I will never forget the summer of 2007. Sarah Crandall’s mom dropped her off at the 4-H Office for the 4-H Cloverbud Day Camp. I introduced myself and tears begin to roll down her face. She would not say a word, even when you asked her a question. The following year she returned. We noticed she became more talkative and outgoing. We would have never guessed she would develop into a mature, bright, and exuberant young woman.
Sarah is a proud and energetic member of the Jefferson County 4-H County Teen Council. She was elected president, vice president, and secretary of the Jefferson County 4-H County Council over the course of years. She was the 2019-20 4-H District III Council Secretary and served on the 4-H State Council Executive Board Events Committees. My observation of Sarah presiding over the club meetings clearly demonstrated that she could run meetings in a productive and orderly fashion using Robert’s Rules of Order. Her leadership skills are impeccable! She served on the NW Florida 4-H Teen Retreat Planning Committee for the past three years. This year, Sarah was part of the team-teaching trio of the Living On My Own – Real-Life Simulation. Sarah did an exceptional job teaching the check writing portion of the activity.
In 2017, Sarah received the first-place trophy at 4-H University (state level) for her team illustrated talk entitled “Stay Alive Don’t Drink and Drink.” The past four years, Sarah participated in county, district, and state (4-H University) doing various presentations. In her spare time, Sarah loves photography, which inspired her to also participate in the State 4-H Photography Contest.
Since age 13, Sarah has been a camp counselor for all day camps and Cherry Lake overnight camps. Her peers at Camp Cherry Lake twice voted her as the Most Outstanding Camp Counselor. She is a certified 4-H Shotgun Instructor and does a phenomenal teaching shotgun discipline at the Jefferson/Leon Counties Wildlife Day Camp.
Volunteerism is a vital component of 4-H and Sarah has proven this. This young woman has devoted over 400 community service hours. Sarah has also been a loyal citizen in her community by giving her time and efforts, working on community service projects. She helped Jefferson County 4-H put the final touches on the 4-H Nature Trail by clearing brush and installing signs to identify trees. Sarah has also assisted the council every year with the roadside 4-H Adopt-A-Road project. As part of the service project during camp counselor training, she helped remove debris and landscape the Jefferson County Senior Citizen Center. Sarah also makes her visits to both nursing homes in Jefferson County during the holiday seasons. She helped bagged toys during the holidays for needy youth by participating in the JOY (Jefferson Outreach for Youth) Project.
Sarah Crandall is one of our Hurricane Heroes. When Hurricane Michael caused mass destruction to the Florida Panhandle in 2018, Sarah, along with peers, spent the entire day in Bay County, moving and piling tree limbs, garbage, debris, and other miscellaneous materials. These diligent teens worked around utility workers, fallen power lines, utility poles, and even worked in the rain until the job was completed.
I asked Sarah, what are you going to miss about 4-H the most? She stated, “I am going to miss being a camp counselor the most. I took a lot of pride in passing on my knowledge to the kids at our camps, much of which I learned when I went to the same camps at their age.”
Our heart is content knowing that Jefferson County 4-H equipped this young woman with the tools necessary to be successful post-high school. Sarah plans to attend Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Lakewood, Colorado. Jefferson County 4-H takes pleasure in wishing Sarah Crandall much happiness and success in her future endeavors.
4-H teaches essential life skills to youth through hands-on lessons and real world situations through trained volunteers in a safe, positive environment. If you are interested in becoming a 4-H member or volunteer, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.
Special thanks to John Lilly, UF/IFAS Jefferson County CED & 4-H Agent, for providing this article and pictures.