Western Workers 4-H blankets

Members of the West Workers 4-H Club show off the fleece blankets they made for their March project. The group was able to start holding its monthly meetings in person again.

SHELDON—After a winterlong hiatus, the Western Workers 4-H club returned to face-to-face meetings with hands-on activities.

The 4-H’ers had been confined to digital activities since their November monthly meeting when it was too cold to gather outdoors per state COVID-19 safety guidelines. But with the warmer weather came thawed restrictions as the group met indoors to start fair preparations.

Western Workers 4-H co-leader Angie Fischer said the best thing was having the youth together in the same place again.

“Things are loosening up,” Fischer said. “I talked to the Extension director and we are going to have a pretty normal fair this year, so we’re looking forward to that.”

She said her 4-H members were excited to be back to hands-on learning with March’s project: fleece-tie blankets.

“I was trying to come up with an idea that all of our 4-H’ers could get involved in,” she said. “We have a lot of young ones this year.”

Fischer said that the cozy craft was “easy enough for all ages to do.”

Stocking the booth is front of mind even this far out from the O’Brien County Fair, which is slated for the last week of July in Primghar.

The next major project for the club is its bucket flowers and bucket vegetables. Fischer explained the monthslong effort as combining artistic and agricultural skills; decorating the five-gallon containers then nurturing the flora inside.

“Some kids work on it year round and for others, it’s just more of a spring-summer type of thing,” she said. “But given that we have a fair booth that we like to see filled, we are trying to work on a few things together to get more projects in there.”

When the 22-member 4-H club could not meet face-to-face over the colder months, it tried to conduct meetings via Zoom.

“If we could meet outside, we were still allowed to meet outside. We didn’t have a big enough space to still be meeting indoors to still meet the requirements they had sent down from the state,” Fischer said.

The leader said the 4-H’ers were happy to be back in person as the coronavirus pandemic slowly begins to fade.

“We’ve been trying to do some workshops that can be a group project where kids can learn how to do things, and then hopefully they will bring them over to the fair so that we have more items in our fair booth,” Fischer said.