Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not just for girls!

One thing I would like to stress, and I think this applies to all 4H projects, is that ANYONE can learn about ANYTHING. While I think its obvious that there are some things that boys tend to be better at the girls and that girls tend to be better at than boys, that doesn't mean that one can't do the other. For example, most world renown chefs are boys but Katy did quite well last year at the Food and Nutrition show with her dinner rolls. And as I recall, there were several boys who did very well at the county entomology competition - and you know how most boys are about bugs!
So in that spirit let me emphasize that ALL Cherokee County 4H members, boys as well as girls, are not just invited but encouraged to participate in this year's small engine project.

Time to rev up

Welcome to the Cherokee County 4H Small Engine Project! This is where I'll post updates and meeting times as well as reference and other information. This is my first 4H project and so it will be as much a learning process for me as it hopefully will be for you.

What is a 'Small Engine'? Small engines are compact internal combustion engines, usually have a single cylinder, and are literally all around you. They power ATVs, generators, lawn tractors, weed-eaters, and of course your lawn mower. While their applications vary widely, they all work on the same principles and those same principles can be directly applied to larger engines such as those in automobiles, boats, and even aircraft.

Who is the Small Engine Project for? Its for anyone who has ever used or plans to use any of the above mentioned devices. Its for anyone who has ever watched someone sweat for 3 hours trying to get the mower started. Its for anyone who has wondered how gas engines work and why they are so popular. Its for anyone who will even have to take a generator or ATV in for service and quoted a repair bill that seems too high. In other words, a basic knowledge of small engines can benefit anyone. Besides, they're fun!

Why should I care how small engines work? Even if you don't see yourself EVER trying to fix your own generator it helps to have an idea WHY it won't run correctly so that you can tell the service center what is wrong and to have an idea how necessary the repairs they want to make are. A knowledge of small engines will also give you necessary information of how to avoid needing those repairs in the first place.

So what will the Small Engine Project be about? I've been looking through the project information and have some ideas, but I'd like to try and tailor the project as much as possible to what YOU want so the first thing I would like to do is to hear from you: who you are, which club you are with, and what you hope or expect to learn and do in this project. Even if you are not sure if you want to participate I welcome your input.

So if everyone interested could let me know ASAP we can get this project moving. I prefer email, but you can also use the 'comment' section of this post or reach me by telephone at 903-683-6878 (if you get the machine be sure to state your name and phone number clearly as well as some reference to the 4H small engine project). As soon as I have an idea of how many of you are interested in and what you want to get out of this project, I'll schedule and introductory meeting and we'll get started.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Small engine projects is about to fire off...

Donny Dickey of Rusk will be leading a small engines project. Meeting dates have not been set as of yet, however, if you are interested in participating of assisting Mr. Dickey as he leads this project, please feel free to contact him via email at