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Research on 4H

So my 12-year-old hero from Central Maine has been in 4H, because he would, and besides, I need him to, for the plot.  Having grown up in NYC a long time ago, I know not from 4H.  I mean, I've been to county fairs and seen children standing proudly beside their goats and calves and prize-winning carrots and canned beans, but that's not knowing anything.

The internet has proven less than useful in this instance.  It will tell me all about 4H programs and how wonderful they are for character-building, but I can't find anything telling me how it works.  On the other hand, I now have a firm theoretical knowledge of how to milk goats and the best winter bedding for my (fictional) pig.

Anybody out there willing to help me out with the 4H?  What I need is a quick primer on how involved my character might reasonably be with it, given his age and his economic situation (very poor).  If the fact that his uncle (who is a mechanic and lives in a town) wouldn't pay for any extracurriculars even if he could afford them means Nick (my hero's name is Nick) wouldn't have been part of 4H, I need to know that, too.  If you can help, leave a comment, and we'll find a way to move this to email, or even a phone call, because I don't need much, I just need enough so I can write a paragraph without sounding like the total urban ignoramus that I actually am.

Bless you in advance.  Even if nobody knows what I need, just formulating it like this has already helped.

Comments

naomikritzer
Oct. 8th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Is this current or historical? My daughters are in 4-H now and I can give you some explanations of how it works NOW from the perspective of a mother for whom it was like joining an entirely new fandom and everyone is using terminology that they're not explaining. naomi.kritzer@ google really totally rules the world, don't they? .com.

I was floored, like I assumed I had misunderstood what she was telling me, when I found out how cheap 4-H is. (Also, I totally think my atheist friends should have their kids join 4-H instead of scouting. You pledge your head to clearer thinking, for crying out loud, as part of your 4-H Pledge, and there are lots of projects where you use the scientific method to test assumptions. 4-H is like the closest thing the world has to the Nerd Scouts.)
naomikritzer
Oct. 8th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
(I emphasized NOW because if these are questions about 4-H decades ago, I would be clueless. There's a lot that hasn't changed, but some things have.)
pandemonium_213
Oct. 8th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
Also, I totally think my atheist friends should have their kids join 4-H instead of scouting. You pledge your head to clearer thinking, for crying out loud, as part of your 4-H Pledge, and there are lots of projects where you use the scientific method to test assumptions.

Exactly. I was well on my way toward becoming a freethinker when I was a pre-adolescent, which is why 4-H, for a number of reasons, held far more appeal to me than Girl Scouts.

4-H is like the closest thing the world has to the Nerd Scouts.

YES! In that way, 4-H has not changed. :^)
oracne
Oct. 8th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
ZOMG just had a flashback to doing the pledge!!!

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