Community Engagement Workshop

This past weekend, the Trapp River North Stars held a community workshop.

This included a presentation by the AmeriCorps VISTA in the 4-H office, and a visit from one of the local police dogs.

The first part of workshop started with a Post-it note activity.  There were two categories. How? and Why?  The 4-Hers then had to write down ideas of how you do community service and why you do community service and put each note in the proper place.  This is what they came up with.

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This gave me an idea of what they already knew, and let me tell you, they knew a lot.  I was really impress by one response in the Why? section.

“It humbles you to see other people’s situations and appreciate what you have.”

That right there tells me that she understands what community service is about.

I made a few Wordles of what they gave me.  This is how they turned out.

After that we did the Putting together the 4-H Puzzle activity.  It did take them awhile to figure out what was wrong with their puzzle. I saw a few people try to use all their pieces anyway, even though they did not fit.  I think that worked well, the only thing I would have changed would have been my lead in for it.  Since it was the first time I had run that activity, I think it went pretty well.

The last thing we did was do a human knot.  This is something that is very old, and sometimes over done.  In a setting where only a few people have done the challenge, it works great to get across the message of needing to work together.  Here are some pictures of what they looked like.

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Over all, I think it was a great learning experience for the youth as well as for the presenter. I am so glad I had this opportunity, and hope to have more in the future.

 

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Community Engagement – Puzzle Piece

Here is something that came out of an engaging and sustaining youth leadership conference last fall.  I think its a great tool to use with older youth as well as adults.

The directions for Putting Together the 4-H Puzzle are here.

Let me know how this works for you!

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4-H Friendship Bracelet

This is something that the summer interns often do with the summer clubs as an introduction to 4-H.

Each bead on this bracelet represents a quality that 4-H teaches and strives for.

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You can find the instructions and explanations for each bead here.

This would be a great activity for new 4-H members and Cloverbuds who are just learning the ropes about what it means to be a 4-H member.

Marathon County 4-H on YouTube

Marathon County 4-H is now on YouTube!

We’ve already posted one video, and hope to have another up soon in the next week or so.

The one we have up right now is an activity the camp counselors did during their training.

The idea of the YouTube channel is to show what Marathon County 4-H is up to.  In addition, it will be there to be used as a resource for others looking for project or activity ideas.

You can watch our video here!

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Hmong Heritage Month

April is Hmong Heritage Month.

According to the 2010 Census:
      –  5.3% of the population in Marathon County is Asian.
–  2.3% of the population in Wisconsin is Asian.

In Wausau this past weekend there was a cultural fair at one of the local high schools.

4-H joined in the festivities.  It was quite a bit of fun.

Here are some pictures of our booth with WNEP.

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Check to see if there are any events in your area! It was fun!

Dutch Letters

We have friends who live in Iowa, and we visit them quite often.  During one of these visits we went to the Pella Tulip Festival.  If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it. It is an adorable little town, with great food, beautiful flowers, and fun activities.

When I say great food, I’m specifically thinking about Jaarsma Bakery.  They have some very delicious items for sale.  One of my favorite items is a Dutch Letter.

I don’t like almonds, but I love these.  They are a light flaky pastry filled with an almond paste based filling.  So delicious.

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Well our friends from Iowa visited us a few weeks ago and brought some of them with them.  I was then feeling pretty ambitious, and decided to make my own! I found many recipes that said they were based off the Jaarsma recipe.  I chose the one that looked the most reliable.  Though, they were all pretty much the same.  The only thing I would do differently is, I would use an egg wash on these.  The recipe doesn’t say to, but another one did, and I think that would have helped keep them in one piece.

Dutch Letters

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold butter (1 pound)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 8 – ounce can almond paste
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar

directions

  1. For dough, in a large mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut cold butter into 1/2-inch-thick slices (not cubes). Add butter slices to flour mixture; toss until slices are coated and separated.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together egg and ice water. Add all at once to flour mixture. Using a spoon, quickly mix (butter will remain in large pieces and flour will not be completely moistened).
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured pastry cloth. Knead the dough 10 times by pressing and pushing dough together to form a rough-looking ball, lifting pastry cloth if necessary to press the dough together. Shape the dough into a rectangle (dough still will have some dry-looking areas). Make corners as square as possible. Slightly flatten dough. Working on a well-floured pastry cloth, roll dough into a 15×10-inch rectangle. Fold 2 short sides to meet in center; bring top edge down to meet bottom edge to form 4 layers each measuring (rectangle will now measure 7-1/2×5 inches).
  4. Repeat the rolling and folding process once more. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding process 2 more times. Chill dough for 20 minutes before using.
  5. For filling, in a small bowl, stir together egg white, almond paste, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Set aside.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut dough crosswise into 4 equal portions. Wrap 3 portions in plastic wrap and chill. On a well-floured surface, roll 1 portion into a 12-1/2×10-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle crosswise into five 10×2-1/2-inch strips.
  7. Shape a slightly rounded tablespoon of the filling into a 9-inch-long rope and place it down the center of one strip. Roll up the strip lengthwise. Brush edge and ends with water; pinch to seal. Place, seam side down, on an ungreased baking sheet, shaping strip into a letter (traditionally the letter “S”). Brush with water and sprinkle with additional granulated sugar. Repeat with remaining dough strips and filling. Repeat with remaining dough portions and filling.
  8. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet. Cool on wire racks.

tip

  •  For best results, use an almond paste made without syrup or liquid glucose.

Here are the ones I made!

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As you can see, they are broken.  That’s because these are actually the ones I mailed to Houghton.  They didn’t travel well.  I’m trying to find ways to prevent that.  I think maybe mixing the butter in a little more will help, and the egg wash should help give it a slight shell that should work.

I did an S, but you could do any letter you want.

These are quite tasty!