New 4-H agent grew up in programPublished 12:50pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013
COURTLAND—Celia Brockway has been active in 4-H since she was a child. Today, at 24, she’s the 4-H youth development agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties.
“I grew up in Minnesota and started as a Clover Bud, which is for 5 to 8-year-olds,” Brockway said, adding that she continued for an additional 11 years. 4-H allows members to stay active through their first year of college.
She wasn’t the only one in her family involved with 4-H. Both of her parents, Kathy and Bill Brockway, also grew up in the organization. Today they are veterinarians.
Her siblings, Joe, Lynn and Hannah Brockway are also 4-H participants. Hannah, 14, is still active. Lynn is also using skills she’s learned while attending vet school.
“All of us are kind of involved, even if it’s from a distance,” Brockway said.
Raising sheep was a particular hobby of her father, which enabled the children to help.
“I raised market lambs, showed horses at fairs with my sister. I also raised rabbits. We all did it together,” she said.
Other projects Brockway said she’s has done have included selling clothing and textiles, quilting, and running day camps when she served as a 4-H ambassador on county level. There was also Arts In, a performing arts program, which was done live at state fairs.
“We showed livestock there as well,” Brockway said. “It’s a Minnesota thing.”
She found her new position while looking for jobs within the area.
“4-H is something I had always considered (for a career), and I happened to come across this. I couldn’t give up this opportunity,” said Brockway, who had attended a leadership course during college.
“I thought I would be a good fit considering past experiences and activities,” she added.
Her work began June 24 with camp (“I was in my element.”) at the Airfield Conference Center near Wakefield.
“I’ve seen a lot of positive results come out of the 4-H camp youth program.” Brockway said. “As a youth, you find what your passion is, and you’ve got support of 4-H, in general. You grow into a confident individual who has a skill set. You have the ability to become a well-rounded individual.”
Though her background was actually in music, she said also learned quite a bit about leadership through 4-H, which included how to manage time “and everything like that.” It’s a learning opportunity that a lot of kids miss out.
“I want them to grow into their passion while gaining life skills, citizenship and being involved in their community with 4-H, Brockway said.
Now she’s gearing up for the county fairs of Franklin-Southampton and Isle of Wight.
“I’m learning about them,” Brockway said with a light laugh.
To learn more about the local program, contact her at 653-2572 (Courtland office); 365-6258 (Isle of Wight office) or firstname.lastname@example.org