Last Day!

Hard to believe it’s my last day here at the office.  I’ve had a wonderful time and so many experiences I’ll never forget. 

I had one last adventure this week with Susan to help with a program of how to can Salsa.  I have to say, this was one of my favorite programs I helped her with…of course that may have been due to the salsa we made.  We tasted it (to make sure it was safe to eat) and man, oh man, it was delicious! 

I’m truly going to miss going out into the community and working with all my co-workers.  It’s been an experience I’ll never forget.  I believe it has better prepared me for the future and what it brings.  Even if I thanked Scott a thousand times I still don’t think that would be enough to show him my gratitude and appreciation for all that he’s done for me.  Since I didn’t know what I was getting myself into in the beginning, I wasn’t sure what I would come out with in the end.  I’ll say it again and again, this was an unforgettable experience that I’ll always remember (in a good way!)

I Survived Camp!

I don’t even know where to begin…

Basically everything sums up to camp was awesome! I had so much fun and enjoyed every minute I was there. Including when the kids were getting on my nerves.

Needless to say I was EXTREMELY nervous about teaching my class.  When the kids got their schedules I heard many of them question, “What is this class?” or “Why am I in this class? It’s going to be sooooo boring!”.  That Tuesday morning when the campers were all settled in and had just finished eating breakfast, the time come for me to begin teaching my first class of four for the day.  None of the kids had come from a farming background nor did they seem very excited to be in my presence.  Thankfully I’m a positive person and got them to change their mind quickly.  After the first five minutes we were all talking, laughing, learning, and having a good time.  My second class was the same way as my first.  They were shy at first, but soon warmed up as soon as I got them talking.  My third class wasn’t much different besides the few girls that were slightly rambunctious.  The fourth class of the day was a whole other story however… As I said, my first three classes had gone well.  None of the kids had any agriculture background and said that had fun with the activities they did.  My confidence had risen and I was ready to end the day just as I had started it.  The last class came in and sat down; it was also the largest of the 4 classes.  There were at least 5 kids in the class that grew up on farms and raise many of their livestock.  One of the girls was in the local livestock club.  Knowing this information made me feel uncomfortable for some reason.  I guess maybe I thought they would ask way too many questions that I wouldn’t be able to answer.  I was glad they didn’t ask any questions I couldn’t answer, but one of the boys was very loud and rude while I was teaching.  Using the various phrases to get the kids to quiet down, this one boy just didn’t want to listen.  He was making me so angry I threatened to send him home if he didn’t behave.  After that he calmed down and began paying attention.  He was very intelligent and knew just about all the questions I asked the class.  They were also the only class to figure out my trick to “Does it come from agriculture?” game.  After that class I was worn completely out.  I wasn’t disappointed with the way the classes had gone, but I was hoping they would go even better the next day.  Surely enough, Wednesday roles around and classes were amazing.  The kids were wonderful and seemed to enjoy everything they were learning.  Thursday was by far my favorite day though.  It was partially due to the fact that we learned about livestock and then the kids got to create their own breed, which I have to point out of the AWESOME job they did.  What started out at the beginning of the week as “This class is going to be boring.”  to “AG IS AWESOME!” truly made my whole experience complete.  Of course all the help I received along the way was greatly appreciated.  All the staff and other adult volunteers were so welcoming; they made me feel like I belonged.

This is also the last week of my internship.  I would say it’s bittersweet, but it’s really more just bitter.  This internship never felt like an internship, or a job…and I mean that in a good way.  I loved coming to work every day because it didn’t feel like work.  I enjoyed what I was doing…basically I got paid to have fun.  What’s better than that?!  It’s been so enjoyable that I don’t want to leave.  Everyone I’ve worked with has given me more opportunities and experiences than I ever thought I would have had the pleasure to partake in.  It’s also opened doors to whole new ideas.  Though I am ready to start my senior year, I will surely miss coming to work.  Here’s to a wonderful last week!  Until then…

Out and About

Well last week was extremely busy. 

I was at a Master Gardener lab training session Tuesday on water quality which was wonderful.  We got to go into the river and find creatures to identify. Wednesday I helped with a canning workshop.  Friday I had the day off.  Saturday I drove 4-H teens for a training. Yesterday (Monday), I was in Sedalia helping out with a nutrition camp.  I haven’t been in the office too much, but when I am in I’ve been finishing up the touches to my project.  I feel like there is still so much I have to do and I only have a few days left.

I’m exhausted from working, but that’s okay.  I think it’s mainly because I’ve been running around and have somehow manage to catch a mild case of the sniffles.  I love what I’ve been doing so it’s more manageable.  Hopefully I’ll feel better before next week!

Until then…

Happy (Almost) Independence Day!

For the past two days I have been diligently working on my class for camp.  Only 2 1/2 weeks away!  I’ve gotten so much done.  Everyday I keep changing a few things around or adding some new ideas.  I’m hoping I have enough time for some of the things.  Though I’m not the best drawer in the world, I’ve gotten pretty good at coloring.

Yesterday afternoon I went with Susan to the Southern States just a few minutes away from the office.  I’d never been before and she needed to get something for a box she’s putting together for an auction this coming weekend.

On Monday I went with Susan to Southern Flavoring Co. just right down the road.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to take a tour to see how they make their flavoring because the guy was out of town, but hopefully we’ll be going back one day to do so.

I’ve been staying busy with my project and other little things here and there.  Later on today I’ll be assisting Daniel with teen interviews for 4-H.  I was hoping I would have Friday off due to the fact the 4th is on a Thursday…but we haven’t heard anything from the Governor yet so at this point I think we won’t have it off. :/  Oh well…

The next three weeks are going to be insane. Next week there is another Master Gardener lab, an Ag board meeting, and a Master Gardener regular meeting.  That Saturday I will be driving vans to Pittsylvania County for an activity involving 4-H.  Never been there before so hopefully Daniel won’t get us too lost!

The week after that I will be helping Susan with a nutrition camp at Sedalia Big Island and preparing last minute things for camp! What a crazy week that will be!

And then…the awaited moment! 4-H Camp!  I’m SUPER EXCITED and nervous for this class, I want it to go well.  I’m also glad that I’ll be able to participate in other activities while at camp like the pool party! I know I’ll have a great time, but I’ll also be happy when it’s over because there will no longer be a huge weight upon my shoulders.

That’s all for now…until then…Image

Half-Way there!

It’s hard to believe I’m half-way done with this internship.  Man did the time fly by! 

I’ve really been enjoying everything I’ve gotten to do. 

On Monday I got creative.  My class for 4-H camp is starting to come together better than I expected.  When I first decided that I would teach this class I had absolutely no idea what direction I wanted to take it in or what I wanted to do besides I knew I wanted to be about agriculture.  Finally I decided that since there is so much to agricultural people don’t realize, I’m going to teach the kids some of the basics and why agriculture is so important.  Especially in a world today where people don’t know anything about it…they’re just going with the flow.  Even with that basic idea in my head, I still wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do with it.  Now I’ve gotten just about all the lessons outlined!  I’ve even almost finished Day 1: Agriculture and Crops.  As I’m looking online I’m finding lots of creative ideas.  It’s so hard to choose between some of them, but I’ve mainly been coming up with the ideas on my own with some influence of the internet. Enough about my project! Can’t give it all away just yet!

On Tuesday I went with Susan to SML 4-H Center where I assisted her in the “Cooking is Cool” class.  We made various flavors of smoothies which were absolutely delicious.  The kids loved them and seemed to enjoy learning some of the nutrition basics, which I will also be teaching as well.  I had never been to that center before so it was nice being able to get a feel of the area and get a glimpse of what teaching at camp would be like for me.  I had a great time getting to interact with the kids as well.  Susan has been sick for the past week or so and her voice was giving way.  During a few of the classes I had to take over because she unable to speak without it hurting.  Being able to do that has helped me better prepare myself for when I actually have to teach my class.

Wednesday I was back working on my project…Let’s just say I’m getting the hang of drawing…and being crafty.

Thursday morning I went with Scott to one of the Master Gardener’s home for a Master Gardener lab.  It was on pesticides which as mentioned before I didn’t know anything about.  Scott was an excellent teacher and I learned a lot from the lesson.  It was also interesting to go over to their garden to see what they grow and how they use pesticides.  Afterward, we went inside for some snacks which were delicious of course.  We even got to eat some of their homegrown blackberries!  Once we finished eating our snacks, the lady took us outside to show us her hypertufa leaves she had made.  I had never heard of hypertufa, but basically what happens is you put cement over a leaf and let it dry and after it dries you scrape the leaf out but the impression of the leaf veins are molded into the cement.  The Master Gardeners had just held a workshop.  If I could have I would have loved to gone and make one of my own.

And now it’s Friday!!  Woohoo!  I’m not doing much today besides working on my project as usual.  This morning I did attempt to start making copies of various forms we need copies of at camp.  However, the copier is slightly temperamental (and old) so there were some issues when working with it.  In fact, at one point it kept telling me it was jammed but we couldn’t find any paper.  We finally just gave up.  Oh well!  Got that adventure in for the day.

It’s almost lunchtime and my stomach is grumbling…probably shouldn’t have skipped breakfast.  Guess I’ll go get something to eat.  Until then…

Losing My Mind!

Last week I mentioned that I wasn’t used to working so independently for long periods of time.  I thought if I have to go through another week like this I’m not sure I can take it.  But have no fear, this week was definitely different.

On Monday morning I had the privilege of driving teenagers up to Virginia Tech for 4-H Congress.  That in itself made my week.  Daniel (the 4-H assistant) was also driving and leading the way.  Too bad he didn’t know where we were going so he may have lead us in the wrong direction on 81.  Thankfully I did know where I was going and got it all sorted out. 

On Tuesday morning I was in Lynchburg for a kids market program.  This program is designed for the kids to learn how to make smart economic choices and learn how to manage their money.  The program can be tailored for any age group, but for this section there were kids in age ranging from 5-13.  Some of the kids wanted to buy ipods and video games but would have to return them so they could pay their rent or pay for insurance.  The kids seemed to have a wonderful time and learn a lot from it as well.

That night I observed a reunion session from Balanced Living with Diabetes.  I don’t personally have anyone close to me with diabetes so it was interesting to see what it was like before and after the program and the struggles they face on a daily basis.  I also got to try some diabetes friendly banana pudding!

Wednesday was probably my favorite day though and I didn’t even leave the office.  Earlier in the week I had also gone to Wal-Mart so I could start working on some visual aids for the kids at camp for my class.  I love to look on Pinterest for craft ideas and I gotten into doing some different craft projects.  During the class, the kids were be learning the basics of agriculture and what goes into having a farm.  Because there are so many different sectors of agriculture we’ll only be focusing on a few main items.  There are many things that can be found on a farm so as each lesson ends we will add onto our very own farm that we will be building. (On poster board of course!) I started making different items out of construction paper that you would find on a farm.  I have to say I’m very impressed with myself because it’s coming along nicely.  As an ice-breaker the kids will also be playing a game called “Who/What am I?”  Each kid will get a different card with something you would find on a farm; some example include a farmer, pig, cow, tractor, etc…I attached a picture for a sneak peak of what one of them looks like!

Thursday was another trip back to Blacksburg to pick up the teens from Congress.  This time one of the guys insisted I lead the way back since we’d barely made it out of Blacksburg when Daniel had already gotten us lost just trying to find the Wendy’s 10 minutes away!  The teens sure did make for great driving companions with their love of singing loudly to every song that came on the radio.  It was very entertaining.

And now it’s Friday and not only did I get to come in late, but I also get to leave early thanks to all the over time I’ve put in.  Not that I’m complaining because who doesn’t want to leave early on a Friday?!

One last thing, in case you don’t remember, my Wednesday was not meant to be spent crafting for camp.  Originally I was supposed to be working with the intern in Botetourt County on a day camp.  However, due to the weather forecast they moved the camp from Wednesday to Thursday.  Unfortunately I had already promised Daniel that I would drive the kids back from Congress so I was unable to help her out with the day camp.  Even though I was really excited about the day camp, there will be some others we can work together on. 

Next week I’ll be going to SML to help out the FCS agent here, Susan, with a cooking class she’ll be teaching at 4-H camp for Franklin County.  I’ve never been to this camp so I’m excited to see how it goes.  I’ll also be attending a Master Gardener’s lab on pesticides.  Hopefully it’ll be pretty interesting.  I’ll learn a lot since I know nothing about pesticides. 

I must have a lot to say because I keep thinking of things I want to say.  I finished writing the dairy article I was working on.  It’s not structured very well, but I’m going to get it completely finished today with the help of Susan so we can send it off to the paper and have it published for next week!  Okay, I’m done now.  By the way, I’m not losing my mind. At least, no more than usual. Until then…

 

 

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Week 3: Officially Settled

This week I really felt like I had officially gotten settled in.  Before I was unsure of some things and still a little nervous.  Thankfully all the nervousness has gone away.

I really didn’t have anything too exciting this week happen.

Monday through Wednesday I worked on my project.  I’ve come up some really new neat ideas.  I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with them… I guess I’ll get there eventually.  Thursday and Friday (Today) I worked on the dairy article (more on that in a few).

I didn’t go on any farm visits this week or help out with any classes.  The most interesting thing that happened this week was the power going out yesterday afternoon thanks to a storm passing through.  I got to go home an hour early!

I can’t complain about this week be boring because it really wasn’t.  I enjoyed working on my own and getting quite a bit done all around. 

One thing I should mention is that June is national dairy month!  In honor, I’m attempting to write an article about dairy nutrition in humans.  There will also be some fun facts about Virginia and maybe even some about Bedford County.  I’m not the best writer in the world so thankfully some of my co-workers have agreed to help me.  It’s coming along alright.  I don’t have any background with dairy so I’ve learned quite a bit just from some of the research I’ve done.

Right now as I’m patiently waiting for 5PM to get here so the weekend can begin, but I’m also waiting on the intern (Joy) in Botetourt County to get here.  I’m really excited because I know Joy from Virginia Tech, so being able to work with someone I knew previously will be wonderful.  Next Wednesday we will be partnering up to teach a day camp together.  We’re meeting to finish up some last minute details of the program and make sure we know what we’re talking about.

As I said before, this week has been rather laid back.  Next week that will all change.  On Monday and Thursday I will be driving some kids to Virginia Tech for 4-H Congress (how exciting…).  Tuesday I will be helping the Family and Consumer Science (FSC) agent (Susan) with a kids market in Lynchburg.  And of course Wednesday, I’ll be with Joy.

Lots of other exciting events are coming up and though it’s a little overwhelming at times, it’s also going to give me many experiences to learn from.

Until then…

Whoopsie!

As you can see, sometimes I’m not technologically savvy… don’t know why it put in all those strange symbols. Oh well!

Two Weeks Time

Today marks the end of my first two weeks on the job!  Man has time flown by.  I’m now all settled in and have gotten used to how things work around the office.  This week some exciting new things happened.  I didn’t do anything exciting Monday other than work on my summer project for camp (which I ended up completely changing on later in the week).  On Tuesday morning I assisted Susan Prilliman (Family ad Consumer Science Agent) with her second session of a ServSafe she teaches.   Wednesday was the best day for me this week.  First off, I didn’t have to come in until 10!  Then around 12 I went with Susan to Franklin County to meet a coworker.  They discussed their graduate work along with some ideas for the upcoming Master Food Volunteer program they are trying to begin in the next few months.  We also got some yummy food and homestead creamery ice-cream along the way.  While we were up that way Susan decided we should stop at a local beef farm owned by the Wright Brothers (Danny and Curtis Wright).  They gave us a tour of their property in Moneta.  They also told us how they raise their cattle along with other managerial practices.  It was a wonderful learning experience.  I was glad they let me have the opportunity to look around their place to see how they are different from most commercial farmers since their beef is considered “All Natural”.  That night I attended the meeting of the Agriculture Economic Development Advisory Board.  While there, I ran into a friend from school who is the intern for Botetourt County and whose dad was on the board.  We discussed some potential program opportunities to work together on that I am very enthusiastic about!  During the meeting I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the different parts of agriculture within Bedford County.  On Thursday I was able to attend a Master Gardener’s meeting where I met some of the volunteers as well as listened to the guest speaker’s talk about roses.  My grandmother used to be famous for growing roses so I was greatly interested in this topic.  Today (Friday), I was able to go out with Scott (Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent as well as Unit Coordinator) to the winery where the 2013 Farm Tour would be held.  We got to talk to the owners and their family about what they wanted to have there such as local groups like the livestock club and Master Gardeners.  We also talked with them about expanding their asparagus and broccoli garden.  All in all, it was a very successful week.  I worked a lot on my own which has taken some getting used to, but that’s okay.  And now as it is a few minutes to three I’m getting off early thanks to my long day Wednesday!  Until then…