With 2020, everything is different and new. When talking with 17-year-old Santa Rosa County 4-H member, Marley Reynolds, she explains just how different 2020 ended up being for her. Marley said, “This was supposed to be my final year, I was really looking forward to doing Executive Board and having one last year as a camp counselor, but for better or for worse I ended up graduating a year early!” Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Marley had to accelerate her homeschool learning. Since she was already home and couldn’t do anything more than her schooling, she decided to go ahead and graduate. It was not something she took lightly and knew that with the change, she would shift from being a last year 4-H member to Alumni just that fast. She said, “It was very sudden but now I’m a second-year student at Pensacola State College and I’m slated to complete my General Education AA in Spring 2021.”
When asked what 4-H has meant to her, Marley replied, “4-H had always been a special place for me. I first joined because I heard about Camp Timpoochee and had been asking my parents to go to an overnight sleep-away camp for a while. It was amazing, and I still have the friends I met at camp that year.” Along with summer camp, Marley participated in the Marine Ecology competition at the state level and served many hours with the program as a teen volunteer. Marley and her family assisted the rest of Santa Rosa County with our annual Veteran’s Day Cookouts. Marley was able to use her leadership skills as a camp counselor for many years and helped to make camp week wonderful for many youth new to 4-H and camping.
With all of the 4-H events that Marley participated in, she said this about 4-H Day at the Capital, “I think it was my favorite event, mainly because I really liked visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History every year.” Marley and several other teens planned a primitive camping weekend and it was very eventful! She remembers, “My favorite memory was the camping trip we went on. It was my 13th birthday and it rained so hard the second day that we had to go home.” One of the other campers said, “It’s not about having fun, it’s about making memories” We definitely made some memories that weekend.
One of Marley’s main passions is theatre. She loves to get in costume and entertain others. 4-H allowed her to have many new and exciting experiences and she hopes to continue her 4-H career as summer camp staff in the future. Marley, congratulations on your early graduation and we are proud to call you a Florida 4-H Alumni! Don’t forget, that you can always continue your 4-H journey as a volunteer or 4-H Collegiate Member!