area and to climb some waterfalls. (See education combined with fun -- I rock!).

I also am the leader of the "Crafty Artist" Project group. That's a group that meets once a month to do some arty-crafty type projects. We aim for older youth -- middle school and up -- plus adults. The program is more to teach skills and explore some new types of art/craft that people have always wanted to try. Last Saturday we made some really awesome fairy houses.

Here's one pic:

There's more at the Crafty Artist facebook page.

Finally, I am the leader for the Youth Market Place. The Market Place is a program youth learn about entrepreneurship and the ins and outs of running their own business. Well, that's just fancy talk for they make things to sell at a booth during the fair. I'm in charge of this program because I love it so and without me leading it, it was going to die. HOWEVER, I'm having a hard time growing it. I'd like to tie it to the "Maker" trend and the STEM programs but still keeping an emphasis on owning/running a business. This program is on my "make it work" to-do list for next year. It's also on my "get someone to help me run it because I am sucking at it" list.

Now usually my four hats don't have to be worn at the same time. In fact, it only happens one time a year: The week of the County Fair.

Then? Then I get to add a fifth hat. I am Chairperson of the Junior Foods division at the fair.

Guess what happens next week? Yah. Hello, County Fair.

So, as 4-H President, I have to be around and chatty, checking in with the fair office to see if anything went haywire that the Board President should know about. I should chat with some parents and kids and make sure that the fundraising aspects of the fair -- raffle, dairyland/ice cream stand, potato stand -- are all running good. Talk up how wonderful the fair is and how everyone should come down and see the just how great our kids are.

As Ambassador Leader, I need to make sure that the Ambassadors know what they have agreed to do for the fair, know where they have to be and how to get there, and explain to *everyone* that the Ambassadors are just kids and volunteers at that and if there isn't someone who can do what they need it's not because the kids are slacker but because they are busy and can't live at the fair. Oh, and I get to try and recruit new ambassadors for next year. Because we really could use some more. More is more fun, right?

The Crafty Artist Group has decided to do a "Fair Journal" project that it will offer free to the kids at the fair this year. We will have the materials and projects planned and twice a day, for all five days of the fair, we will have a journal project that the kids can do. I'm not alone in this one, I freely admit that I have some of the greatest people in the world helping me with this, but I'm still going to have to handle a couple of the days all by myself because I'm the one who doesn't have to go to work for that week.

As Youth Market Place Leader, I get to help set up the market place, keep the kids in line and focused, cover any shifts when the kids can't make it but I still want the Market Place open so that it can get more exposure, make sure nothing gets lost or stolen, and that the money in the till is what it should be every night. Most of the running of the stand should be done by the kids (and an adult who will help them) but I usually spend most of my time there, just to keep an eye on things.

Believe it or not Junior Foods chair is actually the least time intensive. I get to decorate and organize the Junior Foods area, check off all the entries that come in, keep the judge focused and happy, keep the parents away from the kids while they are being judged, keep the kids positive and not nervous when they have to come to face-to-face judging AND make sure all the entries are displayed in a good and orderly fashion. *grin* The good news is this only happens on the first day of the fair, so really it's just a Tuesday night set up/all day Wednesday thing. I have great people helping me out here, too, so I can't bemoan it too much.

Plus, I'd like to do some fair stuff, too. The fair is a great time. Fair food. Fair beverages. Deep fried cheese curds. Animals to look at. Projects to admire. People to chat with.

I've done most of this before. This is the first year with the journals but that's only for two hours a day. I did Junior Food last year and it worked well. Market Place is thin -- low on both kids and helpers -- but I really want to program to work, so I'm willing to put in the time. The was one year when there was just one youth in the program, so the four I have this year is good by comparison. The Ambassadors I work with are really good kids and they can take care of themselves mostly. So as long as nothing controversial happens that requires me to act as President of the Board, I should be fine.

Of course, I do have the 4-H Centennial Scavenger Hunt that I'm running for the 100 year celebration of Wisconsin 4-H. And there are these three wheelbarrow gardens that I need to finish decorating before they are displayed at the fair.

Well, the fair doesn't start for another week. I should be fine. Right?



Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
Minions would be awesome and wonderful. In actual fact, this year snuck up on me and I didn't expect to do all that I'm doing. At one meeting I went "It would be great if we would have a scavenger hunt at the fair to celebrate the centennial" and the answer was: Yes! That's wonderful. Go ahead and do that. In all honesty, I was tossing out there for someone else to do!

Believe it or not, things will slow down once the fair starts. Right now it's a hell of a lot of prepping and organizing. At the fair it's more just doing and it's not nearly as stressful.

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