University of Maryland Extension

2016 4-H Summer Internship

To think of my life without 4H would be like eating Oreos with no milk. You just can’t have one without the other. Never did I realize that joining the Carroll County 4H Program in 2008, would end up being one of the greatest impacts on my life. Then, to continue down the same 4H path once aging out of 4H, to become the summer intern for the Carroll County Extension office. This internship allowed me the opportunity to work with 4H and non 4H youth all summer, while also planning, researching, and learning to work in an office with professional educators. I am a firm believer that the success resulting from my time as the “Summer Intern” is derived from the many skills 4H has taught me and exposure to a real life working experience, leaving me feeling both satisfied and filled with gratitude.

When first receiving the title as the “Summer Intern” back in early May after just finishing my sophomore year of college, I was under the impression that I would simply be running a few day camps. While that was the main focus of my summer, I was pleasantly surprised with much more to do and many more responsibilities to fulfill that this position entailed. Not only was I accountable for planning and running three separate day camps for youth ranging from ages 4-10, but I also worked with the Boys and Girls Club, met with different Elementary schools from around the area, and worked weekly gardening activities with a group of wonderful adults from The Arc and Target Community & Educational Services, both located in Westminster. Along with my intern job duties, I was also separately responsible for our 2016 4H Youth and Residential Camp in June and July, with children ranging from ages 8-14. Needless to say, there wasn’t much relaxing by the pool for me this summer.

Although I have been working from early May up until mid-August, I cannot take all of the credit for my accomplishments. Here at the Carroll County Extension office I am surrounded by great mentors that pushed me to my full potential, and allowed me to see what I am capable of. My supervisor, Becky Ridgeway, provided me with the confidence, and opportunities I needed to be a successful leader and employee, working with me to assure that my internship would in fact be worthwhile.

This opportunity provided me with not only a great credential for my resume, but with an experience that will last me a lifetime. As I am going to school for Early Childhood Education, the skills I’ve learned and the patience I’ve acquired, will serve me well as I finish my schooling, and one day have my own classroom. I believe that the children I worked with impacted and positively affected me just as much, or if not more than I did them. It fills me with joy and excitement to know that this is just a small piece of what I will be doing for the rest of my life, and I am proud to say that I have this experience that will separate me from my peers.

So here I am at 19 years old, looking back on my 8 years of 4H experience, grinning from ear to ear knowing that I have used what I have been taught to “Make the Best Better”. I am proud to have worked with such a wonderful community, and hope to even further my 4H career through volunteering as the years go on. Once a 4Her, always a 4Her.

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