During the holiday season, the Christmas tune, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” or a version of it can be heard over and over in malls, on the radio, etc. Popular culture has even created different versions — a redneck version, a teacher parody, “The Twelve Days of CATS-mas,” the list goes on and on (seriously: Google it). I submit to you my (our) own version, “The 12 Days of 4-H Christmas.” Now, remember, as the tradition of the song goes, the receiver (our youth) receives each gift they received in the days prior so that they amass quite a stash of presents. This is reflective of how 4-H members keep receiving the gifts of 4-H over and over throughout their lives.

• On the first day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: one 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the second day of Christmas 4-H gave to me: two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the third day of Christmas 4-H gave to me: three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the fourth day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: four “H’es” — head, heart, hands, health; three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the fifth day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the sixth day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: six pillars of character — Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship; five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the seventh day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me; seven club officers, six pillars of character, five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the eighth day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: eight leadership opportunities, seven club officers, six pillars of character, five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the ninth day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: nine months of project work, eight leadership opportunities, seven club officers, six pillars of character, five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the 10th day of Christmas 4-H gave to me: 10 days of State Fair, nine months of project work, eight leadership opportunities, seven club officers, six pillars of character, five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

• On the 11th day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: 11 4-H club meetings, 10 days of State Fair, nine months of project work, eight leadership opportunities, seven club officers, six pillars of character, five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

On the 12th day of Christmas, 4-H gave to me: 12 months of planning, 11 4-H club meetings, 10 days of State Fair, nine months of project work, eight leadership opportunities, seven club officers, six pillars of character, five days of county fair, four “H’es,” three caring Extension Agents, two community service projects and a 4-H experience to last a lifetime.

Of course, there are many more numbers that don’t quite fit into the song. We cannot ignore the 11 community clubs, one project club, more than 20 community leaders, more than 100 volunteers or 30 project areas. Maybe we need the “30 Days of 4-H Christmas. …”  That is another song for another year.

Special thanks to Ginger Kopfer, Geary County 4-H Agent; Sarah Maas, Central Kansas District 4-H Agent, and Susan Schlichting, Ellis County 4-H Agent, for their help in compiling the list!

For more information about Cowley County 4-H or Cowley County Extension Programs, contact the Cowley County Extension Office, (620) 221-5450, (620) 441-4565.

 

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

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