BIG CYPRESS — If you were at the Big Cypress Boys & Girls Club on Sept. 16, you would have thought you had entered an active construction zone by mistake. The sounds of hammers pounding; sand paper scratching; and voices shouting, “I need more nails” or “Can I borrow your hammer” filled the thick, humid, late summer Florida air.
But this was no ordinary work site and the voices and laughter that rang out did not come from construction workers finishing a job. Members of the Big Cypress Boys & Girls Club actually did the work as they participated in the first of many projects planned and facilitated by the Big Cypress 4-H Department. The 4-H Department presented a woodworking project that entailed building a keepsake box out of lumber and other materials. The youth and staff worked diligently on their projects, lining up wood and nailing it into place, all while having fun and sharing time together.
“I had a lot of fun making the keepsake boxes” said Caleb Billie, a Big Cypress Boys & Girls Club member.
Approximately 20 Club members and staff from both the Big Cypress 4-H Department and the Big Cypress Boys & Girls Club labored for two days on the project and when finished, it yielded beautiful, handmade keepsake boxes, excited youth and a new partnership geared toward building positive activities for the youth of the Big Cypress Reservation.
“I would like to say thanks to all of the youth at Boys & Girls Club,” said Toi Andrews, director of the Big Cypress 4-H Department. “I had a great time. It was exciting to get out into the community and work with the kids. All the kids did such a phenomenal job on their keepsake boxes.”
The Big Cypress 4-H Department and the Big Cypress Boys & Girls Club will provide weekly 4-H activities at the Club located at the Ahfachkee School. For more information about the Big Cypress 4-H programs, contact Toi Andrews at 863-983-3436.