Have you been thinking of enrolling your child in an extracurricular activity but don’t know which to choose? Well, 4-H may be the perfect solution for your family. 4-H has so many different programs to pick from and is sure to satisfy your kid’s needs. From raising animals to photography to baking, the options are endless.

To provide useful information to new 4-H parents we asked parents/ guardians of a 4-H student to tell us a little about their experience. Christen Karl was one of many mothers to take this opportunity to spread the word about this great organization. Below are her thoughts on being a part of the 4-H family.

Tell us a little bit about you and your family.

We are from Red Oak originally but moved to Wylie during the summer of 2018. My name is Christen Karl,  my husband is Michael Karl, and our kids are daughter Gwynyvere Tartan age 16, son Jaiden Tartan age 13, and son Dax Karl age 5. We also have 3 other daughters Alexandra Smith age 26 (mother of Alister Smith age 2), Illysia Tartan age 21, and Emily Karl age 16 all of which live outside of our home.

How long have your children been involved with 4-H?

We are about to start our 4th year with 4-H.

How did you hear about 4-H and why did you decide to enroll your children in this organization?

I was in 4-H for a few years as a younger child. I decided to join 4-H after my kid’s 1st year of homeschooling, looking to find them socialization and extracurricular activities.

What 4-H projects do your children participate in?

Gwynyvere and Jaiden both participate in Shooting Sports, Photography, Food and Nutrition, and Fashion and Interior Design projects.

Have your children participated in and/ or won any contests? If so, what contests were they?

Both kids have participated in Photography contests, Food Challenge, Fashion Storyboard, Duds to Dazzle, Fashion Show, and multiple shooting competitions. Both kids have advanced from County to District and Gwynyvere has gone to state competitions before.

What is the time commitment per month?

We usually meet once a month per project and attend one general business meeting for the club each month. If there is an upcoming competition we may meet more frequently closer to the competition.

What type of monetary commitment does it require for your children’s projects?

We pay 1 annual fee for 4-H, which allows up to 10 projects. There are also entry fees for competitions but usually not any other project fees.

What goals do you have for your children during their 4-H career?

My daughter Gwynyvere wants to use the knowledge she learns to advance her crafting business after she graduates, and to better herself in the process.

My son Jaiden would like to use the knowledge he learns to better his readiness for adulthood, and the shooting sports for his career in law enforcement or as a game warden.

What role do you play in 4-H as an adult leader?

I teach the Photography project and assist in leading Food and Nutrition.

What is your favorite memory from your children’s time with 4-H?

The 1st time Gwynyvere and Jaiden had an outdoor 3D Archery tournament it rained the entire 8 hours, but it was the most fun, and muddiest time we ever had.

What advice do you have for new 4-H parents?

Don’t limit your child to one project. Let them try as many as they want and the next year they will really know which ones are keepers.

Christen Karl and her family are just one example of a family who has benefitted from 4-H. It is a great organization for children and teenagers alike.

If you are interested in learning more about other families’ experiences with 4-H subscribe to our blog!

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