Area 4-H members and the Prairie Village Museum held "4-H Night at the Museum" last Thursday.
The evening included lessons and activities in Geocaching, leather crafts and campfire cooking. There was also a museum scavenger hunt and an outdoor viewing of "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb". Attendees were also allowed to pitch a tent and stay the night on museum grounds.
Thirty-seven children and around 11 adults attended the event, with 13 kids staying the night.
"It was very successful," said Robyn Arnold, 4-H leader and one of the event coordinators. "We were all very happy and pleased with the outcome."
For the Geocaching activity, three geocaches were hidden in various areas of the grounds. Kids were given a GPS-like handheld device and coordinates to the locations to help them navigate. Each geocache held treasures inside, such as candy, stickers, coins and more.
At the leather crafting station, kids had the opportunity to make and design bracelets, bookmarks and coasters that can also be used as name tags during 4-H events.
While the original plan for the cooking station was to give lessons on Dutch oven cooking, the day was a little too windy and the campfire and grill seemed to be a better and safer option.
Kids were able to make their own foil packet meals. They cut up vegetables, including potatoes, carrots and onions that some 4-H members had previously grown, and they had the choice between either a hamburger or a hot dog. Seasonings and butter were also available.
Mike and Alecia Pretzer helped with the food station and came up with the menu for the evening. "The foil packet is something that my family and I do because it's easy," Alecia said. "It's good to work with even during the windy weather, and we wanted something that [kids] could make on their own."
Bread was also served, something that the Pretzers learned to make while in Africa.
Fruit salad, fresh cucumbers, lemonade and water were available, as well.
For dessert, kids made banana boats, topped with peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallows.
During the movie, snacks such as s'mores and popcorn were enjoyed.
"I'm excited to see how many people my brother and I can make friends with," Katherine Arnold, four year 4-H member, said about the event.
The idea for this event was given by Cathy Jelsing, Museum director. "Cathy Jelsing at the museum approached us and with that, it kind of spurred some ideas amongst council members," Arnold said. "We have a very active council here in Rugby and in Pierce County, and we thought it would be a wonderful idea to pursue."
The event was open to both 4-H members and nonmembers, in hopes to further the connection between 4-H and the larger community. "The whole idea is to get our current 4-H members and prospective new members excited about 4-H and give us a chance to share our experiences and what 4-H is all about," Arnold said. "This might be a spark. Even if they do not pursue 4-H, maybe some of the kids that came will go on to organizations in the community and be active and involved."
The four H's that are involved in 4-H stand for heart, head, hands and health all of which kids were able to implement during the night's activities. Their motto is "To make the best, better."
Because of the night's overall success, plans have started for another night at the museum next year. "The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves," Arnold said. "There was a lot of laughter and some very worn out kids at the end of the night."
The evening was sponsored by the Rugby Eagles Club, Farmers Union Insurance and North Star Community Credit Union. The Eagles and Farmers Union helped with funding so that the event could be given for free and kids would not have to pay to attend. NSCCU donated the popcorn for during the movie.