Amelia Wiggins of Noblesville cares for her llama during the Hamilton County 4-H Fair in 2019. The deadline is Wednesday to sign up for the 2020 4-H program.
Amelia Wiggins of Noblesville cares for her llama during the Hamilton County 4-H Fair in 2019. The deadline is Wednesday to sign up for the 2020 4-H program.
Being my first day back from holiday break, and looking at the calendar, I noticed that Hamilton County 4-H’ers only have one more day to sign up for the 2020 4-H program.
Every year at this time, I visit the Purdue Extension Service office at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville to pay our annual $25 fee, once that my daughter has signed up online for the county 4-H program. Deadline to enroll is Wednesday.
It’s pretty easy to sign up. Just visit the online link and complete the application if you’re a newcomer. Mini 4-H is open to kindergarten through Grade 2, and traditional 4-H is open to Grade 3-12. If you’re returning, you know the drill. If you’re new, you need to create an account, with a password, and some quick address information, and you’ll need to choose at least one 4-H project and pick a club you’d like to join. Nothing is set in stone. You can add or drop projects usually until May 15, and the Extension office can help you choose a club that meets at a convenient location.
My 13-year-old 4-H’er this year is vice president of her Mudsockers 4-H Club, which meets monthly at the Fairgrounds. Last year, she was president and was health and safety officer before that.
During the 2019 4-H program, she enrolled in four projects, her fifth year of Photography and second year of Dog Obedience, plus two new projects, Veterinary Science and Foods. She showed three projects at the 4-H Fair in July, earning blue and honor ribbons in Photography, blue ribbon in Dog Obedience and a blue ribbon for Foods.
For Foods, she made crescent yeast rolls reminiscent of ones that I made when I was a kid. The requirement was to use whole-grain wheat flour. Although she made exactly what she was supposed to make in the project, Valerie Adams of Sheridan Ag 4-H club, a then seventh-grader, earned reserve champion, and the champion of the division, Chandler Alanis of Noblesville H & H 4-H Club, a then eighth-grader, went over and above, showing 16-ingredient Multigrain Garlic & Pecorino Romano Knots.
So many 4-H’ers amaze me every year with their talents.
Lilly Canaday of Friends Forever 4-H Club is one of those creative 4-H’ers. A 10-year 4-H’er in 2019, she earned reserve champion on her Cake Decorating project at the 2019 4-H Fair. Any 4-H’ers who have taken Cake Decorating, and their parents, know that cake decorating is very tedious and the project takes a lot of time attending practicing artistic ability on cakes and cake molds. My daughter showed Cake Decorating one year and bought a storage crate full of decorating supplies. While she baked a cake and decorated it recently during our schools’ holiday break, she wasn’t willing to show off her skills this year for a 4-H ribbon.
I enrolled in as many as seven projects a year during my nine years of 4-H in Henry County, but my daughter thinks less is more. Her previous projects have included Clogging, Health, Basic Crafts, Archery, Cake Decorating, Microwave, Bicycle, Consumer Clothing, Gift Wrap, Collections and Woodworking.
My daughter is among about 1,600 4-H’ers who enroll annually in the county 4-H program. Her Mudsockers 4-H Club is among 36 county 4-H clubs.
Mini 4-H, for the past couple of years, has been open to one grade younger, for kindergarten through second grade. My daughter had so much fun in Mini 4-H, particularly the Clogging and Mini Horse & Pony project, the latter of which Mini 4-H’ers had the opportunity to visit a local horse farm monthly and gain horsemanship, see a farrier work, lead a horse and learn so much. It’s one of the best Mini 4-H projects. And the 4-H’er doesn’t even have to own or rent a horse.
Speaking of renting animals, 4-H’ers in the llama project rent llama each year. While the 4-H’er doesn’t take home the llama, he or she does get to experience doing many of the barn chores. Amelia Wiggins of Noblesville, who is in her sixth year of 4-H, is among 4-H’ers who show llamas.
“She has learned responsibility through animal care and upkeep,” said Melinda Wiggins of her daughter, an eighth-grader at Noblesville East Middle School who has signed up for her fourth year of showing llamas.
This year, there are 66 4-H projects offered in this county. Photography, Foods, Arts and Crafts and Construction Sets are the most popular 4-H projects, I am told. Each June, there are two days of Mini 4-H Day Camp at the 4-H Fairgrounds, and three days and two nights of traditional 4-H camp at Camp Shakamak, which always has a waiting list for grades 3-6, with older 4-H’ers invited to apply to be camp counselors.
Many of our readers, like me, grew up as 4-H’ers, memorizing the 4-H Pledge: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My hands to larger service and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
And don’t forget the 4-H motto, “Making the best better.”
To join 4-H or re-enroll in the program by Wednesday deadline, contact the Extension Office at (317) 776-0854, stop by the office at 2003 East Pleasant St., Noblesville, or enroll in 4-H at The 4-H program is also seeking adult volunteers and a paid 4-H summer assistant. This year’s Hamilton County 4-H Fair is July 16-20.
-Contact Betsy Reason at Betsy is a nine-year 4-H’er from Henry County.