4-H Roundup: Steadfast in tradition while offering new opportunities
By Trisha Gedon
STILLWATER, Okla. – State 4-H Roundup has long been steeped in tradition for the delegates who make their way to Oklahoma State University for the three-day event. For more than a century, club members have been attending workshops, campaigning for state office and recognizing the achievements of their peers.
While tradition is important, the 101st State 4-H Roundup planning committee has a few new tricks up their sleeves for 4-H’ers who will be on the OSU campus July 27-29. This year’s theme is 4-H – A Universe of Endless Possibilities.
“We’re glad we’re back to a 100% on-campus event this year. While we adapted and had a virtual event in 2020 and a hybrid event in 2021, there’s nothing better than being back to State 4-H Roundup in person on the OSU campus,” said Steve Beck, state 4-H program leader. “We’re thankful we had the capability to continue with Roundup the last couple of years, but there’s nothing like experiencing this event in person. The energy and enthusiasm are contagious and just add to the great experience. The new additions to this year’s lineup of events will be a lot of fun for everyone.”
New on this year’s Roundup schedule will be a traffic safety program for teens. The goal of Oklahoma Challenge is to increase teen traffic safety in Oklahoma, said Nele Rogers, Oklahoma Challenge associate director. Oklahoma Challenge is funded by the Oklahoma State Highway Office.
“Car crashes are the number one cause of death for people ages 16 to 24,” Rogers said. “There are several reasons for this, including novice drivers, lower rates of seatbelt use, more likely to speed and distracted driving. About 45% of teen fatalities in traffic accidents aren’t wearing seatbelts.”
Part of this educational opportunity will be Think Fast Interactive, a national, high-energy game show-type activity. Rogers said there will be a host, the contestants will have clickers and they’ll compete to earn points for prizes all while learning about safe driving.
Oklahoma Challenge isn’t just for teens who are driving; it also includes working with passengers.
“We work with pre-drivers in Oklahoma Challenge and help them become assertive passengers. They’re the co-pilot and are in charge of the music, the GPS and other things that can cause a distraction for the driver. Everyone attending 4-H Roundup can benefit from Oklahoma Challenge. Our goal is to empower youth to become more safe and responsible drivers. We’re happy to be able to offer this at 4-H Roundup.”
Former Bryan County 4-H’er Bailey Rae will be on hand to teach a Master Class workshop for participants in this year’s 4-H Has Talent vocal contest. Finishing in the top nine in season 19 of the television program The Voice, Bailey Rae will share tips about performing and how to put your best foot forward on stage.
Bailey Rae, who was a 2017 state 4-H record book winner in the health and fitness project and a 2018 Key Club inductee, was named the 2021 winner of the Young Artist of the Year from the Texas Country Music awards.
“We’re very grateful for Bailey Rae and the example she is showing Oklahoma 4-H members that they can achieve their dreams while still living in Oklahoma,” said Cathleen Taylor, state leadership and civic engagement specialist with the state 4-H office. “She will also perform a short concert while at 4-H Roundup.”
Duds to Dazzle is a new contest this year that will give 4-H’ers an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills learned in the clothing and textiles project.
“This contest gives participants an opportunity to upcycle a textile that no longer meets its original purpose,” said Cathy Allen,4-H curriculum coordinator at the state 4-H office. “Someone could, for example, take an old jean jacket and upcycle it into a vest. It’s a great way for club members to use their creativity and make something unused into useable and stylish products.”