- Author: Serenity Ventura O'Reilly
State Field Day was held at the University of California Davis in Davis, California the first weekend of June. It was a ton of fun and everyone should go at least once. There was so much to see and do there. I qualified to go to State Field Day because I won two gold medals at the San Diego County Art & Design Day for Fashion Revue. For State Fashion Revue, I chose to enter my retro outfit. Did you know that you can qualify to go to state if you receive a gold for presentations too?
My family drove the seven-and-a-half hours each way, but we stopped for snacks and got breakfast on the way. I didn't know how many farms there were between here and Davis. After we got to our hotel the day before, we went sightseeing. We went to one of the art museums, the California Raptor Center, and some of the gardens on campus. I loved going to the Raptor Center because we not only got to see the owls, red tailed hawks, Harris's hawks, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and other raptors, but different types of bird's eggs, skeletons, and we found out so much about them. I wanted to go to the Underground Museum Tour in Sacramento, but we didn't have time.
On State Field Day
On the morning of State Field Day, I checked in and then went to orientation. There were two orientations for State Fashion Revue—one for families and one for the participants. I then attended four different workshops and activities while I waited for my turn to be judged: a poise workshop with pageant winners, a sewing skillathon, a Maker workshop, and a dog toy community service project. The Maker workshop was my favorite because it let me express my creativity.
Before I could be judged I had to get dressed in the outfit I made, do my hair, and put my makeup on. Then I had to line up with the other 4-H'ers in my group and head upstairs. Our families stayed downstairs while we went to judging. When we entered, the judges had us model our clothes, tell them about our outfit, and then they asked a few questions. Afterwards, I got to head over to the rest of the Field Day activities before the State Fashion Revue modeling and awards.
There were so many activities going on at Field Day. There was a welding workshop, 3-D printing booth, a fire safety booth, UC California Naturalists booth, a film festival, an entomology knowledge bowl, police dog demonstration, logo contest, food trucks, and so much more. At the fire safety booth, they taught you how to use a real fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire. You used the fire extinguisher to spray water onto a special screen that had a fake fire on it; The fake fire would get smaller as you sprayed it correctly. You could try it several times until you got it right. I really liked it because it was fun and you learned a good life skill to have in an emergency.
Time for the runway!
After I checked out all the activities I had to model on the runway for State Fashion Revue. The runway was in the middle of the quad where everyone could see me and I admit, I was a little nervous because I thought that I would mess up but in the end I did well and got a blue ribbon. Next year I am going to try for gold!
I was able to go to Davis for the State Field Day because I received a scholarship from the San Diego County volunteer management board. To earn a scholarship, you need to help out at county fundraisers (so there is money to help kids go to events), fill out a form, make a request at a board meeting (I was really sick when the board met so my mom took my paperwork, speech, and notes and the board let her present it), and give a presentation when you get back. It's really easy!
I am going to work hard and try to go back to Davis for State Field Day and I hope to see more 4-H'ers from San Diego next year.
UC ANR Risk Services hosted the popular Fire Safety booth. The date for State Field Day 2020 has not been announced yet, but it will be held at UC Davis on a Saturday in late May/early June. The State Fashion Revue event page lists the 2020 service projects and categories, as well as qualification information to participate.
- Author: JoLynn Miller
On Tuesday October 1st, 4-H Member Belle, Tuolumne County 4-H Ambassador, and Rosemary Giannini, 4-H Community Education Specialist, made a presentation to the Tuolumne Board of Supervisors requesting October 5-12 be proclaimed 4-H Week in Tuolumne County.
Rosemary began by citing the research which show 4-H members are four times more likely to make contributions to their communities, two times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time, and nearly two times more likely to make healthy choices.
Then Belle came to podium to talk about her involvement in 4-H and the impact it has had on her life. The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors have historically been a vocal advocate for our program and this time was no different. The four members in attendance that day all had special comments to share about 4-H.
Supervisor Sherri Brennan, District 1, was wearing a 4-H pin on her lapel. She was the first to speak:
“The program is a success because of the committed volunteers that support it. We need to acknowledge and thank them!” ~Supervisor Sherri Brennan, District 1
“I was a judge at a 4-H event this year. To see 6, 10, & 16 year-olds that are more intelligent & better spoken than I am and I was there to judge them. I thought, "I'm not qualified to judge this!” A bit of humor, a bit of truth by Supervisor Ryan Campbell, District 2, “Thank you to the organizers of 4-H. You're building the leaders that will be taking the reins in our community down the road.”
“You want my chair?” Board Chair, Supervisor Karl Rodefer, District 5 joked in response to Belle's account of how 4-H has helped her grow as a leader. They were pretty impressed with her public speaking skills.
When Supervisor Daniel Anaiah Kirk, District 3 asked Belle what she wanted to be when she grew up (answer-nursing) he said: “Well you're on the track to do whatever you want because you're very well spoken. 4-H prepares young people for success.”
Supervisor Kirk also shared how he was in 4-H as a youth and has good memories of his experience. He is looking forward to enrolling his kids in 4-H "because of the life skills that it will give to them."
“You're really a class act. If you're the poster person for 4-H, I think 4-H is very well represented.” Board Chair, Supervisor Karl Rodefer, District 5.
"4-H develops the next generation of leaders for this county, this state, and this nation.”
~Board Chair, Supervisor Karl Rodefer, District 5
The measure to proclaim October 5 - 12 as National 4-H Week in Tuolumne County passed unanimously.
- Author: Jada Ho
- Author: TJ Suit
- Author: Rose Fiorenza
- Author: Addyson Rubin
REPOST - updated 9/23/2019
We asked teens who attended the 2017 Mindfulness Retreat: "What were the highlights of the Mindfulness Retreat for you? What did you learn from the retreat that would be useful for teens?"
Jada: The mindfulness retreat was refreshing for me to be able to worry about nothing but the present. I loved the morning yoga and and making collages. This weekend reminded me that I should stop and take a total break from everything more often, and that I don't have to constantly be accomplishing something. I learned that visualizing things, like the glitter in a moody jar, when I meditate or practice mindfulness helps me to focus.
TJ: Given the opportunity to focus on myself and the present for a weekend with no worries about the future was an amazing experience. I spent time learning more about myself, learning about others, and learning mindful tools to help me get through my everyday life. From meditating on the beach, tons of arts and crafts, hilarious skits, and meeting new friends, it was an experience I will remember for a very long time!
Rose: The mindfulness retreat was an enlightening experience that impacted me in so many ways. With all my college applications due, I've been extremely busy and extremely stressed. The retreat really opened my eyes to the impact that stress can make on my social, mental and emotional health. I was able to leave the retreat with mindfulness strategies that I now use to help me relieve stress, such as collaging, deep breathing, and journaling.
Addy: The mindfulness retreat was a great weekend for stressed teens and adults. It gave everyone some time to step back and live in the moment instead of being obsessed with future plans and responsibilities. The retreat provided everyone with helpful tools that will keep you on track, and keep your stress levels down. This retreat really opened my eyes to what meditation and mindful breathing is capable of and I now use these techniques as a daily stress reliever. This was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend people of all ages.
Join us this year!
November 1-3, 2019
Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, CA
A 4-H Healthy Living Program for youth age 13-19 and adults
Register online - Deadline is October 1, 2019
See our Event Calendar posting for more information.
- Author: Elizabeth Sugarman
We are having a great time in D.C. celebrating Margaret “Sissy"Sugarman from Olivenhain Valley 4-H, earning the Congressional Award Gold Medal. Congressman Mike Levin presented her with the Gold Medal in a medal ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.
The Congressional Award
The Congressional award is the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian recognizing achievement, initiative and service in America's youth, ages 14-23. The Award provides a unique opportunity for young people to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character and foster community service, personal development, and citizenship. To earn a Congressional Award, participants set and achieve individual goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
Recognizing that children in her community are disconnected from animals, agriculture, and nature, Margaret “Sissy” Sugarman organized and led tours and classes at her farm and at local schools promoting agriculture, beekeeping, and connection with animals. Her pollinator education program, “The Honeybee Road Show,” earned national recognition from the American Agri-Women Foundation. Sissy also served at a Veteran's camp in Alaska, Camp Battle Dawgs, which uses sled dogs and other outdoor activities to help veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries reintegrate back into every day life. Currently, Sissy is connecting people to animals and agriculture by hosting veteran groups, disabled adults and youth groups for free Goat Yoga classes at her family farm in Olivenhain.
Sissy was furthered recognized as a "STEM Star"
Senator Ron Wyden presented Sugarman with the added distinction of being a S.T.E.M. Star for her Honey Bee Road Show initiative. Ray Kerins from Bayer, a national 4-H partner, presented her with her STEM Star achievement pin.
The Honey Bee Road Show is a program Sissy developed after growing up learning about bees in 4-H. Sissy had cared for her bees on her family farm and found them to be a source of endless fascination. She has hosted hundreds of groups of children on tours to her family farm and was always surprised to encounter children who were afraid of bees or had no appreciation for bees. Sissy created the Honey Bee Road Show as a way to teach schoolchildren about bees and their vital role in our world. Bees are our #1 pollinator and they need our help!
Sissy took her program to elementary schools and did many presentations at the Encinitas Farm Lab, which is an ecology center run by our local school district. Sissy taught the children all about the inner workings of the beehive and invited children from the audience to join in her presentation in a starring role by acting out the different roles of the honey bees.
“Children are so eager to make a connection with animals. Being a part of that joy and discovery is absolutely magical.” ~Sissy Sugarman
The model of leadership, service, and giving back to the community that Sissy learned from her selfless 4-H leaders was the inspiration for her program.
Sissy's 4-H skills came in handy. Of course, she learned so much about bees in her beekeeping project, but her years in the sewing project came in handy as she crafted and sewed costumes for the children to wear in their bee hive skit. And all those years of presentations and demonstrations paid off, as her public speaking skills were vital to holding the attention of 60 2nd graders at each presentation!
Sissy plans to continue her program locally and hopefully take what she has learned to Africa in the near future. She hopes to intern in a program called Elephants and Bees which would combine her experience with pollinator education with her passion for elephant conservation. You can learn more about that at http://elephantsandbees.com/
Sissy's community service work and links to news articles highlighting her work can be found at: http://www.sugarsweetfarm.com/community-service.html
The California 4-H Foundation is proud to recognize Mary Lash for her lifelong dedication to the 4-H program. Mary's 4-H membership began in 1938 with projects including home economics, sewing and raising vegetables on her family farm in Downey, California. In 1928, Mary's father became a 4-H leader and her older brother a 4-H member as well, making for a strong family commitment to 4-H values. In 2013, Mary received the Western Region 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the year award for her many contributions to California 4-H.
Today Mary continues to be an active member of the Greenleaf 4-H program and Treasurer for the Los Angeles County 4-H Leaders' Council. Mary's passion to advance the mission of 4-H one member at a time has been inspirational for those around her. It is through the work from volunteers like Mary that California 4-H has been successful for generations of members.