My Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service, and,
My Health for better living,
for My Club, my Community, my Country, and my World.
Rural life and 4-H go hand-in-hand. 4-H is a nationwide program led by state land-grant universities in cooperation with local county district extension councils. In Kansas, 4-H is the largest youth educational program, aside from public schools. 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.
The four H’s represent:
Head-critical thinking, problem solving.
Heart-self-discipline, integrity, communication.
Health-choosing healthy lifestyles.
To not include a chapter on 4-H would be tantamount to not including the family. Mac and Mary did what was right with their children and most rural families owe a great deal of debt to the organization that fosters their young.
Most individuals will agree that skills learned in 4-H last a lifetime. Each child is taught to achieve a positive self-concept, to have an inquiring mind, exercise a concern for the community, foster healthy interpersonal relationships, and attain sound decision making skills.
Mary included many articles about 4H activities in her household. The following are excerpts:
It was no problem to get country kids to take a midweek bath if they were going to the 4-H achievement dinner. Younger members who had never been to a dinner before hung around the edge of the crowd until they spied some of the other members of their club. These older boys and girls crossed the lobby with confidence. They had attended such dinners before. How much poise experience gives us.
These future framers may not even remember to thank the Chamber of Commerce for the hospitality. The sparkle of their eyes must, in a sense, have repaid Emporia businessmen. Friendliness promotes understanding, always. Mutual understanding surely will bring a better day for town and farm.
Every day something is called to our attention which strengthens our faith in the youth of today. A group of 4-H youngsters down this way went camping over the weekend. It was a splendid opportunity to skip Sunday school. Instead they invited the pastor and congregation to worship with them. An outdoor service on the creek bank turns one’s mind to the psalmist of old testament times. My faith in tomorrow is strengthened. The coming generation will find the way.
The 4-H fair last week was an achievement for every exhibitor. It was the summation of the year’s projects. By comparison farm youngsters are learning better quality and improved standards of agricultural and homemaking activities. Some boy or girl who may not have received any prizes this year will return next August and carry off the ribbon. Such is the inspiration received at the fair.
Girls on the judging team in baking are now unconsciously judging every baked product they see and comparing it with the score card for quality products. Likewise the clothing girls are securitizing hems and seams and the becomingness of color and design. They should be better buyers of clothing than those of us who have not had such training.
All parents and friends of 4-H boys and girls are grateful to the Chamber of Commerce for their magnificent co-operation with the county agent for the fair’s success. Not only the monetary contribution which was given so freely. More valuable than that was the interested visitors who came and looked and admired.
Perhaps you are aware that a District 4-H model meeting contest was held in the high school auditorium last Saturday. Five counties competed. The audience was small. Mostly it was composed of contestants and proud parents. The chests of the latter swelled a bit as the curtains parted showing their particular group. They frowned or bowed their heads if a slight mistake was made. However there were few mistakes. In 30 minutes each club conducted a business meeting which would put any group of elders to shame. Tabled motions were brought out. An amendment to an amendment of the original motion was dealt with. In addition to the business meeting an initiation or installation, music appreciation and group singing, a demonstration and recreation was worked into the 30 minute period.
Perhaps the demonstration which interested us most was that on correct table manners. If there is one way of distinguishing a farmer aside from his shoes, it is his discomfit at trying to eat in style. To see that farm boy seat his girl companion, unfold his napkin and know which was the soup spoon was indeed a joy. That boy will not have to be worked over by older fraternity brothers in regard to table etiquette when he gets to college.