By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN - This week is National 4-H Week, Sunday, Oct. 5 through Saturday, Oct. 11, recognizing local chapters and the opportunities they provide for youth and young adults.
The two local 4-H chapters in the Dassel-Cokato area are the Dassel Lamplighters and the Knapp Busy Bees.
“All across Minnesota, kids are reaping the benefits of 4-H,” said Monica Tenhoff, one of the key leaders for Knapp Busy Bees.
“They are learning new skills, developing leadership experience, increasing their community involvement, building friendships, and having fun,” Tenhoff added.
Kids who participate in 4-H have the opportunity to connect with both peers and adults to gain confidence, knowledge, and self-expression, Tenhoff explained.
As an extension of the University of Minnesota, 4-H clubs have access to a great deal of information and information, not just about farm animals, Tenhoff said.
There are more than 60 project areas club members can explore, learn more about, and even enter competition in the county fairs with. Some of the non-animal projects include aerospace, child development, citizenship, consumer education, digital photography, geology, gardening, nutrition, landscape design and more.
Some of the animal projects include animal science of beef, dairy, cats, goats, horses, llamas, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine.
Even those who don’t have animals have the opportunity to participate in the events listed by leasing animals, or complete a project by learning about the specific animal, according to Tenhoff.
Other 4-H activities available to participate in are different camps, Share the Fun, Arts In (musical), project or knowledge bowls, and the county and state fair.
There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities through 4-H to give back to the community.
The Dassel Lamplighters
The Dassel Lamplighters had a busy and fun year, reported Marcia Dischinger, one of the club’s organizers.
As a group, the Lamplighters participated in Share the Fun, which took place at the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School in April. They received second place for their skit “A 4-H Fairy Tale.”
The play portrayed different fairy tale characters who came together to teach the big bad wolf about 4-H.
The play was written by Dassel Lamplighters’ own 4-H member, Elizabeth Cron.
Another highlight of the year was the Meeker County Fair, according to Dischinger.
The following members received grand or reserve champion in their project areas: Elizabeth Cron, performing arts, grand champion; Louis Olson, entomology, reserve champion; Ryan Bjork, rruit, grand champion; Taylor Baumann, goat-dairy, grand champion, goat-market, grand champion, goat-showmanship, reserve champion; Melanie Soderlund, horse-senior pleasure, reserve champion; Kristin Bjork, rabbit interviews, reserve champion, rabbit-showmanship, grand champion.
The Lamplighters continue to assist the Lakeview Ranch staff with adopt-a-highway two times a year and have two meetings at its Darwin house to help decorate for the holidays in December and plant flowers in June.
Other service projects include Silent Santa donations and collecting food for the food shelf.
The regular monthly meetings are at the Dassel Covenant Church the first Sunday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Lamplighters club officers for 2007-2008 were: Lucas Salfer, president; Carmen Dischinger, vice president; Elizabeth Cron, secretary; Dakota Cron, treasurer; Kristen Bjork, reporter; Hannah Salfer, Brooke Woetzel, Kristen Bjork and Louis Olson, historians.
New officers will be elected at the Sunday, Nov. 9 awards banquet and meeting.
New members are welcome at any time. Contact Marcia Dischinger (320) 275-2017 or Catherine Baumann (320) 286-2199 for more information.
Knapp Busy Bees
The Knapp Busy Bees was organized May 26, 1937, and is the oldest club in Wright County, according to Tenhoff.
The club meets the first Monday of the month in the basement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato at 6:30 p.m. New members are welcome to attend.
This year’s officers are: Luke Dahlman, president; Katie Tenhoff, vice president; Megan Gustafson, secretary; Tucker Tenhoff, treasurer; and Taylor Tenhoff, historian.
Besides 4-H projects and activities, the Knapp Busy Bees have participated in volunteer opportunities around the community.
In the past, the club has participated in Community Pride by helping around the DC community, making cookies for the Red Cross Bloodmobile Blood Drive, working at the American Dairy Association’s malt stand at the Cokato Corn Carnival, planting flowers at the Cokato nursing home, and helping at the annual lutefisk supper, according to Tenhoff.
In honor of National 4-H Week, the Knapp Busy Bees have put up a window display at the Cokato Public Library.
For more information about Knapp Busy Bees, contact Tenhoff at (320) 286-2516 or Lori Dahlman at (320) 286-5756.