4-H Summer’s Blast From the Past

— Written By
On July 21, 2018, Carteret’s very own County Council Officers attended 4-H’s 2018 Congress! We kicked the 21st off with an early drive to Raleigh, although we woke up early we couldn’t get much rest on the ride up due to excitement and nerves. Once we arrived on campus, Alanna Paschall, Elizabeth Schaeffer, and yours truly Gracie Hall were presenting this year for State. While Alanna and I didn’t place, Elizabeth won Silver in her small companion animals category. After a long morning of presentations ended, we made our way to our dorms. Once settled into our temporary homes for the week, we headed to the Crabtree Valley Mall for dinner and a little shopping. After our adventure across the mall, we went to the McKimmon Center for Registration and Opening Assembly. During this time we were greeted by our 2017-2018 State 4-H Officers. We also heard short speeches from some important 4-H contributors, such as Dr. Claudette Smith. After a few more speeches and games, it was time for the N.C. 4-H Honor Club Tapping Ceremony. Shortly following the Ceremony, we were introduced to our 2018-2019 State Officer Candidates who also prepared speeches and skits. Afterwards, we heard the first spotlight speech from our 2017-2018 State 4-H Reporter Erin Dillon, this brought our first official Assembly of 2018 4-H Congress to a close.
Carteret County's 4-H Congress delegation Summer 2018

Carteret County’s 4-H Congress delegation Summer 2018

The next day quickly arrived, after breakfast we returned to the McKimmon Center for Assembly and Award Recognition. Afterwards we heard a speech from a Motivational Speaker, Mr. Chad Porter. Once the second Spotlight speech from our 2017-2018 State 4-H Vice President Nicole Worth had ended we headed to our Districts meeting, there we were able to ask our 2018-2019 State Officer Candidates questions about their goals for the new year. After we had Lunch and listened to a few more speeches, alongside our 2017-2018 State 4-H Secretary/Treasurer Joah Bickleys spotlight speech we headed to our first workshop. We chose Perseverance as our first workshop, we learned how to make vision boards and set goals for ourselves. Our second workshop was “Blend Right In-Smoothie Challenge”, Although neither of our groups had won I think we all had a wonderful ride. After the workshops we ate dinner, and got ready for the campaign booths as well as the first dance. Before the dance and campaign booths, we had Power of YOUth Assembly and heard the final spotlight speech from our 2017-2018 State 4-H President Anthony Vagnozzi. Closing the Assembly was a Talent Showcase, the amazing talents consisted of several 4-Hers across the State. Once the Talent Show ended everyone headed to the dance, when we entered the room it was buzzing with excited 4-Hers. The campaign booths were set up on one the side of the room, giving 4-Hers the chance to get to know our 2018-2019 State 4-H Candidates. The dance was a lot of fun, we all enjoyed the line dances. Especially Lauren, Alanna, and Elizabeth, who were right in the middle of them! The dance ended and we headed back to our dorms, after picking up some late-night snacks from a local convenience store.
The third day we got to experience Raleigh and what fun places it has to offer. We had a nice healthy breakfast at the State Farmers Market Restaurant, then we headed down to check out the Farmers Market across the street. Afterwards, we did a little shopping at, the Earth Fair supermarket. We visited the N.C Museum of Natural Sciences, we got to see and learn a lot of interesting things. Although I think we enjoyed the escalators more than anything. As we made our way back to the McKimmon Center, we stopped by the Smoothie King for a cold treat. Once the State Officers wrapped up the Group Session, it was time to go back to our dorms and prepare for the Clover Gala and Dance. We dressed our very best for the important occasion. Following dinner was the introduction of different District Officers, accompanied by a few short announcements and speeches. The Clover Dance was as much fun as everyone had been saying it would be, even more so I know it exceeded my expectations. Shortly after the dance ended we arrived at the Dorton Arena for the Candlelight Ceremony, during which the youth were instructed to form the shape of a clover that would be lit up by the candles each individual was holding. Although many of us came out of the experience with hands covered in hot wax, it was a memorable and exquisite experience and we were very honored to be apart of the ceremony.
Sadly the final day of Congress had arrived, we grabbed breakfast at a Chick-Fil-A that was near by. We all agreed it was the nicest Chick-Fil-A we’d ever been to, two stories can do alot to how an everyday except Sunday fast food restaurant looks to us “small” town folks. Once we finished breakfast, we headed to the Dorton Arena for one final 2018 4-H Congress hurrah. There we packed boxes of food for children and people in need, we had packed 50,175 meals! It was a truly an amazing experience for anyone who helped! Finally we watched a video that highlighted all the things we had done, seen, and learned at our 2018 Congress. Next it was time to say goodbye to the friends we made and head home. The ride home was filled with laughter and conversation about the things we had experienced. Although we had a lot of fun at Congress, it was good to be home.
I asked my fellow Carteret County 4-H’ers including our Carteret County 4-H agent Mrs. Danielle what their favorite part was about Congress and they had this to say.
“My favorite part is always the first night when we watch the slideshow that introduces the districts and their counties.” -Carteret County Secretary Elizabeth Schaffer
“I liked how we got to hang out with each other, and meet people from the other counties.” -Carteret County Recording Secretary Kacey Field
“I enjoyed the workshops most of all, it was a great experience and a lot of fun!”          -Vice President Alanna Paschall
“My favorite part about Congress was not only being able to stay a couple of nights at one of my dream colleges, but being able to meet new people and reconnect with the old ones. I was also able to get closer to my fellow Carteret County 4-Hers that attended with me!” -Carteret County President Lauren DeLuzio
“My favorite part was watching Carteret County 4-Hers take the lead in group activities with other 4-Hers across the state. What I mean by this is that it was exciting to see all of you in the workshops. None of you sat back and observed, all of you took a leadership role either as a team member to solve a problem or as a group leader to get the group organized. I was honored by the representation of leadership that our Carteret County 4-H delegates displayed.” -Mrs. Danielle
“My personal favorite part about Congress was the dances, we got to meet some awesome people and see some familiar faces! But it was an all around great experience and it’s really hard to choose just one favorite!” -Carteret County Reporter Gracie Hall
Written By Gracie Hall, Carteret County 4-H Council Reporter