Laura Fischer was a shy, self-conscious 7-year-old when she attended her first 4-H meeting in Pleasant Valley. Her mother wanted Laura to find something that would keep her occupied, and the opportunities that 4-H offered seemed practical for a farmer's daughter.
Older 4-H members welcomed Laura and encouraged her to get involved with the 4-H public speaking program. From their example, Laura has become a leader.
Laura is just one of more than 1,400 4-H'ers involved in 52 Carroll County clubs with interests ranging from hippology (the study of horses) to fashion design, horticulture to performing arts, forestry and wildlife to photography.
The North Carroll High School ninth-grader directed classes at "Beat the Winter Blahs," a day of workshop sessions for 4-H members. She also teaches younger members the "4-H Way" at club meetings. A former 4-H junior ambassador, Laura is secretary of the Rabbit Club and a past president and corresponding secretary of the Pleasant Valley 4-H Club.
She will work two weeks this summer as a 4-H crafts counselor.
Without 4-H, "it would be hard because I wouldn't be able to do all the citizenship projects. I would still be sitting in the corner," she said.
Laura's speech was one of 204 speeches presented last month at the annual 4-H public speaking contest. She is one of the many -4-H'ers and volunteers honored March 22 at the 1997 Volunteer and Youth Recognition Ceremony sponsored by the Carroll County 4-H Program.
"It was a wonderful event. Most people were surprised. We did recognize a tremendous amount of excellent volunteers and many 4-H members," said Bob Shirley, extension agent for 4-H. More than 400 4-H'ers and family and community members attended the ceremony.
Rolling Clovers was the only Carroll County club named a Maryland Outstanding 4-H Club for 1996. This "community club" is made up of young people who carry a variety of projects and take part in a great deal of community service.
Sandra Stonesifer organized the Rolling Clovers 4-H Club in 1972 and has been the leader ever since. The club has received the statewide honor five or six times and stresses the importance of community service. Club members participate in such service activities as collecting canned food for Carroll County Food Sunday; adopting needy families at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; and an Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
The Carroll County Commissioners Tray is presented annually to the 4-H'er who excels in citizenship, leadership and achievement. Commissioner Donald I. Dell presented the award to Rebecca Dowsley. The tray recipient is chosen by 4-H volunteers and extension service agents.
"I had no idea it was going to be me. I set out to accomplish a lot when I joined 4-H and I just accomplished a lot more than I expected," said Rebecca, who has been involved with 4-H for seven years. "The tray symbolizes my personal growth through 4-H."
Rebecca works with the 4-H Kids on the Block, a puppet show that travels to every second- and fourth-grade classroom in the county to "teach children that kids with disabilities are OK."
She also organized a series of classes about veterinary science open to all 4-H'ers and community members. Rebecca invited area veterinarians to give presentations and she organized games and presented slide shows.
Jason Watt and Tamyra Robrecht were named Mr. and Miss Carroll County 4-H 1997.
Carroll County Fair Board members Eva Fisher and Nevin Tasto were honored for 35 years of service. Mary Shunk of the Therapeutic Riding 4-H Club and Fair board member Gene Fisher received 25-year awards. New inductees into the Carroll County 4-H Fair Board's Hall of Fame are Bob Nelson, Finch Services Inc., Kathryn Frock and Gene Fisher.
Sam Chamelin, member of Pleasant Valley 4-H, Carroll County 4-H Horticulture and Chevonaire 4-H Dairy Goat club, and Sara Kopp of Deep Run 4-H were named Outstanding Junior 4-H'ers for 1997.
Pub Date: 4/06/97