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Crafts, Cookies, Pasta, and Treasure from Trash, 2014 4H style.

Submitted by Danielle Dales
Middlesex 4-H - Beechwood #2 life skills
(Posted January 6, 2015)

When most people think of 4-H clubs they think of raising and showing animals, but that’s only one of the many kinds of projects 4-H has to offer. In 2014 the Beechwood #2 life skills club, a group of enthusiastic 4-H’ers and their leaders “learnt to do by doing” making crafts, baking cookies, making pasta and upcycling household objects into new crafts.

We started the year off with a craft project deemed “The Clover Krafters”. For this club we made projects such as flowerpot sheep, mop dolls and picture frame trays. We learnt new craft techniques and how to use new tools, we had lots of fun adding personal touches and all the crafts turned out great. Next, as the Cookie Monsters, we baked and ate through the great cookie challenge. We tried out new recipes and learnt the basics of making cookies. We also learned how to make substitutions to make cookies healthy(er), allergy friendly or in case you don’t have the right ingredients, such as the Chery-icebox chews turned chocolate chip when the cherries got left behind. Did you know annually each North American eats 300 cookies? Or that in Malaysia they make shrimp cookies and in Asia chicken cookies are a popular flavour? We learned lots of other fun facts about cookies and this club was probably a favourite of members. For the achievement of the spring projects, we played games such as a cookie face race and guess the cookie taste test before enjoying our cookies and showing off the crafts to our guests.

After a summer break the Pasta Pirates cooked up some speedy spaghetti, meatless manicotti, lasagna with home-made noodles and other sides that are traditionally enjoyed with pasta. We learnt how to follow food safety guidelines and bake delicious healthy food. Even though they had spinach in them, the manicotti where a huge hit, and we also found out the hard way that the fresh noodles take a little longer to cook. To finish the year off, the Recycling Reindeer turned trash into treasure. We made scrappy snowmen, fused bubble wrap ornaments, wrapping paper envelopes and glass jar snow globes. The achievement for the fall clubs was held on December 3. The members and guests all enjoyed an adaptation of a traditional Italian dinner, with pasta salad, more manicotti, spaghetti, and honey squares. We concluded with a display of our Christmas crafts.

For 4-H’ers, 4-H is a place for friends to have fun, to try new things, to learn and to grow. The Beechwood #2 club is open to anyone 9-21 as of December 31, 2014. We try to get four projects in each year, often cooking or crafting but we have done projects such as photography, woodworking and a healthy living clubs and are always looking to try new things. Our next project will start in February with the Good Food Fast project and new members are always welcome!

A big thank you goes out to everyone who has contributed to our clubs, to the Knox Center Road Presbyterian Church and St. Andrews Beechwood Presbyterian Church for letting us use your facilities, and to our leaders Pat Graham and Gloria Bannister. Anyone interested in joining our club, or who has any questions can contact our leaders by phone.

Pat Graham 519-294-6452,

Gloria Bannister 519-232-4319.

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