Celebrating National 4-H week: ‘Making a lasting impact’

The Hood River County 4-H Program is gearing up for the beginning of the new 4-H year. 4-H has played an active role in the lives of 4-H youth for more than 100 years in Hood River County!

With a wonderful history and memories galore, the Hood River County 4-H Program has many plans for the upcoming year. 4-H continues to grow and offer ways for youth to explore and learn new life skills while working with others to accomplish their goals. Youth in kindergarten through 12th grade participate in a wide variety of projects and events throughout the year in traditional 4-H, 4-H after-school and school enrichment programs.

The traditional 4-H program had 280 members this past year. Those youth had projects in livestock, cooking, sewing, gardening, art, photography, robotics and leadership. Besides learning about their individual projects, they participated in camps and workshops learning teamwork, leadership skills and gaining knowledge in their project area.

In July, 4-H members entered the county fair to showcase items that they had made throughout the year and share their knowledge of the animal they raised. 4-H members also participated in community service projects during the year helping in a variety of ways throughout the county.

A Leadership Club member shared that her “favorite part about 4-H is meeting new people from different places and seeing the younger kids at camp grow up. These will always be part of my memories.”

As 4-H changes to meet the needs of the community, after-school and school enrichment programs have become an important part of 4-H. The 4-H program works with the school staff to decide what programs to offer throughout the year. Classes in cooking, art and science were offered this last year, with 1,027 youth participating.

Youth learn the basics of cooking while trying a new food or recipe. Art offers a variety of different projects to help develop new artistic talents and skills while youth gain an appreciation for art. Science projects explore different elements of science with fun experiments and activities.

The participation in these programs has been a welcome addition to the school day for everyone involved. An after-school cooking member said that “Cooking class is a great way to learn fun and easy cooking skills. It’s a fun way to spend the afternoon and it gives you the chance to be more involved in the school and with other students.”

Adults who want to “Make a Lasting Impact” in the life of a child may become a 4-H leader who can either have a 4-H club or be a volunteer with the after-school or school enrichment programs.

Youth in grades K-12 who want to become involved with the 4-H program and adults who are interested in becoming an adult volunteer/leader may call Dani Annala at the Hood River County Extension Office at 541-386-3343, ext. 260.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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