As I continue to highlight a few of the 40 projects that 4-H offers, my focus this week is on Clothing and Textiles, Forestry, and Woodworking.
One of my favorite projects as a 4-H member was the Clothing and Textiles project! Beyond the practical aspects of learning about fabrics and how to sew, the Clothing and Textiles project also helps youth with learning about fabric care: when something says to wash in cold water, what does that mean? When a label states “dry clean only”, what do you do with that? Another important life skill is learning to calculate the cost per wear; in other words, if you purchase a cheap item but if it falls apart after 3 washings versus a more expensive item that you may wear weekly for 2 years. Which is truly the better purchase? The Buymanship part of Clothing and Textiles also includes how to select an outfit for a particular event and that fits you appropriately while working within a budget. These are important life skills no matter your job and career choice.
As part of the Ag and Natural Resources 4-H curriculum, Forestry provides an opportunity to learn about trees, their impact on our environment, and management. Additionally, the Forestry project encourages youth to go outside and explore. They develop collections of trees and can learn about related careers such as the Forestry Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, ag-management fields, the National Park Service, and Wildlife and Parks.
The Woodworking project is one of my favorites to view because this is not something in my skill set! The Woodworking project requires that you enjoy working with wood, using tools, and building things such as a table, wooden toy, or a chair. Very practical skills begin with measuring things and using hand tools to learning to safely operate routers and jointers. These are great skills whether you are looking at a career in carpentry or are interested in developing a lifelong hobby.
When you visit a county or the Kansas State Fair this year, I hope that you will take time to view these projects knowing a little more about the learning objectives of our 4-H members!
If you are interested in learning more about these or other 4-H projects, check out kansas4-h.org in the Projects section! All projects include communications skills, record keeping, career connections, and opportunities for leadership and community service!
Michelle Beran is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth Development resources, email Michelle at [email protected] or call Cottonwood Extension District – Barton Office at 620-793-1910. Kansas State University is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision, or hearing disability.