Beaufort County 4-Hers take top honors at statewide competition

Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Two Beaufort County 4-H members went to Raleigh and brought home gold.

Kaitlyn Salinas, 10, and Kylie Bowden, 15, won gold medals in the state 4-H presentation competition held at N.C. State University on July 20. Earlier, both girls won gold in the district competition, also held at N.C. State, to progress to the final competition.

All 360 participants were allowed to choose their topic in a variety of categories, according to Chasady Quinn, 4-H youth development extension agent at the Beaufort County Extension Center.

“The presentation program is really good because it gives these kids confidence, and unlike at school, they can pick any topic they want,” Quinn said. “The competing is less important — It’s them becoming kind of like an expert in something, and being able to build on those public speaking skills. That’s really important.”

Caitlyn’s presentation, “K-9 Mystery,” was about red wolves in eastern North Carolina and fell under the Forestry and Wildlife category. Quinn said Salinas gathered information about the endangered red wolf and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s restoration project for the species, visiting the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge and even spotting a red wolf at Pocosin Lake.

Kylie’s award-winning presentation was in the Health and Fitness category: “Navigating Anxiety,” a personal story, including information and symptoms and how to treat anxiety. In a field of eight competitors, Kylie’s presentation stood out, according to Quinn.

“She is great at giving presentations,” Quinn said. “Both of them were really good.”

Approximately 125 children participate in Beaufort County 4-H clubs, though the reach is much greater during the school year, when 4-H extension agents do classroom enrichment presentations at Beaufort County schools. There are currently four clubs in Beaufort County: Raised in a Barn Farm in Chocowinity; Beaufort County Boots and Bounty in Bath; Bath Creek 4-H Club, Bath, and Crusaders 4-H Shooting Sports Club in Washington. A fifth, martial-arts based club is in the works, Quinn said.

Membership to the clubs is free, however, activities do have costs associated with them — a cooking camp slated for next week is $80; a mini-horse camp, $25.

For more information about Beaufort County 4-H, call Quinn at 252-946-0111.