Packard siblings enjoy involvement in county 4-H club
Family traditions have been known to take root in the form of 4-H.
For the Packards, not only has 4-H become a tradition but so has cooking. Alexandra, also known as Ali, and Max like cooking because it's something they enjoy doing and sharing with family.
"For the entire time that I will be in 4-H I'm never going to drop foods because foods is like a tradition that we always do," said 10-year-old Ali. "The foods, I just love to cook and my Grandma taught my Mom and my Mom is teaching me and it's really fun for me to cook and try new things."
Ali has been in 4-H for four years and though she loves cooking and buymanship modeling, she also enjoys crafts, painting and sewing. For Ali there is no way to break the tie between her two favorite projects of cooking and buymanship.
Ali's reasoning for loving the buymanship project was simple.
"I love to shop, and I love to model things, and so when I'm able to model what I make or what I buy it's really fun for me," Ali said. "I think that's really cool."
She also seems to have a natural ability to model, taking Grand Champion in the constructional modeling category, and reserve grand Champion on buymanship modeling in last years pre-fair events.
Receiving help from her cousin, who is a fashion designer, Ali will complete and show two outfits for the clothing construction project this year. Much of the clothing construction is based on the quality of the outfit and the modeling judges. Also taken into consideration are the amount of money spent on the garments and more specifically the price per each wearing.
Ali believes that she is gaining knowledge and skills she can use in everyday life.
"It gives me a lot of experience with the projects I have so if I want to have my own cooking show then I would know how I'm supposed to do some of the stuff and a lot of good techniques," Ali said.
Though Ali got started in 4-H because her big brother was involved, Max was influenced by his parents to participate in the program.
"We home-school and we wanted them to have more interaction," Ali and Max's father, Cliff, said. "Also, scholarship opportunities that 4-H offers are great."
Max also sees 4-H as a way to not only earn scholarships, but a way to be involved. He has been in 4-H for eight years, and though he started as part of the Livewire Club, he switched to the Reno Bobwhite Club to be with his cousins and his friends.
His projects include buymanship, foods and nutrition, leadership, and shooting sports, or more specifically archery and air rifles. Like his sister, Max is unsure of what his favorite project is but knows that he will be continuing certain projects in the future.
"I know I am going to stay in foods, and shooting sports definitely and buymanship, I like buymanship," Max said.
He also believes that in 4-H there is always room to grow.
"I love the projects I'm in, but you know there is always room," Max said. "Like as I get older I could probably look through the project list again and find stuff I'd like to try."
What Max likes about 4-H is the involvement that one can have.
"I love to be holding an office in the front, being able to do more stuff than just being a clubber, actually being involved in more things," he said.
For Max, not only does 4-H teach a skills for life, but it offers skills that can be used in classes and the community.
"I've learned a lot of leadership skills," Max said. "This is a little bit trivial, but note-taking, from being secretary.
"I really needed work on that, and that's helped me a lot in school and the other is the ability to take short little notes and know what they mean. It's probably more social interaction too."
Like Ali, Max takes much pride in the family tradition of cooking, and even incorporated it into his leadership project. His foods group came up with different foods to produce for care packages that will be sent to soldiers in Iraq.
As another area of the foods and nutrition project, Max created an educational exhibit -- a solar oven. In comparison to the manufactured solar oven, which can be purchased for about $300, Max created his in an hour and a half, and for $7. The oven can get up to 250 degrees, and will cook soup in about four hours.
Though Max enjoys hanging out with his friends at the fair and seeing accomplishments that people have made, he also enjoys the end-of-the-year award ceremony.
"On award night you know that you are advancing another year in 4-H, you know that the projects for that year are finished and you've pretty much done what you wanted," Max said. "I like awards night."
Ali, however, looks forward to the fair every year and sometimes wishes that she could extend the week. "I like the rides, "Ali said. "I like doing that, and I like just taking a week and just going and just being there. I just think being at the fair is just the best."