Youth from across Mendocino County recently came together to share their “spark” at the annual 4-H Showcase Day. Fourteen presenters attended from the Ukiah Valley Shamrock 4-H Club, Potter Valley 4-H Club, Fort Bragg 4-H Club and Mendocino Spartans 4-H Club.
Many presenters have moved on to regional competition and will be judged in April, hoping to move on to state-level competition.
“This was the first year that we had an opening ceremony led by our MC Hayden Hayes, a senior member of Ukiah Shamrock 4-H, who spoke about the history of 4-H, as well as the Oath of Allegiance led by Ava Fay Haas, Sergeant-at-Arms for Ukiah Shamrock 4-H Club and I led the 4-H Pledge. We had nine evaluators and three room hosts along with a committee of seven adult 4-H members who organized the event,” commented Garrett Weaver, Ukiah Shamrock 4-H reporter.
The event was moved to an online format due to COVID, but attendees quickly rose to the challenge of moving their presentations to fit a zoom format. The 4-H Youth Development Program is structured around a youth-led approach, allowing participants to gain knowledge and experience in the topics that interest them.
The annual Pitch Day allows these young people to share their spark and practice their public speaking skills. 4-H alumni often report that they have learned to speak more effectively through their participation in the UC 4-H presentation program.
A variety of presentation formats are encouraged, ranging from an educational exhibit and discussion to skits and cultural arts. This year, presentation topics included live musical performances and talks on conservation, rabbits, martial arts and history.
Of the 14 presenters, the awards given were: Gold 10, Blue 1, Participation Award 3. Members who received Gold or Blue will advance to the Virtual Regional 4-H Pitch Day and be evaluated on a score sheet plus high. Entrants will be judged on timing, adherence to guidelines, presentation technique, and the effectiveness with which information and ideas were presented.
“A big thank you to Ukiah Shamrock 4-H for producing the Mendocino County 4-H Pitch Day! Well done! Thank you to all of the volunteers, judges, venue hosts and presenters,” commented Lovi Penry, l one of the volunteer judges.
Giovanni Mendez, a junior presenter, said: “I really had fun, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I really enjoyed hearing the presentation of the fish and the presentation of the rabbit. I’m going for the gold!”
“It’s always a bit more difficult to present virtually; I hope next year it will be live. I really enjoyed my presentation, however, The New Zealand Rabbit, actually American, I learned so much! commented Garrett Weaver, an intermediate presenter.