This past November I was able to revisit my cross-country coaching past by watching my cousin run in the DE DIAA Cross Country State Championship at Killen’s Pond State Park. It was a beautiful fall day and there’s no place better than Killen’s Pond to take in the fall scenery, as you can see below…
My cousin is Bethany Killmon from Greenwood, DE. She’s a junior at Sussex Tech High School, who plays three sports (cross-country, winter track, and soccer) and is an avid 4-Her. She recently attended National 4-H Congress as a delegate for Delaware 4-H, which was held in Atlanta, GA. This trip is the ultimate prize for a 4-Her; it’s a week-long excursion that exposes young leaders to a large city and rewards them for years of project work. In addition to the required projects of Citizenship and Leadership, Bethany’s core projects are in three areas:
To win the trip, Bethany (with the help of her Mom) had to compile years of service in these project areas into one “project book”. Speaking from experience, record-keeping for this task is not easy; her book is close to 25 pages long!
While I’m sure all of these projects have positively impacted Bethany, I predict that the most influential on her life will be Health. Being a dedicated team member in school sports fits into the project well but it goes beyond being a high school athlete. Bethany has gained knowledge of personal hygiene, food and nutrition, exercise physiology, and child health related issues and shared it with others by giving public demonstrations and visiting nursing homes. I also believe her daily routine of physical activity will resonate with her in years to come because of exposure at such an early age. Coupled with her acquired 4-H knowledge, she will be ready to transform into a healthy college student and young adult. How awesome and refreshing is that?
This is exactly what 4-H is all about: exposing young people to a world beyond just their school or small group of friends. It’s about using their Head, Heart, Hands and Health (aka 4-H) to make their club, community, country and world a better place. Oh and by the way, Bethany ran the 3.1 mile course in 20 minutes and 6 seconds, placing 6th out of 107 Division I female runners! I can’t wait to see what she does as a high school senior!