Hello fellow 4-H enthusiasts!
I hope this little note finds you all well and recuperating from all the fun activities at State Achievement Days located at the Pennsylvania State University. Your State 4-H Council has had a very busy month. On July 12th we all flew out of the State College Airport on the first leg of our journey to New Mexico. After one connecting flight from Detroit to Houston and another connecting flight from Houston to El Paso, we boarded a van and set out for Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces is home to New Mexico State University, where the New Mexico State 4-H Conference would be taking place. We were invited to attend the New Mexico State Conference by the New Mexico State Officer team, which as some of you know, attended the Pennsylvania 4-H State Leadership Conference in January of 2009. I know I speak for all of your council when I say the experience we had in New Mexico was one which we will never forget. Throughout the week we participated in an array of activities which included a tour of the NASA Test Facility in White Sands and the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. One difference between New Mexico’s conference and our own is that they do all of their contests and leadership workshops in one event while Pennsylvania’s events are split into State Leadership Conference and State Achievement Days. While in attendance, we presented two workshops, one on public speaking and one on people skills. Not only did we gain a vast array of new ideas, your State Council also learned how to “Two-Step” (with the help of the New Mexico Leadership Team of course). At the conference there was a dance every night we were there so learning this dance was critical. After many fond memories, we boarded our first plane and headed back for Houston. Our flights were all good except for the last one on the way home, which was from Detroit to State College. A glitch was found in the navigation system and we had to wait until 12:30 A.M. to board another plane. We didn’t mind waiting though because we would rather have a plane in full working order than coming home quickly on one with a broken navigation system!
For some of you out there, you may still be unpacking from State Achievement Days like I am! We had an excellent week with nearly perfect weather (except for Wednesday night!). State Days started out with a bang on Tuesday night, or maybe it was more like “Ready, set, GO!” with the first ever State Days video which showed the Clover Cup in full swing and how important it is for head, heart, hands, and health to work together. Then the College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Bruce McPheron welcomed everyone and spoke with us about using head, heart, hands, and health to enrich our lives every day. Following Dean McPheron was our very own State 4-H Program Leader, Ms. Christy Bartley. Ms. Bartley welcomed the anxious crowd of 4-Hers and presented awards to three dedicated youth. After Ms. Bartley, our keynote speaker, Ms. Laurie Stewart, took the stage with a presentation packed full of videos, a skit, activities, and personal stories. After explaining the importance of taking healthy risks, how to overcome peer pressure, and how to deal with issues within your life, everyone went back to their dorms for some much needed rest. Wednesday everyone was headed in their own direction with different events and activities for the day. From Fashion Revue and the Talent and Choral Review to Avian Bowl and Tractor Driving, there were plenty of things to do. On Wednesday, your State Council had the opportunity to have lunch with Ms. Christy Bartley and discussed some of the differences between PA 4-H and New Mexico’s 4-H and new ideas we had. State Achievement Days wrapped up on Thursday morning with Closing Ceremonies. After Closing Ceremonies, everyone gathered their belongings and began on their trip back home.
I would like to remind you to keep collecting tabs and other donations for the Ronald McDonald House. The tabs will be collected at the State Leadership Conference in January of 2010. Our State Leadership Conference theme this year is: “License to Lead,” a spy/James Bond theme. We have some really great workshops and speakers planned, so I hope to see you there!
As I have promised, here is my quote for the month. My hope is that you find them as useful as I do.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Until next time,
Vice-President of Internal Affairs