Clover Corner

Monday, December 4, 2017
Amy Forrette, Clay County Associate Director of Youth Programming,

Can you believe it is December all ready? Seems like yesterday 4-Hers were busy in the livestock barns preparing to showcase their animals at the Clay County Fair. Every year Dec. 1 is an important date for Clay County 4-H members because it is the due date for all recognition awards and record books.

4-H record books and project area awards give youth an opportunity to reflect on their work by documenting their skill development and learning experiences. The 4-H Youth Development Program has a long history of record keeping. I still have my 4-H record book in my closet and refer back to it every so often. The process of reflecting is an important skill we use in our daily lives. In 4-H, young people have tracked their activities, events, profits and losses, skill development and learning experiences. Many youth donít realize that when completing project area awards and record books.

To be honest, many 4-H members do not look forward to completing project area awards and record books. But what youth do not realize is the life skills they are gaining from the experience. Below are three benefits of reflecting on your learning by applying for project area awards.

1. It helps you learn from your mistakes. If we donít reflect on our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. However, if we reflect on those mistakes, figure out what went wrong, see how we can prevent them in the future, we can use our mistakes to get better. Mistakes, then, are a valuable learning tool, instead of something to feel embarrassed or upset about.

2. It gives you great ideas. Reflecting on the process of your project leads to great ideas and ways to advance your learning. It also helps to come up with goals to advance in a project area.

3. It makes you happier. If you reflect on the things you did correctly, then it allows you to celebrate your success. It allows you to realize how hard you worked and how much youíve done right.

Reflecting on your experiences is one of the secrets to success. It also allows youth to document the fun they have had within the 4-H Youth Development Program in Clay County. Not to mention, itís also helping your mom prepare for your graduation.