Keep 4H About The Kids
Head, Hands, Heart, Health
We say this pledge, but do we really act in this manor? What example is a 4H club sending when the entire mission is derailed because of a technical failure?
What does technology have to do with Tippecanoe County Fair? EVERYTHING!!
When my daughter signed up to be a part of the 4H Club she worked whole heartedly toward this week of Fair to show a horse we leased specifically for this event. Because we are parents that instill core values and work ethic, we agreed to lease the horse if she agreed to work for the money to purchase all of the supplies she would need to show. These items included all show clothes, some tack equipment and incidentals such as feed buckets, muck boots, etc. She agreed to the task as horses are her passion. she held a fundraisers and worked hours at the leasing barn every week for the past 7 months to raise approximately $800. This is amazing for a 12 year old!
As first year members of the 4H Club there have been many lessons learned about how things work and what the culture is about. The hardest part about being a member is navigating the paperwork, the webpage finding the the proper documents online and deadlines in order to show. (I thought my hardest part as parent would be to get over my fear of horses!) After attending 4H meetings every month, getting sponsors, and really trying to become a part of the culture that we thought was about teaching kids values, we learned that the online process of submitting your Showbill overrides the mission and vision of 4H.
Back in May was when we submitted an online form to register our leased horse, we submitted our hard copy of the Showbill before the deadline, but I missed the communication regarding submitting the Showbill online. The extension office has record of all email communication sent that shows which emails I opened. The few that show ‘unopened’ are the few that were sent regarding this online Showbill deadline. When I do a search in my gmail for the specific subject line for these emails, nothing is found which leads me to believe nothing was sent. (They have proof I never opened the emails, and I have proof they were never sent).
Deadline for entry was June 15 with an extension until July 2nd. The 4H committee let us know about this failure to enter online yesterday Sunday afternoon at 1pm. The day we were to get the horse to fair.
There are several problems with this - We attended meetings after the online entry deadline and were never told we missed the deadline or that there was a grace period.
If we can’t rely on the person in front of us at the meeting who assured we had all paperwork in order, where do we go from here? As a first year member, we don’t know what we don’t know.
As a result, our daughter was deemed ineligible to show at Fair this week because of an e-mail failure and the failure in part by the Horse and Pony leaders to communicate. Is this club about the kids and clear thinking, loyalty, service and health? Or is it more about online registration deadlines?
We have filed a grievance with the board and have gone through 2 appeal panels last night and are now waiting for the Extension Program Advisory Board to gather so we can appeal. Unfortunately the show for first year starts today at 9am and a girl who has done everything right and gone beyond what it takes to be able to participate cannot.
Sign this petition if you or someone you know has had troubles navigating the 4H website, had troubles locating official forms online, had specific questions pertaining to deadlines and procedures that are not made clear. Sign this petition if you believe the County needs to put the kids first and recognize the dedication and commitment made and put aside the nonsense of the ineffective online registry.