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Ava 4-H Club has been very active this winter: regardless of blizzards, closed schools and snow storms.
Since January the club has conducted a winter sports trip, dog obedience classes, Valentines for Veterans community service project, conditioning for the Walk for Sight later this spring, and learning to bake bread, rolls and pizza.
Club leaders Annette Copeland and Bonnee Stafford are very pleased that club activities have been continuing in spite of detrimental weather.
The winter trip occurred this past January. The Douglas County 4-H Club traveled to Weston, Mo., for a weekend of skiing, snow boarding and ice skating. Members and their families enjoyed beautiful snow conditions, but had to endure sub-freezing temperatures.
Project leader Cleta Sweeney stated that this is the 7th year the club has traveled for skiing and boarding, but this is the first year the members experienced it all in 9 degree weather!
“We met the first morning and we discussed with the members about the severe cold. We adults were afraid that it was going to be too much and we asked them if they wanted to change plans and do an inside activity. They unanimously said no, and in true form, the members passed around foot and hand warmer packets, laced up their ice skates, and went off for 2-3 hours skating at the Hallmark Center.”
The rest of the weekend was spent skiing and snowboarding at Snow Creek.
Dog obedience classes have resumed since early January. Project leader Heather Elijah is conducting weekly classes in obedience, then entering into a unit on confirmation and handling, and concluding with a series on agility.
In addition, the dog project members voted to participate in the Ava Lions club Walk for Sight this spring, so they have begun conditioning for the 5K walk with exercise jaunts after dog class. Heather stated that she is “excited about our numbers, and how the kids show up regardless of weather. We have excellent attendance, and the members are doing their home work and participating to the fullest. I also find it very rewarding that parents and family members are involved, helping and encouraging their students.”
The Club was also busy cooperating with the Ava Lions Club with a huge community service project, the Valentines for Veterans program. Members met numerous times during the snow storms at the Lions Club to decorate and prepare care packages for the Missouri Veterans living in nursing homes, and for the WWII Veterans being honored by the Lions Club.
Jr. Project Leader, and project creator Delaney Sweeney said that she was amazed how members of all ages helped out: collecting items for teachers and staff at Ava Schools, spending time snowed in at home to make valentines, and the many folks who donated time, money, and material.
Sweeney said, “Special thanks has to go to Lions Club, and Leo members Alli Hall, Lynne Crouch, and Misty David. The efforts of the club and the Leos assured that many more veterans received decorated and filled care packages.”
Delaney was also assisted by fellow students at Drury and 4-H members of Greene County. Over 450 small care packages were mailed to two Veterans homes in southern Missouri, and more than a dozen large shoe box style care packages were distributed in Ava and Gainesville areas.
Horse Project members are very busy preparing for the upcoming show season. There is a clinic planned for April, a fun show in early May, and a benefit trail ride later that month. Members are planning on practicing and attending the 4-H State Fair in Sedalia later this summer.
Junior leader Shady Flippo has a large group of project members and parents who are eager to help and participate in the horse project. There is still time to join and be included in all the fun.
The Cooking Project has stayed warm these past few weeks baking bread. Mrs. Tomlinson, project leader, has had two meetings that featured hot cross rolls, tarts and pizzas. Next on the agenda are cinnamon rolls. Everyone is enjoying the delicious club activities.
The Ava 4-H Club meets monthly after school in the Ava Middle School Cafeteria. Anyone interested in 4-H, and/or club projects, is welcome to attend. For more information about the club, please contact leaders Annette Copeland at 417-265-1100 or Bonnee Stafford at 417-683-4905.