Local Youths Take Part in 2014 4-H State Achievement Days

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Seven youth from Lycoming County were among more than 600
4-H members from across Pennsylvania who took part in the annual 4-H State Achievement Days at Penn State’s University Park campus July 28-30. The theme this year was based on superheroes: With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility!

Pennsylvania 4-H’ers attending the three-day event participated in various contests and activities, including horse judging, public speaking, shooting sports, physical fitness and a robotics competition. As a result of their participation, some 4-H members may qualify to attend national competitions.

Members of the Lycoming County 4-H senior shotgun team placed sixth in the state.  The team consisted of Owen Eck, Johnathan Katzmaier, Andrew Kiess, Logan Koser.  Andrew Kiessplaced 4th in the state in Senior Individual.  Hannah Eck also participated in the Junior Individual shotgun contest.  The shotgun team was coached Curt Stackhouse, leader of  Nothin’ But Dust 4-H Club.

Emma Frazier placed 9th in the state in the Public Speaking Contest. 

Divya Reitz, who held the office of reporter on the 2013-14 PA 4-H State Council, attended to fulfill her duties as an event emcee and facilitated new officer elections.  On Wednesday morning, she retired as a state officer along with the other 11 members of her team and inducted the new officers. 

“Throughout the year, 4-H members work hard to prepare for the competitions at 4-H State Achievement Days,” said Christy Bartley, 4-H state program leader for Penn State Extension. “Their learning in the plant and animal sciences, food and nutrition, fitness and recreation, presentations, and engineering sciences provides them with decision making, problem solving, teamwork, and leadership skills they will use throughout their lives.”

On the first day, approximately 300 attendees participated in the annual community service project, “Amp It Up!. . .4-H Service.” Projects are identified in advance, and participants bring donations of items to complete the projects. This year’s projects included the following:

--Birthday packs with cake mixes, icing, candles and sprinkles that will be donated to food banks, pantries and shelters.

--Back-to-school packs with various school supplies for children of currently serving military personnel.

--Blankets made from donated fleece material to be given to shelters, children’s hospitals and veteran’s homes.

--Toiletry bundles containing hair care products for women’s shelters and community centers.

--Homemade dog toys made out of recycled jeans for dog shelters and rescues.

--ShoeBox Recycling, a project that enables 4-H’ers to bring their gently worn, unwanted shoes to any statewide event throughout the year for donation to those less fortunate.

The opening ceremonies for 4-H State Achievement Days featured guest speaker Eddie Slowikowski, who is a graduate of Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. While at Loyola, he was a five-time All American in track and cross country, and he represented the U.S. at the 1987 Pan Am games, on the 1990 U.S. Track and Field team, and at the 1992 Olympic Trials. He delivered a message of conceiving, believing and achieving one’s dreams in life.

Other activities during the event included a talent show, the annual Fashion Revue and an evening dance.

At the closing ceremonies, contest winners were announced and presented with awards. Also, the 2013-14 State Council officers retired and made way for 10 new officers for the 2014-15 year. The following teens were chosen to represent the program locally and nationally for the upcoming year:

Karoline Kent, Lancaster County – President

Patrick Meadows, Bucks County – Vice President of Operations

Christopher Fink, Venango County – Vice President of Events

Casey Baker, Lawrence County – Vice President of Internal Affairs

Emmett Fox, Dauphin County – Sentinel

Hannah Riser, Adams County – Secretary

Caroline Smith, York County – Historian

Callie McAdoo, Montgomery County – Reporter

Leah Kochersperger, Bucks County – Representative

Reganne Whalen, Wyoming County – Representative

Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than 6 million young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. More information about 4-H can be found online at http://extension.psu.edu/4-H.

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