"I'm the king!" This is Taliesin in front of the 4-H float for the parade (before we got rained out).
This year was Taliesin's first year as a Clover Bud in 4-H. He just turned five in January. He has really enjoyed it. He enjoyed telling the judges this year all about his recycled art projects - his crane and train station (pictured above... that's shaving cream that makes up the lake), a recycled wooden house he made at one of his art classes (also in the picture... it's the one with the hand holding the magic wand), his chocolate factory, and his tornado/siren set-up. All of the Clover Buds this year received beautiful, rainbow participation ribbons. The judge did tell him he is very imaginative. :^) I hope he never loses that imagination and creativity. I think that is my biggest qualm about this year's 4-H events. I love 4-H. I think it is a great opportunity for the kids. But now I finally see what people mean about rewards. I've blogged about this before. I have no problems with kids receiving rewards; but now I can see how kids can become so focused on the reward that they lose the love of what they are doing. Some of the kids and adults there were so focused on winning a purple ribbon that they became upset if they got a blue or red. They were so focused on winning that they did not truly enjoy the projects they were making. I was just talking with our group's leader about this today. I do not want Taliesin to become so competitive, so needing to win a purple ribbon, that he no longer enjoys his art. Art is a passion for Taliesin the way many things are for me. I have seen him sit for hours working on an art project because he truly loves it. I do not want him to lose that. I think it is great that kids win the ribbons for their hard work, just so long as that ribbon remains a reward for the end result, not the reason for their work.