Ashley Nunley decorating a cupcake at 4-H Project Celebration
Ashley Nunley enjoys 4-H because it helps her hone her cooking skills, she said after placing a precise dollop of icing on a cupcake.
She has been in 4-H for a year now and enjoys learning more about cooking. She was sure to sign up for Thursday’s cupcake decorating class at 4-H’s annual Project Celebration event at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray.
“It’s just helping me with my cooking, because I like to cook,” Nunley said of why she likes 4-H. “And I mostly took all the cooking classes.”
Nunley, who will be attending Bluff City Middle School next year, was one of around 120 fourth- through eighth-graders from Greene, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties attending Project Celebration.
See a photo gallery of the event at the end of this article.
She and her sister Brittany were putting the finishing touches on their cupcakes before heading to their next class.
Classes students could take ranged from making lamps from soda cans to crafting a rocket to creating tie-dyed shirts to making food and more.
Will Moore and Samuel Stroupe, both students at West View Elementary School, took the lamp-making class, which provided instruction on how to build a lamp with some cord, a base, a light bulb socket, a shade and soda cans.
Neither had ever made a lamp before and learned important safety tips about electricity.
Stroupe said he likes 4-H because he learns about being a good sport, helping people and gaining knowledge.
“I like it a lot,” he said. “I’m coming to camp this year.”
Maddie Williams, who will be in eighth grade at Ridgeview Elementary School next year, was among the students who took the tie-dying class.
She began participating in 4-H in fourth grade.
“It’s really fun,” she said. “You get to learn a lot of essential values and stuff, especially if you start young and you go as you get older, you learn stuff that you should know like simple things you can do for the community that makes a big difference.”
Juanita Miles, a 4-H program assistant, said each child takes three classes and gets a lunch at the Project Celebration event.
Barbara Nuckols, another 4-H program assistant, said the event is a time to have fun.
“They really have a good time,” she said. “The kids are out here just to have a fun day. So it kind of brings them all together and gives them a fun day to do.”
Project Celebration also provides high school students leadership opportunities.
Savannah Beals will be a senior at David Crockett High School next year. She began 4-H in fourth grade and stuck with the program because she saw how much fun 4-H activities outside the classroom can be.
“It’s just a really good program that instills a lot of values that a lot of kids these days don’t have, so I really enjoy it for that reason too,” Beals said.