By Sherry Landon
It is not easy prepping for fair, getting animals ready, home arts projects completed, practicing showmanship, studying for quiz questions a judge might ask, serving as barn host, working in the milk barn dishing out ice cream and the 4-H Food stand, plus caring for animals all week long during a fair. For some youth this is just not enough activity to keep them busy or they want to give back more to their community, club or 4-H program
This past fall several youth who wanted to give back to the 4-H program with service applied to be Ambassadors. Three youth were chosen to fill the position of 4-H Ambassador to represent and help promote Clare County 4-H; Crysta Spivey, Vanessa Foster and Silas Bear, these young people have been out and about in the community marching in bitter cold parades during the Farwell Festival of Lights, Harrisons 4th of July parade, helping with the petting zoo at the Twenty Lakes Tractor show and many more activities. There biggest responsibilities are during Fair week. They need to be on hand to distribute awards at award ceremonies, help with buyer banquets at the large and small animal auctions, lead pledges, host games for 4-H fun night and help out during the Cloverbud program and more. With all their regular responsibilities, these youth are really pulling out all the stops for the 4-H program. As the coordinator of the Ambassador program I have to say I am impressed with what they are doing. As I watched the three youth lead the 4-H Family Fun Night with games it was evident they were doing a good job based on the smiles of their participants. During the Cloverbud program each Ambassador used their skills to help their younger 4-H colleagues. Crysta Spivey was on hand to help with the small animals while Silas and Vanessa used their talents with the large animals.
While there service as Ambassadors are winding down each have their favorite moments.
Our Senior Ambassador Crysta Spivey who is well versed and very successful with small animals, says she likes to share what she knows with other 4-H members. “My favorite part serving as the senior ambassador is sharing my knowledge with everyone around me. The youth are so eager to learn! I enjoy sharing what I know and have learned from the past years with them as well as the adults. I always try to do so in a fun and interesting way so they keep wanting to learn.
What I have learned from being the Clare County Senior Ambassador is that the youth look up to you. They see that sash and want to know everything you do. You are always answering questions of eager youth and adults. It brings me great joy when I see the youth so willing to learn! I am very honored that they look up to me and allow me to be the one that answers all of their questions. Being that role model for them is very important to me that I have come to love and enjoy.
Intermediate Ambassador Vanessa Foster is 14 years old, when school starts in the fall she will enter 9th grade at Farwell High School.
“My favorite parts of being an Ambassador was helping out the smaller kids at all the functions and promoting 4-H to people that really do not know a lot about it. I am proud, excited and really enjoy being an Ambassador for Clare County. I will apply again for Ambassador when I get older, for the senior division. I really believe that this is an important position and I think people do not realize what all 4 H has to offer. People only relate 4-H with animals, yet there is so much more that you can do and be a part of. Being an Ambassador has improved my leadership skills, my confidence and eased public speaking for me. I am so glad that I was an Ambassador for Clare County 4-H this last year. I will really miss it! I want to thank Clare County 4-H for choosing me to represent them”, says Vanessa.
Silas Bear our Junior Ambassador is 12 years old and attends Clare Middle School as a 7th grader. His favorite experience has been to help judge the 4-H Home Arts exhibits and leading the pledges at the auction. He has enjoyed marching in the parades, he even endured the bitter cold Farwell Festival of lights parade this past November.
Sign ups for Ambassadorship is taking place now. If you are interested in or know a 4-H youth who might be interested in being an Ambassador contact Sherry Landon at firstname.lastname@example.org, 989-588-9213, 652 E. Surrey Rd., Farwell, Michigan 48622 or Dottie Brugger at email@example.com, 989-330-0957. Deadline to sign up is August 29, 2014.