County 4-H celebrates youth achievement at awards night
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s 4-H Youth Development Program celebrated a unique 4-H year at its annual Awards Night held recently at the Falcon’s Nest in Falconer.
Despite the challenges 4-H youth and volunteers faced by the coronavirus pandemic, Chautauqua County 4-H youth were still able to complete projects like community service and many animal projects. Youth were recognized for their efforts at the annual Awards Night Ceremony.
Awards Night usually takes place in November and is planned by the Teen Ambassador youth leadership group. Families bring a dish to share, enjoy games, and celebrate the 4-H year with their fellow 4-Hers. This year’s event was a “walk through” style, modified to accommodate social distancing best practices. Families arrived at the Falcon’s Nest and received awards for project completion and participation in fundraisers. They then walked to get a photo and to share their success with families who chose to participate virtually via Zoom. Youth who joined via Zoom were recognized for their accomplishments as well. All youth who participated received a 4-H mask sewn by 4-H volunteer Valitta Eggleston and a cookie from 3C’s catering.
Youth can be nominated for special awards by staff, parents, club leaders or the volunteer advisory committee who leads the project. Because participation was limited, some clubs and committees chose to recognize youth for project completion. Others recognized youth for going above and beyond for their efforts before the pandemic began.
Stepping Stone Awards recognize youth for taking on a new challenge, overcoming an obstacle, stepping beyond familiar territory, or demonstrating a positive attitude. These youth received Stepping Stone Awards for the Dairy Project: Anna Carlberg, Clara Carlberg, Laine Carpenter, Tyler Crowell, and Grace Pfleuger. Everett LeBarron and Laine Carpenter received Stepping Stone Awards for their participation in the Poultry Project. Matthew Brown, Corrine Covert, and Jasper Eschenbach received Stepping Stone recognition for their participation in the Rabbit Project. Hunter Bova was recognized with a Stepping Stone Award from the Sheep Project.
Milestone Awards recognize youth for demonstrating continual growth, perseverance, and extra effort. Dayne Jantzi, Kaitlyn King, Maggie King, Ava Meyer, Cole Nickerson, and Larsen Swan received Milestone Awards for their participation in the Dairy Project. Gabrielle Koszewski, Riley Palmer, and Louisa Smith were given Milestone Awards for their participation in the Rabbit Project.
County Medals recognize youth who have achieved some level of mastery in their program area. These youth received County Medals: Garett Catanese – Sheep, Lexus Eschenbach – Rabbit, Kaylee Hodge – Community Service, Maggie King – Rabbit, Miranda Nickerson – Dairy, and Lily Woodis – Dairy.
Natalie Turecek and Kaylee Hodge were recognized for their great efforts sewing masks for the 4-H Mask Task which was a statewide effort to encourage 4-H youth and volunteers to sew masks for distribution in their community.
The Stanley Weeks Scholarship is presented annually at Awards Night to 4-H youth who are a graduating senior and plan to pursue a degree in agriculture, agriculture engineering, horticulture, or conservation. This year Rachael Harper and Corinne Covert were selected to receive the scholarship held at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
Youth can participate in 4-H through age 18. Each year youth “age out” of the program because of these guidelines. Youth who age out often have participated in 4-H programming for over ten years and leave a legacy of their own in their respective programs. Youth aging out are Josephine Allen, Garrett Catanese, Elizabeth Comstock, Holly Crandall, Autumn Gregory, Gabrielle Koszewski, Katelyn Miller, Robert Nagel, Kayla Schauman, Bryanna Warner, and Sophia Woodis.
Chautauqua County 4-H is still accepting new enrollments for the 2020-21 4-H year. Interested families with youth ages 5-18 may contact Kate Ewer, 4-H educator, at 664-9502, ext. 212, or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is also available at cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua/4-h-youth.