Thursday, August 16, 2018

Pillars of Character, Award Nominations

 
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Please take a moment of thought and time to nominate those deserving 4-H'ers for one of the Pillars of Character Awards that will be presented at 4-H Achievement Night.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 6 Pillars of Character and the 4-H Character Counts! curriculum that it stems from; below is a short excerpt from the VA 4-H website:
Character Counts! is a framework centered on basic values called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. The curriculum is designed to give kids a framework for ethical living.

Please nominate those deserving youth for one of the six pillars by completing the nomination form through the below link!

Nominations are due by September 1.

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Farewell Post to Bailey Colvin, Summer Intern 2018

It's hard to believe the summer has passed so quickly. Today is the last day in the office for our summer intern, Bailey Colvin, and we are grateful for her contributions this summer!

Bailey is hard working, kind, and willing to learn. We wish her well as she returns to her senior year at James Madison University!

Bailey and Cloverbud Campers after their construction rodeo, learning about basic tasks for builders



Bailey loading wool bags during the Central VA Wool Pool


Bailey teaching Kids' Yoga 


Bailey checking the heart and respiration rates of a heifer during YQCA training


Bit N Bridle Club Represents Virginia at Southern Regionals in Perry, GA

The Bit N' Bridle Club had a successful trip to the 2018 Southern Regional 4-H Horse and Pony Championships in Perry, GA, last week.  The Hippology team of Charlotte Manvell, Emily Wright, Cora Hoemann and Sydney Carver, joining from Fluvanna County. finished overall in 6th place.  Emily placed first in the Horse Judging section.  Charlotte placed second in exam and stations and second overall. Sydney placed fifth in the Horse Judging section of the test.

The Team of Charlotte Manvell and Cora Hoemann placed first in Team Presentation with their information about mounted police forces. 

Club members report having had a wonderful time at the contest and appreciated the honor to represent Virginia 4-H and Orange County 4-H. 

Submitted by Mary Lee Manvell


Parade of States


Group Photo by the Sign 


Smokin' the Competition :) 


First place, Team Presentation

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

How Parents Can Encourage Safe Outdoor Play

Guest blog by Anya Willis


Backyards and the outdoors are wonderful places for children to explore, learn, and get some much-needed physical activity. Studies show that outdoor play is beneficial to children, stimulating cognition as well as improving mood and physical fitness. Just like any activity, however, outdoor play can present risks to children of all ages, but especially for the youngest. With some planning, instruction, and supervision, it is possible to enjoy safe outdoor play.

Teach Boundaries and Acceptable Behavior

There are many potential hazards outdoors. Part of growing up is learning about the dangers of the world and how to conform behavior to avoid injury and problems. The first step to encouraging safe outdoor play is to teach your children where they can and cannot play and your reasoning. A fence is a physical barrier that can be easily climbed by most children and is therefore essentially useless as a deterrent to wandering for all but the smallest children -- who wouldn’t reasonably be unsupervised anyway. Teaching your children not to play outside of your yard is more effective than considering a fence as a failsafe.

This same lesson can apply to most backyard hazards. Write up a list of rules, and if your kids are old enough, ask for their help in determining these rules. Explain that you want them to be safe, and express your concerns. Children are resistant to parenting that is dropped on them unilaterally, so even when you are parenting by decree, including them in the process helps them understand your mentality.

Outdoor Play Equipment

Swing sets, jungle gyms, and tree houses are typical outdoor play equipment that can cause injury if misused. Explain your reasoning for simple rules. For example, tell them that the swingset is not designed for children to hang upside-down from the monkey bars. Age-appropriate use is also important; toddlers can be seriously injured when playing on sets designed for older kids, and bigger children can get hurt on kiddie equipment.

Do your part as a parent to ensure your children’s safety by checking equipment throughout the year. Test out swings and steps, check wood surfaces for splinters, rotted boards, worn ropes, nail and screw pops, and any other potential hazards.

When buying or installing outdoor play equipment, make sure you are buying good quality items by checking online reviews before purchasing. Make sure the playsets are properly installed, and add appropriate ground covering to absorb the shock of inevitable falls. It is also crucial, regardless of your children’s age, to ensure that the play equipment is within your line of sight.

Pool safety

Backyard pools are sources of endless family summer fun, but they also present a serious drowning hazard. Again, establishing rules is one of the best ways to minimize injury risk. Establish and post a written set of pool rules and enforce them. Explain that “no running” is not a suggestion -- it’s a sanctionable offense. Learn basic pool safety, and revisit the rules each year as part of the pool opening routine. Also, prepare an emergency plan for pool accidents. Often, people do not know what to do in the event of a serious accident in the backyard. Have a first aid kit and a simple numbered list of who to call and when. This simple list is for the adult’s benefit as well as children’s.

Outdoor spaces are excellent places for children to learn and thrive. Spring and summer bring opportunities for healthy outdoor activities, and while some risk of injury exists, there are several ways to mitigate hazards while still enjoying outdoor play.