But I am graduating from more than high school. In three months I am going to college. In three months I will no longer be able to go to 4-H club meetings. In three months I begin the rest of my life. The words help don’t come into mind fast enough.
But then I think about my journey in 4-H and how it influenced me like some of my oldest teachers influenced me. I think about the first 4-H meeting little George Dietrich attended which was eleven years ago. I remember walking into the club meeting sitting down barley able to see above the table, yeah I was short once. I especially remember the introduce yourself game the President of the Club decided to play because they knew I was a new member. I remember that when it was my turn to speak I forgot my name, it was the first time I experienced stage fright at a 4-H event.
I continue thinking about the opportunity called 4-H camp which came for me in overnight camping and summer day camps at the County Extension Office. That was when I began my nature projects which I continue to do to this day. I remember getting a chance to take pictures of bear walking through the woods.
I think about my opportunity to become a leader. It started as a Club Officer to then becoming a Camp Counselor. I remember talking to my camper suffering from homesickness one night helping him feel better. I remember telling another counselor what to do in a situation and him listening because he knew I had more experience.
I think about getting the chance to attend State and National Events. I remember all of the friends I have made from around the state. I remember the opportunity to meet other people to do new things. The experiences and memories of these events will be dear to me for the rest of my life.
I think about being a state officer. I think about the long nights talking to fellow officers planning an event or talking about a personal problem. I realize that I couldn’t have gotten closer to a more perfect group of people.
I think about all that I will miss. I think about my tomorrow as well. I am graduating in less than a week. In less than a week I begin my next chapter of my life. All I can think about is how 4-H has given me so much and made me a better person. So when people ask me why 4-H I tell them part of my life story with 4-H in a hope to make them understand 4-H doesn’t just make the best better, 4-H finds the best in you and helps you use it and make it better for your future.
-George Dietrich, State Historian and Reporter, Wilson Class of 2013