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4-H Club Congress goes green this year
MISSISSIPPI STATE – 4-H’ers have always worn green to State Club Congress, but this year they will be “going green” at the annual event May 27-29 at Mississippi State University.
This year’s theme is “100 percent green…for our club, community, country and world.” Organizers chose this message to reflect the 4-H ethic of putting ideas into action.
“The 4-H program has always encouraged good stewardship of our land, water and other natural resources, so this should not be hard for us to do,” said Susan Holder, state 4-H program leader with the MSU Extension Service. “Everyone coming to Club Congress should think green and do the right thing.”
More than 850 youth representing clubs in Mississippi’s 82 counties are expected to attend Club Congress, a first-time experience for some and a bittersweet ending for those exiting the program.
“I’ve had a great experience in 4-H, but it’s time for me to give up that phase of my life because I am a graduating high school senior,” said 18-year-old Chelsi Smith, state 4-H council president. “My farewell speech will be hard to deliver without some tears.”
Smith said she hopes to resume her 4-H involvement as a member of MSU’s collegiate chapter and perhaps follow her mother, Sherry Smith, in becoming a 4-H youth agent. She plans to make the most of her last Club Congress as a leader and 4-H member.
“State Congress gives you an opportunity to compete in contests, make new friends from all over the state, attend great workshops, campaign for state office and enjoy three days of fun festivities,” Smith said.
Several projects for Club Congress participants will focus on recycling and developing environmental campaigns at home.
“Club members have the chance to discuss ideas and take them back to their communities,” Smith said. “Club Congress is a great way to enlist everyone’s help in carrying out these ideas together.”
Workshops and contests will feature a variety of subjects, from science and engineering to health care and computer technology. The schedule includes traditional program areas, such as plant and food sciences, clothing construction and citizenship. Opportunities for expressive arts, program implementation and leadership development also are on the calendar.
“Club Congress provides learning experiences geared toward helping young people make their best better,” Holder said. “We hope 4-H youth attending Club Congress will leave dreaming big dreams and use determination to reach them.”
Writer: Patti Drapala