That was the theme for the 2009 Colorado State Conference June 23 through 26 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Attending from Moffat County were 4-H members Makayla Goodnow, Karissa Maneotis, Emily Wellman, Ashley Summers, Abbie Reid, and Miranda Blomquist, as well as Alisa Comstock, Moffat County extension youth development agent.
Maneotis and Wellman represented Moffat County as 4-H Council senators, and the other members were delegates.
4-H members had to be 14 years old to attend the conference.
The Moffat County delegation left for the conference June 23 and arrived at the CSU campus in the afternoon. The first order of business was to check into the residence hall and to register for the conference.
Some county delegations had arrived earlier to participate in the Parliamentary Procedure and Hippology Contests. Then, at 5:30 p.m., all 4-H members and adults attended a picnic and ice cream social, followed by the opening program.
During the program, senate candidates gave speeches and Leon Quan gave the keynote address. Quan spoke on "One Second to Think," based on his popular book.
On June 24 was a day jam packed with activity, so the residence halls opened at 6 a.m., and breakfast was served at 7 a.m.
Livestock, Horse and Poultry Judging contests and reasons; Hippology contest; Prepared and Impromptu Speech contests; Hippology contest; and Consumer Choices Contest and Consumer Bowl were held during the day.
The job for Moffat County senators and delegates was to attend workshops during the day. Comstock explained that the workshops were planned differently this year as in previous years. Instead of choosing from several workshops, delegates rotated among four workshops.
The four workshops covered critical thinking skills, diversity, peak performance and overcoming adversity.
Leon Quan, keynote speaker from the opening program, presented "One Second to Think," exploring the tricks, trends and technology that challenge 21st century leaders.
Quan guided workshop participants through a "behind the scenes" look at how advertisers manipulate our perceptions of ourselves and our world. A clarion call to a movement toward clarity, this workshop inspired attendees to be the change the world needs.
"Becoming a Warrior for Justice" was the title of a workshop led by Calvin Terrell, who champions diversity and social justice. During the workshop, Terrell had his attendees moving and interacting to understand the nine levels of prejudice.
Terrell's expertise is unlocking the minds of ordinary people, to help them become champions of social justice.
"The Art of Fear Management" was a highly motivating workshop led by Steve Peebles. The workshop focused on unlocking the secrets of focusing on passions and overcoming fears. Peebles offered performance enhancing ideas to achieve peak performance. His humor and enthusiastic communication style, along with demonstrations and visuals, helped drive home the point that "Success on a microscopic level is the ability to manage your fears."
Scott Greenberg presented "Bouncing Back: Finding Resiliency in the Face of Adversity" during his workshop. This upbeat presentation focused on how strong and powerful all people are. Attendees learned that everyone gets their "cancers" - problems that we don't expect or deserve - but that's not what matters. What matters is how we react.
Greenberg gave attendees tools for managing adversity. They learned how to use humor and attitude to access their full strength and keep problems in perspective. In addition to a substantive message, Greenberg used lots of humor and storytelling in his presentation.
After a busy day, 4-H members and chaperons enjoyed a County Dinner Night Out, a time for people from different counties to go out and eat together.
Comstock said delegations from Moffat, Eagle, Rio Blanco and Garfield counties ate out at Olive Garden. After dinner, everyone attended a "disco" dance.
June 24 was another activity-filled day. Moffat County 4-H'ers attended workshops that were offered over two days. For other county members, it meant competition in such activities as Horse and Livestock Bowls, Horse Demonstration, and Public Speaking Contests. Judging team awards were presented at a luncheon.
In the afternoon, senate and district meetings and elections took place.
Morgan Neilson, of Rio Blanco County, was elected state president. She was serving as president of District 11, the district of which Moffat County is also a member. Since Karissa Maneotis was vice president of District 11, she will now serve as president. As a result, Karissa is now on the state officer team.
In the evening, 4-H'ers dressed up for the Banquet and Recognition Program. It was followed by a farewell dance, "The Green Scene" Benefit Dance.
Reflecting on the conference, Makayla Goodnow said, "In comparison to other conferences, I thought it was well put together."
Abbie Reid added, "My favorite part of the conference was the diversity workshop. It made you think about things you wouldn't normally think about."
Copyright Diane Prather, 2009