I know there must’ve been 4-H in Hamburg (where I grew up), but I’m sure I probably had the same opinion of the 4-H’ers as I did of the FFA’ers. They wanted to learn about cows and stuff.
That sounds so bad, and I didn’t think of myself as a judgmental person when I was a teenagers, but I guess anytime people are different from you, you just don’t understand them and like them without putting in some effort to get to know them.
Anyway, when we found out we were moving here to South Dakota, I started doing reserach. It’s just what I do… and one of the first things I looked for was a homeschool co-op. What that usually means is that homeschool families get together about once a week or so and do classes for each other. Make sense? They CO-OPerate! So I start searching and I can’t really find anything. I found some older ones that aren’t CO-OPing anymore, and I found one that seemed geared to preschool age kids. Then I found one that looked amazing, I then realized it was going to be very expensive, and I wasn’t even sure that the boys would want to do the classes they were offering.
So, I joined a few facebook groups of homeschoolers in Rapid City. One of them is has their own 4-H program. I still knew nothing about 4-H, but their registration fee was only $15 for the year and the classes were mostly free. This sounded perfect to me, and they were offering things that I knew the boys would love. We signed up online ($5 each to the county), and then we showed up for the informational meeting. We arrived an hour early because the class signups were based on a first-come-first-served basis, and I do NOT like to lose!
We got everything we wanted. Price got photography, archery, and drama. Wesley got archery, robotics, arts & Crafts, and photography. They were both excited, and I was excited because it had all worked out.
Our first informational meeting was last week. We were going to elect officers (the children actually run things in 4-H, like boy scouts, who knew?? Not me, that’s clear). Anyway, just as we are about to start the very first meeting of this year, the adult president (there is a committee who overseas the children or decisions that the children just can’t make). She read a prepared statement that basically said she was quitting, and she gathered her children and walked out. Not only did her children leave, but 3 other leaders went with her. The remaining leaders stood around completely dumbstruck. They had no idea this was coming, and her doing it at that time was a complete shock.
Now, we were told the leaders for arts & crafts, photography, archery, and all animal sciences just walked out of the building. We all start looking around at each other and no one really knows what to do. We had all of the kids go to another room and some of the remaining leaders had a mini meeting while those of us who are brand new just sat and waited.
I have NO idea what has happened in this 4-h over the last two years, and frankly, I don’t care. I found out all I needed to know about the woman who walked out right before the first meeting. She could’ve saved everyone a lot of confusion and embarressement if she had told the other leaders before the meeting. Even if she had told them the day before it would’ve been better than when she did it. However, after a quick panic moment, everyone calmed down and they said they would need more parents to step up as leaders. We still had some of the classes that they initially offered (just not the ones my boys wanted), and now they would need new people to step up into some of the missing classes and even new classes if anyone was interested.
Price had already asked me if I would teach a creative writing class, and I found the 4-h curriculum page (they offer a TON of class curriculums… it’s pretty amazing!) I have ordered the creative writing book and I will be teaching that beginning in January. And since we lost the photography teacher and both boys wanted to do that one, I volunteered to lead that one too. I am less confident in my ability to do this one, but we will make it through. I have the photography curriculum from the 4-H, and I’ve been looking for other ideas to use as well. And since I volunteered, we have had others come up and volunteer for photography as well, so this has really been an answer to prayers.
I’m looking forward to learning more about 4-H programs and teaching these classes this year. I can’t believe I never knew how awesome this program was.
We also have enough parents who have stepped up for archery, arts & crafts, and animal science. Chyna volunteered to teach the animal science stuff since she’s taking the vet assistant class right now. It has really been great to see how all of the parents jumped in and helped out when things looked like they would spin out of control.
I hope and pray that it will be a wonderful year and that we can show our children how we work through problems and deal with adversity. We didn’t walk away… we didn’t quit when it got hard or scary… we just kept going… that’s what our family does.