4-H Summer Camps at the Extension!

Summer time is an opportunity for youth and adult volunteers to learn something new and get involved in 4-H projects. This July several unique all-day camps were offered in Clothing & Textiles and Foods & Nutrition to feature some of the most popular 4-H contests.

Three Summer Stitches Camps featured clothing construction, quilting and Re-Fashion projects. Participants learned to sew a pair of shorts using a sewing machine, layout and cut pattern and gained skills sewing seams, double turned hems and inserting elastic waist bands. The “Tie Dye and Re-fashion” offered youth a chance to explore fashion design to re-fashion a long sleeved t-shirt and a hooded sweat shirt. Clothing & Textiles contest were introduced including Fashion Show, Fashion Storyboard and Duds to Dazzle.

The Summer Stitches Quilt Square project introduced recycling cotton denim jeans and developed skills sewing a book bag. West Houston Quilters Guild collaborated with 4-H to design and mentor youth leaning to sew a denim rag quilt square and provided personalized instructions as the youth completed the project. A total of fifteen youth completed fifteen hours of clothing construction leaning to sew using a machine and to re-design and recycle clothing.

Finally the “Kids That Cook” Camp introduced participants to the 4-H Food and Nutrition project and 4-H Food Challenge contest. Youth participated in demonstrations and practiced knife skills to prepare a variety of vegetables. They learned about food safety, how to follow a recipe and the My Plate nutrition facts. Each team of five prepared three recipes and competed in a mini food challenge to apply the skills they learned that day. Food Challenge is similar to “Iron Chef” with a mystery bag of ingredients delivered to each team and 40 minutes to come up with a recipe and presentations. The challenge requires, food preparation skills, time management, communication and teamwork. Each team gave a presentation and produced a well garnished bow tie pasta dish to the judges. Eighteen youth completed five hours of foods and nutrition training learning how to prepare a recipe using fresh vegetables.

The publicity of the camps attracted new participants to the 4-H program primarily from the Katy /West Houston area. Adult volunteers were trained and provided information on these 4-H projects. Five Adult Leaders gained skills to manage clothing and textiles project at the club level. Six West Houston Quilters Guild and Master Gardener volunteers mentored the completion of re-cycled denim book bags. Volunteers donated 40 hours to assist with the sewing projects valued at $850 in educational support to Extension programs. Parents and participants inquired about additional opportunities to participate in 4-H programs, including a pledge of support from West Houston Quilters Guild for additional projects. Participation included 33 youth and 12 adults.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides equal opportunities in its programs and employment to all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

Photographs from 4-H Summer camps

Sheryl Nolen