|Randy in 1967, a 5th grader and his first year in Stafford County 4-H with his first 4-H steer.|
This year is my first year in 4-H. I have enjoyed it very much. Going to the 4-H things has been very fun. I really enjoyed the refreshments very much. I am looking forward very much to next year in 4-H. This year, I have enjoyed 4-H camp and have got lots of ribbons.
4-Hers - and their parents - have been "liking" the youth program for more than 100 years, long before there was a "like" button on Facebook pages. On Saturday, I went to the Stafford County 4-H Club Days. I'm kind of guessing some of the project talk presenters will "like" 4-H Club Days in their 4-H stories later this year, too.
As for me, I "like" just sitting and watching the 4-Hers give their talks, instead of worrying about whether Jill and Brent were going to forget the carefully prepared and practiced talks. Yes, they got stuck with a perfectionist mother who made them practice - over and over and over again.
I didn't have to race back to the St. John gym to retrieve a forgotten magic prop right before a talk began. I could just sit and smile as I watched a mother mouth the words right along with her 4-Her. Been there, done that.
Jill's first demonstration was on making Raggedy Ann and candlestick salads with fruit and vegetables. (As a dietitian, she's still trying to get people to eat their fruits and vegetables 20 years later.)
I couldn't find a photo of Randy giving a talk, though I know he gave his share. It was a tradition in my family as well, though I didn't find a photo from one of my earlier talks.
Though we "retired" from more active involvement after Brent graduated, we still support 4-H in smaller ways. On Saturday, I accompanied one of my middle school soloists for her vocal solo performance at 4-H Day.
I told Brent I was going. He admits that 4-H was a good program for him. But he doesn't have such fond memories of the model meeting. I guess current 4-Hers (and their leaders) aren't too fond of the model meeting either, since it's no longer a required component of Stafford County's 4-H Club Day.
Via cell phone from Kentucky, he just couldn't see the value in that model meeting, a scripted meeting performed in front of a judge, complete with memorized lines and unusual things like tabling a motion.
"Didn't it teach you some parliamentary procedure?" I quizzed.
Brent wasn't convinced: "Regular meetings taught me that. And you made us practice. A lot."
Guilty as charged, I suppose.
But those talks - whether they were about magic or bucket calves or photography or foods - helped lay the groundwork for the adults Jill and Brent turned out to be. And, yes, even the dreaded model meetings helped do that, too.
I pledge my head to clearer thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
And my health to better living
For my club, my community, my country and my world.