The Pandemic & Resilience of 4-H Members

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Justin Crowe, 4-H Youth Development Director and State Leader

Today, I am excited to hear from one of our state 4-H council members, Carlin Cochran of Hickman County who is a 2020-2021 State 4-H Council Senior Representative. She has brought us an article of perseverance and hope from a 4-H members perspective.

The skills taught in the 4-H program are perfect ammunition to tackle Quarantine boredom. While this time may not be ideal for the social side of 4-H, the Personal Growth side of 4-H is thriving like never before. Tennessee 4-Her’s are learning to adapt, and have been able to use this time to learn new skills, start new projects, and better their “clubs, communities, country, and world” in whatever way they can.

Several events in the 4-H world have been postponed, or cancelled altogether. This year 4-H Congress was originally postponed until August, and eventually cancelled. This affected many people, including myself. I was able to serve as the 2020 Congress Governor. If Congress had happened as scheduled, there would be another set of officers already elected; that makes me, Leah Kennedy, and Isaac Chandler the longest elected officers ever! This is not exactly ideal, but nevertheless, it’s cool to make history. 4-H Roundup was also cancelled completely; this meant that there would be no portfolio interviews, in person campaigning and electing, etc. Many 4-H’ers, including myself, had to learn how to navigate the virtual world as a result of these cancellations. New Roundup and Congress officers were recently elected virtually. The cancellation of these events was heartbreaking, but 4-Her’s are learning to have patience about incoming information. While the wait for that continues, 4-Hers are learning how to turn their boredom into creativity.

The TN State 4-H council met through Zoom to catch up and give a report on their quarantine activities, and recently, the Council was able to reunite in a safe manner. Mask Making, Online Schooling,

Gardening, and crafting were a few of the activities they have been spending their time on. Technology has been an absolute blessing, and has allowed clubs to stay connected and active. Many county programs have also been staying active through social media and at-home service projects. We are so proud of our 4-Her’s for doing their best to make the best better everyday.

Out of any bad situation comes life lessons, and that is happening in the lives of 4-Her’s everywhere. The Coronavirus is teaching Patience, Persistence, Thoughtfulness, and maybe most importantly, Resilience. Everyone is being affected in one way or another, but using the skills they’ve been taught, 4-Her’s should have no issue with reentering their normal lives even better than before. So whether it’s their project or not, 4-Hers are practicing Personal Development everyday. Resilient members of the 4-H program will return with new skills and a new appreciation for their clubs, communities, country, and world.