For 98 years, Oklahoma F4-H’ers have gathered first on the Oklahoma A&M campus, and later on the Oklahoma State University campus, for the biggest 4-H event in the state. For nearly a century, Stillwater has been the epicenter of State 4-H Roundup. Roundup is the only time on campus where the predominant color is green, not orange.
The long-standing traditions club members have grown to love will be done a bit differently for the 99th State 4-H Roundup that was slated July 22-24. There will not be hugs between club members who met on campus last year. Record book honorees and scholarship winners will not be walking across the stage in Gallagher-Iba Arena for recognition. Instead of gathering on campus, this year’s Roundup will take place virtually due to the health concerns associated with COVID-19.
“While we wish we could continue with State 4-H Roundup in the traditional way, our first concern is the health and safety of not only our club members, but our Extension educators, volunteer leaders and everyone else involved with Roundup,” said Steve Beck, state 4-H program leader. “Although all of the details aren’t completely worked out yet, we’re still going to have the 99th State 4-H Roundup and make the most of the situation we’re in. As with everything else going on in the world, we’re adapting so we can still celebrate the end of a successful 4-H year. Thankfully the technology to make it happen is available.”
Jeff Sallee, 4-H science and technology state specialist, said this year’s Roundup will take place throughout the month of July.
“We’re going to be spreading out the activities all month long. If we tried to do everything in the traditional three days, we’d be sitting in front of our computers on Zoom for 12 or more hours a day,” Sallee said.
“This way, we break it up into digestible chunks. These chunks will allow more 4-H members to participate in more events and try new things.”
Educational workshops will take place the first, second and third Wednesdays in July. Participants will have about 20 workshops from which to choose. Roundup delegates also will be able to participate in contests, although the format will likely be different. For example, the traditional ATV contest will not have a participant riding section - instead delegates will compete by showing their knowledge of proper safety protocols.
“Doing it this way will give club members an opportunity to participate in several workshops. In the past, they’ve had to pick and choose due to time constraints and other obligations they have during Roundup,” said Cathy Allen, 4-H curriculum coordinator. “Our goal is to provide opportunities for everyone to be involved in as many different things as they choose.”
Cathleen Taylor, state leadership and civic engagement specialist with the State 4-H Office, said club members will still receive recognition for their project work during the Honor Night Assembly.
“Honor Night always has been a highlight of 4-H Roundup, and this year will be no different. Well, maybe a little different,” Taylor said. “We’ll still be announcing the finalists in project areas and revealing the record book or scholarship winner. And, in keeping with tradition, our two new Hall of Fame inductees will be announced.”
The closing assembly with the announcement of promises to be exciting the state leadership council election results.
“We’re excited about the 99th State 4-H Roundup. We know it won’t be the same as being on campus. Roundup is a social event and we’re working on way to keep it that way,” Sallee said.
Registration is still t-shirts still will be available required for Roundup, and Roundup will continue to be the great experience it always has been.
Check with your county 4-H educator for more detailed y information.