Many can agree that the last few months have been difficult with a lot of uncertainty. The same can be said for the last half of the 4-H program year. The Montgomery County 4-H program faced many of the same obstacles that other organizations faced: all face-to-face meetings/events canceled since mid-March, educational programs moved to an online platform and virtual meetings. Another obstacle faced by our program was how to deliver a modified 4-H Fair and keep our 4-H families and community healthy and safe. This was no small task and each decision was made after careful thought and consideration.
True to the heartbeat of the 4-H program, with help from our 4-H volunteers, 4-H families, Extension staff and a lot of community support, the Montgomery County 4-H program was able to hold a modified in-person fair. Life skills such as teamwork, communication, concern for others, planning/organizing and more helped our 4-H volunteers overcome many obstacles and provide an event for our 4-H youth to showcase what they have learned.
Phil Jackson is quoted as saying, “the strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” As the 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, I am beyond proud of how our 4-H volunteers and 4-H families came together as a team during these uncertain times and offered support and encouragement to one another. Planning a fair is always a team effort, but this year it took even more teamwork, communication and organization to make it happen for our youth.
There were many new protocols and adjustments that had to be made such as limiting the audience, wearing face coverings, daily health screenings and hourly disinfecting of high touch areas. All of these additional measures were taken in stride and the hard work and lessons learned by our youth throughout the last year shown through. While the times we are living in are still uncertain, one thing is certain, the strength of the 4-H program is the heart and determination of our 4-H youth and 4-H volunteers. Thank you to all those who made the 2020 Montgomery County 4-H Fair happen. If you have any questions about 4-H or want more information about programs offered, contact the Purdue Extension-Montgomery County office at 765-364-6363 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.