Chaz Lewis can't think of anything he doesn't like about 4-H. He takes advantage of many of the projects they offer as well as the leadership trips that are available.

Chaz is a member of Jay 4-H. He lives near Zena.

At the annual Delaware County 4-H Awards and Recognition Ceremony last week, Chaz was named the new president of the county 4-H. Outgoing president is Colton Parker, also of Jay 4-H.

Chaz currently has three dairy cows that he milks by hand every day and he is raising rabbits as one of his projects.

At the ceremony he was given the opportunity to talk about his Citizen Washington, D.C. Focus 4-H trip this summer. He told about the sites they visited including Gettysburg, the various memorials in Washington, the visits with U.S. Representatives, and the workshops he participated in at the 4-H Conference Center. Four-H members from all over the United States converge on Washington, D.C. in the summer for the annual event.

Chaz's mom, Wendy, was chosen as 4-H Volunteer of the year. Barbara Denny, OSU 4H Specialist said that Wendy is a leader of the Jay 4-H club and said that is the one of the most active clubs in the county working on life skills, community service and experiential hands-on learning.

She promotes every aspect of what 4H is to parents, 4-H'ers and the community, Denny said.

Ryan Sproul of the OSU Extension Center in Jay addressed the group of family and friends that attended and said that for over 100 years the 4-H program's mission has been to empower youth to reach their full potential and they do that by working with caring adults who volunteer their time to support the 4-H members.

“Because of our caring adults, 4-H is one of the largest youth organizations in American with more than 6.5 million young people,” Sproul said, “Four-H has a presence in every county in Oklahoma with more than 150,000 youth that have benefited from 4-H this past year. “

Community Service is a huge part of the 4-H program.

“Four-Hers have conducted thousands and thousands of community service activities across the state and contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars of community service hours to the state and to their communities as well,” Sproul said. “I think that's very important to note.”

“Also because of our adults and supporters, 50 percent of 4-H youth attend college compared to 20 percent of just the general population and because of those 4-H supporters, 88 percent of our 4-H alumni continue to live, work, raise their families and spend money here in Oklahoma rather than moving off to another state,” he said.

Other 4-H members were also given the opportunity to talk about their 4-H trips this summer including Colton Parker who traveled to a Youth in Action Leadership Conference at Fin and Feather Resort in Gore, Oklahoma. YIA included workshops on teamwork building, community and motivation.

Wynter Weeks of Jay 4-H also attended the Conference and thanked the 4-H Council for providing the scholarship for her to attend.

Troy Helms of Grove 4-H went to STEM Camp. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Helms talked about the fun they had programming a robot.

Morgan McNeal went to State Round Up in Stillwater at the OSU campus where she participated in workshops, lectures and contests focusing on leadership.

The summer 4-H trips were possible due to the fundraising efforts of 4-H Leader Council. The Council also held a silent auction at the awards banquet.

The new officers for the 2010-2011 year were elected. They are: Chaz Lewis, President; Kirstie Williams, Vice President; Troy Helms, Secretary.

Additional awards during the evening included the Extra Mile Award given to Charlotte Barnes. Barbara Denney, who presented the award said that Barnes has gone above and beyond and stepped up to the plate on numerous occasions wherever she sees a need. She is currently the 4-H Leader Council President.

A $500 4-H College Scholarship was given to Samantha Robertson from OHCE Ladies and Gents of the Lake.

The OHCE Ladies and Gents of the Lake provided the Hawaiian themed dinner for the banquet.