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4-H Muzzleloading and Heritage Arts Program


Splitear
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One of my 4-H volunteers and I have been working on putting together a youth Muzzleloading and Heritage Arts program for some time, but it seems we keep hitting roadblock after roadblock. Our most recent issue was scheduling use of our range, as he works part time on the weekends and I have family/personal life to balance in addition to all of my after hours 4-H programs. We were getting very defeated, until we had the realization that we could do it during the work day if we aimed it at homeschool youth. After talking with some of my homeschool parents, this thing has taken off with a strong tailwind as we realized that the History and STEM components can be used to supplement their homeschool curriculum. I opened it up to our membership this afternoon, and already have 8 of our 12 spots filled, and get this, so far 1 boy and 7 girls. He is either going to feel really awkward or be on cloud 9 :)

We’re going to be doing muzzleloading, leather working, wood working, a little black smithing, hawk and knife throwing and a variety of other things that I’m looking forward to learning and teaching.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a bit of good news that has kind of invigorated me with our shooting sports program today. I’ll try to share some updates periodically. 

Edited by Splitear
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A little update after getting settled in this morning. I'm now at capacity within 18 hours of announcing the program. All girls but the one boy :) I wish I was able to get more kids, but 12 is about all I can handle at once. Maybe we can do some expansion at some point. 

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One of my 4-H volunteers and I have been working on putting together a youth Muzzleloading and Heritage Arts program for some time, but it seems we keep hitting roadblock after roadblock. Our most recent issue was scheduling use of our range, as he works part time on the weekends and I have family/personal life to balance in addition to all of my after hours 4-H programs. We were getting very defeated, until we had the realization that we could do it during the work day if we aimed it at homeschool youth. After talking with some of my homeschool parents, this thing has taken off with a strong tailwind as we realized that the History and STEM components can be used to supplement their homeschool curriculum. I opened it up to our membership this afternoon, and already have 8 of our 12 spots filled, and get this, so far 1 boy and 7 girls. He is either going to feel really awkward or be on cloud 9
We’re going to be doing muzzleloading, leather working, wood working, a little black smithing, hawk and knife throwing and a variety of other things that I’m looking forward to learning and teaching.
Anyways, I just wanted to share a bit of good news that has kind of invigorated me with our shooting sports program today. I’ll try to share some updates periodically. 
When you say "my homeschool parsnts" is this a group that you belong to because you homeschool your children?
Just curious because in most communities if you aren't personal friends with families who are homeschooling their kids you never know who that population is.

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8 minutes ago, mlammerhirt said:

When you say "my homeschool parsnts" is this a group that you belong to because you homeschool your children?
Just curious because in most communities if you aren't personal friends with families who are homeschooling their kids you never know who that population is.

Sent from my SM-A716V using Tapatalk
 

Good question. I work for 4-H Youth Development (we have around 600 kids enrolled in Saratoga County). A good number of kids that I work with are homeschooled, and they use 4-H as a social space for their kids. My girls aren't school age yet, and will go to public school. However, because of my job, I have a pretty good connection to homeschool families in my county. 

When I say I talked to some of my homeschool parents, when we first came up with the idea, a couple of my adult Shooting Sports instructors were in the room, and they happen to be homeschool parents. Basically, I wanted to see if something like this could benefit their homeschool efforts and they said "absolutely". 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update on this program, we had our first meeting yesterday, and it was a huge success! 9 kids made it to the meeting, with 2 others that plan to come to future meetings. So, 11 total, which for me is a comfortable number right now. The kids were really engaged with not only the shooting (which they got a lot of) but also in thinking about some of the tangible projects that we are planning. We're going to be meeting twice a month, 3-4 hours per meeting. All of the parents I spoke with were very happy, and thought that this program blends well with their homeschooling efforts. All-in-all, I think we have the beginnings of a very successful program. 

If anyone knows where I can get my hands on some cheap BP supplies (flasks, measurers, etc.) please let me know. I'm trying to put together our own program kits rather than using our county program supplies. Also, if you see any #11 percussion caps available in the Captial or Saratoga area and don't buy them all yourself, if you wouldn't mind dropping me a line, I'll make a drive to get some. We're stocked for several months, but I don't want to dig too deeply into my own supplies if I don't have to. 

I'd love to share some photos, but I'm just a little protective of the kids and posting on a public forum. I'll try to get some at the next meeting that are less identifying. 

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That's some pretty awesome stuff. I wish I had the items you're looking for to donate.

Seeing you're going to be teaching them things like leather working, do you plan to also teach any other more or less traditional skills that would fall into the dreaded "bushcraft" set? Like fire craft or even shelter building and learning to use a knife for making pot hangers, tent stakes, and other types of carving?

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When I was with DEC, I worked with homeschoolers. Usually worked with a couple of loosely affiliated groups that would get together. Very interesting folks. Were interested in most anything forestry or tree planting wise. One of my guys worked with them also, and he considered it one of the most rewarding things that he did.

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45 minutes ago, DirtTime said:

That's some pretty awesome stuff. I wish I had the items you're looking for to donate.

Seeing you're going to be teaching them things like leather working, do you plan to also teach any other more or less traditional skills that would fall into the dreaded "bushcraft" set? Like fire craft or even shelter building and learning to use a knife for making pot hangers, tent stakes, and other types of carving?

To be honest, I'm really not sure what we will be doing exactly. We are lucky to have the ability to do quite a bit of the bushcraft stuff, and will probably move lightly in that direction at some point. However, from the crafting side, I think we'll be focused more on the muzzleloading accoutrements for a while. A part of 4-H is demonstrating and exhibiting project skills, so we are really focused on getting some tangible projects in these kids hands so they can enter them in the county fair and whatnot. We are going to be doing some outdoor cooking soon, as our program runs into the lunch hour as well. Another goal we have is getting these kids to some NMLRA shoots at Old Saratoga and possibly down the line going out to Friendship. Getting them (and myself) comfortable with camp-ins and the BP culture is something we're looking forward to. 

A lot of our projects are going to be guided by the kids. Yesterday we sent them each home with multiple back issues of Muzzleloader and Muzzle Blasts so they could get some ideas for projects they'd like to do. 

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45 minutes ago, Farflung said:

When I was with DEC, I worked with homeschoolers. Usually worked with a couple of loosely affiliated groups that would get together. Very interesting folks. Were interested in most anything forestry or tree planting wise. One of my guys worked with them also, and he considered it one of the most rewarding things that he did.

Outside of 2-3 in this group, I have already worked with most of the kids in the group in varying capacities within our 4-H program. Shoot, I had 2 of them babysit for me last weekend :) A lot of homeschool parents have used 4-H as an opportunity to provide a social outlet to the kids. A lot of homeschool kids get a rap as being unsocialized, awkward or sheltered. I've only seen to the contrary. Most of the families are pretty close, and the kids are great, work really well with other youth and do well with adult volunteers. Another plus is that we rely heavily on volunteers to run our program, and most all of my homeschool parents either run a 4-H club themselves, or are enrolled as volunteers. It's really a great partnership. 

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the two homeschool groups that I was somewhat familer with seemed to have good parents and (generally) very respectful kids. What always interested me was the variety of reasons that they  homeschooled. Some were for a variety of religious affiliations, some were anti-goverment, or quasi-survivalists. Some did not like to quality of the public schools. A few had one parent who was trained as a teacher. A couple of the kids were slightly disabled. But all the parents seemed to work well together.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another successful day with this group of kids. Our first day putting holes in paper, and the kids loved it. We also discussed plans for field trips to local historical sites. We even had a young lady and her father stay late to get some tips on setting up her 1st turkey gun (Remington 1100). I'm really enjoying running this program.

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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

Our 4-H Homeschool Muzzleloading group did a fun experiment testing how different powder charges affect impact points and accuracy. I had them test rates of 30-70gr. It was a fun way to teach the scientific method. If anyone wants my lab sheets and materials, let me know, it’s a fun experiment. 

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Edited by Splitear
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