Monday, August 21, 2017

Protect your eyes...and finish up those 4-H records!

Image result for eclipse reminders
Approximately 5 hours and 15 minutes until the eclipse...10 days until all 4-H Record Books are due! Please remember to turn in your completed Record Book to the Extension Office by Friday, September 1st. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

State Fair of Virginia Entries Due NEXT TUESDAY

Just a quick reminder that entries for the Youth Livestock shows (youth beef, youth meat goat, youth sheep and youth swine) at the State Fair of Virginia are due next Tuesday, August 15th. The system will close that evening. PLEASE do not wait until the last minute to do these entries. We are utilizing a new system.

Please visit for all of the rules, instructions for entry, and the link to the online entry system.

Image result for youth livestock shows at state fair of virginia

Friday, August 4, 2017

4-H Seniors: Taylor Rollins

Taylor is an Orange County native who has practically grown up in 4-H! She joined the Cloverbud club at the age of 5, the Livestock Club at 9, and the Home Economics club at 10. As a Cloverbud she exhibited ducks, rabbits, goats, and calves at the Orange County Fair. As a member of the Livestock club, she has shown hogs every year at the fair.

One of the greatest opportunities her involvement in 4-H afforded her was the chance to travel to Texas as part of the VA Food Challenge team. She told me that Food Challenge is a competitive event where teams of participants are given a set of ingredients that they have to prepare a meal from. They then have to present their meal to a panel of judges and explain the nutritional value of the meal they created. Her team progressed from winning the district contest, to winning the state contest at VA 4-H Congress. They continuing practicing and fundraising, and attended the national contest in Dallas where they placed 5th in the nation. She said that while her team’s placing at the national contest was her greatest accomplishment from her time in 4-H, being tapped as a 4-H All Star was a very close second.

Taylor said the biggest lesson she learned from 4-H was the responsibility involved in raising livestock and taking care of animals by herself. She boarded her hogs at another farm, so she had to go there every day to feed, water, clean, and exercise them. She also had to manage her costs and expenses for feed and vet bills each month, and save the money she earned at the fair each year to help pay for next year’s project. One of the coolest programs she got to participate in was at 4-H congress, where she took a workshop on artificial insemination and reproduction in cattle.

Some of her best memories from 4-H are from the county fair. She told me it’s a lot of work through the spring and summer to do all the preparation to get your animal to fair, but then you get to the fair and get to see all your friends and see all the hard work they’ve put into their project animals. Now that Taylor has graduated from high school, she will be attending Germanna Community College with plans to transfer to a four year university to earn a  Bachelor's degree in Nursing.

Monday, July 24, 2017

4-H Seniors: Hunter Phillips

Hunter Phillips is originally from Bedford VA, but moved to Orange in 2007 and has been involved in Orange 4-H for seven years. He is a member of the 4-H Crazy Pets club and the current president of the Orange 4-H Archery club.

He said that some of his best memories from his participation in 4-H are all the friends he made and the opportunities he had to learn new skills. Because of his involvement in 4-H, he was able to pass the 4-H archery instructor course and now he helps teach younger members of the archery club basic archery skills. Working with younger members in his 4-H club has helped teach him about leadership and the value of always leading by example. Hunter has dedicated many hours to improving his archery skills and has passed level 5 proficiency in archery.

Hunter said that the coolest opportunity he had in 4-H was getting to attend State 4-H Congress on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. While in 4-H Hunter has participated in many fundraisers for his 4-H clubs, and has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club. 
 Congratulations to Hunter for all his success so far, and best wishes for his future!

Monday, July 17, 2017

4-H Seniors: Alyssa Ratcliff

Alyssa Ratcliff recently graduated from Orange High School and will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall to continue her education by studying Landscape Architecture and Design.

Alyssa has been a member of the Orange County 4-H Livestock Club for 7 years, where she has shown and sold sheep at the county fair every year. She got interested in 4-H because several of her friends were involved, and she said that some of her best memories from her experience in 4-H were the friendships she made. She said that it was great to participate in a program where even though at the end of the day all the club members were competing against each other at the fair, there was a great spirit of helpfulness and teamwork. Some of the older members of the Livestock Club helped teach her how to show sheep when she first joined, and now Alyssa has helped teach her younger brother how to show. “Helping him learn how to do it, but then being able to see him do it by himself” is one of her favorite memories from her years in 4-H.

When asked what the greatest lesson she learned from 4-H was, she said “hard work and respect will get you so far.” Raising her sheep for the fair required time and dedication every single day throughout the year to make sure they were fed and exercised, and required that she interact with the community to find buyers for her animals at the fair. Her greatest accomplishment in 4-H was when her hard work paid off and she won grand champion lamb at the 2015 Orange County Fair. Alyssa said one of the greatest things about 4-H was the opportunities it gave her to give back to the community. She has helped collect and sort food for the food bank, laid wreaths at the Culpeper National Cemetery, and has volunteered at the Therapeutic Adventure Camp of Orange, working with youth with special needs.

Congratulations to Alyssa! We wish you the best of luck at the 2017 Orange County Fair and into your future!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Attention:  All Livestock Club Members

Due to the weather,

Tonight's meeting has been changed to

7 PM at the

Orange Presbyterian Church

State Livestock Judging Contest

We would like to congratulate the three members of the Orange County 4-H Stockman’s Team who traveled to the Virginia Tech Campus on the 28th of June to compete in the State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. All three Orange 4-H members did an outstanding job! 
Junior Livestock Judging Contest Results
Salaar Ali finished 8th overall out of 39 junior contestants. He was also recognized for finishing 10th in swine judging, 5th in sheep and goat judging, and 10th in oral reasons.
Sadie Wentz finished 13th overall, and 3rd in sheep and goat judging.
Senior Livestock Judging Contest Results
Virginia Bryington placed 28th overall in the senior division, and 16th in swine judging.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday

We know we probably sound like a broken record, but this weather made for another beautiful day at 4-H Camp!!! We are so spoiled this week! We're getting ready for the dance and all kinds of fun yard games, but here are a couple of snapshots from earlier in the day.

We also spent a lot of time at the "ool", but water and cameras don't mix, so we don't have any photos of that.

Planning their final performance for tomorrow's closing ceremonies, here are the youth of Theatre Arts!

 "Crash" helps a LEGO builders participant with her design work.

"Applejacks" hangs completed T-shirts on the drying line.

Don't forget! Parents need to meet the buses at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at Orange Elementary School. We plan to send the luggage a little early, so if you can help unload the trailer around 5:00, that would be great! 

Orange Extension Volunteer Featured on Virginia Cooperative Extension Blog

Original text and photo available at: 

Mutahara Mobashar, a librarian from Orange County, instantly became intrigued when her colleague gave a presentation on how she trained to become a Master Food Volunteer at an annual library conference. Since Mutahara enjoys educational programming, outreach and working with food, she immediately found a way to get involved. Mutahara was initially informed that the nearest class was going to be in Fairfax County. She found it a little daunting to commit 30 volunteer hours in a county that was out of reach during that time.

Luckily, after a couple of years, the Extension Office in Orange County informed Mutahara that Clare Lillard was their new family and consumer sciences Extension agent, and a Master Food Volunteer training class was offered in Harrisonburg. She was excited to have someone to work with directly and locally. After she completed her training, she became a Master Food Volunteer. During the past two years, she has assisted with health fairs, canning classes and worked with children at school by providing them information on healthy food choices.

In February, she was asked to give a small class to a group of 4H youth on how to prepare and cook something simple. She immediately decided to teach the kids how to make “samosas.” A samosa is a deep fried, triangle pastry that is filled with a savory or sweet filling. As a Master Food Volunteer, she tries to teach healthy eating habits, however, she also tries to make a point to tell children that it is okay to treat themsleves with moderation.

Mutahara wanted to introduce a snack from a different culture that contained some unique spices. The savory samosas were filled with potatoes, ground chicken, onions, salt, cayenne, cumin and coriander. She demonstrated how to make the samosas by making a triangular shaped cone out of a tortilla and then sealing it with flour paste, filling it and then sealing it again. After they were fried, she allowed the children to taste them with a few sweet and sour sauces. Not only did she demonstrate savory samosas, but sweet samosas as well. They were stuffed with home canned apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. After they were deep fried, they dusted the samosas with icing sugar.

Mutahara’s overall emphasis was to encourage creativity and implicitly in the preparation of snack items. She wanted to teach the kids not to be afraid to try new things. Her dedication and hard work has truly made an impact on the kids who attended the 4-H workshop.

Article submitted by Steph Grasso, VT Dept. of Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Scenes from a Terrific Tuesday

We are happy to report it's been another great day at camp! Today's Spirit theme was Red, White, and Blue, and this is one patriotic bunch! These fabulous four are donning a previous camp staff shirt, and we so appreciate their volunteerism. We couldn't do camp without them! 

"Sharpie" on staff made an extra effort to participate in our spirit day, plus she helped the Skunk pack earn bear claws! 

The T-shirt Art folks show off their handmade flag print shirts.

Today's project involved tie-dying. This is a Tuesday project so the shirts can dry before coming home with the luggage!

 Salty and Pepper have some incredible workouts for the fitness class! Try exercise sliding across the auditorium. Feel the burn. :)

The evening program centered around marshmallows since our overall camp theme is "There's S'more to Explore at 4-H Camp".

One marshmallow game involved seeing how many marshmallows you could stack on your counselor's forehead. Thanks for being a good sport, Lil Red!

This relay involved teamwork and a quick reaction time.

Here, campers had to use a ruler to hit a marshmallow through the grass, around their counselor, and back to the front of the relay line. 

 The marshmallow toss was fun, but things got a lil sticky when holding the marshmallows in your hand!

"Mallow Ball" was the big winner for the night. It was a hand ball version of Quidditch, affiliated with Harry Potter. Packs worked together to score.

 Again, we are grateful for our strong adult volunteers. They make such a difference at camp!

Tuesday Class Updates

Our traditional campfires include "class reports" where the campers share what they've learned that day. Here are some updates for our readers!

Archery class was aiming for the bullseye.

Shazam, Archery instructor, is an Orange-Madison alumni!

Catchphrase was teaching tent set-up.

And then they were testing their structures. :)

Fishing class was casting off the dock.

Canoeing found a beautiful day on Lake Culpeper.

Campfire Cooking used pie irons in their wood fire.

And Sharpie, cooking instructor, is certainly dressed for the part on Red, White, and Blue Day! We love her camp spirit.

Intermediate Swimming took to the diving board.

Campers Brave Frigid Temps (Just Kidding, Parents!!!)

We were surprised by the number of folks who got up early this morning for the Polar Bear Plunge. Since the weather has been so unseasonably nice, the plunge was actually much cooler this morning than in previous years.

The sun was just peeking through the clouds as we headed down the hill to swim.

Look at this incredible turnout! Their friends stayed in the lodges to sleep.

Champions pose...

Love the reflections in the water!

And they were off! There's a video below so you can appreciate the excitement.

Tough guys who braved the frigid temps. (Actually, they were fine in the water; it was getting out that was the problem!)

Here's a video of the plunge!

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Rest of the "Monday Story"

With the amazing weather here at camp, we've ENJOYED being outside the entire time! Look at the good old fashioned fun during afternoon rec!

Gau-gau is life at 4-H camp, and you can see how many kids flock to it each chance they get. Gau-gau is best described as dodgeball in an octagonal sand pit. A playground ball is hit back and forth, but it cannot touch your feet or below your knee. If so, then you're "out". This fast-paced play is exhilarating to play and watch.

There was some serious jump roping going on, too. Several campers made a contest out of it. The record number of jumps after the rhyme was 70, and that's because she was cut off due to time!

Checkers and chess were options for those looking to sharpen their brains and enhance their strategic thinking skills.

The evening program was a talent show, and we had over 20 wonderful acts! Parents, you should be proud of your kids' courage, stage presence, and talents.

There were gymnastics.



And a whole pack who performed a skit rather than selecting individuals.

We also had plenty of singers, instrumentalists, and dynamic duos. What a fun night!