North Carolina 4-H Congress is the premier annual educational event sponsored by North Carolina 4-H at N.C. State University and planned by the State 4-H Council. The council is composed of 20 young people who serve as officers from five districts and four state officers who are elected at Congress.
Kristi Reep, of Hamlet, held the South Central District president office for the past year and has served on the State 4-H Council. Around 500 youths, ranging in ages from 13 to 18, attend N.C. 4-H Congress and represent every county in North Carolina.
The major purposes of N.C. 4-H Congress are:
• To perpetuate the reputation of 4-H as a major statewide educational program.
• To improve delegates’ knowledge of current issues through educational experiences such as speakers, discussion groups, workshops, etc.
• To provide an opportunity to develop and exercise leadership skills through serving on committees and participating in certain programs.
• To provide an opportunity for delegates to participate in the democratic process through campaigning for and electing State 4-H officers.
• To provide recreational and social experiences for delegates.
• To select winners in presentations and certain activities through state contests.
• To provide recognition for project, activity and scholarship winners.
The Richmond County delegation that attended this year was composed of DeLani Reep, Kristi Reep, Serinity Sturdivant and Faith Thompson. Youths who attended the event participated in leadership and youth empowerment workshops, community service projects, state 4-H officer elections, dances, making new friends, and the long tradition of the lighting of the candlelight clover.
The candle-lighting ceremony coordinated by the N.C. 4-H Honor Club is one of the highlights of 4-H Congress. Each male delegate forms the H’s while the female delegates form the clover leaves around them. N.C. 4-H Honor Club members form the stem of the clover.
N.C. 4-H Congress opened with the state level 4-H Presentations competition on Saturday, July 18. Faith Thompson represented Richmond County. Presenting in the Environmental Science Forestry & Wildlife category, Thompson placed gold in the 14-18 age division.
4-H Presentations have been a cornerstone of 4-H Youth Development since the early 20th century. 4-H Presentations help youth to develop many life skills such as speaking in front of a group, researching data, and organizing ideas. Faith Thompson has placed gold at the state level in 2014 and 2015.
For more information on opportunities for youth and 4-H Youth Development, please contact Laura Grier, Extension agent for 4-H Youth Development, at email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/richmondcounty4h.
The Richmond County Cooperative Extension office helps provide research-based education and technology to the residents of this great county. Richmond County 4-H is a non-formal education program for young people ages 5-19. The office is located at 123 Caroline St. in Rockingham, and can be reached at 910-997-8255 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.