Thompson Falls High School was the location for the first round of the 4-H Communication Days competition.
A total of 50 members of 4-H clubs from Thompson Falls, Plains, and Trout Creek were present Saturday to compete against one another using a variety of formats, including speech, demonstration, video or career. The last two categories, video and career were new to the competition this year. There were 15 judges present for five different platforms. The judges were former members of 4-H, as well as members of the community.
Each 4-H member was allowed a maximum of 15 minutes to give his, her, or the team’s chosen presentation in front of three judges. The presentation topics varied depending on the 4-H member and his or her experience with the topic, the presentation format chosen, if they were using note cards, the use of PowerPoint program, posters, or props. Tiles of presentations were “4-H: The Big Picture,” How to Make Dried Apples,” “Parts of a Rifle,” and “The Correct Clothing and Equipment for Snowboarding.”
Madeline Snell, who is 16-years-old, gave her presentation titled “4-H: The Big Picture.” She mentioned that she has been in 4-H for nine years now and this was her ninth presentation in that time. She had several posters that she created which gave main points on “what 4-H Gives you”, as well as “What You Give to 4-H”. She appeared to be poised, confident and had spent a significant amount of time learning the main points and then expanding on those with very specific examples of the skills she has learned while in 4-H; public speaking, citizenship and leadership, competition, and connection. She gave specific examples of things she has learned in her club and in the many things she has done over the last nine years.
Elsie and Ethan Brown are brother and sister who gave a presentation on the proper snowboarding equipment. Ethan came into the room ready to go snowboarding, when Elsie stopped him and commented that he did not have the right clothes or equipment. The team presentation then became a back and forth discussion of what was the correct type of clothing and equipment for him to begin snowboarding. Elsie handed him the boots, jacket, leash, helmet, and gloves while Ethan asked questions about all of them. They discussed the difference between goofy and regular snowboarding. Goofy is when your left foot is the more dominant foot, rather than the right foot being dominant.
Skylar Bergstrom, who is 14-years-old and in her second year of 4-H, gave hands on demonstration of “How to Make Dried Apples.” She took out an apple that was ready to core and placed it in the coring and slicing machine on the desk and operated it. Bergstrom went on to place the slices one by one onto one of the racks of the dehydrator, while discussing how long it takes to get them dried out, six hours. At the end of her presentation she gave the judges packages with dried apples in them.
Those students who are the top scoring from Thompson Falls and who received a “blue” card will advance on to the finals competition, which will be held at the Plains High School on March 19 at 1:00 p.m.
At the main information table in the halls was Shirley Kinkade who is the Administrative Assistant with the MSU Extension office, Juli Thurston who is the 4-H/FCS Extension Agent in the MSU Sanders County Extension office and Jason Badger 4-H/FCS Extension Agent in the MSU Sanders County Extension office. All three were present to help brief the judges, guide both parents and 4-H members to the correct classrooms were the presentations were being done, and answer any questions.
“The seniors group are from the age of 14 and older, while the juniors group are those age 9 to 13 years old. The younger group is known as Cloverbuds, who are ages 6-8 years old. They are not competing to go on to the larger competition, yet. This is for experience and fun. I hope some of them think it is fun,” Thurston said.
Reporter Douglas Wilks can be reached at email@example.com or 406-826-3402.