Here it is Laura. The epiphany-like post. I think...


[i-pif-uh-nee] Show IPA
–noun, plural -nies.
a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

Kristen and I talked camp on my way home today (my round-about way home that took about four hours), 4-H Teen Dog Experience Camp. I blatantly asked her the "ultimate goal" for camp, as it is a time consuming event, there is no left over money to pay us, but yet it continues to be popular, and we stick with it. I "knew" Kristen when she, Karin, and Abigail became the founders and directors, but I did not travel from MN to Ohio to help the first year, I didn't even help the second year, but I made that long trek the third year. I was so pleasantly surprised at how well camp went, that I'll always make time for it. We're even going to bring it to WI and hopefully MN in the very near future.

Tonight we decided to write standards for our staff and the campers. My education background comes into play here, but man oh man do I see why "these people" make the BIG BUCKS! This is so crazily comprehensive. The MN State Standards for Effective Practice are dense, well written, and vague enough to provide room for educators to prove in a multitude of ways. The College of St. Scholastica's Dispositions and Program Outcomes have obviously been revised and refined multiple times. I ended up writing an email to the Head of the Department, asking about copyright laws. They're seriously well written, and we have serious envy!

We're taking a break from standard, outcome, and disposition writing until I hear back from the Head of the Education Department from my college. I'm sure he'll be helpful, so why waste our time, when it's likely we'll either A)have to write our own completely, or B)be able to use the college's as a great base? Now we've moved on to creating a survey to show attainment of knowledge. The survey will be used at the beginning of camp, and again at the end, with answers compared. We need data to prove the program is beneficial, so that's our goal. Develop and implement ways to prove attainment of the standards for staff and students.

I asked Kristen what she wanted to come of this, being a co-director and all and I was surprised at her low expectations! She just wants "good training" to be prevalent in 4-H. She is so driven and goal oriented that it makes her goal seem hardly worth all of this. Until I really looked at it. I really feel that this could become a huge thing. We are working very hard to be professional, and that's exactly what we need. She's our driven, professional oriented person, most of the time I just add in what I can and she accomplishes the majority of it. Dedication!

I reflected on my 4-H experience, and I completely agree with her goal. Good training needs to be taught, to everyone involved.

Striving for excellence is always a good thing. I almost feel honored to be a part of this. It's more intense than I ever imagined, but the impact it will make, and has already made, is just wonderful. Everything is worth it. Camp and the campers are great. I think this should end with "Obedience is spiffy" or it just wouldn't be right.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt that it's held at Bud Houston's Country Dream. I want to live there!


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

sorry Megan I skipped over commenting on this post somehow! But your epiphany has not gone unnoticed!

I wouldn't even know where to begin in coming up with standards. But I really think good training is at the heart of it all. If you teach the kids the hows and whys then they can think and apply it to all the training issues that pop up. If they understand good dog training then all the other goals fall into place.

Megan said...

Haha, I don't know if it actually qualifies as an epiphany, but it's likely as close as I'll ever get on this blog. Camp is so much fun. I wish I had this kind of experience in 4-H, instead of the one I did.

Kid training, instructor training, all need to come before dog training.