Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Steamboat Springs The sentences don't always flow. The spelling is a little off. And some of the handwriting is a little shaky.
But the words come from the heart.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the Good Times 4-H Club, a handful of children who participate in the club wrote letters that describe their experiences with 4-H.
The "What 4-H Means to Me" letters coincided with other 100th anniversary activities that included painting clovers on the streets of Hayden, painting bathrooms and making a big burlap banner that now hangs on a fence at the fairgrounds.
About 30 children between the ages of 6 to 14 participate in the Good Times 4-H Club.
"We are a really young club," said Medora Fralick, who works with the youngsters.
Children volunteered to contribute letters to the project.
Those letters were forwarded to Jay Whaley, 4-H agent for the Routt County Extension Office.
The words are entirely the children's own, Fralick said.
Some letters were typed, while other letters were handwritten.
"I have done many projects, and groups," Ian Fralick typed about his experience in the Good Times 4-H Club.
He wrote about the opportunities 4-H gives him, whether it be meeting new friends, trying different activities or putting aside money for college.
The children's own words expressed their commitment to an organization that is still going strong after a century-long existence in Routt County.
"4-H is one of my Highest Priorities in my life," Fralick wrote.
"It teaches me to work with people, be responsible, how to take care of animals, how to show the animals, when you start a project you have to finish it, and many other things. That is What 4-H is to me."
Jacci Gilbert tried her hand at poetry.
"4-H is the place that helps me be my best,
It is the thing that gives me a showmanship test."
Gilbert confessed in her letter that she would be "board all summer" if not for 4-H. The Routt County Fair and Rodeo gives her something to look forward to, she wrote.
"I need 4-H it is a part of me and my life," her letter reads. " I wouldn't be as happy of a person as I am without 4-H!"
Lanette Laman turned in a three-page, double-spaced written explanation of her family's ties to 4-H.
She described the childhood 4-H projects of her great grandmother, grandmother and mother.
"My Great Grandmother Iva Decker Laman helped begin a tradition of 4 generations of 4-H members in my family," she began. "When Iva was in 4-H in the 1930s 40s she showed beef, sewing and fashion revue she competed with those projects at the Colorado State Fair."
Now, she wrote, it is her turn to carry on the tradition.
"For 70 years my family has learned by doing, to make the best, better," Laman explained. "The magnitude of our accomplishments is awsome."
Ashleigh Muhme preferred to keep her dissertation short.
"I like 4-H because it is very interesting and you get to inter act with animals and every year another fun activity is waiting."