Every year, our county 4 H holds a banquet. For those who have been in 4 H for over a year, you have to complete a record book or earn an award based on 4 H participation to receive an invitation to the banquet. Those new to 4 H have an opportunity to turn in a 4 H story in order to receive a banquet invitation. The Teen Leaders 4 H Club, which Chelsea is a part of, plans the banquet theme, makes the decorations, and chooses the menu and entertainment. Each year rotates between a casual and formal theme. This year's theme was "Putting On the Ritz With 4 H" and was a formal theme. The menu was fruit salad, chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots, and cheesecake or brownie for dessert. Entertainment was provided by a local high school band.
In our 4 H program, those that complete Record Books who do not win a District Record Book Award win a County Record Book Award. 4 Hers over the age of 16 can enter to win a Sate Record Book Award. In addition to completing the Record Book, they have to submit a resume, and if selected as a finalist go through an interview.
Gem Awards are based on participation in 4 H activities. Every activity is worth points and based on these points 4 Hers can win a Diamond, Emerald, or Sapphire Award. Those with the highest participation win County Champion. 4 Hers can only win County Champion every three years.
Chelsea, Nick, Alex and I went to the banquet while Art stayed home with the younger children. Christian could have turned in a journal, but I completely forgot to get it in before we went to Florida. He wasn't disappointed though. Anthony was not interested in doing one.
Alex won a District Award for his Utilizing Science and Technology Record Book. He got a drawstring 4 H bag and will get a trophy at the District Competition in June. He also won County Champion and received a 4 H duffel bag with his name on it.
Nick won a District Award for his Animal Science Record Book. He also got a drawstring 4 H bag and will get a trophy in June. He also won an Emerald Gem Award for 4 H Participation.
Chelsea won a State Award for her Home Environment Record Book. She was one of two winners chosen from across the state. She received a 4 H Garment Bag and won a trip to National 4 H Congress in Atlanta and will be eligible to apply for state scholarships next year. She also won a Diamond Award for 4 H Participation.
She also won a $250 County Scholarship. She was so excited and surprised! She turned away as I was snapping the picture so I didn't get a very good one.
High School Seniors get to give a talk on their overall 4 H experience. Chelsea gave a very good speech about her 4 H story and the many things 4 H has given her including educational opportunities, life skills, leadership and community service opportunities, and the opportunity to learn a new skill and then teach it to others. She also talked about the self confidence she has gained from being a part of 4 H and the opportunity to overcome her fears of things like public speaking. Even though she can stay a 4 H member until she is 19, she most likely will not be as involved in 4 H once she starts college in the fall. But, she will continue to carry with her everything she has learned from being part of 4 H.