Happy New Year! It’s National 4-H Week! It’s the beginning of the new 4-H year! 

Cowley County 4-H’ers are busy promoting the 4-H program and planning their year. They’re selecting projects, being elected to new leadership positions within their clubs and visiting with new members. 4-H parents are busy enrolling their kids online, planning the new 4-H year and settling their kids around because they are not just raising kids — they’re inspiring kids to do. 4-H agents and 4-H alumni are busy writing stories about being leaders, reminiscing about their 4-H days and sharing embarrassing photos from their record books on social media!

4-H teaches kids amazing leadership skills.  Often, a 4-H member’s first leadership experience is through being elected to an officer position within their club. My first leadership role was as the Sunshine Person for Bearcreek 4-H Club in Grant County. What is the Sunshine Person? The Sunshine Person is responsible for spreading sunshine throughout the club. They recognize birthdays at the club meeting by sending birthday cards and singing “Happy Birthday.” The Sunshine Person helps spread cheer. I took that job very seriously. I remember specifically running for election to that office because Secretary required too much writing/record keeping, I had no interest in writing stories as the Reporter, the older kids were running for President and Vice President, Treasurer was just too much and I equated the Recreation Leader to P.E., which was a subject I did not like. So I made birthday cards and spread cheer my second year of 4-H.  

The role of Sunshine Person was just the beginning of leadership roles for me. Leadership for me meant being involved. Leadership meant being part of something more. While I was in 4-H, I held only four leadership positions within my club — Sunshine Person, Secretary, Vice President and President — but I held an officer position every year I was in 4-H. I was a member of or chaired committees every year I was in 4-H. Being the Sunshine Person taught me that I wanted to be involved. I wanted to be a part of something more. I wanted to serve others and be an active contributor to my club. I wanted to do more. This is typical of 4-H members. They become active in their club, the community, their country and their world. 4-H members are part of the bigger picture. They serve. They do more. They are inspired to “do”.

If you or someone you know wants to be a part of the bigger picture, contact the Cowley County Extension Office, (620) 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565. #inspirekidstodo


Kelsey Nordyke is the 4-H Youth Development Agent at K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County. She can be reached at (620) 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.

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