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4-Hers show humor, share lesson

Managing editor

Americans keep hearing about the “tough economic times.” How is a family to get through these “tough economic times?”

With that theme in mind, Amy Kjellin of Marion wrote an 11-minute skit for Happy Hustlers 4-H Club to perform as part of the annual 4-H Club Day.

She knocked it out in one sitting.

“When I got started, it just flowed,” Kjellin said.

Getting back to the basics, which includes lessons learned through 4-H, is the message in the skit which involves about 20 club members.

The skit opens with two newscasters of “Fake News” introducing viewers to two families to see how they deal with the current economic condition.

The first family continues to spend money by going to the mall, eating out, and languish in debt.

The second family is a 4-H family and members have learned to sew, knit, cook, and have found ways to entertain themselves such as photography that does not cost a lot of money.

A “farmer” explained he knows where his meat has come from.

“There are no mad cows on our farm,” he said.

During the individual “speeches” as presented by the actors, the recurring phrase of “during these tough economic times,” emphasizes that times do not have to be tough if people returned to their roots and follow the ideals of 4-H.

With humor and realistic scenarios, the skit drives home the importance of learning by doing which will help everyone get through “these tough economic times.”

The Kjellins moved to Marion last summer. Amy and husband, Doug, wanted to get involved with a program with their son, Adam, who is a member of Happy Hustlers.

“4-H wants families involved,” Amy Kjellin said. “When we signed up, we were looking for an opportunity to fit our talents.”

Kjellin said she and Doug had been involved with community theatre.

“I figured I could do something with drama,” Kjellin said.

She did some research online to determine the content of other skits presented in the 4-H program, which was promoting 4-H. Kjellin also had heard everyone talking about the “tough economic times.”

With a 4-H manual at her side, Kjellin wrote the skit.

The skit received a top blue at the local level, which meant the group could advance to regional club day in El Dorado. At that competition, the club received another top blue but skits are not part of the competition on the state level.

Not all members could perform at regional club day because of other commitments resulting in the skit being scaled back just a bit to accommodate fewer participants.

Since its debut, the 4-Hers have performed the skit at a Marion Kiwanis Club meeting and at an assembly at Marion Elementary School.

Members participating in the skit are age 7 through middle school. The players received a copy of their written lines and practiced eight times before the first countywide competition.

“I tried to work it so each kid had one set of lines,” Kjellin said.

She is shy about taking credit for the clever dialogue of the skit and wants the focus on the 4-Hers.

“The kids really enjoyed it and did such a great job,” Kjellin said.

Members of the cast are Sally Akire, Faith Banning, Alli Boyd, Cade Harms, Peyton Harms, Adam Kjellin, Cara Martin, Jarret McLinden, Lauren McLinden, Cassandra McPhail, Cassandra Meyer, Elizabeth Meyer, Nick Meyer, Cody Parmley, Corin Parmley, Cassandra Stang, Shepherd Stang, Victoria Stang, Alex Stika, Micayla Stika, Myranda Stika, and Larry Zieammermann.

Last modified April 8, 2009

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