For freshman Katie McAllister, crafts are more than a hobby.
She has been a part of 4H—a crafting group that has booths at local fairs—for longer than she can remember.
“There is this lady—her name is Mrs. Jones—and we all go over to her house,” Katie said, explaining what 4H is. “There is a 4H county fair that everyone goes [to], and they auction off pigs, sheep, cows, and all that stuff, but they also have a guinea pig and rabbit showing section, and they also have a craft fair. It’s in a barn [with a] dirt floor. We all set up booths based off of different groups we’re in. We all get ranked a certain amount by how good our projects [or] crafts are, and we can [get some] money back from [our ranking].”
Katie got into 4H due to her mom, who has always been a crafter. Katie and her mom make crafts for a multitude of reasons and don’t always sit down and craft with one another, but their love for crafting is something they share.
Katie doesn’t save all her crafting time for the 4H meetings and her mom, she takes her skills with her when she babysits. She brings a wide variety of crafting activities for the young kids she looks over to indulge in.
“I don’t babysit as often as I would like to,” Katie said. “But [when I babysit], I feel like [I] have to bring a wide variety of crafts, so you aren’t just sitting at a table making a necklace.”
Sharing the love of crafting with young kids is important to Katie since she revels in the art of crafts in Girl Scouts. When she was in kindergarten—a Daisy, by Girl Scouts terms—she and her other Girl Scout friends would make small crafts.
Girl Scouts is an integral part of Katie’s life; she is currently a Cadet working on her gold project. A Cadet is the highest rank Katie can achieve as she continues her Girl Scout journey.
Katie’s gold, or honors, project takes up a lot of her time, and on top of that, she has a summer job, school, other Girl Scout activities, 4H, and babysitting to balance.
“I work in the summer,” Katie said. “[I babysit] when I am not working, and any free time I have from [work and babysitting], I work on my honors award project, but I also have journeys I have to finish during the Girl Scout meeting. I feel like it’s hard to [manage everything] sometimes, but I try to do some [work] during the weekend, some during the Girl Scout meetings, and some that I procrastinate and just do later.”
Girl Scouts and 4H have been helpful outlets when it comes to making friends. In 4H, everyone has to work together to make a craft, so it is important for everyone to be comfortable with one another. In both Girl Scouts and 4H, they have been with each other for a long time, and the time spent together adds to the strength of their friendship.
Though her different activities pile loads of work onto her lap, Katie is glad she did 4H and Girl Scouts. She has made good friends and crazy memories, which is something she hopes to continue.
“[My Girl Scout group and I] went camping in a yurt in fifth grade,” Katie said. “That was really fun. [It was] this old, abandoned camp called Camp Anna Behrens. The only people there was an [elderly couple], and it was really creepy because upstairs, they had this doll collection. They were all by a TV. We took one of the dolls back to our cabin, and we would put it in people’s beds and scare the life out of people. It wasn’t a creepy [doll], and [we didn’t say] it was haunted, but the [elderly couple] made the doll.”