4-H is just fine in Perkins County, but pool project stalls—it’s time to take action
By Becky Uehling
I used to tell people my mom locked me and my sister in the basement most of the summer, forcing us to sew for 4-H. The truth is our basement door didn’t even have a lock on it, and we willingly signed up for 4-H sewing. However, when you are 12 years old in the summer and all you want to do is go to the pool with your friends, your mom making you sew for one hour or more before you could go felt like being in prison.
4-H, however, was as much about summer for me as swimming, slumber parties in the back yard and wheat harvest.
Last summer during the eclipse, my family and I went up to Arthur to view the totality. We stayed at the fairgrounds there, where there were several hundreds of other people who came from all over for the day. The 4-H clubs in Arthur were the ones mostly in charge of accommodating this massive crowd, which Arthur has probably rarely seen. The kids did a fabulous job, and made money for their clubs as well.
I just happened to be wearing my 4-H “mom” shirt from last year’s fair. After the eclipse, we were walking up to the main cabin on the grounds where the 4-H kids were serving lunch when a car with Texas plates pulled up and stopped.
The lady held out a $50 and handed it to me. Assuming that I was part of the 4-H crew, she asked me to take it as a donation, stating that she had been in 4-H when she was a kid and it had been a wonderful experience for her. Because there was a long-line of cars behind her waiting to leave, I didn’t try to explain that I wasn’t with the Arthur 4-H, but just took the money and told her I would get it to the right person, which I did. That moment showed me how special and far-reaching 4-H really is.
4-H boomed in Perkins County when I was a kid. Unfortunately, it began to dwindle with very little participation over the past 15 or so years. However, I am pleased to say that it is making a come back. Nearly one in two youth in Perkins County benefits from 4-H, and interest in the youth development organization continues to grow.
4-H is doing just fine in Perkins County, but as for my other summer love of swimming, well that is another story.
Since 2015, valiant efforts by the Perkins County Aquatic Center Committee to fix or replace our dilapidated, aging pool has been stagnated and even thwarted by some within our city system. Why is this? Who really knows the exact reason, but the evidence of their actions ring loud and clear—stalemate.
However, you, the citizens of Grant, have the opportunity to do something about this when you vote for a new mayor and council members this year. (It’s times like these I wished I still lived in town).
Will you vote to continue to allow the secretive, passively hostile environment to continue? Or, will you find out who among the candidates is ready to cooperate with the citizens to work for the betterment of our town in a civil way? We the people are not the enemy. If anything, we are partners with the city in promoting growth and health, if only the city would work with us.
There will be a mayoral candidate debate on Wednesday, April 4 at the Perkins County Fairgrounds. This would be a great opportunity for all Grant citizens to come and learn about the views of each candidate and help to put leadership in our city government who is for our community and not for their own personal agendas.