The Art of Judging

A few weeks back, I was approached by the Leaders Council President for the local 4-H dog project in my county.  She had asked if I would be interested in being a judge for all the posters the kids make each year.  These include educational displays (the 4-H kids have the opportunity to make up to four posters, with awesome dog facts on them) and breed posters, displayed behind each member/dog pair on their bench during fair.  Of coure my first reaction was “absolutely!” 

4-H is an awesome organization.  I was involved for eight years before I graduated out at 18 years old.  It taught me a lot, not only about myself but about others as well.  I learned how to be a good sport, and how to be compassionate.  Because of 4-H, I found my love for puppy raising and was able to begin following this dream at a young age.  In 2011, I donated over 150 ribbons back to the Skagit County dog program to be reused by the new generation.  I am also a certified 4-H leader in the state of Washington, and I absolutely LOVE giving back to the program that gave me so much.  Judging these posters is just a small way for me to contribute to such an incredible organization!

I picked up over 40 posters yesterday evening.  After 2 hours, and many awards later I was finally finished.  Helaine stayed by my side the entire time as I judged, re-judged, scribbled out remarks and re-wrote score sheets and didn’t move a muscle.  One thing I learned while going through these posters, is just how hard the judges had it when I was still in 4-H.  These kids are incredible!  They have so many great ideas and are so creative.  I now know the hard work each judge before me put in to this volunteer job, and how hard it is to pick the best of the best.  It’s also incredibly difficult knowing when you’re being too harsh, or too lenient.  I will probably pick through the posters again just to make sure I am without a doubt happy with my scores, before I send them back. 

In just a couple weeks, Helaine and I will be judging once again, only this time it will be the breed posters and we’ll be at the fair.  I already know she’s a good judge, so if I get really hung up I will just ask her expert opinion.  😉 


Helaine learning about the Lifecyle of a mite


I think she’s the toughest judge of all


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