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I got that 4-H spirit up in my head!

This 4-H Clover image has little to no linguistic meaning. The letter “H” appears in each of the clover’s leaves, but that means little to a person who is not familiar with 4-H. Some may see the letter as a part of the non-coded iconic image, while others may read the letters much like a brand name, as if it had a linguistic message. As a part of the non-coded iconic message, the letters contribute to the ensemble of the 4-H Clover. Without the letters, one may just associate the overall form with a nondescript clover. The clover incorporates five distinct pictures of people in various different settings. The non-coded iconic messages together in context may lead viewers to connect the images of people to the 4-H Clover and the 4-H camping program.
As for the coded-iconic messages, the campers and staff member in the center of the 4-H Clover represent the camping program that 4-H is so well-known for. For some, 4-H camping is the “heart” or at the “center” of their 4-H experience. Images in the clover’s leaves represent what the “H” stands for in that particular leaf. Starting from the bottom left, the “H”s are head, heart, hands, and health. Therefore, we see staffers using teamwork to reach a common goal, Goose and Hoopz hugging, Flush using her hands at a Habitat for Humanity build, and WuNBA in the pool looking sporty. The four leaves converge into one center picture of Hoopz with a large group of campers. All the added pictures to the 4-H Clover fade into it, suggesting that the images, and the people in it, are integral the 4-H. The image as a whole suggests that the “H”s contribute to an amazing youth and camping program. The overall tone is uplifting due to smiling faces and bright color. Hoopz’s outstretched arms give the ensemble a sense of joy through service and love.
The 4-H Clover is the most identifiable image of the whole ensemble. The less identifiable people or images are faded into the clover as to not obscure the clover or alienate the viewer. People are much more comfortable looking at a familiar stock image than staff pictures that someone took one summer, since they can identify with the clover more than the people within it. The people in the image fade into the clover, making them much a part of it as the “H”s which alleviates any nervousness a viewer might experience while looking at someone’s personal photographs.
The pictures of staff were taken to document events through a policy of non-interference. I did not stop WuNBA from standing on a chair in the middle of the pool because I wanted a picture of her being her usual ridiculous self. I did not help the staffers playing with the “raccoon circle”, the pink circle of rope, because I wanted to document their teamwork and our VA 4-H staff family. Basically the mindset behind most of these photos is “Hey this is something fun that happened at camp”. I can have these moments and memories forever because they are documented through photographs. Although usually our pool at camp is green and we will never have State Staff Training 2009, I can those moments alive through photography.
The meaning within this image for me is all about living and breathing 4-H. Although the staffers and campers obviously are not at camp all day every day, there are those of us who have grown to be who we presently are because of camp.


my facebook photos!
4-H clover image by Flickr user jonkempf, Creative Commons Licensed

Brief Description: 

I like camp. And pretending that I can do stuff with computers.



I camped at Holiday Lake from when I was 9 until 18 and was going to be staff until I realized that I needed to make more than $300 a week.
4-H fo' life.

one of my friends (who is now the program specialist at jamestown 4-h) used to be a staffer at hola-hola! her camp name at holiday lake was "mouse" :)

Really good image! I would just suggest that you add a space between the paragraphs to make the paragraph breaks stand out more.

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