So all day I’ve been racking my brain on what to write about for tonight. I thought about my Favorite YouTubers, 10 Things You May Not Know About Me, places in my city that you should check out, and my Favorite organization that I am forever grateful for, due to all the opportunities, skills and amazing memories that it brought me….4-H.
For now, I’ll keep the other ideas on a list of what to discuss next time, but I got the idea to talk about my Favorite Childhood memory and every time I thought about one….I kept going back to times that I spent at 4-H Camp, Campference, Discovery Days, CWF and all the other trips I was able to be a part of. They all kept leading back to 4-H….the organization that I taught me Leadership, Team-Work, Photography, Cooking, Arts & Crafts, Buymanship, Public-Speaking and how to be the best person I can be for my community and my world. For all the Graduated 4-Her’s and current 4-Her’s, you will probably get what I said there since it’s a part of the 4-H Pledge.
So for those of you that don’t know what 4-H is….you will now! 4-H is a global network of youth development with the mission to engage young children to reach their greatest potential in all kinds of areas….or how I think of is an organization that teaches and instills values and skills in the younger generations that make them a better citizen for their community and the world. A lot of people think that 4-H is mainly for children that live on farms or small towns that raise and take care of livestock and agriculture, but that isn’t true anymore. In fact, any child from ages 5 to 21 can join and learn about any of the projects they offer in their county. At one point, I was even a part of Horseless Horses project. There is literally a project for everyone! Here’s a list of some of the projects that my local 4-H offers for it’s 4-Her’s.
- Arts & Crafts
- Dog Care and Training
- Shooting Sports
- Space Technology
- The list goes on for Sedgwick County….
All of these projects have different goals and booklets that the 4-Her must accomplish during that year they are enrolled in it. For the projects you are enrolled in every year, you fill out a Record Book which will help you with future Resumes, Cover Letters, Interviews as well as 4-H Scholarships like me! Just another incredible incentive. 😉
The most important one that I was enrolled in every year was Citizenship. My siblings and myself were enrolled in that project because our mother wanted us to go on “The Trip of a Lifetime” as she would always say to us. It was a pain sometimes, especially when it came time to fill out our Record Books but when it came time to apply for Citizenship Washington Focus…..it was SO worth it! It was a HUGE opportunity and only a couple of us from Sedgwick County were able to go on the trip. The only way I was going on that trip was with the money my parents saved back for years, and the scholarship that I got from the Sedgwick County Extension Office and I’ve gotta say I’m still thankful to this day for that scholarship and my mom for saving.
This trip consisted of 50 delegates from all over Kansas packed into this Charter bus, that was driving all the way to Chevy Chase, Maryland to the National 4-H Center. There we would be going on tours of National Monuments as well as various Citizenship activities at the 4-H Center. It was a packed two-week trip and it’s still the best trip I’ve ever been on, even in a cramped Charter bus, the drama between different groups from Kansas, getting lost with our Chaperone and still having to pay the Head Chaperone 2 quarters because we were late.
Even through those crazy times, I met so many amazing people that I’m so lucky to be in contact with to this day. It’s nice to go on a Field Trip with your Elementary or High School class, but when you go with people who grew up in 4-H like myself, share similar interests specifically in Citizenship and some of the same values….that’s something you don’t get to experience very often outside of something like 4-H. There were moments during discussions with each delegation, that I’d sit back and be amazed by how more mature some of these 4-Her’s were compared to High Schoolers and my friends that weren’t involved with 4-H were. They were more involved in what was happening in politics at the time, concerned with what would happen to society if politicians were to keep in their stubborn ways and still maintain an open-mind, which not many of my friends (even at the University I’m at) are into politics and a majority of them just stay out of the conversation. That was one of the most enlightening situations I had been in and it was all thanks to 4-H getting me to this point, my mom instigating me into applying and staying with 4-H and helping to pay for it.
Of course, another one of my favorite moments was touring the Pentagon Center while we were there. The Head Chaperone wanted to get us tickets to the Kennedy Center, but she didn’t get them in time….which was fine with me! We were the only delegation to tour the Pentagon and it was pretty stinkin’ cool if you ask me. We were able to see how heavy security was, the beautiful monument for 9/11 on the inside of the building and the outside, and we got to see the newer sections of the Pentagon that were built after 9/11. There were areas sectioned off that we couldn’t go into and sadly, no pictures or cell phones were allowed during the tour so all I have is my memory and since I am a Psychology major; I know that every time I think about it….it’s been manipulated and being changed to how I saw it the last time I remembered it. #TheStrugglesofaPsychMajor
No matter the small mistakes or small bumps in the road that I had on that trip, it was so worth it in the end because of all the things I was able to see and be a part of. Who else can they have seen the inside of the Pentagon???? No one in my family, my siblings and mom got to see the Kennedy Center but I got to see the real deal. Not that I’m trying to say one is better than the other, but if I had to choose….I’d choose the Pentagon over the Kennedy Center any day.
So like I said this trip was over a two-week span, but I can’t pack two-weeks of tours to different National Monuments, different President’s houses, and the dinner on the Potomac River. It was the most enlightening, beautiful, and one of a lifetime kind of opportunity that I was given, and it’s something that I will remember and cherish for as long as I can remember. I can also say that it was my first trip away from my mom (aside from 4-H Camps) and I missed her terribly after about five days….what can I say? I’m a Momma’s Girl.
From the Ashes,
The Rising Phoenix