4-H Club instills youth with positive traits
Before Colton Lynch's two steers enter the ring to be shown at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, he has to feed, wash and blow-dry them. Then he will clean their beds so they don't get muddy when they lay down.
"You get into a routine and it's not so hectic in the morning," Lynch said.
Now in his ninth year of showing livestock with the Eudora 4-H chapter, the 17-year-old Lynch said show mornings have gotten easier each year.
The stifling heat was another thing Lynch would deal with, though he took more precautions for his cattle than himself, as all fans were trained on the two black steers as they ate.
Lynch conceded that he has built a bond with the animals, despite the fact that he knows how it all will end.
"You do build a relationship with them and it's hard, but you know that's what they're meant for," Lynch said.
Lynch was one of many Eudora youth who participated in 4-H activities at the Douglas County Fair.
Recent Eudora High School graduate Whitney Box served as an ambassador for Douglas County. Box hoped to educate fairgoers on misconceptions about the fair and 4-H
"I'm letting people know that it's not just a county fair and that we also have activities," Box said. "We cook and we make arts and crafts and we build rockets. It's not just about the animals, and anybody - even people who live in the city- can do 4-H.
Though Box will attend Kansas State University and live in a 4-H scholarship house, she said she probably wouldn't participate in 4-H at the collegiate level. But she does plan on continuing to volunteer at the fair each summer.
The hard work put in by Lynch, Box and other is indicative of the character 4-H can instill in participants, according to Eudora 4-H Community Leaders Robyn and Mike Kelso.
"It teaches perseverance, follow through, goal setting, problem solving - that's just things I can think of off the top of my head," Robyn Kelso said.