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Photo 206/365 (series: 4H Youth Show)

We are not what most people think of as a 4H family. I know growing up I was only vaguely aware of 4H as a thing, and to me it was a farm thing. It was for the kids who raised cows and pigs with slaughter as an end goal. In later years I realized it also included kids with other farm animals, like horses and chickens. But it wasn't until my adult, parenting life that I learned how much more 4H is. If you're like me, going through life with only a cursory understanding of 4H, here's the skinny: it's an umbrella organization that provides guidance, support, and insurance to clubs in exchange for dues paid and a pledge of complete tolerance, open acceptance, and dedication to helping children grow and learn in any area they choose. It's actually a perfect fit for organizations like our secular, inclusive homeschooling club even though none of us are raising animals (or at least not under the 4H eye).

The 4H year culminates in their annual youth show. Held in the last week of July just as crops are coming in and animals are fattening up, the show is an opportunity for kids to show off their projects from the year, be that cow, pig, horse, or a Lego Robotics kit. Our club submits a plethora of what are called stills projects, or projects that are not living and breathing. This year nine of our kids submitted a total of 58 projects, earning 55 A ratings, 18 Honors distinctions, and 9 Best in Shows. Calvin was responsible for 12 of those projects, 9 of the Honors distinctions, and 3 of the Best in Shows, and he's already planning his work for next year...

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