Recognition is a tool that 4-H leaders can use to help each 4-H member have a satisfying experience in the 4-H Program. The question is--How can recognition be used to encourage desirable growth and development in boys and girls?
First, individual differences must be considered. Some 4-H members find in competition, the incentives for creative thinking and the encouragement to develop talents. Competing with one's past achievements helps the individual develop perspective on his past achievements, when measuring himself against the achievements of others.
For some individuals, measuring their abilities against others may only deepen a sense of inferiority. Others who are quite secure may not be interested in competitive efforts but will see the value of working cooperatively with groups in achieving certain goals.
The 4-H program strives to allow members a variety of learning experiences. Some activities allow members to work in groups, like in a club setting. While other activities, such as contests, allow the work of members to be judged against a standard or against peers.
Four-H leaders and parents should evaluate activities on a regular basis to determine if competition and recognition are supporting an educational process. The learning process is always more important than the ribbon, and parents and leaders often need to reinforce the idea.
For those individuals who are dedicated and hard working the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation annually presents $33,000 to 33 project scholarship winners, and another $14,000 to 17 advanced scholarship winners.