Every spring, Suwannee County 4-H holds their Annual County Events Day. This is an opportunity for youth to show off what they have learned through their 4-H projects. There are 6 different categories that members can choose to enter: Demonstrations, Illustrated Talks, Public Speaking, Share-the-Fun, Graphic Arts and Photography. Some of these are individual activities, but several can be done in a pair or group! Let’s talk about what each category means.
Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks
Demonstrations are exactly what it sounds like- you show someone how to do something. Maybe you show someone how to make a sandwich, or build a bird house! You use props and tools to help you show the audience a step by step process for how to complete a project- kind of like a tutorial on YouTube except in person!
Illustrated talks are similar to a demonstration, but in this case, you are telling the audience about a topic you have studied. Maybe it’s your model tractor collection or perhaps its a health concern for you or a family member. You can have visual aides like props, posters or digital presentations to help you share your information.
For both Demonstrations and Illustrated talks, you can participate as an individual or a team of two members, but you have to be the same age. The amount of time you need to talk depends on your age group with Seniors (5-12 minutes) speaking longer than younger members (3-12 minutes). All individuals who earn a blue ribbon are eligible to compete in the District 4-H Events!
For the Public Speaking contest, individual members give an original speech that is related to 4-H. Participants give their speeches without props, posters or visual aides. Seniors speak for 5-7 minutes while Juniors and Intermediates speak for 3-7 minutes. The top two blue-ribbon participants advance to the District 4-H Public Speaking Contest.
For Share-the-Fun, think 4-H Talent Show! This is your opportunity to show off any talents you have been hiding! You can sing, dance, or play an instrument! You can even get together with a group of up to 5 of your friends and act out skits! Acts last for 3-5 minutes and groups should be based on age groups. The top two acts in each age group are eligible to advance to districts!
Photography & Graphic Design
Are you a photography buff? Do you like creating graphic designs on your computer? If so, this contest is for you! Enter up to 5 of your best photographs in the following categories: Black and White, Flora & Fauna, Still Life, People, and Scenic. All Blue Ribbon photographs are eligible to compete in the State Photography contest!
Do you like designing brochures, flyers, PowerPoint presentations or other digital arts projects? If so, the graphic design contest is right up your alley! All entries must relate to 4-H, but your imagination is the limit! County Winners in each age division and class advance to the state contest!
Life Skills Learning
All of these contests help participants gain verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Planning and preparing an entry teaches youth to organize their thoughts and set goals for their learning. And getting up in front of people in a public speaking contest teaches resiliency and empathy. And best of all, completion of one of these contests builds self esteem and confidence for the future!
For more information about 4-H County Events contests, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office!