ice fishing dangers thin ice

Jake’s family farm had two ponds full of bluegill, and he had always wanted to learn how to catch them through the ice. His friend, Carmen, had been taught how to ice fish by her uncle from Wisconsin a couple years before, so they decided on a Saturday afternoon adventure to try their luck.

Walking up to the first pond, Carmen stopped Jake for a moment. 

4-H member making mask
4-H member Ava Anderson looked for the positive of COVID-19 and help
photo of 4H members

Edwards County 4-H members answered the call to help their neighbors, just when it is needed most. 

Prior to the stay-at-home order in March, 22 4-H members and 15 volunteers met at the Country Financial Hall in Albion and packed meals for the area food banks. One in four Illinois children experience hunger. With several families facing unexpected layoffs and job losses, the 10,152 meals the 4-H members provided are making a difference in these communities, says Mark Becker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H food system specialist. 

The spring rains had our family cooped up for several days. Little League practice was cancelled, and the stingray bike I had been riding in circles in the empty garage now had a flat tire. Eight years old; nowhere to go; nothing to do. As I sat there dejected, my mom entered the garage just as the sun came shining through the clouds.

“Time for a nature walk,” she said as she handed me a plain looking stick. “Just follow that stick and see what it finds” and off we walked.  

One thing we can count on during uncertain times is our 4-H values.

Now, more than ever, Illinois youth need their 4-H family. Together, youth and adults can use this time to demonstrate values like independence, belonging, generosity and mastery. The lessons Illinois youth learn today will shape them as leaders for a lifetime. While using our virtual platforms, we can work together to model perseverance throughout Illinois communities and beyond. 

I wish I could promise you that the fair is going to work out the way you want. I wish I could tell you that you'll have the success you worked for. I wish I could tell you that you'll be recognized for your hard work, your kindness, your dedication, your grit. I wish I could tell you that others who didn't work as hard won't stand ahead of you in the ring, won't get the bigger trophy or the prettier ribbon.

Now, go back and read that again, except this time, instead of "the fair," substitute "your life."

On Purpose. With Purpose.
There is a difference.

Many of us do great things with purpose. We are amazing employees. We conquer difficult tasks. We study with purpose, work with purpose, live with purpose, but how much of what we do with purpose is on purpose? There is a difference.

On purpose means there was a conscious choice, a deliberate decision with mindful clarity to do something, to be something. On purpose actions are driven by choice. How many of the great things you do are by your choice?