Our Past | 1954: 4-H members get ready for their Achievement Day

Selected by Karen Larsen

The following excerpts are from an article written by Virgil C. Delegans, the county extension agent, and published in the Nov. 11, 1954 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press. Delegans introduces the upcoming 4-H Achievement Day and outlines the principles of successful participation in 4-H.


4-H Achievement Day Here on Nov. 19

The end of the 4-H year is drawing near. All projects have been completed. Record books have been turned in, and the awards committee is busily going through each member’s book to see who has completed all projects and to determine the various award winners. After all completions and awards have been recorded and pins and awards ordered and received, the annual 4-H Achievement Day program will be held. It is during this program that awards and pins are presented to 4-H members and leaders. It is a day all working in the 4-H program look forward to. We might call it the “4-H Thanksgiving Day,” for those who have done a good year’s work are recognized for their achievements.

For Douglas County, the date has been set for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Community Hall of the District Fairgrounds at Waterville. All 4-H members and leaders will be informed about the day. Sponsors, parents and friends of 4-H members will be invited to attend. Some 300 are expected to join this recognition and social event.

A member plans at the beginning of the 4-H year what he or she will do. During the year the member follows the 4-H motto: “To Make the Best Better.” A good project year includes participation in as many events as possible. This means trying to attend judging days, demonstrations, workdays, camps, recreational activities, etc. Club meetings should be attended, and also tours and separate project meetings. A good 4-H member plays by the rules of the game all the way through. Fair participation is an important part of the 4-H training program. Each member is expected to participate in some manner at the local fair.

When we speak of fairs, we immediately speak of competition and awards — of achievement. However, in the end the important thing is not whether we won or lost but how we played the game. The best winner is a good loser with the determination to do better. In 4-H we say: “Keep your head when you win and your heart when you lose.” So instead of thinking about the rewards, let’s worry more about earning them.