4-H can get pretty confusing. Here's some tips and tricks- organized by contest- to help you better navigate your way!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

4-H Consumer Decision Making

The Overview:

  • Basically, you go in a room with a bunch of other kids. You have a clipboard, paper, reason and score cards,and maybe a calculator. 
  • There is a situation on the table- maybe something like " Sally Jo needs to buy a camera. Her budget is $250. She wants one with 3 LCD." Then, looking at info about 4 cameras, you choose which one is the best buy, and rank them. 
  • For example, if #4 is the best buy,#2 is the second best, then #1, and #3 is the worst,you would rank the class as 4-2-1-3. 
What not to do:
  • DON'T show up unprepared. Ask your county agent for this year's info packet, and study it.
  • Don't bring your notes in when you give your speech.
  •  There is a special class called a reasons class. Take notes on why you ranked the class the way you did. 
  • When you go in front of the judge, say why you ranked the class the way you did. But only tell about the reasons class! I did not know this at first and was just rattling off info about why I picked every class! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

4-H Roundup

Me as a first year 4-Her giving a  Roundup speech, 5 years ago!!

The Official Link (click here)
The Overview:

  • Roundup  is  a contest where 4-Her's give speeches, play instruments, demonstrate activities  and many other things, within certain categories.
  • It is held at Fashion Show
  •  You write a speech and memorize it. (it has to be at least 5 minutes long) 
  • You will be in an auditorium or large room in front of an audience AND three judges
  • Me with my first-place medal after my speech:-)!
What NOT to do:

  • Expect that a laptop/projector/speakers etc. will be provided. Check with your county agent.  You don't want to get there and learn that your PowerPoint can't be shown as there is no projector!
  • NO NOTES! Judges WILL dock point if you read from your notes, so it's best not to have them at all
  • NO PARENTS! It sounds strange, but your parent should not help you set up your speech unless you're a junior.  The judges want to see what you've learned, not watch your parent tune your guitar, then watch you stumble up and play it.
Tips and Tricks:

  • Pretty much anything can be a Roundup presentation. You can sing, act, give a speech,dance, tell a story, recite a poem...
  • Keep it interesting. 

Window Wow

Oh, my! Some teams are already meeting for their Window Wow plannings! Now, if you're new to 4-H, you're probably going "What on earth is Window Wow?!" 
Never Fear. :)
A 4-H themed Window Wow. The items represent different projects in 4-H

The Overview

  • Currently, this is only in some Texas counties
  • It is held at the Fashion Show
  • It's a super fun competition in which teams of 4 people have 1hr+ to design a storefront based on a theme
  • You have an area about the size of a folding table
  • It must be based on a theme, which is usually pretty vague to allow teams to be creative

What NOT to do

  • Don't plan on winging it. 
  • Don't attempt to bring items from just your house. Get the whole team to help
Tips and Tricks
  • This is a storefront, remember? It can be eclectic! Borrow Grandma's antique sewing machine or enlist your youth pastor's help in painting a mural on canvas to be your background
  • Study storefronts in your town
  • Make your design eye-catching
  • Assign each member a task so you don't all run around. The judges like organized, well-prepared teams 

4-H Food Show

A 4-Her and his nutritious dish
Hi everyone! Well, as you probably know, it's 4-H Food  Show time again! The rules vary from county to county, but there are still some helpful tips and tricks to know when participating in the 4-H Food Show!

The Overview:

  • You will prepare a nutritious dish, and learn some basic facts about it
  • Click here for the official rules and guidelines
  • You'll be judged by a panel of 2-3 judges
  •  They will ask you questions if you're a junior or intermediate 4-Her, or have you give a short speech if you're a senior 4-Her. This should pertain to your dish, and your community service opportunities (i.e, helping at a food pantry) with food.

A junior 4-H er's quiche
What NOT to do:
  • No notecards. The judges expect you to know the basics on your dish, and they WILL dock points if you read from notes
  • Don't serve/offer your dish to the judges. They are not supposed to taste the food due to food poisoning concerns
  • Don't prepare a desert. Your dish should be nutritious.
Tips and Tricks
  • Depending on where you live and in what county, you may be able to enter the place setting contest. If so, feel free to go all out on decorating your dish!  If not, here's an example of a simple but presentable dish  presentation; since it was a creole, I went with a Mardi-Gras style theme. 
    Shrimp Creole Dish Presentation
  • Your plate should contain one serving!
  • Ask your county agent if she has a copy of the judge's scoresheets. Or, use the one provided on your State's 4-H website. Study the scoresheets so you'll know what the judges look for!
Good Luck!