University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension
4-H Ceremonies

Four Fold Development

For this ceremony you will need four tall candles (one for each reader) and a candle for each participant.

Youth can accomplish great things in our own day, as they have through the centuries. But in order to do so, they must have a spirit of faith, daring and high adventure. When young people lose that spirit, they have lost the highest assets and noblest characteristics of youth.

In our day, there is such an urgent demand for ease and security that young people are in danger of losing their spirit of daring and their visions of great accomplishment. If lost as a nation. For our country was built on a courageous faith in man's ability with divine help, greatly dare and nobly love. America is America solely because of men who have dared to suffer hardship. America's greatest need in our day is young men and women who have the courage to "Fight the good fight." Because young people need to recapture the spirit of daring, I challenge you to accept four dares—dares which are like great beacon lights that will lead you into a life of great purpose, high adventure, and noble endeavor.

Reader I

The Physical Dare

I dare you to develop a strong body! At first thought it may seem that the care and development of the body are unrelated to high vision and a spirit of daring. But think for a moment. How much concentrated effort and expenditure of energy can we give to the cause if our bodies are weakened and lacking in stamina?

Life is a race. Let us not break the rules of the race, but remember that consistent training and stern discipline are necessary if we are to come out in front. Drinking and intemperate eating and other indulgences will disqualify us for the highest endeavor and noblest satisfactions of life.

This candle is symbolic of the care to develop a strong body. (Lights one of the tall candles). I dare you to be strong physically!

Reader II

The Mental Dare

I dare you to develop a creative mind! Psychologists say that nine-tenths of the potential of the human mind is undeveloped. Think of the wasted talent and creative genius! Young people often fail to develop their natural inclinations and abilities, and they have hidden possibilities that they do not even dream of. Too often they are content to be entertained by cheap movies and "soap operas" instead of using their originality and ingenuity in the development of hobbies and talents that might bring great beauty and satisfaction.

What is needed to spur modern youth to greater effort and endeavor? You say there are no frontiers? No new worlds to conquer? Think once again. Mankind is desperately waiting for the scientist who will discover the secret of the cure for cancer, heart disease and a host of virus infections. Will you be that scientist? Or one of the hundreds who will help unlock these secrets? The world is frantically waiting for the statement who has enough vision and daring to lead the nations into the path of peace, away from the brink of atomic war. Will you be that man or one of hundreds who can help save the world from disaster and destruction?

This candle is a symbol of the dare to develop a creative mind.

Lights one of the candles.

I dare you to be alert mentally.

Reader III

The Social-Dare

We should begin by getting the center of our attention and interest away from ourselves. "Find your life by losing it in service to others." Developing a genuine interest in other people and expressing that interest in our speaking, our attitudes, and our actions are necessary if we are to offset self-centeredness, the basis of most of our personality ailments. Unselfishness is more than dabbling in a few social service projects; it is a way of life. In fact, it is the way of life, the only way to find true meaning and purpose in living.

Too many young people have the idea that people are born with or without a good personality. They look enviously at the boy or the girl who just seems to "have what it takes." There are certain hereditary characteristics that have a bearing on personality. And personality development. But personal choice is still the most potent aspect of a normal individual's development.

That attitudes that we have toward other people, and toward life in general are more important than the type of house we live in, the social position of parents.

I dare you, then, to develop an unselfish personality!

Lights one of the candles.

Reader IV The Spiritual Dare

I dare you to develop a growing spiritual life! A healthy spiritual life based upon a vital faith is the foundation of all life and the key to purposeful, abundant living. Of what advantage is a strong body if one's strength and energy are not dedicated to the service of others? Of what value is glamorous personality if, because of it, one becomes a selfish snob? Not only do we need a knowledge of standards and principles, but we also stand in need of motivation and incentive to translate these ideas into action.

This remaining candle represents the dare to develop a growing spiritual life.

Lights candle.

I dare you to be strong spiritually!

We have heard these four dares. What are we going to do about time? Do we have the courage to accept them, and achieve a more worthwhile life of daring and service? If you will accept these four dares and try to make them realities in your life, will you light your candle from one of the four candles, which symbolize the four aspects of a well-rounded life? I dare you to develop a strong body, a creative mind, an unselfish personality, and a growing spiritual life!

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