Sanders County’s 4-H kids got together over the weekend at both Thompson Falls and Hot Springs high schools for the annual Communications Days contest.
This year’s event saw approximately 46 4-H’ers converge to Thompson Falls High School on Saturday to compete over four different platforms.
While over 50 4-H kids from around the four county clubs converged to Hot Springs High School on Sunday.
There were two groups that were competing over the weekend, the junior and senior 4-H kids turned out in true Sanders County style.
Accompanying the junior and senior groups were the youngest representatives of the 4-H family, the clover buds who also turned up to take advantage of learning some new skills.
Though typically the little kids who are in the clover bud division (kids under 9 years old) don’t compete but rather participate.
Kids whose age resides between 9 years old and 13 years old are classed in the junior category. Then from 14 years old to around 18 years old, those kids are classified into the senior category.
With the Thompson Falls event having kicked off at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, it was expected to run for around three to four hours.
Once kids had broken up into their platforms they got to presenting their Communications projects to a small crowd that included three judges.
“For the Thompson Falls High School competition we had 12 judges in total. For Hot Springs we had 18 judges. There are three judges per platform,” explained MSU Extension administrative assistant Shirley Kinkade.
“All of our judges are volunteers from the community which is really fantastic,” she added.
Kids of all ages presented their communications assignment on a range of different topics.
Topic categories can include; demonstrations, illustrated talks, prepared speeches, impromptu speeches, video commercial, career communications, promotional packages, cooking, and much more.
“The kids have a real advantage to communicate about anything they are passionate about,” added Kinkade.
This year a large number of kids will be presenting a demonstration, while one will present a video, two prepared speeches and one young clover bud will have a go at an impromptu speech.
“We are excited to see what the kids present,” said Kinkade.
This year some of the topics that were demonstrated by local 4-H kids included a lot of “how to” topics.
Junior competitor Isaiah Sprecher demonstrated roping. Fellow junior competitor Solveig Nygaard presented a demonstration on bracelet making.
Some senior competitors also presented demonstrations which included how to wire a light bar, small engines and gettin’ chicks.
While three senior competitors took the opportunity to do an illustrated talk. Lydia French did her talk on KATA, Madeline Snell on Who Are the Ambassadors. While Chloe French did her presentation on the Spanish New Year celebration.
After the weekend’s events, those who produce top scores will then move onto the finals which will be held in Plains at the high school on March 11. From there those age 13 years old and above can qualify to go onto the state contest at Montana State 4-H Congress which is held in Bozeman in July.
“This is a great way for kids to gain confidence in public speaking and valuable life skills that will help them feel confident and comfortable in perusing their life goals,” said Kinkade of the competition.