As a kid growing up, I tried many things. I played sports, little league, then school-ran, playing softball, basketball, track and golf. I was in Girl Scouts. I was in 4-H. I played in band. Not all of these things at once, mind you. But I tried it all. Then I grew up, got married and we started our family.
When our oldest child was old enough to be on a T-ball team, I was ecstatic! He tried that for a few years, but then the much strong influence and possibly at times a driving force for rural kids came along...................4-H. F&L Hustlers, to be exact. It was the club we would join 12 years ago and would become a big part of our family for over a decade---SO FAR.
It's the club that The Farmer was a member of, his sisters, all of the neighbor kids, the kids at church, the kids on the bus route and so on. (of course that's a lot of the SAME people mentioned over and over, but that's okay) Our club meets on the first Wednesday night of the month. (tonight) The club is primarily comprised of kids who attend Centralia schools, who live in western Audrain county. There are a few rebels who live in Boone county or Monroe (like us) and a few who attend other schools.
F&L Hustlers was established in 1949. One of our neighbors, Bob McBride was a charter member. Within his family three generations have been members. Many families have the second generation going through the club.
4-H and the skills learned through it have made a big impact on the lives of my children. The responsibility and commitment that it takes to raise a beef project are two that stick out in my mind. My oldest son will say that his years at camp taught him that he has a special skill with young kids and plans to put that skill to use as a middle school teacher. My quieter younger son may not say that he improved his speaking skills through doing demonstrations and leading the meeting as President, but he did. Our littler two kids are just starting to see all of the places 4-H can take them. As we drove to school this morning, we talked about which projects that they will enroll in for the coming year. I am always surprised by where their interests lie and then amazed that 4-H has something to accommodate those interests.
As I prepare for tonights meeting and juggling all that makes up our busy life, I am ALWAYS thankful that 4-H is one of those things in it,