Charge, baby, charge…

The YIG thing has got me excited. I’ve been hanging out with fellow 4-H activists, grad students, thinkers! I like logistics – how do we make this change? I’m anticipating the research results – why do we do it? Why do some youth want this role, what changes come of it?

Maybe I’m hoping to find out more about why I do it. What difference I’m making. Sometimes it’s hard to see from this angle. Especially the way it’s so undefined. I’m an adult but I’m close to the youth perspective. I’m a volunteer leader who works part-time in the state office. I’m juggling all three sides of the 4-H experience, and tomorrow I’ll have the excuse to lay one of them down. I’ll be past that chaperone threshold – officially a full-fledged grownup type.

I want to be able to draw that line. I’m tired of the way I jump in as an equal when I need to stand back a bit. I still harbor some of that hero-worship, that belief that the advisors know how to do it all. I’m adjusting to the fact that I’m one now. When I’m among adults I feel more comfortable than with youth or even my undefined peers. I think it’s because there are no further jumping-off points – I don’t have to worry about the need to change leadership styles yet again.
I think I get confused – in the advisory councils and workgroups I’ve been asked for the youth perspective, then I have to turn around and play quiet-supportive-vaguely-impartial advisor the next morning. I don’t shift gears that easily. It’s time for the transition – replace me with the younger members, let someone else deal with the gray area for a while. Now I get to play advocate instead of representative. It’s hard to adjust the mask when it gets switched every day.

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~ by jackelopette on March 18, 2005.

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