National 4-H Congress is the premier nationwide event for 4-H members, held annually in Atlanta. As 2019 ended, Brooke Fleshman, a 4-H member from Franklin County, learned she was selected to represent Ohio on the Design Team, the youth members who help plan the program.
Youth team members met the adult team members in Atlanta in February 2020 to begin planning. Fleshman said, “It was an exciting trip and gave us so much to look forward to, and then the pandemic hit.” National 4-H Congress was postponed until 2021. At first, the group was disappointed at having to wait another year, but the delay provided additional time for the team to bond. Fleshman said, “Zoom provided the opportunity for us to develop our relationships through team building activities and by intentionally taking the time to learn more about one other.”
When last November arrived, the 100th anniversary of National 4-H Congress was celebrated with the theme of “A Century of Empowering Youth.” Fleshman felt privileged to assist 4-H members from around the country as they arrived at sessions through the week, and at special activities. Fleshman said, “I know this experience helped me be more optimistic about possible setbacks, which can actually be amazing opportunities if you have the right mindset.”