4-H

September 16, 2011

This may be hard for you, the reader, to believe, but at one point in my life…

I was quite the introvert.

I know. It’s a bit hard for you to swallow, but a lot of kids go through that phase. For most of my younger years, I kept somewhat to myself. Not that I didn’t have any friends, mind you. I don’t want to give that impression.

Regardless, I didn’t really come out of my shell until the summer before my 12th birthday. Earlier that year, I had joined the local 4-H club, what was then called the Fairview 4-H Pony Express or something like that.

I’m still not sure why it was “Pony Express,” but I soon understood that it didn’t matter. Beside, it changed a few years after I joined.

Throughout the year, all of the other members kept talking about 4-H camp. Now, I had been to a few summer camps before, so I had a general idea of what they were like. Everyone sang songs and learned how to make various crafts. All the boys slept in one cabin, and the girls shared another.

However, I showed up and something immediately felt different. The small numbers, intimate setting and general enthusiasm of all present parties made for a feeling of immediate brotherhood. I knew very few of the people, but something told me that that would not last long.

By the time I had been placed in the Delaware tribe, I was already making plenty of friends.

Now, that was 11 years. Literally half of my life has been spent in 4-H. Without getting too mushy, I have to say that I have met so many people that I will consider life-long friend in my time with 4-H, especially 4-H Camp.

Even this past summer, I met new people and became close friends with quite a few others that I had known in the previous years. One of them proposed 4-H as today’s topic. And yes, I still go to 4-H Camp. I’ve used all my cunning to trick them into thinking I am a responsible adult, so they take me, year after year, and let me boss around little kids for a week, but that’s another 500 words.

I know that it has been said time after time, but the idea that I can pick right up where I left off with most of the people I know through 4-H is absolutely true. Even if I run into one or more of them on the street or on campus. I can’t imagine the person I would be if I did not know these people.

Also, I would like to dispel any rumors that 4-H is all about farming and sleeping in hay. In my 11 years, I have jousted while wrapped in tinfoil, walked barefoot over a bunch of bananas, participated in a hot pepper eating contest, been painted almost entirely green and embarrassed myself in front of hundreds.

Honestly, I wouldn’t change a bit of it.

 

ghjr

 

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This is not included in the 500 word limit.

I just wanted to thank for Diane Petraitis for this challenge. I honestly can’t say enough about 4-H. One memory could fill 500 words.

Also, I would like to personally thank Diane for helping my humiliate myself at 4-H Camp, especially this past year. Thanks for the fingernail polish and helping my apply and remove green paint from all over my bed. You girls missed a few spots, by the way.

Yes, everyone, that was innuendo. Deal with it.

By the way, honkies, I need more challenges to keep the blog running. Make sure to leave challenges in blog comments, on the Facebook page, or on my Google+ page.

Truly ghjr.

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