Our family joined 4-H this past year. It is a great organization and my kids are having a wonderful time.
One of the requirements for showing at Fair is attendance at Community Club meetings. At these meetings the business of the particular 4-H club is conducted. Reports are made on things like how much money has gone out of the club and how much money has come in, events that are coming up, service opportunities available, and so on.
Recently, they have started reporting our members' results at various animal shows. Attending these shows has been quite the eye-opener for me. "How so?" you might ask. Well, let me tell you...
When showing swine, beef, or lamb, you strut that animal all around a ring, showing off the animals to the judges and audience. The judges look at the size of the body. They watch how the animal carries itself, how it walks, how it stands. They judge their personality and demeanor.
The animals are then taken back out of the ring by their handlers. The judges then "call-back" the animals that they liked. Those animals walk the ring again while the judges scrutinize their every move. This process goes on and on until finally the judges declare a winner. A winning animal is worth a lot of money. That animal is quite a prize!
What's so astounding about this process...
It is just like the try-outs/auditions for actors, models, Miss America, and more! In particular, it reminded me of the musical "A Chorus Line".
Now, I feel that I must make a disclaimer. I am not trying to belittle anyone. I'm not bringing this up to bag on anyone or any organization. Frankly, I love watching the Miss America pageant every year. Mostly, I love see the gorgeous gowns and imagine how I could make them for myself but modest. Haha!
The reason I'm posting this is that I am amazed a the similarities between the two processes. Anyone who really knows me knows that I love to see how things are connected. To see how things have evolved over time. It seems to me that the one process evolved from the other. Can't you just picture the original casting directors--people who had maybe grown up attending Fair and seeing how the animals were judged--adjusting that type of judging to fit their own purposes? Because that's what I see!
I wonder if that's how it actually happened. So interesting!
Another great thing from 4-H: it is teaching my kids wonderful values and skills.
For example, one girl proudly reporting how she did in a show said:
"Well, I showed my goat at XYZ Show. I didn't place. But I didn't get last place like last year either."
We all clapped and cheered for her. It was great! She might not have won, but she was getting better and that's what counted.
Also, our family is getting ready for Fair. It is crazy! We aren't doing animals this year. Thank goodness! I don't think I could have handled all the time and effort required for an animal. I'm too busy with my dear children. :)
We do have projects that have to be finished though. Anne and Rose are sewing their hearts out to have their quilts ready. Joe and the girls are all testing recipes to see which will be best to enter. They have a pre-Fair contest coming up next week for cooking. Anne and Rose are in the same category, but they're being good sports about it. They are just hoping that one of them places and they don't care which one. Hooray for being good sports! And sweet Joe is in the non-judging category. 4-H doesn't let the little kids be judged. They feel that the little ones can't handle it. I completely agree. My little Joe would be quite discouraged if judges told him his entry was too dry or a bit under-cooked. The bigger kids, while not liking the criticisms, don't get discouraged...they take the criticism as advice and use the information to make their cooking/baking better the next time.
I'll post pictures and results after we finish the contest next week.
We are loving 4-H!!!