Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2007

Sudbeck gets an education in Atlanta

HARTINGTON — Learning to keep good records helped Kelby Sudbeck win a scholarship, which took him all the way to Atlanta.
The Cedar Catholic junior, who has been in 4-H since he was eight years old, was chosen to attend the National 4-H Congress, held in Atlanta.
Sudbeck is a member of the Fordyce Friends and Neighbors 4-H Club and is the son of Mark and Jarinda Sudbeck, Fordyce.

Kelby said he has been enrolled in the Environmental Science 4-H project almost every year.
“It has to do with wildlife conservation,” said Sudbeck.
Some of his projects have included building birdhouses, creating a fishing pole from a kit and making plaster casts of wildlife footprints.
“I found the tracks of deer, beaver and a Heron along my uncle’s creek banks,” said Sudbeck.
The record books Sudbeck kept for his Environmental Science 4-H projects won top honors at both District and State.
“My record books from the beginning to now were sent in and judged,” said Sudbeck. “I won a scholarship to go to the 4-H Congress. I only had to pay for my airfare and a few meals.”
While at 4-H Congress, the participants listened to a variety of speakers and attended several workshops.
Sudbeck found one of the speakers to be very entertaining.
“His last name was Thurman. He was funny to watch. He came out all dressed up in a tux. Then he did back-flips and other gymnastic moves,” said Sudbeck.
The same speaker used a unicycle and the art of juggling to teach a lesson on life to the audience.
“Trying to keep his balance while sitting on a six-foot high unicycle, he told us we can’t just focus on one thing in our life – we need to keep setting new goals,” said Sudbeck. “He had to lean frontward and backward so he would not fall off the unicycle and while he was still on the unicycle he started juggling hatchets and battle axes.”
Another speaker was football player Dan Clark who became partially paralyzed while at practice.
His lesson was on ‘not giving up.’
Sudbeck said one of the workshops he attended was named ‘My parents are driving me crazy.’
“The difference between parents and kids is normal because of the two generations,” said Sudbeck. “You have to treat each generation with respect.”
There were special events planned for every evening.
For a ‘Night of Culture’ Sudbeck visited the Museum of History in Atlanta.
He also got to see an Italian comedy at a theatre in the museum.
Another night featured an International Dinner where participants could taste foods from different countries. It was held in a ballroom and followed by a dance.
At one session Sudbeck learned about different music and dances.
“The modern dances and music of Hip-hop, rap and pop have evolved from the native African dance and music,” Sudbeck said.
The Nebraska 4-Her’s also visited the main headquarters for the CNN TV station.
“It was busy while we were there,” said Sudbeck. “We were there during the time that football player Sean Taylor had been shot.”
Sudbeck said 4-H Congress helps with leadership skills, social skills and teaches you to be responsible as well as working on the important values of life.
Providing community service was also part of the trip for Sudbeck.
Sudbeck ended up helping out an art teacher at Brown Middle School in Atlanta.
“He taught several other classes and did not have much free time,” said Sudbeck. “I helped organize his room. The school building we were in was kind of run down.”
Some of the 4-H members baked cookies for the poor and others helped decorate the parks for Christmas.
While in Atlanta, Sudbeck stayed at the Hyatt Hotel which has 1,250 rooms on 20 floors. The basement had four levels with a ballroom and meeting rooms.
Before leaving for National 4-H Congress, Sudbeck was unsure if he even wanted to go — now he is hoping to attend 4-H Congress a second time.
“I didn’t really want to go — it ruined my Thanksgiving break. If I would have been home I would have gone pheasant hunting,” said Sudbeck. “Now I want to go next year.”
Sudbeck said his mother took him to Lincoln on Thanksgiving night. Early the next morning he met up with 26 other kids from Nebraska who were headed to National 4-H Congress.
From Lincoln they rode a bus to Kansas City and then flew into Atlanta.
“I didn’t know any of the other kids,” said Sudbeck. “It was a quiet bus ride going from Lincoln to Kansas City.”
Coming back home was a different story.
“Everyone was talking and hardly anyone slept on the way back,” said Sudbeck.
Sudbeck said he got to know all of the Nebraska kids plus a few others.
He now has e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers of kids from Nebraska, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Iowa.
And he will also be connecting with his new friends through Facebook.