Re-Fashion Retreat to be held Dec. 13-15 at 4-H Conference Center near Brownwood

BROWNWOOD – A weekend Re-Fashion Retreat will be held from Dec. 13-15 at the Texas 4-H Conference Center, 5600 Farm-to-Market Road 3021 near Brownwood, said program coordinators.

The Re-Fashion Retreat will feature educational sessions conducted by members of the Texas 4-H Clothing and Textiles youth advisory board, fashion industry experts and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel, according to Mark Carroll, 4-H and youth development specialist and center program director.

The 4-H Re-Fashion Retreat at the 4-H Conference Center near Brownwood will include

The 4-H Re-Fashion Retreat at the 4-H Conference Center near Brownwood will include hands-on skills, workshops and information on what is required to succeed in the fashion industry. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)  

“Re-Fashion Retreat is designed to provide 4-H members and adult volunteers an opportunity to receive the most current information on new categories within the fashion review of the 4-H clothing project,” Carroll said. “Participants will engage in hands-on skills assessment, followed by workshops aimed at increasing knowledge and developing skills for re-fashioning garments and for shopping on a very limited budget.”

He said the retreat is for 4-H members age eight and older and adult chaperones. Participants will arrive at the center between 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and the program will conclude the afternoon of Dec. 15.

“This is a state-level development program with a new format that will focus on increasing knowledge and skills as part of a full weekend of fun and interesting activities,” Carroll said. “Each county is responsible for providing its own adult chaperones.”

He said this year’s retreat will include a clothing skill-a-thon where youth learn all about clothes, including fabrics and how they are made and how to care for them, plus how to select clothes and get the best buy.

The clothing skill-a-thon is designed as a series of mini-learning stations where participants rotate from station to station attempting to perform a given task or identify an item, product or tool used in the clothing and textiles industry, coordinators explained.

“In this year’s skill-a-thon, participating youth will get a chance to identify and select particular fabrics, demonstrate proper laundering and fabric care know-how, make informed clothing choices and decisions and learn to ‘look beyond the label’ when selecting quality clothing,” Carroll said.

“There are changes to the 2014 contest categories and activities and the retreat will give the 4-H’ers who attend the experiences they will need to compete in those new contest categories, said Angela McCorkle, AgriLife Extension program specialist in family development and resource management, College Station.

The retreat will feature two independent tracks based on the demonstrated skill sets of each youth participant. Track One is designed for youth with less sewing skill proficiencies and features the ‘Fantastic Fashions Under $25’ category of the buying division.

“In this track, youth will learn about Good Samaritan Ministries of Brownwood and the volume of clothing donated to their thrift store,” McCorkle said. “In a field trip exercise, 4-H’ers will visit the thrift store and make purchases toward an outfit. Participants buy clothing from head to toe for $25. Then youth members of the Clothing Advisory Board will provide leadership for hands-on, experiential workshops in which they will teach sewing techniques.”

Track Two of the retreat will be for more experienced youth and will focus on the re-fashion category within the construction division.

“In this track, participants will travel to Good Samaritan Ministries to purchase a garment to redesign in a make-and-take workshop,” McCorkle said. “Re-fashioning is taking a garment apart and putting it back together in a more modern and updated way. Participants will go thrifting to buy clothes that may have looked fine in say 1987, then rework and refashion them into something current.”

Both groups will share their craftsmanship during the style show on Dec. 15.

“In addition, on Saturday we will have representatives from the clothing and textile industry speak to the 4-H’ers about fashion-related careers, and the education and skill requirements needed to succeed in those careers,” McCorkle said.

The cost for the retreat is $115 for youth and $80 for adults, which includes two nights lodging, four meals, two evening snacks and all program fees.

To register, go to the center’s website at and click on the Register Now link. Registration is open until Dec. 8.


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