Have you ever watched one of those tv shows featuring a child who excels at one particular subject? It may be a little 3 year old boy who has all the United States presidents memorized-in order-and with a handful of attributing facts about each one.
Or, maybe you noticed that at age 2, your child could name all the characters from a movie or show that they were interested in.
Unless you are a Cloverbud, fourth grade is when you become eligible for 4-H. So, maybe the thought of a 9 or 10 year old with exceptional knowledge on a specific topic doesn’t seem quite as impressive to you as the aforementioned examples of little ones with excellent memory skills. But, what if I told you that one of those kids could look at a single leaf and tell you what type of tree it came from, whether it was native to Kentucky, and what products it was used to make? Perhaps, they would look at the leaf and tell you, it in fact did not come from a tree, but an invasive species, and proceed to tell you how that species came to be in this area. Let me pose another scenario to you. Suppose that same child with the assistance of one simple tool could tell you the width of a tree and how many logs you’re likely to get from it?
No, these are not kids that I saw on a recent tv show or Youtube video. These kids live right here in Carter County. You’ve probably been in the same shopping aisle at the local grocery store, or they may sit close to you at church. These kids are all active members of 4-H, and more specifically, members of Win With Wood. They know that Kentucky’s state tree is the yellow-poplar, and that I spelled that correctly by adding the hyphen to it.
On October 1st, four boys and four girls from “our neck of the woods” headed to the University of Kentucky Wood Utilization Center located at the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability (RCARS) in Quicksand, Kentucky. There, they would compete with 150 other Kentucky students in eight separate categories of the Win With Wood Competition.