Teenagers, Fishing Lures and a Polar Bear Plunge

Last weekend I went off the grid and journeyed up to Brownwood to the Texas 4-H Center with some boys from our county, including my oldest. It’s true, the only extended cell phone coverage I could get was exactly four feet behind dorm 3B and it didn’t come back online until an hour away from home. Living the life!

About 25 {cough} years ago, I used to be on program staff at the Texas 4-H Center. Maybe I’ll dig out an oldie but goodie pic and post on Instagram. I haven’t been back to Brownwood since.

When I tell you that nothing has changed. NOTHING. HAS. CHANGED. Well, they built a rock wall and a challenge course, but that place is exactly the same. Talk about a hop, skip and a stroll down memory lane. Such great fun.

It was a leadership camp, so the teenagers were given lots of opportunities to lead, present, have fun, jump in ice cold water and make new friends – all while learning about programs within the Texas 4-H curriculum, including food challenge (iron chef), share the fun (drama/acting/performing), sportfishing, STEM and leadership. As the momma, I found it incredibly exciting and awesome. As the teenagers, I think they just enjoyed the laughs and the dances. Let’s be honest.

I know I’ve sung it’s praises before, but if you are looking for an organization that offers it all – and I mean that – for boys and girls, is affordable, paves the way for scholarship opportunities and gives your kids skills for life, 4-H is your winner. My 4-H career paid for 3/4 of my college education, gave me a leg up at Texas A&M and in life, and provided me with some beautiful lifelong friendships. Believe it or not, I didn’t raise or show a single animal, either!

See, it really does have something for everyone. Even the city folk. To learn more about 4-H in Texas, start here. If you live somewhere else outside the Lone Star, you’ll want to go here.

Here’s our weekend in photos. Enjoy!

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  1. Angela on January 15, 2016 at 8:30 am

    We’re a new 4-H family and we are loving it so far! I have seen my son grow in amazing ways already.

    • Kathryn on January 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Oh, I’m so happy to hear that!

  2. CLaire in the UK on January 15, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Wish we had one in Oxford…. it looks like a lot of fun for adults not just the kids!

  3. Meggan on January 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    What is the starting age for 4-H?

    • Kathryn on January 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      3rd grade, no matter the age of the child. Clover Kids may participate on a county level beginning at age 5. I usually wait for my kids to hit 3rd grade before we dive in. But, Luke is probably going to participate in a year or two by default that we’re already doing it anyway! You’re welcome to join our club. We have a blast!

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