Thursday, January 27, 2011

Youth Development Institute - Day 3 - Thursday

Today was a satisfying day teaching workshops and networking with agents and volunteers.  I taught a workshop this morning on the Cloverbud Aged Children.  "CLOVERBUDS; Sprouting Young Minds in the 4-H Tradition".  This workshop introduced participants to the ages and stages of 5 to 7 year old development.  We taught how to use experiential learning with Cloverbuds in the simple model of Do, Reflect and Apply.  With 5 to 7 year olds doing simple activities, reflecting in asking things like, tell me about your picture or What did you like best about doing that XYZ?  And Applying in asking, how can you do this again? at home? What would you do differently next time?.  A whole host of materials and skills in dealing with children in these years was gained thru participation.  Praise versus Encouragement was a highlighted topic.  I could go on and on.  Kate Fogarty, Youth Development Specialist was my partner in crime for teaching this workshop.

Baker County is looking for a volunteer leader to work with the Cloverbud children ages 5 to 7 years old.  Let me know if you are interested.

This afternoon my workshop was on "What's Hoppin with Rabbits on line."  I taught leaders and agents about the on line rabbit project and how to use it in their clubs to support youth involved in rabbit projects.  Go to Http://  click on curriculum then individual projects.  From there go into Rabbits and scroll down to enter the world of rabbits on line.  There are wonderful teaching aids for leaders and members to learn more about the rabbit project.

Jeannette Lee our Rabbit and Poultry project leader was here at Youth Development Institute for the day.  The leaders received a great overview of what is available for their use and the holistic philosophy of educational experiences linked to events and activities, linked to record book reporting and then recognition to make a package of 4-H project experience.

I have had a great time learning and teaching at this wonderful conference.  Tomorrow is the end of our Youth Development Institute 2011 but friendships have been strengthened and leaders as well as agents re-energized to provide opportunities for youth around Florida.

I am excited to think about using some of the new materials I picked up here at the conference for workshops  and trainings in Baker County.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Youth Development Institute - Day 2 - Wednesday

This morning it was up bright and shinny for a work out at the conference center gym at 6:40a.m.  Tredmill, and Eliptical.  Whew, health lifestyle choices sometimes involves a little sacrifice.  I wanted to stay cozy in my room but I felt better for having made the effort.

The First Session I attended was "BULLYING, IT'S A PROBLEM"  this session was taught by a team by Youth Development Specialist Kate Fogarty and others from the Army Partnership

It was very very interesting.  We looked at statistics on bullying, and learned ways to identify, increase awareness and decrease incidence of bullying.

Bullying is worst in transition times.  Not only transitions of the day but in over all transitional periods of development.  Kids that are different in appearance, friend / social structure, sexual minority youth... all are at higher risk for being bullied.

Even to the extent that as these bullies grow up they gravitate toward positions of power and authority in their careers.  As adults if someone in your workplace  uses words or threats to take power away from you rather than correcting the problem they might be a bully all grown up.

Sometimes volunteers bully each other or youth.  Children bully each other.  Anything that ends up with the goal to gain power, humiliate and gain dominance are examples of bullying.  These negative interactions decrease productivity, cause stress, insomnia, digestive problems, anxiety.  Remember itis not about is not your problem.

The bully is not usually interested in solving the problem.  Just gaining power.  If you ask them for ideas on how to solve the problem...they won't have any ideas.

Baker County 4-H has a policy of zero tolerance for Bullying Behavior.  If you are being bullied, tell someone in authority...and keep telling until someone listens.  Call me for ways to handle it and an intervention if necessary.

Volunteers, both Counselors and Leaders can expect in-service education on Bullying this year to learn ways to identify and combat these destructive behaviors.

This was a very interesting workshop and well worth the time learning about this crucial youth development subject.

After that workshop I attended the curriculum fair and assembled materials that I will need tomorrow for the Rabbits on Line Workshop I am teaching.

Wow, it's lunch time and where has the morning gone.  This afternoon from 1 until 5 p.m. I am going to go to the workshop on "THE HOW TO'S OF TEAM BUILDING"  I am really looking forward to that!

Ms. Renee'

Youth Development Institute - DAY 1 - Tuesday

Youth Development Institute actually began for me yesterday.  Being on the life skills focus team.  I came early to try to help.  The committee had everything under control.  The first event of the week was the retirement reception for Dr. Joy Jordan.  She is been the Curriculum Development specialist for the University of Florida for the past 22 years.  She has been my mentor and friend.  If I had to pick one person who has been an inspiration to me it would be Joy Jordan.

She actually interviewed me for my first job in extension.  The interview process to be an extension agent is ....   well it is a little bit about being the guest hot dog at a forth of July picnic if you get my drift.  My interview schedule was on Valentines day and the first interviewer of the day didn't show up.  The support staff called Joy and explained the problem and she said, "Of course, I can do that."  Her I can do it attitude with only a moment's notice and continual striving for excellence are two of her life messages that have impressed me over the years.  She gave me a great interview and helped me step forward into the rest of the day with a more confident attitude.

From that nebulous beginning to being co-chair of her Life Skills Focus team, she has been there to support, nurture and mentor me to strive for excellence and professionalism.  I don't have the words to say how much I will miss her and how much I know she deserves this time to enjoy life.

Then it was off and running to the Opening Session of 2011 Youth Development Institute.  Chris DeCubellis gave a rousing motivations speech to the assembled audience.  We laughed, we cried.  He did an awesome job of setting the tone and opening the session.

Following the opening session we had the opportunity for dinner, networking and settling in to be ready for the events of the week.  I found the gym and discovered that there are free fitness videos on the T.V.

I'm excited at what lies ahead for Youth Development Institute 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Youth Development Institute

Later this week I will be blogging to you from the Youth Development Institute in Gainesville January 25th through January 28th.  This is the annual conference for volunteers, agents and foundation board members to come and learn about all kinds of 4-H-ee things.  If you haven't taken a look yet go to Http:// and explore the workshops that will be offered.

I will be teaching about What's Hoppin with  Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits the online project that is available for members to build their own rabbits project.  I will also be teaching with Kate Fogerty the Cloverbuds workshop for leaders guiding the youngest 4-H Members.  It's called "Cloverbugs; Sprouting young minds in the 4-H tradition.

So come on by and say hello!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Livestock and Horse Judging at the Florida State Fair in Tampa

Hi kids, this message from Ms. Wendy at the State office, Animal Science Department.  The forms she mentions are available on the web and I have them as attachments in an email from Ms. Wendy.  So If you are working on livestock or horse judging this season and want to participate let Ms. Renee' know. 904-259-3520

Hello all!  Just a reminder about the upcoming 4-H Livestock and Horse Judging events at the Florida State Fair.  Both events are Saturday, February 12, and the registration for both is due Monday, January 31.

FSF 4-H Livestock Judging Contest
·   Each county may enter one team of up to four members.  Youth may be any age (8-18) and will all be competing equally.
·   Registration form is attached, “FSFformL.pdf”
·   *New* - there is a $15 entry fee for every Livestock team.
·   Check-in begins at 8:00am, contest begins at 9:00am.
·   Contest will have placing classes, cattle/hog evaluation, and one questions class (breeding cattle w/ performance data).

FSF 4-H Horse Judging Contest
·   Each county may enter up to two teams:  one senior team of up to four members (14 & over), and one any age (8-18) team of up to four members.  All youth will be competing equally.
·   Registration form is attached, “FSFformH.pdf”
·   Check-in begins at 12:30pm, contest begins at 1:30pm.
·   There is no entry fee for the Horse Judging Contest.
·   Planned classes include (subject to change if horse availability changes):  stock halter, hunter in hand, Arab halter, western pleasure, western riding, hunter under saddle, and hunt seat equitation.  The western riding pattern is AQHA pattern one.  The HS equitation pattern will be provided at the event.

Please note that this registration and contest information is for 4-H teams only.  FFA have different entry and contest procedures so they should check the FFA website.  As always, you can check if your 4-H team is registered at

We look forward to seeing everyone in Tampa!

Junior Master Gardeners Rock the House

Last night Ms. Renee' gave a HOW TO DO COUNTY EVENTS presentation to the 4-H Junior Master Gardener Club.  This year County Events is going to be a lot of fun.  Will your club participate and see if you can win the BAKER COUNTY EVENTS DAY BANNER?

For More Information about County Events see the blog articles posted in November and December of 2010 on archive here.  All of those blogs start with the title.  COUNTY EVENTS:  followed by their specific subject matter from what each of the contests are to what to wear.  Keep posted to this blog for more COUNTY EVENTS DAY blogs and information.

If you have questions contact Ms. Renee'  County Events will be Saturday April 2nd here in Baker County at the Ag Center.  Registration will open in March and close March 23rd.  Forms will be posted here and on the Baker County Extension Web Site

They had a lot of good questions and great ideas for how they would like to participate in COUNTY EVENTS DAY.  It was a great meeting.  After Ms. Renee's presentation the Junior Master Gardeners harvested their water garden lettuce.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hunter Braids for Showing

A 4-H Alumni from Brevard County shows how to do Hunter Braids for showing your horse.  Take a look and pass her video along.  I think she plans on doing more self help videos for kids in the 4-H Horse Project.

Madison and How to do Hunter Braids.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Horse Judging Event

The 3rd Annual Northwest Florida Horse Judging Clinic/Contest will be held Saturday, January 22, 2011 at the Jackson County Ag Center in Marianna, FL.  The event is open to 4-H and FFA members.  The contest begins at 9:00 am Central time, with check-in at 8:30am.  Please see below for the full schedule and registration information.

Registration forms are due to Kim Barber at Malone FFA by January 13th.
$10.00 Registration fee for students
$5.00 Registration fee for adults (to cover lunch)

If you have any questions, please call or email Kim Barber at:, 850-482-9930 ext 234, cell 850-209-1635.

3rd Annual Northwest Florida
Horse Judging Clinic/Contest

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Jackson County Ag Center
$10.00 Registration fee for students
$5.00 Registration fee for adults (to cover lunch)

Make checks payable to:  Malone FFA

Please have your registration forms turned in by:  Jan. 13th

8:30 AM              Registration
9:00 AM              Horse Training and Judging Contest
12:30 PM     Lunch
1:30  PM       Awards
2:00 PM       Dismissal
*All times are CENTRAL

Please return this portion of the form along with your registration fee to Kim Barber, Malone FFA, PO Box 68, Malone, FL  32445.  If you have any questions, call or email to:, 850-482-9930 ext 234, cell 850-209-1635

Advisor/Leader Name _______________ Phone # ____________
Address _________________________________________________
Number and category of Teams ___________________________
You know your teams and how they are divided, just tell me how many teams and whether they are what we consider middle school or high school… a young division and an more advanced division.
Number of students _________  Number of adults __________

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Share your Talents

Each year 4-H Sponsors the Share the Fun contest as part of the County Events Day activities.  Last year one of our 4-H members surprised and impressed me with his talent as he played the guitar for our Share the Fun.  I didn't know guitar was his hobby.  I had a chance to think 'gee I wish I could play like that' (lol).  He moved on to the District level of the competition.

So, in this new year look for an interest that you can develop.  You might have a hidden talent you didn't realize. Learning new things can bring you a lot of joy in accomplishing something.  But remember learning a skill of any kind takes time and commitment.  I'm sure Brad didn't learn to play the guitar as well as he does in just a couple of weeks.

I later learned that Brad has also taught his brother to play the guitar.  Brad Rigdon is branching out and taking his talent of guitar and teaching to the next level by guitar lessons this year. It is $50 a month for lessons that includes a 30 minute lesson each week.  Call LeAnn Rigdon to set up a schedule by calling 904 - 629-8964.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Create with Pop Top Tabs

Can you imagine all the things that you can make with the aluminum pop top tabs.  Here are a few ideas that just floored me.

Pop top bags had several ideas for bracelets and purse's.  They used some fibers to make this granny square type basis for some of their purses.

This dragon looks awesome  recycled craft bulletin board posted this. ((Remember before going anywhere on line have your parent check it out and guide you in your participation))


And Purses in all varieties.

What can you imagine?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Craft Stick Creativity

During the holiday break we talked a lot about the model horse hobby.  It sparked an investigation of all the things you can make with craft sticks, match sticks and metal pop tops.  We will explore some of those topics in weeks to come.  How about a craft stick project on New Years Day to have something fun to do.

Here is the first to get your creativity on line with some of the things you can do with Craft Sticks.  You know the wooden Popsicle stick things.  They come in a variety of sizes from tiny to the big tongue depressor size.

How about a catapult.  This idea from The Science Store On Line  I can see lobbing mini marshmellows with this handy thing.

Or a Craft Stick Kazoo for a musical instrument.

The Craft Club gave us this idea.

The Craft Elf can help you make a trinket box.

a Holiday reindeer ornament.

A What I am Thankful for Holiday Turkey visual.

a photo frame

An intricately engineered architectural wonder...Bridge???

A hot pot trivet thing

or a little red barn

Exercise your imagination and create something wonderful, strange, ordinary, useful and fun.

Send me email with photos of your creations if you want me to highlight them on a future blog.  Have fun creating.

Ms. Renee'