By Laura Allen
NC cooperative extension
I’ve often heard that public speaking is the greatest fear of most adults. While I don’t know if that’s an accurate statistic or not, I’d venture to say it’s probably close to being true.
If you’re looking to help the young people in your life practice their public speaking skills and hopefully eliminate public speaking anxiety, 4-H is a great place to start. Young people aged 5 to 18 (from their birthday on January 1st) can participate in 4-H presentations. We offer them a friendly and positive learning environment to start their journey as a public speaker.
On April 1st, Rowan County 4-H hosted our annual County Activity Day, an event packed with activities for 4-H people to attend and be part of. This year it was held in person for the first time since 2019 with 80 people in attendance. At this event, 4-H people participated in 4-H presentations, talent and expression arts competitions and events. All of these 4-H’ers were creative and had to step out of their comfort zones to participate.
In 4-H presentations, the youth gave a 5- to 12-minute presentation, complete with displays and artifacts, and presented it to a panel of three judges. There were also family members, friends, other 4-H’ers and community members in the crowd so each child introduced himself to about 20-30 people. After their presentation, the jury asked them questions about their presentation topic.
Attendees at the 4-H presentation included:
• Luke Allen, Cloverbud (ages 5-7), “Maps”
• Maggie Deal, Cloverbud (5-7 years), “EGGtrodinary Deviled Eggs”
• Lainey Plott, Cloverbud (5-7 years), “What Horses Need”
• Lynlee Propst, Cloverbud (5-7 years), “All About Horses”
• Guy Deal, ages 8-10, environmental science, The Soil Investigation Service
• John Tucker, 8-10 years, Ag. Safety & Health, “Safety First”
• David Croyle, 11-13 years, Poultry, “Crazy Quackers-Life with Backyard Ducks”
• Nathan Croyle, 14-18, Arts and Communications, “Worth Money to Keep”
• Mason Gabosch, 14-18 years, small & companion animals, “puppy training”
• German Jaramillo, 14-18 years, fishing & water sports, “A look into the life of the otter”
• Samantha Simon, 14-18 years, Health/Fitness, “GMOs, good or bad?”
• Olivia Stirrup, 14-18, Family and Consumer Sciences, “Stain Removal”
There were also outdoor cooking demonstrations. In these presentations, 4-H’lers cooked meat on an outdoor charcoal grill using food safety practices and proper cooking techniques. They also set up an exhibition and answered questions from the jury.
Outdoor Cooking attendees included:
• Carson Halpin, ages 11-13, Grilling Pork Cabbage, “Wolfing Down Pigs”
• Christian Stebe, 14-18 years old, grilling pork cabbage, “Finger-Licking Good”
County Activity Day also includes a talent show. This year we had an attendee, John Tucker, perform an original song entitled Farm Song.
All participants in the 4-H Presentation, Outdoor Cooking and Talent Show are eligible to participate in the District Activity Day taking place June 18 in Harnett County.
In addition, a competition for expressive arts was held. All entries were submitted and judged prior to County Activity Day and then displayed with their winning ribbons during the event.
4-H participants in Expressive Arts included:
• Horse Painting (Cloverbud): Hannah Franco, Kate Lingle, Anna Parker, Lainey Plott, Lynlee Propst, Sarah Tucker
• Lego Creation, kit (Cloverbud): Noah Ashby
• Painting, watercolor (Cloverbud): Sarah Tucker
• Painting, acrylic (Cloverbud): Lainey Plott, Lynlee Propst
• Mixed Media (Cloverbud: Hannah Franco
• Woodcraft (Cloverbud): Noah Ashby
• Horse Drawing (Junior): John Tucker, 1st; Bonnie Goossens, 2
• Horse Painting (Junior): Bonnie Goossens, 1st; Addisyn Crowell, 2nd; John Tucker, 3rd; Kate Gibbons, 4
• Photography, beauty of nature: Georgia Veleke, 1st; Carson Halpin, 2
• Painting, Acrylic (Junior): John Tucker, 1st place
• Color photo (Junior): David Croyle, 1st place
• Mixed Media (Junior); Addisyn Crowell, 1st; David Croyle, 2
• Origami (Junior): David Croyle, 1st place
• Lego Creation, Original (Junior): David Croyle, 1st Place
• Photography, Beauty in Nature (Senior): Nathan Croyle, 1st Place
• Handicrafts with recycling products (senior): Christian Stebe, 1st place
• Best 4-H Clover (Senior): Christian Stebe, 1st place
• Lego Creation, Original (Senior): Nathan Croyle, 1st Place
Special thanks to the following community members who served as judges for these 4-H events: David Allen, Karen Busby, Sue Davis, Vinnie Duncan, Kelli Isenhour, Karen McKnight, Eric McKnight, Carole Massey, Rena Taylor, Jackie Wilson. Thanks also to Judy Lee and Cheryl Oster who served as presentation room managers. All participants in the Photo and Equine Expressive Arts category are eligible to enter upcoming state-level competitions.
For more information on how your child can participate in 4-H events, contact Laura Allen at [email protected] or 704-216-8970. You can also visit the Rowan County Cooperative Extension at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury.
Laura Allen is a 4-H agent at Rowan County Extension.