Winners have been announced in this year’s Platte County 4-H essay contest. When writers were asked to focus on the theme “Soaring to New Heights With 4-H,” many took the theme and flew with it.
Ages 5 to 7
By Emma Porting
One time there was a girl named Emma. She wanted to learn how to ride a horse and to learn more about horses. One day she saw a 4H sign. She told her mom she wanted to sign up. They taught her about animals. She learned what horses eat, how to brush them and how to ride them.
Emma worked hard learning how to ride. She practiced everyday teaching the horse to walk, trot and run. One day Emma wanted to learn how to jump. She fell off many times but never gave up. She tried over and over until she got it right. She wanted to be in the riding and jumping competition. She didn’t do good the first time but she didn’t give up. She tried again and won 1st place.
Emma kept SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS every time she wanted to learn a new trick or wanted to compete in competitions. She keeps soaring over and over everyday learning new things in 4H.
Ages 8 to 10
By Josi Billings
Soaring to new heights to me means a rocket ship and planets. In the beginning of my 4-H year when I went to the first meeting my rocket ship started up. I had no idea what I was getting into. It’s just like astronauts when they start up their ship. They have an idea what they’re getting into.
The first time I reached a planet was when I won 1st place in my age division for a duck stamp drawing competition for arts and crafts. It was a big accomplishment for a beginner like me. The second planet I reached was when I gave a speech for public speaking in Columbia for the first time. I was very scared but I did it. I felt so proud of myself for accomplishing my goal.
Now it’s my second year of 4-H and I’m doing new things and soaring to new heights. How others can soar to new heights is to try something different and not be afraid to do new things.
Ages 11 to 13
By Kate Leape
I’m a proud 4-H’er. 4-H has taught me how to soar. 4-H has taught me a lot of skills that I can use in the future, in my job or at home, I will be ready. I might want to become a photographer or seamstress or riding instructor when I grow up, so the skills I learn in 4-H will help me on the way.
Soaring to New Heights with 4-H means to me to go beyond what you once could do, to do stuff you never thought you could do. I’ve learned to never give up and always try your hardest. I learned to be patient because when you speed up you mess up.
4-H is fun most the time but it can be like school because learning can be like that, but you love it in the end because you also get to do it.
Without 4-H I would probably spend too much of my time with electronics. But because of 4-H I can Soar to New Heights for the rest of my life.
Ages 14 to 18
By Miranda Vest
Excitement and nervousness fills the room as passengers prepare to board the airplane. Trying new things can always be scary and fun at the same time; joining a new club and not knowing anyone can be scary too. 4-H can be compared to your first airplane ride. Take these appropriate steps with me to become an outstanding 4-Her!
First, you find courage and confidence to board the plane, or take your first steps into a fun-filled 4-H meeting. Find your seat: often you will sit alone because you know no one, but as soon as you’re comfortably seated an experienced 4-Her joins you and helps to prepare you for the ride of your life. They help teach you leadership, public speaking, and other life skills you never thought you would need. There is no need to be afraid, everyone is right there with you!
Next, the flight attendant goes over the safety procedures: showing how to put on a life vest and telling you to buckle up. There are so many great 4-H volunteers and parents to help you along the way. There is no need to feel unsafe or confused, because they are always there for questions and to teach you. Sit tight and buckle up, because we’re preparing for takeoff!
The plane starts to accelerate and before you know it you’re off the ground, soaring higher and higher into the sky. You start to get the hang of 4-H. You’re smiling and skipping into meetings, excited to see your new friends, and you start to speak up. Over the months and years, you have taken various projects like animal events, cooking, science, sewing, and more. There are so many options! You start to find you strengths and begin taking the same projects. Each year you soar higher and higher as an outstanding 4-Her. Look out the window now; everything is so beautiful and so different. Your life as a 4-Her has changed you forever and for the better! You are no longer shy or nervous. Soon there are state events and national events to apply for. You’re soaring in the sky not every wanting to come back down.
Soon the plane lands and no one wants to leave, but you are ready. 4-H has taught you so many life skills to use in your future. You have learned about various career options you may have never considered as well as experiencing different cultures by attending the Northland Ethnic Festival or studying abroad with a 4-H family. You learn the value of community service and helping others. Now you are ready to help a new 4-Her soar into the sky just as you did.
By Tracy Porter
What do eagles, hang gliders, flying squirrels, and hotair balloons have in common? They soar through the sky! The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines soaring as flying or sailing at a great height by floating on air currents, or rising quickly upwards to great heights.
Soaring sounds effortless; however, there is some cause and effect involved. Eagles and other birds need to expend energy by flapping those wings to reach the air currents. If you were hang-gliding, you would first need to climb to a high cliff, carrying heavy equipment, then jump off and glide. Hot air balloons will not rise until the heated air fills the balloon, and those flying squirrels, well, they are just plain CRAZY!
Have you ever watched squirrels scamper along telephone wires and tree branches? Then they actually jump into the air and glide — or soar — to the next tree! Talk about daredevils! The closest human equivalent would have to be the trapeze artists at the circus! All of these—eagles, squirrels, hot air balloons, hang gliders and trapeze artists —look so graceful in the act of soaring, even when it takes effort, daring, and, let’s face it, HARD WORK.
In this same way, when you apply effort, daring, and hard work, you can soar with 4-H to greater heights than you ever dreamed possible! Yes, it takes effort to attend meetings and even more effort to participate in discussions, demonstrations, and game times. Sometimes you have to be daring to speak up at a meeting or volunteer for a demonstration. Be daring and sign up for a new project! By pushing yourself, you can accomplish great things!
Sometimes you need a little push, like the hot air CAUSING the balloon to rise. That’s when parents and 4-H leaders step in with those reminders to get busy, get to work on those projects! Every project turned in, animal exhibited, or demonstration given at the fair should reflect that hard work. The more hard work, daring, and effort that you put into 4-H, the higher you will soar!