Coming Together One Stitch at a Time
Article by Marnie Ward, Citrus County UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent II
Citrus County 4H Sewing Camp teaches how to sew with Hands-on Projects and Mentorship
The time-honored traditions of teaching and learning continued this year at the annual 4-H sewing camp. Campers partnered with experienced sewers to share experiences and practice hands-on skills. The theme, “Homemade Holidays,” taught campers to make a variety of projects that could be gifted, shared, or kept. The care and personal design features invested in each of these items spoke to their quality.
One parent shared, “The camp was great, and my daughter is using what she learned to make gifts for her aunt.” Learning a new skill is the first step. Putting that skill into action and sharing it is a pathway to making a positive impact on the community.
Sewing changes lives.
- Since sewing involves eye and hand coordination, sewing improves hand dexterity and precision. Leading to an improvement in motor skills.
- Sewing improves concentration and patience. Directing a focus on placement of stitches and working towards consistency in piecing.
- Sewing exercises skills in planning, design, and construction. Learning hands-on with new tools and techniques. These are skills that last a lifetime.
- Sewing is an expression of creativity that leads to personal growth. A safe environment to exercise individuality and innovation.
Fourteen campers attended the 3-day camp. This year projects included a fabric basket, soup bowl coozie, hot pad/table runner, and pillow. Some campers were new sewers and others had a few years of experience. Working in pairs, they solved problems, shared ideas, and made new friends.
For our teen counselor, TrinityAnn Martinez, the camp was bittersweet. After 9 years in the 4-H sewing project, she is graduating and will attend the College of Central Florida this fall. Trinity shared, “I started in 4-H to learn how to make stuffed animals. I learned that, and then went on to make my own dresses, skirts, and holiday costumes. I am going to miss sewing camp and I am so thankful for the opportunities that 4-H has given to me.”
4-H is the youth development program of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) offered in partnership with Citrus County. Our mission is to support youth as they gain knowledge and life skills and grow to become productive, responsible citizens. The 4-H program is open to all youth ages 5-18 years old. Enrollment opens soon for the new 4-H year. Contact the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at (352) 527-5700 to learn more about our available programs. Keep an eye out for more information about enrolling in the next sewing session!