Recently, we had our first Western Region 4-H All-Star Initiate from Wayne County in a long time! To become a 4-H All-Star, a 4-H member must first become a State 4-H Honor Club member by completing the 4-H Honor Club form and having earned enough points through participation in 4-H activities, leadership, and citizenship. The points are not as hard to gain as one might think – every activity that a 4-H member completes – whether it is a poster, raising 4-H chickens, attending 4-H Camp, helping a fellow 4-H member by listening to their speech as they practice, etc. – gains points toward being a State 4-H Honor Club member. Once a 4-H’er is accepted into the State 4-H Honor Club, they can complete a service project – we do service projects frequently in our county 4-H Club that would qualify – and then complete the 4-H All-Star form, and they can become a Western Region 4-H All-Star Initiate. The State 4-H Honor Club is open to all 4-H’ers who are in 6th-12th grade and qualify with enough points, and the 4-H All-Stars is open to 4-H’ers in 9th-12th grade who have earned the State 4-H Honor Club status.
Rachel Stults, a Junior at Collinwood High School, attended the Western Region 4-H All Star Spring Retreat recently, and I asked her to give us her thoughts on the retreat. Here is what she has written:
“On March 20th, 2021, I attended the 4-H Spring Retreat at Lone Oak Farm in Middleton, TN. That was the first time I had ever been to a retreat and it was a lot of fun. I met many new people and learned a lot too. The first thing I did when I arrived was build a birdhouse. I had never built a birdhouse before so I had to get help from one of the agents there. If I were asked to build one again I would probably know what to do now. When we were all finished, one of the agents told us that when we hang our birdhouses up to hang them facing the East because the birds like to watch the sunrise. I did not know that, but you learn something new every day.
“The next thing we did was initiate the new members. It was great to see the new initiates come in with happy and excited faces, ready for what the day had in store for them.
“After the ceremony, we headed outside again to do a survival challenge. We were told to grab one item from a pile that we could survive seventy-two hours with. We then were separated into groups of four or five. We were told to build a fire, boil water, and build a shelter in thirty minutes. In my group we had five people. The items we had were duct tape, rope, matches, a garbage bag, and a flashlight. We managed to start a fire and build a shelter from the garbage bag and duct tape, but we ran out of time before we could find out how to boil water. There was a stream nearby that we could have gotten water from, but we had nothing to put the water in. After we all gathered together and reflected on what we did right and wrong, the instructor gave us some tips on what you would need in a survival situation and how to use certain items. I learned a lot from that experience and I think the survival challenge was my favorite part of the retreat.
“Next we all loaded up in truck beds and headed out to the new 4-H camp cabins. That group of All Stars were the first 4-Hers to step foot on that land. We snapped a few pictures and then went to lunch.
“After lunch we broke out into groups, one for shooting and one for crafting. I chose to do crafting. We made burlap door hangers and it was pretty fun.
“After that we came back together and did a scavenger hunt. That was a really great team building exercise. I learned a lot from working in a team with people I had never met before.
“The last thing we did was cut up old t-shirts to make dog toys for a shelter. After we all finished that, it was time to go home. Overall It was a really fun day and I encourage more Wayne County students to become involved in 4-H All Stars.”
There are many things that 4-H’ers can do in 4-H as High School students – and being a 4-H All-Star opens up the door to several of them. As a 4-H All-Star, you are eligible to attend the Spring Retreat and Fall Retreat. You are also eligible to attend 4-H Round-up without being a portfolio finalist. The 4-H All-Stars are eligible to run for State Offices, Regional Offices, and be on the 4-H Council. If you are looking to branch out, network, and work on your leadership skills, 4-H All-Stars is a great place to start! The first step to take is filling out the 4-H Honor Club form and then your 4-H All-Star application!
For more information on how to get started, please contact Mrs. Samantha at the UT/TSU Extension Office at 722-3229.