11/02/20: In Nash County, NC 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program was getting into the fall spirit. As a team building exercise with NC State Extension, Nash County EYFP participated in a pumpkin decorating challenge. Each participant had to decorate a pumpkin by carving, painting, or accessorizing it with different items. Through uniquely generated QR codes, each entry could be highlighted and judged, and the winner received a prize. Nash County EYFP Program Assistant, Adrienne Williams, noted that not a single pumpkin looked distinctly like any other, and she was surprised that there was so much hidden creative talent in her office. Aside from the pumpkin decorating, there was also time for Nash EYFP and Extension to meet and discuss what was happening in their various programs. Everyone had a great deal to share about the many programs offered that touch different areas in the community. The decorated pumpkins are currently on display in the Nash County Agriculture Center.
Yancey County EYFP, on the other hand, started off their fall cohort for 2020. Going all in to virtual programming was an adjustment for both staff and participants, but it was a gentle learning curve that they felt they had figured out mostly by the end of the session. For the youth session, they most enjoyed playing the candy game which was a test of their listening skills. Facilitators were surprised by how good the youth were at remembering all three things about each who participated. In the adult session, during the Joyful/Frustrated activity one mom stated what it was that her kids do that brings her joy. “I love that they enjoy doing things for others,” she said. There was a discussion and reflection following the importance of statements such as these. In the family session, everyone discussed how much growth takes place in an adolescent’s life and how much they will change through that period of time. Participants learned about the 5:1 ratio and did some roleplay in which they were put in different situations to see how it made them feel. Someone being negative or harsh made them feel drained and flustered, while someone being positive made them feel better and more confident. Even body language can say a lot when words can’t. At the end of the night, the family was given the assignment of a family motto project which they were excited to get started on. The youth were already running off camera to pull out poster board and art supplies as everyone was still saying their goodbyes. Yancey County EYFP is looking forward to their next session!