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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Gabrielle Houle busy finishing her 4-H projects

  • Gabrielle Houle of Redwood Falls has been burning the midnight oil the past few days as she prepares for a big day in her Redwood County 4-H experience.
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  • Gabrielle Houle of Redwood Falls has been burning the midnight oil the past few days as she prepares for a big day in her Redwood County 4-H experience. That day is the start of the county fair, and while most attendees won’t arrive until Thursday 4-Hers like Houle are going to be there starting tomorrow. Judging for the projects Houle and the rest of the county’s 4-H members have been working on for the past year is taking place Tuesday afternoon, and as of this past Thursday Houle still had some work to do before that day arrives. The list of projects Houle plans to take to the fair is in the double digits. “I started with 14, but it looks like I will probably end up with 12,” she said. The projects vary based on her interests.
    Houle, 13, who is a member of the Golden Gophers 4-H Club has been in the youth program for six years. “My older brother and sister were in 4-H,” said Houle, explaining why she joined the program. Houle, who is also a member of the Shooting Sports Club, said she enjoys attending meetings and going on tours. She has served as the club secretary and helps work on the scrapbook for the club. In fact, that is another of the projects she needs to complete before Tuesday – the club’s scrapbook entry. Houle’s judging experience for this year actually started earlier this summer, as pre-fair events have allowed her to have her food review, performing arts, clothing and demonstration projects judged. Houle said she has enjoyed a new clothing project called Clothes You Recycle, which allows 4-Hers to go and find older clothing at thrift stores and then alter them to make them fit their needs. While Houle admitted she likes the idea of shopping for clothes, she also likes the way she can be creative with this project. Another project she enjoys is needle arts, and she has spent a lot of time over the past months embroidering dish towels with unique designs – a skill she learned from her grandmother one summer ago. A chalkboard lists the potential projects she hopes to accomplish from photography to wildlife, as well as one on geocaching. If time permits she also has plans to bake a pie. “I’m also doing a dairy poster,” she said. Those 4-H members who create a diary poster receive a free shake from the American Dairy Association. Houle is going to be busy at the fair helping as a judge’s assistant Tuesday, working at daycare day Friday and spending time in the 4-H food stand. Houle said she really enjoys being at the fair. “I like going on the rides and seeing the projects other 4-Hers have done,” she said, adding she also likes working in the food stand each year. There is a number of other shows and events going on involving 4-H members during the fair. A schedule may be found on the Redwood County Fair Web site at redwoodcountyfair.com. Be sure to stop in the 4-H building and check out all that Houle and the other 4-Hers have created.

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