4 removed from 4-H program

SIDNEY — Poor decision making has led to the removal of one Junior Fair Board member and three other 4-H members from the organization.

“Four individuals are no longer 4-H members,” said Laura Norris, OSU Extension 4-H youth development educator. “They are no longer in good standing with the county, state, offices and club participation.”

Norris was questioned about the incident after the Sidney Daily News received a tip Wedneday that alcohol and marijuana was involved in the situation at the 4-H Camp, which was held June 10-13 at 4-H Camp Clifton in Springfield, Ohio.

Norris wouldn’t comment on what the youths did during camp that led to the decision to remove them from the organization.

“The person has been replaced on the Junior Fair Board,” said Norris Monday night. “We have alternates in place in case they are needed.

“This was some poor decision making on their part,” said Norris. “They have to know the decisions they make come with repercussions. This is not something to be taken lightly.”

The incident, she said, has been dealt with at the state level.

“We are re-evaluating how we start camp,” said Norris.

This might include adults arriving at the camp an hour before the campers.

“Instead of carpooling, we might do a caravan with me in the front and Lydia (Reinhart) in the back,” said Norris. “This has been a learning experience for all of us.”

Norris said when the incident occurred, the state office of OSU Extension was immediately contacted. The parents of the youth involved were also contacted.

“The parents were called to come get their child,” said Norris. “We had an emergency plan in place after the state was contacted.”

Norris said they hope in the future the 4-H members will talk to them about what is going on at the camp.

“Certain expectations are required in the 4-H program,” said Norris. “Those expectations were not met.”

The four, she said, will not be allowed to participate in the Shelby County Junior Fair, the Ohio State Junior Fair and cannot hold any offices or any other positions within the 4-H community.

Norris said they could become 4-H members again next year as the ban is just for this year.

Jerry Schaffner, Shelby County Agricultural Society secretary, said the four will be allowed to participate in the Senior Fair at the 2015 Shelby County Fair.

“This has been an unfortunate learning experience for all of us,” said Norris.