Childhood Memories Friday: 4-H Meetings

Childhood Memories Friday

4-H meeting

You know what they say: a picture is worth 1000 words. So, today, how about a Childhood Memories Friday photo of a 4-H meeting, from around 1980, I would guess.

These days, my girls go to 4-H meetings in the community room of a local fire station. But when I was in 4-H, we always met at members’ homes. It was a pretty big deal to have the 4-H meeting at your house, and I remember planning refreshments to make and serve, and a demonstration to give, as well.

In this photo, I’m the tallest one on the right. We’re standing in our kitchen, and I’m guessing the club members around me are eating the cookies you can see on the right. Often, my demonstration would involve explaining how to make the cookies, and then we would eat them for refreshments.

Now, a demonstration often consists of a 4-H member standing up and talking about a project for 20-30 seconds. Back in the 1970s and ’80s, though, they were a bigger deal. They would probably last 5 minutes or more. I even went on to demonstration competitions, and for these I made posters (no powerpoints back then) to describe the various steps on what to do.

Some things about 4-H meetings never change. Both then and now, we began with the pledges to the US and 4-H flags. We took roll call. We played games, had demonstrations, and refreshments.

Were you in 4-H? Are your kids? If so, do you notice any meetings between 4-H meetings then and now?


5 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: 4-H Meetings

  1. When I grew up, 4-H was the biggest highlight of the summer was the County 4-H Fair. The meetings were always held at the local school in Roanoke, but judging was held at the county level in Huntington much the same way it happens 60 years later, in my case. Getting the ribbons and money made us proud and gave us some spending money at the fair. My children were heavily involved in 4-H, too, and enjoyed it very much with several of their projects making it to the State Fair. I remember my son winning the tractor driving contest one year, and my daughter sent even more projects to State than he did. Carrying on the family tradition, my 3 grandchildren were all big in 4-H with many projects and animals to show. They won Championship in pygmy goats a few years in a row. No, 4-H hasn’t changed very much at all here.

  2. I was in the Dutch Daughters 4-H Club in Holland. We met at the Holland School in the upstairs Home Ec. Room. I think I liked 4-H. I can’t remember a whole lot about it. I know one time our club was driven by leaders/mothers to Spring Mill State Park for a summer excursion. Marjorie Wade and Pat Abshire were my leaders. My parents never took us to the Fair which was held at the Huntingburg Park, until I joined 4-H. I remember getting to the Huntingburg Park and RUNNING to the shelterhouse to see how I did on projects! Some of my projects hit the wall! Mother never was much of a perfectionist. I know on an early garment I made, we did not press the seams open because we did not know that was the way it needed to be done. Then there was my pot holder disaster. Too painful to retell right now. It would drag us all down. . .

  3. I was in for a year of cookies & seeing a skirt. Then the 2nd year the leader had me cut my dress out wrong & Mom was furious! She was a home ec (clothing) major at Purdue. I liked it & had several good friends in it, but in a rare denial Mom wouldn’t let me. She taught me to see at home instead!

  4. Great memories! I remember those longer demonstrations. They gave me such confidence and I still don’t mind public speaking to this day. Now, my daughter meets in the local library and they do all manner of crafts and cooking and sewing. It still points to simple interests and I’m thankful for that.

  5. I enjoyed 4-H until we had to do more complicated sewing projects. I did not enjoy them. Nor did I enjoy the dress rehearsal. We stood for forever, and I never did well at that. But I enjoyed the camaraderie.

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