The Power of Celebration

Posted: July 11, 2012 in Monday Morning Message, Youth Development

“Festivals and events are our “calling cards”.  They tell people who we are and what is important to us.”

Steve Wood Schmader

This past weekend I took my girls to the Western States Horse Expo to celebrate the end of another school year with my daughters-specifically all the hard work and effort that they put forth during the year.   It was an amazing day doing things that they are passionate about while we kick off the much deserved break that they’ve earned.

Celebrations are important markers of milestones; they create belonging and connections among your members and provide great opportunities to bring families together in the 4-H community. It can take many shapes and forms but the key is to celebrate the work that our young people have accomplished. It is also important to remember to include your members in the planning and decision-making process of your celebration event. Here are some things to consider as you plan a celebration event:

Give young people an opportunity to share what they have learned.

This can happen through presentations or speeches. It can also happen with skits, videos and posters.   The key is to let the youth be creative in the way they would like to celebrate their learning. Not only is this a great opportunity for self-reflection but it also makes the work that they have accomplished more relevant.

Plan a presentation to your group.

This could be a slide show, video or some other creative way to remind members of their work and the experiences that they have had.

Allow opportunity for members and staff to appreciate each other.

This is a great way to allow people to celebrate each other and increase the value of each member to one another.

Make it memorable and make it matter.

Not only should celebration events be something that a member looks forward to each year, it should be something that is directly tied to the experience(s) they are celebrating.

Highly effective leaders energize others by noticing and recognizing the accomplishments of others. They thank, appreciate, recognize, and celebrate these markers. We all draw a lot of energy from sincere recognition and honest appreciation.   It’s like a warm ray of sunshine. So have fun and celebrate the growth and work of your members today.

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