4-H Congress Opens Monday Bigger Than Ever, Five-Day Event Breaks Records

Ami Neiberger

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Roll out the red carpet and brace for impact. Florida 4-H Congress 2001 is coming to the UF campus today (7/23) and it’s bigger than ever before! With a record number attending, the dorms are maxed and workshop seats will be tight — 567 teens hailing from 59 of Florida’s 67 counties are coming for the annual Congress, July 23-27, themed, “4-H: Empowering the Leaders of Tomorrow.” They’ll be accompanied by 150 adults and more than 250 guests.

Monday is loaded with photo opportunities. Hundreds of people will check into UF dorms (Graham Area) between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. carrying everything from ironing boards to prom dresses. State 4-H Council campaigning gets underway at 1:00 p.m. with banners and fliers plastering the dorm area. Amid the chaos, the Catalina 4-H club of Orange County will visit from 12:30-2:30 p.m. UF professor Bill Vernetson will tour a nuclear reactor and preview the results of a study the 4-H’ers are conducting to save a dying lake. The pizza and coke party on the Reitz Union lawn will serve 700+ people. 4-H clover tattoos and Mars bars will welcome teens to the high energy spirit rally at 7:00 p.m. at the Reitz Union ballroom themed, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It will include black lights, glow-in-the-dark decorations, a surprise video and enough cheering and yelling to do any rock concert proud. The day culminates in a motivational address by astronaut Rick Searfoss, who commanded three space shuttle missions and graduated from the elite U.S. Air Force Top Gun school.

Tuesday‘s big story will be State 4-H Fashion Revue, which tripled in size this year to more than 60 competitors, both boys and girls. They will learn modeling skills from the pros and compete in interactive “skillathons” from 8:15 a.m. to noon. The other 500 teens will be in consulting groups where they will develop recommendations on how to improve 4-H, and state competitions in categories such as veterinary science, media arts, food safety, horticulture judging, auto driving, and consumer education will be underway. The Fashion Revue will hit the runway at the Reitz Union ballroom at 7:30 p.m. to present “Psychedelic Shack” before a jam-packed audience, followed by the announcement of four 4-H volunteers of the year and induction of a 4-H alumna into the Walter B. Arnold 4-H Youth Hall of Fame.

Wednesday‘s highlights include the community pride luncheon saluting 4-H clubs for their volunteer service, the state 4-H council elections at 10:30 a.m., and the morning awards assembly where the winners of Tuesday’s competitive events are announced. There will be interactive workshops in animal science, environmental education, career exploration, communications, leadership and technology. A service project at Morningside Nature Center and sampling at Lake Alice are just a few of the many workshops. The big story of the day will be the talent competition at 7:00 p.m. at University Auditorium with 17 acts featuring ballet, piano, clogging, drama and singing.

Thursday features more interactive workshops such as clam farming in Cedar Key, career exploration at Santa Fe Community College’s Teaching Zoo, trips to Toys-R-Us and Baby Gator to learn child care, aquatics and veterinary science. The new state council officers will be installed with a candlelight ceremony and more than $20,000 in scholarships will be awarded at an evening red carpet celebration themed, “One Last Dance,” at the Reitz Union ballroom. The consulting group reports will be presented to UF Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Mike Martin by 4-H teens.


FOR REITZ EVENTS, MEDIA CHECK-IN AT CONGRESS DESK ON THE 2ND FLOOR IN THE REITZ UNION CONTACT: Ami Neiberger, State 4-H Public Relations Coordinator, office (352) 846-0996 ext. 237, cellular 213-5654, Congress Info Desk at the Reitz Union 392-2151 ext. 1809 or ask someone at the desk with a walkie-talkie to page Ami Neiberger, Late Evenings @ Reitz Union Hotel, 392-2151

Monday, July 23rd
10:00am-2:00pm Chaotic dorm move-in and check-in, Graham Hall Area **
12:30pm-2:30pm Catalina 4-H club members tour nuclear reactor, 200 Nuclear Sciences Building with Bill Vernetson
1:00pm State 4-H Council Campaigns Open. Banners and fliers go up at Graham Area dormitories
4:00pm-5:00pm Pizza and Coke Party, Reitz Union Lawn
7:00pm-9:00pm “2001: A Space Odyssey” Opening Assembly. Loud 4-H district spirit rally with 4-H tattoos, glow-in-the-dark decorations, motivational address by astronaut and Top Gun pilot Rick Searfoss Reitz Union Ballroom**
Tuesday, July 24th
8:15am-12:00pm State 4-H Fashion Revue contestants learn modeling and compete in “skillathons,” Reitz Ballroom**
9:00am-4:00pm State Competitive Events (not all events are listed)
Animal Science (285 Reitz Union),** Aquatic/Marine Environment (272-3 Reitz Union), Auto Driving ** (Harn Museum Parking Lot), Career Exploration (286 Reitz Union), Consumer Education (276 Reitz Union), Food Safety (347 Reitz Union), Forestry (357 Reitz), Leisure Arts ** (287 Reitz), Plant Connections (362 Reitz), Public Speaking (282 Reitz)**, Veterinary Science ** (361 Reitz)

Note About Competitive Events: Doors for rooms housing competitive events open at ONLY 15 MINUTE intervals. This ensures an equal playing field for all youth competitors. Photographers are welcome to enter when doors are open, but please wait until the end of a youth’s demonstration to leave the room.
9:00am Consulting Group Kick-Off Speaker, Reitz Auditorium, groups run from 10am-3pm with youth offering input

1:30pm-4:30pm Horticulture Judging, Environmental Horticulture Green House behind UF Fifield Hall**
7:30pm-9:00pm “Psychedelic Shack” Fashion Revue hits runways,** 4-H Volunteers of the Year and the Walter B. Arnold 4-H Youth Hall of Fame awards, Reitz Ballroom.
Wednesday, July 25th
9:00am-10:30am State Competitive Event Awards Assembly, Reitz Ballroom
10:30am-12:00pm State 4-H Council Voting and Election Results, Reitz Auditorium
12:00pm-2:00pm Community Pride Lunch, University Center Hotel with presentations by competing clubs
1:00pm-4:30pm Interactive Workshops (not all workshops listed)
Animal Science-Horses (UF Horse Teaching Unit, 376-0562) Leadership-Literacy Service Project to Kick Off New State Project (Library West)
Leadership-St. Francis House Volunteer Project (413 S. Main Street)
Environmental Education-Lake Alice Sampling (boat ramp behind Fifield Hall)
Environmental Education-Florida Museum of Natural History tour
Individual & Family Resources – “A Challenge for Living” skillathons (Reitz Ballroom) in resume writing, babysitting, car ownership, checkbook balancing, food safety, interior decorating.
7:00pm-9:00pm “Share-the-Fun” Talent Show with 17 acts — ballet, vocals, clogging, drama, University Auditorium**
Thursday, July 26th
8:00am-3:00pm, Interactive Workshops & Trips (not all workshops listed)
Animal Science-Horses (UF Horse Teaching Unit, 376-0562)
Environmental Education-Clam Farming in Cedar Key
Environmental Education-Aquatics Activities & Fishing-7922 NW 71st Street (off Millhopper Road)
Individual & Family Resources-Child Care-Toys R US, Baby Gator, KinderCare
Individual & Family Resources-Fitness-Tour UF Athletic Training Facility (9:15-10:15)
Science & Technology-Engineering Labs (Rogers Hall, 8:30-12:00), Nuclear Reactor (UF Nuclear Sciences Building, 1:30-3:00), Physics Labs (UF Physics Building, 1:30-3:00)
7:00pm-9:00pm “One Last Dance” Awards Assembly, red carpet, prom dresses, scholarships and awards presentations, Council officer installation with candle ceremony, Reitz Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor.**
Friday, July 27th
8:00am-10:30am Checkout, teary-eyed and sleepy-faced departures at the buses, Graham Hall Area

The 4-H Youth Development Program serves more than 241,000 young people ages 5-18 annually in the Sunshine State. For more information about 4-H, visit http://4h.ifas.ufl.edu/



Posted: July 23, 2001

Category: UF/IFAS

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