I am a current 4-H club adviser. Prior to my being an adviser, I was an involved parent, as my daughter is entering her seventh year in 4-H . I am writing in regards to the chaos concerning the fair being evicted from the Summit County Fairgrounds.
If this should happen, this would be a huge injustice to the youth of Summit County. Perhaps there are many people who do not realize the hard work and effort that is done by these children year-round preparing for the fair. They work extremely hard doing processes that teach them many life skills.
In exchange for their efforts, they get to display their projects at the county fair, and be judged on their work. They then become eligible for many rewarding things, such as participation at the state level, and various scholarships. To eliminate the fair would deprive these children of many opportunities that could play a large part in their adult future.
It has been said that the county fairs have outlived their usefulness, and as a parent of a 14-year-old 4-H’er, and a club adviser, I am outraged to hear this. In addition to 4-H, my daughter is a member of the junior fair board. Both of these activities have built her skills in many areas. She has learned how to make important decisions, developed excellent communication skills, has learned how to help others, has done numerous community service activities, become comfortable with the interview process, become familiar with the process of parliamentary procedure, and the list goes on.
All of these skills are necessary in adult life. The youth are our future leaders. We have kids who are currently more mature with important decision-making skills than many adults.
The political and monetary issues surrounding this problem are not the fault of the children, therefore, they should not have to lose this valuable and educational program.
In today’s world, parents search to find activities that will keep their children involved with “the right crowd,” and doing age-appropriate and “wholesome” activities. It doesn’t get any better than 4-H when it comes to those things.
Focus on the importance of this program to the children of Summit County, and realize that their future is far more important than “who owes who.” There has to be a way of working this matter out.
“Kicking the fair out” of the Summit County Fairgrounds is kicking today’s youth, and tomorrow’s future leaders out of a very valuable education.
Kellie L. Turner