She beat her sister in the wearable sewing category for the first time ever, earning second best of all age groups. “The kids also learn how to lose, and being a better loser makes you a better winner,” Rob said.
The Papes are not just busy with 4-H during the summer. It truly is a year-round activity for 4-H’ers like Courtney who does sewing, child development, rabbits, and a few other projects. The animals require attention for months leading up to this past week’s judging, and other projects can be just as intensive.
“When I am pushed into a deadline I always tell myself I am going to do less projects, and I always end up doing more projects because I enjoy it,” Courtney said.
Courtney already has planned out her projects for her remaining two years in 4-H and once this year’s fair is over, she will already be busy working on next summer’s projects. The Pape family is not alone in their family love for 4-H. Mckennon Heald, 17, is in his ninth year of 4-H and will be a senior at Frankton High School next year. He was introduced to 4-H through his mother and his grandfather who raised rabbits for over 20 years.
Heald’s older sister carried on the 4-H tradition for 10 years, and now Heald and his two cousins raise pigs and rabbits over the three to four months leading up to the fair. Other than his grandfather’s rabbits and hogs on the farm where he works, Heald had little experience with animals before he started 4-H.
He too sees a lot of value in joining 4-H, particularly at a young age. “It looks good on a resume to show you are a 10-year member,” Heald said. “That shows you can stay with something.”