Mary Ann Van Osdell, Russell, Sandra, Hiemstra, Kelley | 4/22/2009 7:57:01 PM
MONROE, La. – 4-H’ers learned that staying within a budget, reading the label and comfort are the most important considerations of deciding what clothes to purchase.
The Fashion, Food and Fitness Club, an after-school 4-H club in Caldwell, Franklin and Ouachita parishes, discovered these tips at a scavenger hunt at Pecanland Mall April 16.
Sandra Russell, an LSU AgCenter agent in Caldwell Parish, led 20 girls divided in four groups to different stores for a lesson she created. The challenge was to pick two outfits for a 4-H trip to Nashville. The outfits also had to be able to be worn again at school.
The girls had $125 in “play money” to spend. They could buy accessories, but the accessories needed to go with a variety of clothes, Russell said.
Russell has coordinated the event three times to teach youth teamwork, decision making and how to stretch a dollar.
4-H volunteers supervised the girls, who decided among themselves assigned roles --recorder, calculator, model and speaker. The recorder wrote down the price and care instructions, the calculator added up totals, the model tried on the clothes and the speaker gave a report at the end of 45 minutes of shopping.
“You need to be wise, quick shoppers,” Russell said before the girls were cut loose.
The event was also a contest. Judges gave marks for appearance, suitability for both situations, care and cost. Some scores were reduced for clothes that were too casual, tops that were see-through and skirts that were too short.
“You are a reflection of a group,” said Kelley Hiemstra, northeast region 4-H coordinator. “What you wear shows what 4-H is about.
“From now on, think about why you’re buying – for vacation, school or church. Think about prices and money, washing and care,” she said. “Nobody picked anything dry clean, which is good.
“Think about comfort, think about versatility,” she added.
Russell taught the girls about staple items that have varied uses.
Participant Kiley Huggins said she learned how to calculate tax as well as percentages to determine total prices.
The team with the most points received calculators. “We want you to always calculate,” Russell said.
“Parents have a budget, so when they tell you ‘no,’ that’s why,” Russell said.