Adult programs at Holiday Lake grew with Bryan Branch (current Center Director, then Program Director) and Lance Johnson’s (past Program Director at the NOVA 4-H Center) desire to provide adults the opportunities to continue their education through a variety of hands-on, cultural, and service-oriented programs.  In the fall of 2000 the first Banjo Making Workshop was used as a pilot program.  Since then, adult programs at the 4-H Center have expanded tremendously, with several programs that happen annually.

Sixteen years later and we still have a Banjo workshop; it is now a Banjo & Mandolin Building Workshop. It’s led by Don Kawalek, a Master Craftsman, luthier and teacher. Every year on Don’s spring break from school he comes to the center to lead a workshop. They make some beautiful instruments!

Some of our workshops have led to lifelong hobbies, like our Decoy Carving Workshop. This workshop started as just an interest of Bryan’s and has evolved into a workshop we offer twice a year.  Beware; this workshop will get you hooked! Many of our carvers have returned workshop after workshop, and continue to learn not only from the instructor but each other. Ed Morrison is our instructor and he has been carving since 1982! The trend towards decoy carving has headed towards power carving but Ed keeps it traditional, using knives, spoke shaves and rasps. The results are amazing!

This year I am excited to be bringing back a workshop that hasn’t happened at the center since 2005, our Weaving Workshop! Patricia Morton relocated to Appomattox and we were lucky to snag her up to lead this workshop. The workshop is designed to teach the basics of weaving; participants will start with a completely naked loom and leave with a beautiful scarf. Patricia loves to spread her passion for weaving and this workshop will be a great addition to our workshop line up!

I am always looking for new ideas and instructors for workshops. So if you are reading this and think, “_____ would make a great workshop” or “I’ve always wanted to learn to _____” or “I would love to lead a _____ workshop,” you should let me know!  Send me more information about what you would like to see or do at the 4-H Center and I will try my best to make it happen, even better if you can introduce me to someone who can lead it.

This post would be WAY too long and you would eventually stop reading if I talked about every Adult Program we offer, for a complete list check out our website!

~Heather Benninghove
Program Director

Progression.jpgProgression of Decoy Carving


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