4-H Week: Support our youth; learn more on Oct. 15

At 1,200 youth, it’s the largest program for young people in the county.

This is National 4-H Week, an event observed in 2013 by our local 4-H youths and their leaders.

Our thanks and congratulations go out to the participants, and to the adults who organize and lead the programs. 4-H has seen steady growth in recent years as its umbrella organization, OSU Extension, has embraced numerous new possibilities for getting young people engaged and involved in learning new pursuits.

These certainly involve the traditional livestock and other agricultural-related efforts, but 4-H has steady evolved beyond that to cooking, gardening, rocketing, sewing, and more.

4-H is, for most participants, a year-long involvement. What is important is the process of learning, not the outcome.

Just as a play performance or football game are just one part of the entire experience for an actor or athlete, the county fair is not the entirety of 4-H involvement for young club members.

4-H supports youth from elementary school through high school with research-driven programming that enhances hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.

4-H teaches youth life skills that will help shape future leaders and innovators by providing hands-on activities. Hood River County 4-H has 72 active adult volunteers who work to provide educational opportunities to youth through 4-H clubs.

4-H also partners with local schools to create after-school and in-school opportunities around science, citizenship and healthy living. Programs include cooking, art, and science.

As is the case with any volunteer, there is a time commitment involved in fostering these skills and interests in our youth, and in turn, the kids must apply themselves.

The centerpiece for the Hood River County 4-H celebration is the 4-H Family Orientation evening at OSU Extension Service on Oct. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Attend if you can, whether you have children who could join a club, or if you have the time and interest to lead a group.

It’s an opportunity to learn about learning.

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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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