Nothing says summer better than a gooey, yummy s’more! They are the ultimate summer campfire dessert. In celebration of National S’mores Day, we are sharing a history of the s’more, a how-to video, and recipe card with our readers. You can make s’mores the traditional way over a campfire, but you can also make them in a microwave or also turn them into a science lesson by making them in a solar oven!
While you are hanging around the campfire with friends and family, here’s a little history of the s’more:
- Marshmallows were invented by the ancient Greeks and Romans for medicinal purposes (specifically to relieve inflammation and constipation). The first marshmallows were made from the plant Althaea officinalis.
- The French added egg whites and sugar, and marketed marshmallows as a treat with healing properties.
- In the 19th century, confectioners began substituting gelatin for the plant juices, which made it much easier to produce marshmallows in mass.
- The graham cracker was invented by a Presbyterian minister, Sylvester Graham, who believed eating plain, simple food prevented immoral behavior.
- Marshmallow roasting parties became fashionable during the Victorian era.
- We have the Girl Scouts to thank for bringing together chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers! The first recipe for s’mores appeared in the 1927 Girls Scout Handbook, and was called S’mores because they were so good, everyone would ask for “some more”
Nearly 100 years later, s’mores continue to be a favorite treat at 4-H camps. If it’s too hot for a campfire this summer, you can also make this yummy treat in the microwave:
You can also download and share this recipe card:
Making solar s’mores can be a fun 4-H club activity- National 4-H Council turned our previous solar s’mores post into a “4-H At Home” activity that you can also download and share.
Get your red, white and blue decorations out to celebrate Flag Day 2021. According to History.com Flag day began in 1885 when Bernard Cigrand, a Wisconsin teacher, who led his school in the first formal observance of the holiday. Both President Wilson, in 1916, and President Coolidge, in 1927 issued a presidential proclamation asking for June 14 to be observed as National Flag Day. In 1949 congress approved the nationals observance for the United States Flag to be honored in commemoration of the flag’s adoption June 14, 1777. Since that adoption there have been 27 different versions of the flag.
Celebrate our Freedom
Why is flag day important? The American flag serves as a symbol of our nation and tells the story of America. It represents the freedom, perseverance, and growth of the United States. As a national symbol, it has rules that go along with the display and use of the flag. These rules are part of the U.S. Flag Code. The flag code is a set of rules and regulations that defines ways in which we give respect to the American flag. It includes how we should display, handle, care for, and dispose of the American flag. Our observance of this code is considered flag etiquette. Knowing these rules and the history of the American flag will help you demonstrate your patriotism and respect toward the sacrifices made for our country and freedom.
Displaying the flag
We would like to take this opportunity to share some important tips for displaying the American flag, and help you be a responsible citizen by knowing how to properly fly the stars and stripes. In inclement weather, the flag should not fly unless it is an all-weather flag. At night, lighting requirements are necessary, or the flag can only be displayed from sunrise to sunset. If the American flag flies with other flags, they cannot be larger or raised higher than the American flag. Additionally, the American flag should always be the first raised and the last lowered and should never touch the ground. Also the flag should never be carried horizontally, but always aloft and free.
In a time of national mourning, the flag flies at half-mast. Half-mast is when you position the flag below the top of the staff – the exact measurement determined by the position of the flagpole. Doing so is a mark of respect for those who have lost their lives. Times when you fly a flag at half-mast include days like Memorial Day, Patriot’s Day, Veterans’ Day, and in the event of a death of a member or former member of the government. There are sites to receive alerts of when to fly half mast. The U.S. Defense Department says the flag should only be flown upside down “to convey a sign of distress or great danger.”
Presenting, folding, & storing the flag
Presentation of the American flag at an event also has requirements. One of the requirements includes removal of your hat during the flag presentation, raising, or lowering as a sign of respect. The same is true for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. If an American flag is present on a stage or during a speech, correct placement is ahead of the audience on the stage and to the speaker’s right as he/she faces the audience. There are rules how to properly store the American flag. The proper folding of the American flag is in the shape of a triangle with the union (blue spangled section) visible. Folding the flag is tricky, but Indiana 4-H has a great flag folding activity that helps youth and adults gain practice. This activity teaches the step-by-step process on how to properly fold the American flag. There are some tips that you want to keep in mind while learning or teaching how to fold the flag. It takes two people to fold the flag, and each person should start by holding the short sides of the flag, helping make sure that the flag is tight. When folding, you want to fold the flag in half lengthwise two times before you start “cornering.” Cornering is when you start to fold the flag into triangles, beginning at the striped end of the flag. Once you have it properly folded triangularly you will want to store it in a well-ventilated area to keep it dry in order to prevent mildew. Remember, When storing the flag, it is important to keep it dry, folded properly and on an elevated shelf or surface so it will not touch the ground.
Caring for the flag
You may want to consider ways to make your flag last longer. Often, the flag might just need a good cleaning or a minor repair. Ways to increase the longevity of your flag include getting it cleaned, taking it down during bad weather, and making minor repairs as soon as you see damage. The American Legion says you can wash your flag at home or take it to the dry cleaners. If you choose to wash at home, mollymaid recommends using a mild detergent and either hand washing or on the delicate cycle with cold water. Dry the flag by hanging it on a clothesline or letting it lay on a flat surface.
You need to retire a flag or remove it from service when it is in a condition of being worn beyond repair, has large rips or tears and is no longer a fitting emblem for display. It is important to retire the American flag a respectful manner. There is a protocol for flag retirement, providing a dignified way of destroying American flags no longer fit for display. The preferred method of disposal is a flag retirement ceremony. There are several organizations within local communities who collect and perform these ceremonies, such as American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 4-H Camps, Boy Scouts and more.
If you want to dispose of the flag yourself, you can do a retirement ceremony by burning the flag or by recycling it. The protocol for a burning ceremony is to have a fire that is large and intense enough to burn the flag completely. The steps include placing the flag on the fire while observers salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a moment of silence. Upon completion, safely extinguish the fire. Beware of burning synthetic flags, such as nylon, can produce dangerous fumes. If you have a synthetic flag consider a different method of retirement like recycling your flag. To do this, cut apart your flag by separating the 13 stripes and leaving the union (blue spangled section) intact. Once cut off, the flag is no longer the official flag allowed for disposal of the parts. Upon the completion of the recycling, you can do a brief ceremony paying tribute to the stars and stripes before sending it off. We encourage you to take the fabric scraps to any local textile recycling drop-off.
Flag etiquette is not a typical classroom lesson, but it only takes a moment to learn the various regulations under the U.S. Flag Code. We encourage you to take time yourself to find more information to help further your knowledge and understanding of the flag etiquette. There are many great resources that are available online:
From this article, we hope that you learned of the importance of the life cycle of the American flag. When and how to properly display, store, care, and dispose of this national symbol. Enjoy Flag Day in 2021 and show your pride in our county by showing proper respect for the American flag and displaying it proudly or by displaying the Red, White and Blue in front of your house!
Written by Zyreshia Jackson and Paula Davis
Paula Davis is the 4-H Youth Development Faculty in Bay County, Florida since 2000. She earned her doctoral degree in Adult Vocational Education from Auburn University, master’s degree in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of
Tennessee and her bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Berea College. Her work has focused on 4-H youth development, plant science, military programming and camping. She worked with the military partnership program since 2004, and became the state liaison in 2015. She has been a part volunteer training teams, both stateside and internationally throughout her career.
Paula grew up in 4-H in Eastern Kentucky, interned while in college with Kentucky Extension, she has also held Extension positions in Illinois, Alabama and Ohio before moving to the Florida Panhandle when she married her husband Jim Moyers and began her family. Now both of their daughters are in high school. The family resides in Panama City.
Paula works in Bay County with Families, Faculty and local community organizations to build a strong 4-H program. She works with military and afterschool programs to enable youth to find their passion while building life-skills to help them become productive citizens. As the state military liaison, she also trains Air Force Staff in Europe and Navy Staff in Cuba. It has been a very rewarding career working with volunteers to make the best better with 4-H. For more information on 4-H, please contact your local 4-H office. You can find your local office here.
If you can’t Purple Up on the 15th Choose another day!
Not all heroes wear capes. How many times have we heard this phrase over the last year referring to healthcare workers, first responders, and essential personnel? What about kids – specifically kids with one or both parents serving in the military?
According to Webster, a hero is “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Upon reflection, we thought about what we see in military kids. The kids of military families have make many sacrifices, they move often, lose time with family members serving, and often don’t get to celebrate events with deployed family members. Military-connected kids experience many challenges that make them resilient, but they also take their toll. We are civilians serving military youth using 4-H as the vehicle to help make them more resilient. In fact, UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H are proud to be a part of the military family working with youth centers across the nation to have some consistency for youth in these situations.
Jen also lives in a neighborhood full of active duty military members and their families. She sat down and chatted with a teen and his dad who is active duty Navy and one of her neighbors. Their conversation was so enlightening and inspiring about being a military kid that we had to share it with you!
The conversation started with me asking the teen to tell me what he thought a hero was. His response? Someone who does for the greater good; a person who possess courage, honesty, integrity, and kindness. I followed up by asking if he thought of himself as a hero. Immediately, he said, “no, I’m just a military kid. It is nothing special, just a title.” His answer really resonated with me. Adults who sign up for military life know what they are signing up for, military kids are just handed the cards they are dealt. The kids of military families have no say in the sacrifices of time, family, and opportunities as well as the uncertainty that comes along with the job of one or both parents serving in the military. How could this teen not see how special he is? I could not believe that his perception was that military kid just a title!
As we continued our conversation, we discussed how his role changes when his dad is gone for 7 to 14 months on deployment. He has to step up as the “man of the house” to help his mom with household duties and help with his younger brother. Then when dad comes back his role to changes again. These role changes can be challenging, but he consistently steps up without complaint. This young man has also experienced a big move that involved making all new friends, adjusting to life in the south. His parents report that he has also kept a positive attitude. When ask about this his response was “that is just what you do.”
Purple up for military Kids
Military kids experience change frequently – some little and some big- starting early in their lives. Their ability to adapt and overcome is admirable. This teen was so nonchalant about his abilities and skills as a military kid that I had to stop and remind him that what he possesses is something truly special. To put it into perspective, on top of everything that comes with being a military kid, he has dealt with a big move relocating to Florida, the devastating effects of Hurricane Michael, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioned to virtual school. Compared to his peers, and many adults, he has handled the change with grace and confidence. By the end of our conversation, I asked again, “Do you think of yourself as a hero?” This time his answer was much different than when we started our conversation, “yes, I guess I am.” I thanked him for his service, which supports his dad to carry out his duties to protect our country every day. He replied thank you for caring!
Now we need your help! Being a military kid is so much more than a title. Please join us in celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout April and Purple Up! for Military Kids on April 15. This is one way to recognize these youth and show them we care! It’s simple, wear purple and take photos to share on social media using #fl4h, #purpleup, #virtualMOMC, #4heverywhere
I encourage you to visit our website (https://sites.google.com/ufl.edu/4-h-military-partnership-4-h-m/home) and follow us on Facebook (@bayifas) to learn about how you can join the celebration and support Extension programs like these. Next time you see a military member out with their family, I urge you to not just thank the service member for their service, but also thank their kids as they serve, too. For more information on Purple Up; contact your local county 4-H Agent. 4-H is one of the nation’s most diverse organizations and includes people from all economic, racial, social, political, and geographic categories. There are no barriers to participation by any young person. Participants are given the opportunity to engage in activities that hold their personal interest, while being guided by adult volunteers.
By: Paula Davis & Jennifer Sims
Help us celebrate our military youth during the month of April on Social Media! Just use using #fl4h, #purpleup, #virtualMOMC, #4heverywhere
UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H are proud to be a part of the military family working with youth centers across the nation to have some consistency for military kids. Here in Florida, we support 4-H programs at military bases in our state, as well as in a few other countries!
We need your help! Being a military kid is so much more than a title. Please join us in celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout April and Purple Up! for Military Kids on April 15.
It’s simple, wear purple and take photos to share on social media. You can even post a photo of your family as we celebrate the Month of the Military Child while practicing social distancing all wearing purple. If you can’t join us on the 15th just post something on any day in April. Some businesses have committed to wear purple on Fridays for the whole month of April to celebrate military families!
If you are camera shy, you can decorate a door or window; create a red, white and blue dessert, cake or cupcake; to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. Then snap a picture and post on social media using the hashtags below.
These are several ways to recognize these youth and show them we care! Remember, it’s simple, wear purple and take photos to share on social media using #fl4h, #purpleup, #virtualMOMC, #4heverywhere with a statement like “we support our military youth,” tell us something you are grateful for related to our military or relate your own story of being in the military or growing up as a military kid!
Follow us on Facebook @VolunteeringInThePanhandle to learn about how you can join the celebration and support Extension programs like these. Next time you see a military member out with their family, I urge you to not just thank the service member for their service, but also thank their kids as they serve, too. For more information on Purple Up! contact your local county 4-H Agent. 4-H is one of the nation’s most diverse organizations and includes people from all economic, racial, social, political, and geographic categories. There are no barriers to participation by any young person. Participants are given the opportunity to engage in activities that hold their personal interest, while being guided by adult volunteers. Hope you will Purple Up! and share on social media!