2017-07-11 / Front Page

Don’t lose out...

by Mark Evans

The summer season has been business as usual for many 4-Hers who work on projects, attend meetings/ workshops or camps. One suggestion for both parents and youth is to set goals and establish what it is that one is seeking by being involved in a particular activity or event. Be careful to not become so wrapped into the busyness of the season that the sense of purpose in 4-H or other activities is lost.

Competition is a good thing. It is the principle in many attributes of this country’s foundation and provides encouragement for each and every one of us to enhance performance. However there is a balance between competition and competency that must be respected. At the same time, one must be competent to be competitive. Indiana’s premiere and largest youth development program remains a responsible program due to parents and youth having a discussion about the roles of competition and competency in the program.

Discussion might include that having goals of striving to be grand champion or receiving a blue ribbon or to achieve a cash scholarship are positive attributes. From personal experience, the times of winning were not always about getting first place. Learning through challenging one’s self through new projects is very important. Focusing on developing fellow 4-Hers and seeing others personal growth is rewarding. Seeing 4-H programs grow due to individuals taking responsibility to serve as positive role models in the program and at competitions both locally and beyond makes it a privilege to be involved with the 4-H program.

Hopefully all 4-H families can work to remain focused on developing the next generation of young people who will ultimately serve as our future leaders! While competition at 4-H events is inherent, the education that comes with 4-H project work and attainment of personal goals is far more important than a “winning at all costs” attitude. Ultimately, competency should take precedence over competition. With your assistance, it is certain that the young people involved in 4-H Youth Development projects and activities will learn that the process of learning is far more important than the 4-H project or exhibit itself.

Parents and volunteers can serve as positive role models through the following: conduct which exhibits a courteous and respectful manner, exhibit good sportsmanship, praise their own and other young individuals for what they have learned from their 4-H experience and accomplishments, and finally understand that the best exhibit possible is the individual 4-H member!

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

July 11 – Junior Leader 4-H, Nature Park, 6 p.m.

July 15 – Tractor Driving Contest 4-H, Fairgrounds, 8 a.m.

July 15 – Shooting Sports Firearms Round Robin, Cloverdale Conservation Club, 8:30 a.m.

July 16 – Dog Obedience 4-H Show, Fairgrounds, 12 p.m.

July 17 – Cat 4-H Show, Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.

July 17 – Fashion Revue 4-H Public Show, Fairgrounds, 7 p.m.

July 18 – Project Judging 4-H, Fairgrounds 4-7 p.m.

July 19 – Project Judging 4-H, Fairgrounds 4-7 p.m.

July 20 – Project Judging 4-H, Fairgrounds, 4-7 p.m.

July 21 – 4-H Fair Parade, Downtown, 6 p.m.

July 21-28 Putnam County 4-H Fair

Aug 4-20 Indiana State Fair

(Mark Evans is the Putnam County 4-H Youth Development Educator and can be reached at mevans@purdue.edu)

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