[insert awesome council member's name here]

May 31, 2014

Hello all my lovely 4-H friends!
May was a great month, wasn't it? Of course, I'm a little biased because it was my birthday month! But in a weird way, it's hard to accept that I'm finally 19.  There's no more getting away with that "4-H age" stuff once January comes along, I can't cheat this time. This is really it.  I don't like to think about it because technically I still have until the end of December to be in 4-H, but now that I'm 19 and summer has come along, I can't help but think about how many "lasts" I have crammed into the next 3 months: last year as a 4-H camp counselor, last year as a 4-H entry in the fair, and last Achievement Days/last day as a member of State Council.  Because after all that, I don't have much left to do in my 4-H career.
Wow. I guess I'm realizing my own 4-H mortality.
(That's the best way I could think to describe it. Don't judge.)
So, being 19 and realizing my days as a traditional 4-Her are numbered, I'm doing what anyone would do when they realize their own 4-H mortality, and I've been frantically trying to think of ways to stay in 4-H!! Can I be a leader in my club?? Will I ever be able to be staff at a state event?? Will people remember me??
Will people remember me? I think that's one of the most common questions anyone in my position has asked or will ask in the future.  Especially State Council members.  
In my experience, I've heard many reasons why 4-Hers join Council.  We want to be leaders, we want to make the most of our 4-H experience, it's our last year in 4-H, etc. But one reason that I think comes subconsciously is that we all want to be remembered in some way.  We know that we can't stay in 4-H forever, and many of us will never have the ability to be club leaders or become Extension educators or any part of the Penn State staff.   Especially if you're a shy person like me, it's easy to feel that you haven't made a difference.  So what better way to be remembered than to wear a fancy green jacket and promote this great organization in our state for an entire year?
But the thing is, not everybody can be remembered. It's impossible. And if anyone random out there can name every single person who has ever been on council from memory, that's seriously weird.  
Usually, when referring to a council, people don't say "the 2011 council" or "the 2008 council". They say "[insert awesome council member's name here]'s council".  And there are a few awesome council members who get their name in that slot very often. Others, not so much. Maybe I haven't done as much as some of my predecessors, and I don't deserve to have my name in that space.  But I hope that at least a few people will look back at what we did this year and say, "Oh yeah, that was Sophie's council!" 
Have a jubilant June! 
Sophie Hutchinson, Council Representative

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