Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to spending my time at the county’s 4-H Achievement program this afternoon. Not on a sunny November Sunday with temps reaching a balmy 55. Days like this have to be spent wisely. This is northern Illinois. Tomorrow it could be snowing and ten below zero.
Eighty 4-H families, members and supporters fit comfortably in the community building. Gold and white streamers twisted across the tables and door prize gift baskets sat at each. The 4-H Federation kids sat up front with scripts in hand. On the stage sat two tables draped in blue, stocked with plaques, certificates and pins.
At 2 p.m. the program opened with the current 4-H Queen leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H pledge. Then the roll call began – the roll call of award winners. I’m guessing at least 100 Lee County 4-H members and leaders were recognized – recognized for their achievements in individual projects, for their efforts as club secretary, treasurer, and reporter, for being first year leaders, for leading a club for 36 years. Members marched on stage to receive certificates and pins. The younger members approached with hesitation, the older members strode with confidence. One older member came straight from her shift at Subway, apron still tied at her waist.
And the whole show was led by 4-H members, each taking the microphone, clearly reading through the script, making eye contact with the audience, handing out plaques and shaking hands. In general each looked very comfortable being in charge of such an event.
The program closed with the unveiling of this year’s 4-H theme for the county, “Join the Green Team in 2013”. The Federation kids flew in with green capes to share their superhero vision for the coming 4-H year.
I watched in awe and my heart filled with appreciation for these superhero members and leaders.
So, thank you Lee County 4-H for inspiring me. Thank you for showing me that 4-H works, changing an eight-year old kid into a young adult who lives with knowledge, confidence, respect and responsibility. Thank you for keeping me motivated. Planning for the annual fair can be brutal on us volunteers, and sometimes I wonder why we do it at all. But this afternoon, you reminded me why we all must tie on our cape to make good things great.
The icing on my cake of realization was being named a recipient of the 4-H Alumni Award along with Kathy Prestegaard, who was responsible for my hesitant entry into 4-H. What a full circle moment. (See my very first Rural Route 2 blog post.)
Read more 30 Day blogs starting with My Generation. And follow more of my 30 Days of the Not So Glamorous Life of this Farm Wife:
- Day 1: Hunger Games. Hungry Planet.
- Day 2: Chili, Children, & Checkers
- Day 3: My Very Fairy Farm Princess
- Day 4: Sunday School Lesson
- Day 5: Wackie Day. Wackie Cake.
- Day 6: Tricked Out Tractor
- Day 7: God Bless Teachers
- Day 8: Just Breathe
- Day 9: Meet My Farm Boy
- Day 10: Date Night
- Day 11: America the Beautiful
- Day 12: What Farm Wives Discuss When Farmers Aren’t Around
- Day 13: Working Calves
- Day 14: Leavin’ On A Jet Plane
- Day 15: A Face in the Crowd
- Day 16: Home Again & Harvest Dinner
- Day 17: Spring Cleaning