I recently went home to Indiana to visit family and friends and as luck would have it, there was a reunion of Bartholomew County Indiana Rural Youth members. As described in my blog section about the author, Indiana Rural Youth played a pivotal role in my life – the role of matchmaker. And since I haven’t experienced a divorce, I hold the organization responsible for introducing me to my Perfect Peter. Of course meeting Peter ranks pretty high on the perk list of Rural Youth but not far behind are the many friends that I made in the organization. I had so much fun visiting with them at the reunion and am so grateful to the current members of the organization for providing me with the opportunity to reconnect. The dinner and the homemade ice cream were awesome too!
Bartholomew County Rural Youth is renowned for its homemade ice cream. Making homemade ice cream at the ten-day county fair has been the sole fund-raiser for the organization. The ingenuity of the home-grown farm boys (engineers in the making) created the equipment and the booth that are still used to make the delicious treat every year. The business skills that were learned as a result of designing the equipment and booth, purchasing ingredients, customer service skills, money handling duties were invaluable – and this was an agricultural organization, not a business! What an opportunity to have been involved with this group of individuals – and have fun at the same time. Now the current group encourages the members to volunteer their hours operating the booth by offering a free group cruise to those individuals that work enough hours during the fair week.
Another social part of the organization involved square dancing and line dancing. The reunion provided the opportunity to brush off the ol’ dancin’ shoes and hope that the dementia wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t remember a do-si-do or an allemande left. The square dancing clearly demonstrated that my friends haven’t lost their touch – maybe their hair, but not their dance moves.
Junior Farmers is the Canadian counterpart to the American Rural Youth organization. My understanding of the organization is that it still exists but is dwindling – kind of like the number of farmers. As time marches on, change continues to follow in its footsteps. Not all change is good. But it is good to see a group of young people involved in agriculture showing leadership skills and showing respect for previous generations of farmers. Thanks.