Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Achievement Days Country Fair

Blogging has helped me find spelling errors on my scrapbook pages!
This was probably the best event I've ever help to put on.  I found the idea on one of my favorite Mormon websites (don't recall which one).  We used it as a Recognition Night, just as Loralee Kurzius of Goldsboro, NC shared on whatever website this was found.  Everyone was to dress "old-fashioned countryish."  We too had the girls bring a dessert for judging.  They also brought anything they had done or made in Achievement Days so far that year.  We had sixteen girls and two Achievement Day leaders, so we did A LOT!

Loralee said that when the girls arrived, "they were free to wander, play and visit the first 30 minutes or so while
the desserts were being judged." [I think we just went straight into doing the booths.]

Booths  Loralee suggested the following games:
"Game booths such as ring toss [we used IBC rootbeer bottles], horseshoes, ball toss, [we did a bean bag toss instead of the previous two], etc.  No prizes were necessary, they had fun just having fun.  As a plus, the booths didn't need to be manned.  [We manned ours with teens and moms!]

"Photo booth where we took pictures of each girl and her parents.  We supplied pitchfork, hoe, and bonnet as props."  [I'm most proud of an idea the co-leader had (I'm terrible with names-be sure to record everyone's names in the scrapbook)!  Her additional idea was to drape her collection of quilts over the rolling bulletin board (every building has one!) and take each family's photo in front of it.  I wanted to try out black and white film and it really turned out well I think (this was before I discovered digital)].
Photo Booth's Quilt Background
[I explained how people in old photos rarely smiled and usually looked serious.  I guess I needed to explain "serious" to my son!]

"Bags of popcorn.

"Lemonade (the previous week, the girls made ice cubes with a mint leaf in each section, hence a lesson in herbs/hospitality).  [To decorate the tables where refreshments would be eaten, we made and painted lunch sack pumpkins.  Just fill a brown paper lunch sack with old newspaper, tie off the top with brown yarn or gardening hemp twine, paint the pumpkin body orange with brown or green vertical stripes, and the stem brown.  Very rustic and cute!]

"Face painting (we supplied water colors and cotton swabs so the girls could paint themselves and their parents.  There would be judging for the best paint job on a parent).  [We had a parent who was an expert face painter and she volunteered to man this booth--we didn't have time to judge this].

Competitions and Awards
"Later we gathered and held :

  • A Hog Callin' contest that evolved into a Hollerin' contest
  • A Chow Chompin' Contest (they ate a graham cracker and first to whistle won)
  • A Seed Spittin' Contest (taped a tape measure to the floor, and passed out sun flower seeds.  Watermelon would also work well.  This turned out to be a funny photo opportunity.)
  • Each girl won an award for her dessert (fruitiest, peachiest, nuttiest, cheesiest, etc.)
  • Recognition of the girls' achievements, welcoming of new girls, etc.
[We did competitions at the beginning and ended with awards while everyone enjoyed the girls' desserts at the tables]
Putting flags the girls made around the table (background)
"For decorations we used inexpensive strings of flags (primary colored triangular flags) [the girls made these decorations at a previous Achievement Night activity] and U.S. flags of various sizes.  Crepe paper separated the game booths.  This activity cost almost nothing as most materials were already on hand.  Awards were simply a small print-out of a pig with the appropriate title on it (Chow Chompin' Champ, etc).  [I found die-cuts of pigs and made them from pink cardstock].  We stuck masking tape on the back and the champ wore the title.  Everyone got to let loose, be silly and have fun.

"Invitations featured a cute pig on the front (computer graphic where left and right hoofs were in line with each other).  Holes were punched on either side of his feet and twine tied around them.  'Hog tie yer folks and bring 'em on out to the Achievement Days County Fair!'

P.S.  I've always thought this would make a fantastic ward/branch activity.  Adding dinner would be an easy adjustment, and it could be a combined recognition night for one or more (or if a small branch--all) of the auxiliaries such Relief Society, Young Women, Cubs and Boy Scouts, Young Men's, Achievement Girls, etc.  Anyone that wants to bring something they have done in the past year to share can display it on one of the display tables.    Dinner might include Sow-per Glazed Ham, Silk Purse Potatoes, Snortin' Good Salad and Little Piggy Cupcakes.  I got the menu idea from a Taste of Home magazine (not sure which one), but I'm not including  recipes for the main dish and sides because I think most of us have a favorite recipe that fits each category.  The piglet cupcake recipe (from Family Fun magazine I think) is shown below:

1 package chocolate cake mix with pudding (or your choice)
1 container pink ready to spread frosting
48 mini marshmallows
48 red hots
8 (12-inch) pipe cleaners
Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Spoon batter into paper or foil-lined muffin cups, filling two-thirds full; bake according to package directions.  Cool on wire racks.  Spread cupcakes with frosting.  Place 1 marshmallow on each cupcake resembling a snout.  Cut remaining 24 marshmallows in half diagonally, and arrange for ears.  Position 2 red hots on each cupcake for eyes.  Cut pipe cleaners into 3 equal pieces; twist pieces into corkscrews (wrap around a pencil to get this effect).  Insert 1 end of each corkscrew into each cupcake resembling a tail.  Yield:  2 dozen.

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