Rising to the Challenge at Great Plains

Youth work to lift a tire over a post without touching the side.

Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade

National Grange Youth Director

LAWRENCE, Kansas – “You got it! Here, how about this? This is frustrating!” were just some of the statements Grange youth shared as they tackled the Adams Challenge Course at Kansas University during the 2017 Great Plains Regional Youth/Leaders Conference.

Nineteen youth took on the course to figure out how to work as a team, improve communication skills and have fun.

“Challenge courses provide a chance to see what skills each Grange member has,” said Outstanding Young Patron Mandy Bostwick. She organized the youth portion of the conference. “It was interesting to watch how each member reacted to the task issued by the course leaders and then how the team tried to figure out course of action for success.”

Some tasks were easily achieved others were not. “Many of the challenges required planning and working out the idea before talking the station,” Asa Houchin, National Grange Youth Ambassador, said. A favorite station was called “The Giant’s Thumb,” which required youth to lift a tire up and over a tall pole. The catch was if the tire touched the pole, the group had to start over. The talents of some former cheerleaders helped to give a boost to succeed.

The challenge course brought the group together to attempt tasks that alone would be very difficult to complete.

In addition to the challenge course, youth participated in workshops and contests.

Two youths from Texas won the group Sign A Song Contest and the Best of Show award. They are Megan Becerra and Falicity Leaming.

Two youth will represent the Great Plains region at National Session in Grange Jeopardy. They are Mandy Bostwick and Mandi Strwader.

The results of the other youth contests are as follows:

The prepared speech winner who will represent the region in the Evening of Excellence is Leslie Nutter of Oklahoma. Katelyn Bailey of Oklahoma won the youth division.

Radio Spot young adult division: 1. Molly Newman, Kansas.

Impromptu Youth: 1. Michael Leaming, Texas;   2. Krissy Hawk, Oklahoma; 3. Kathryn Honesto, Texas.

Impromptu Young Adult 1. Molly Newman. 2. Mandy Bostwick.