Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 4H Pledge

The Linden 4H club held its second meeting of the new season this afternoon. The Linden hall was filled. With the Oxford club going on hiatus for an indefinite period, the number of members in Linden has swelled from 14 to 26.
The first thing I must do as a new member? Memorize the pledge: "I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands for larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community and my country". Each meeting opens with members standing and reciting this pledge and even though the banner hangs behind the president and vice-president at their table, it's worth knowing by heart.
My place as the "embedded journalist member" remains shifty. After today's meeting, I felt as if my role is more journalist than member; can I really serve the reading public, and the future of 4H, best by participating as a member rather than by observing and reporting on what the real, young members are doing? I'm not so sure.
What I am sure of, considering the upheaval at the Chronicle-Herald newspaper and the possibility this column may not run an entire year, is that I am whole-heartedly committed to do this Year In 4H whether there is a column or not. Already I know of other ways to present the story of 4H doing what I do best -- telling other people's stories -- and what better example can I set for young people than to be working hard using my skills? Using my head, my heart, my hands and my health for this club, this community and this province.
As I told my husband when I returned home, "Guess what, honey? Figure out what you have to offer because next year, we're going to be leaders."

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