Contributed by CSU Extension
My hardest year in 4-H happened at the turn of the millennium. In the summer of 2000, my mare Oreo was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 12. After falling with me twice, she was no longer safe to ride and in June I switched to a new horse. In July, this horse was injured, and I switched to a third horse. In the last week of July with county fair the next week, the third horse was bit by a rattlesnake. In the end, I took two young horses to show at halter. It was their first time off the ranch and with just a week to prepare, let us just say I did not win any awards. But I did learn something. I learned grit and resilience. And my hardest year in 4-H is nothing compared to what our members have gone through this summer, 20 years later.
Our members have developed grit in 2020. They have developed the ability to "persevere through hard times and failure (Michigan State University Extension)." They’ve worked with their animals more; baked more; learned about careers in robotics on their own; toughed it through shooting sports practices, wearing masks in 100-degree heat; and most importantly, they’ve gained life skills.
The grit and determination 4-H members have practiced this year benefit them throughout their lives. In everyone from West Point cadets to National Spelling Bee competitors, research has shown grit to be as important to high achievement as intelligence. These "gritty" individuals typically possess the qualities of courage, conscientiousness, endurance, resilience, a need to achieve excellence. In another 20 years, these youth will be the people making positive change in the world with grit, determination, and resilience.
For more information on how 4-H members develop life skills, contact your local Extension Office: Baca County 719-523-6971, Bent County 719-456-0764, Cheyenne County 719-767-5716, Crowley County 719-267-5243, Kiowa County 719-438-5321, Otero County 719-254-7608, Prowers County 719-336-7734 or your local health department. Find us on the web at:
https://sea.extension.colostate.edu/. CSU Extension offers up-to-date, unbiased, research-based information to families in Southeast Colorado. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.