Excelsior Springs 4-H Club Partners with Community to Showcase Talents

4-H2O – Excelsior Springs’ 4-H Club celebrated National 4-H Week by partnering with several local businesses to showcase their award-winning projects. Businesses that participated in the showcasing projects included Campbell Wood Designs, Style by Ry, The Mug Coffeehouse, and First Resort Chiropractic. Member projects that were displayed were from project categories including arts & crafts, cake decorating, sewing, foods, photography, and woodworking (see photos). 

Sisters Rebecca (9th grade) and Hailey McDade (7th Grade) have been very active in 4-H over the past several years. Rebecca took home the prize of Grand Champion, Fashion Revue, Senior Division at the Clay County fair and advanced to state fashion revue this weekend in Columbia, MO.  Rebecca also said she’s gained a passion for baking and dreams of opening her own bakery someday. Hailey served as the President of the 4-H2O Club over the past year, leading meetings and helping to organize events. “It’s so much fun and there’s lots of comradery. There’s a project for almost everything, if we don’t have it we can add it,” said Hailey.

 4-H members “learn by doing,” and not only do they get experience by working on projects from more than 75 categories, youth members lead club meetings, plan monthly programs, community service and social activities. 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization and is open to all youth, ages 5-18.  Currently the Excelsior Springs Club has around 15 members with ages ranging from 5-15 years old.

Once members decide on an area of interest they then participate in meetings led by recognized volunteers to learn more about their topics during the year. In those meetings, members choose items to make and exhibit at the county fair and may also choose to present demonstrations and participate in county competitions related to their topics. Motivated 4-H members also have opportunities to hold county and state council offices, compete in state and national competitions, earn state and national awards and scholarships.

Parent volunteer Nicole Riegel, who was instrumental in getting the local 4-H chapter re-established here in Excelsior Springs can attest to the life-long advantages of 4-H membership. She explained, “As a 4-H alumni, I know the benefits 4-H provided me as an adult. In my 12 years as a member, I had opportunities to hold leadership positions. I learned the values of citizenship, hard work and perseverance. 4-H is about so much more than the projects members make. It’s really about positive youth development – making connections to, and engaging with, their community; providing meaningful decision-making opportunities; building on their strengths – meeting youth where they are and helping them develop the skills they need to succeed in life.”

Megan Riegel and her brother Garrett are also very active in 4-H. Megan participated in projects such as livestock shows, drawing, sewing, and foods. “There are so many options for projects that you’d never get to do in school,” said Megan. For one of her projects Megan made a hoodie using a donated pattern. Unfortunately, it was a bit too small when she completed it because the pattern had already been cut. She did some research and figured out a way to split the side seams and add some color coordinating blocks. “When I got done you couldn’t even tell there had been a problem,” Megan said. “The projects we work on in 4-H really help me to be a better leader and improve my problem solving skills,” she continued.

One of the things Megan likes most about 4-H is being able to learn from the volunteers who have special skills, talents or interests. “4-H allows us to connect with people in our community who we can learn from directly,” she said. “The things we do wouldn’t be possible without all of the great volunteers.” All of the members of 4-H said they feel like the things they’re learning are skills they’ll be able to use for the rest of their lives. 

4-H2O – Excelsior Springs’ 4-H Club meets every 2nd Tuesday at 6:30 PM at the Great Hall of the Good Samaritan Center. For more information visit their Facebook Group.

News for and About Excelsior Springs!

Get the Excelsior Citizen e-newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each week. It’s a collection of the best news and events all focused exclusively on Excelsior Springs. No fluff just local news and information you can trust!

Free Newsletter Signup