By Suzanne Rhodes
Photos by Wayne Rhodes
“I couldn’t be more impressed and proud!”
That’s 4-H mom and leader Katie Teague’s response to a night of fun and fashion presented by the Washington County 4-H Club on March 1 in Elkins, Arkansas. Katie is the acting head of the Washington County Extension Office that runs the local 4-H Clubs. She’s also the mother of a talented musician, Matthew Teague, 14, who played “Aria” on his trumpet, a gorgeous piece by Gaylord Golterman. Matthew was one of 17 super-awesome kids participating in the annual competition. He and many others also stepped up to serve as stage hands, emcees, sound operators, decorators and help in other roles of support.
Fun ‘N Fashion is basically a variety show with different categories and age groupings. Clover Buds are 5 to 8 years old. Juniors are 9 to 13, and seniors are 14 to 19. The categories in this year’s show were vocal, instrumental, dance and apparel. For apparel, the kids had to put together an outfit they’d purchased for either the dressy or casual category. They had to model the outfit on stage, explain where they’d bought it and for how much, what materials it was made of and where it could be worn.
And wow, did they look stylish!
Caroline Campbell, an eighth-grader at Haas Hall Academy, chose to go casual. She wore a pink shirt with black pants and a camo jacket. Her purse and shoes were pink, too. “I wanted my outfit to reflect my personality—bubbly and bright but not tomboyish. I added those pops of pink.” She performed in the dance category as well, with a high-energy hip-hop act.
Tesa Pack, a Lincoln Middle fifth grader, described her dressy outfit as “a sparkly little tank top with a skirt and high heels.” Tesa also performed in the vocal category, joined by sisters Zoe and Zella Pomeroy. The trio sang a Christian number, “You Say.”
The evening program also included several fun 4-H songs and routines that called for audience participation – like “Tarzan swingin’ from a rubber band/fell into a frying pan”—and now,
“Tarzan has a tan!” During some of the group-sings, a panel of judges worked intently on selecting the winners. Two judges from the University of Arkansas faculty judged the vocal and instrumental performances. A local dance instructor judged the senior dance entry. Nine UA Apparel studies students judged the fashion entries.
Besides showing off talent, these 4-Hers are involved in many other activities. Caroline Campbell, for example, enjoys doing community service. “We went to a veterans home for Christmas. We made cards and sang, and gave them care packages. I liked watching their faces light up.” Caroline wants to become a veterinarian.
Zella Pomeroy, 12, likes 4-H because “it brings fun to things people don’t really think about, like raising animals.” She raises chickens and will show them in the county fair this August. She said she wants to be a police officer.
Why don’t you check out 4-H clubs, camps and leadership opportunities right here in Northwest Arkansas? Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a passion you never even knew you had!
One vocal act came with an impressive costume. Justin Miller, a fourth-grade student at West Fork Elementary, wore a king’s robe and crown as he sang, “You’ll Be Back” from the musical, “Hamilton.” “It’s King George’s breakup song with America,” he explained. The lyrics are hilarious:
“You’ll be back, soon you’ll see
You’ll remember you belong to me.
You’ll be back, time will tell
You’ll remember that I served you well.
Oceans rise, empires fall
We have seen each other through it all.
And when push comes to shove
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!”