Newspaper Page Text
814-Lancaster Fuming, Saturday, May 14, 1994
Mifflin Co. Correspondent
McCLURE (Mifflin Co.)
Her message may not be loud, but
it is clear and important—and she
doesn’t get paid to preach it from a
podium around the country. She's
lived it. After 28 years of working
with children and youth as 4-H
community leader, Vivian Mow
ery near McClure, Mifflin County,
is retiring. Her experience of al
most three decades can be rolled
up into pne crucial message for
anyone working with children and
youth be a good role model.
“The things we say and do have
a lasting, lifetime effect on the
lives of young people. The life
you set as a role model for a young
person is extremely important,”
It would take hours to sort
through the 4-H records Mowery
has kept to see how many lives she
has touched during those years.
She was first approached by for
mer 4-H community leader Helen
Wright about being a flower gar
den project leader. As member
ship increased, Mowery took on
other clubs sewing, quilting,
and Children Can Be Fun. A short
time later, Wright stepped down
and Mowery was asked to be com
munity leader of a group of less
than 20 kids.
Through the years, Mowery
saw membership increase to a
high of 110 community club
members. To be a good role model
and leader, Mowery put the safety
of the children first, lived what she
believes are essential values for
leaders (or for anyone), and look
ed for the potential in each child.
That’s Mowery’s time-proven for
mula for good leadership.
As for values, Mowery believes
you start with good sound Chris
tian doctrine to direct you to lead
Then you add good character
and integrity. “You can lead
others with, for example, working
skills. If children see their mom
and dad working, theyre going to
work. It’s the same with 4-H kids
(what they see in their leaders). If
a person respects you, they’ll do
For Mowery, honesty ranks
high on the leader-quality list too.
“We always taught our children
that whatever you do, you live
with the decision you make,” says
Mowery, speaking of her and her
husband Ken’s three children,
Ken Jr., Laurel Archey, and Lan-
Ri ig on change.. jryeyes pot .igon
farm something she’s had little time to do in her 28 years as a 4-H leader.
‘Be A Good Role Model’ Is
Time-Proven Formula For Leadership
But Mowery taught these prin
ciples by living them. When a for
mer 4-H member was seriously in
jured in an accident, Mowery
wanted to help in some “small”
way. She initiated a fund-raising
auction to help offset the family’s
medical bills. With tremendous
community support, organizers
saw donations and help pouring in
from churches, individuals, busi
nesses, 4-H’ers and many others.
It turned out to be a Friday night
and all-day Saturday event at the
Mifflin County Youth Park
shadowed by the news that the lit
tle girl had died. But Mowery’s
desire to help in a “small” way
turned into a full-fledged com
munity effort that raised $9,655
for the family.
At community club meetings,
Mowery shared her leadership re
sponsibilities with everyone, thus
developing potential talents in
others. “At die beginning of the
year, February or March, leaders,
parents, officers, members and
even the little ones, met to plan the
upcoming year. Ideas came from
everyone. I’m a firm believer in
delegation of responsibility.
Members would take on certain
tasks such as helping to set up fu
ture meetings and programs. Then
we had a kick-off meeting. The
extension office would send out
cards and the 4-H news reporter
would advertise it We’d have
booklets, too, listing upcoming
events and meetings. Everyone
knew what was going on.” And all
ideas had parent approval first.
Doling out responsibilities for
Mowery wasn’t done at random.
“I feel for the development of that
4-H member, a leader must sup
port and encourage them, give
them as many opportunities as
possible to develop the talents
they have. I always looked for that
in diem. I felt it was important to
get to know that individual. I try to
see potential and develop that,
things that might have remained
dormant in a child.”
But why 4-H?
“It’s a wonderful educational
program,” Mowery states. “4-H
opens the door for you to be in
volved and to have some oppor
tunities and meet a lot of people
you wouldn’t normally meet. If a
child becomes actively involved,
there’s lots of things to do such as
Achievement Days, Dress Re
vues, being a camp counselor,
Dale Carnegie courses, and much
Being a good leader involves
hard work and dedication. Over
the years, Mowery served as room
chairperson at a leaders Forum at
Penn State, been a judge for De
monstration Days in both Juniata
and Centre Counties, helped at
4-H camp Penn Roosevelt when
needed, served two five-year
terms on the Extension Committee
Board and two two-year terms as
secretary, served as Exhibit Hall
Coordinator at the Mifflin County
Youth Fair, attended home eco
nomic and agricultural meetings,
attended Pennsylvania Coopera
tive Council Extension Associa
tion .meetings while on the Exten
sion Board, chaperoned field trips
including a county exchange with
4-H’ers from Wisconsin, attended
the Extension annual meeting in
State College, attended Legisla
tive State Extension Capitol Days
in Harrisburg, and toured the
Agricultural Science and Indus
tries Building at Penn State.
“I was running on reserve pow
er then,” Mowery admits, then
goes onto talk about the changes
she has seen over the years.
“I’ve been blessed to see the
overall development of the 4-H
program, to see local extension
agents retire and new ones come
on board. It’s been a privilege and
Mowery’s decision to retire
from 4-H was not a easy one.
Many laughingly told her she was
the reason why the green building
roof collapsed (due to snow) at the
Mifflin County Youth Park she
wasn’t supposed to get out of 4-H
Giving up 4-H leadership was a
hard decision, but looking ahead,
Mowery sees things she wants to
do. Her husband retires from
Standard Steel in two years. Mow
ery halps run their 100-acre farm
that includes their state licensed
custom slaughtering and process
ing business. From October
through the end of March, Mow
ery processes 200-300 deer and
beef six days a week. She also
has her eye on the pond below
their farm for fishing, may finish
some quilt tops, repair some an
tiques, and get started on some
calves to raise for beef.
“I might have a couple extra
minutes to work on these now,”
Mowery’s years as a 4-H leader
are packed with memories of skits,
demonstrations, fashion shows,
swimming parties, picnics, meet-
With 28 years of service as 4-H project leader of the De
catur 4-H Club, Vivian Mowery reflects on leadership quali
ties when working with children and youth.
ings, ice cream socials, com boils, that 4-H is more than working on a
roller skating, and much, much specific project for the fair. It is
more. But Mowery will never for- working toward a finished product
get her main purpose as a leader - in the child.
You Ask * ?
* * ?
[ You Answer
In response to readers’ questions, this column is for
readers who have questions but don’t know who to ask
for the answers. In the past, many readers sent non
cooking requests to Cook’s Question Corner, a cooking
column on page B 8.
“You Ask You Answer” is for non-cooking ques
tions. The concept is the same; When a reader sends in a
question, It will be printed in the paper. Readers who
know the answer are asked to respond by mailing the
answer, which will then be printed in the paper.
Questions and answers to this column should be
addressed to You Ask You Answer, Lou Ann Good,
P.O. Box 609, Ephrata, PA 17522.
QUESTION A. Noll of New Holland would like to know
the words to the complete poem that was recited in the 1920 s
when her father-in-law went to school. The poem contains
these lines: The carpenter’s house is falling down. The
preacher's kids are the worse in town....
QUESTION—Marie Lorah, Box 299 R.D.3, Tamaqua, Pa.
18252, is looking for water glasses with pictures of owls on
QUESTION Ptomaine B. answell Sumerdale, would like
to know who manufactured the Webalco electric skillet.
QUESTION Robin O’Brien, Reading, would like to know
some economical cleaning solutions to be used on everything
from cleaning wooded floors to fiberglass tubs.
QUESTION A reader would like to know how to keep
bees away when holding outdoor picnics.
ANSWER Nancy Kring, Johnstown, wanted to know
where to purchase Pennsylvania Dutch signs, cookbooks,
and memorabilia. Thanks to Karen Kinnaine. who writes that
these items are available at Shartlesville General Store, P.O.
Box 212, Shartlesville, PA 19554.