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4-H All Stars

The All Stars came into existence as a result of the philosophy and leadership of William H. Kendrick, West Virginia State 4-H Club Leader. Based on the challenges of the fourfold life of mental, physical, religious, and social development, Kendrick related this pattern in terms that boys and girls could understand, while incorporating the 4-H idea of Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

Organization of the All Stars took place at West Virginia University in June 1919. It was an out growth of Prize Winners' Course, a week at the university which had been held annually since 1913. To provide recognition for outstanding 4-H activities beyond that accorded by the 4-H achievement pins,

 All Star Pin
All Star Membership Pin

 All Star Rose Garden 4-H All Star Rose Garden, West Virginia

a few members who had demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership - particularly service toward their local clubs and home communities in taking back to them the ideas gained at Prize Winners' Course - were awarded five-pointed red star pins with a fifth H indicating honor for home achievements. About 15 such pins were awarded at the 1917 and 1918 Prize Winners' Courses. Kendrick referred from time to time to those so recognized as "All Stars." It was at his suggestion that those who were present at the 1919 Prize Winners' course formed the All Stars Organization to help perpetuate the 4-H ideals.

The All Stars organization conducted a variety of activities in support of the West Virginia 4-H program and soon the All Stars spread to other states including Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts; and, later to Tennessee, Mississippi and New Hampshire.

Many other states also have All Star programs, although the programs vary from state to state. Selection as a 4-H All Star is a recognition of achievement. In California, for example, it is the highest achievement award at the county level and is a position awarded annually. Similarly, the capstone award in Texas 4-H is the Gold Star Award, which is given to Seniors who have shown outstanding leadership and proficiency in their project areas.

 4-H All Stars Header

All Star Foundations

Condensed From the 1969 West Virginia All Star 50th Anniversary Memory Book

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature,
and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52

BACK of every organization or movement there is a source of ideas from which it developed. The All Stars came into existence as a result of forces set in motion during the early years of 4-H club work in West Virginia by the State 4-H Club Leader, William H. Kendrick , in whose memory this report of progress is dedicated.

To adequately convey "Teepi" Kendrick's contribution to the 4-H club program-not only in West Virginia but throughout the nation-would require a volume in itself, so only the high lights can be mentioned here. In fact, the 4-H idea itself came partly from him. The club program at the time he was appointed state leader in 1913 was known as the Boys' and Girls' Agricultural Clubs. Its purpose was to teach country boys and girls better methods of farming and homemaking through their own experiences in doing various projects with the guidance of trained experts in so far as such guidance could be provided.

"Teepi," along with leaders in many other states, was quick to realize that the personal development of the boys and girls was of greater importance than producing a prize pig or calf, a fancy exhibit of corn or potatoes or making an apron, or canning tomatoes that would take a blue ribbon at the fair. Drawing upon his experience as a delegate to the International Sunday School Camp at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, he brought to the club program in West Virginia the challenge of the fourfold life of mental, physical, religious, and social development as characterized by the development of Jesus and recorded in Luke 2:52.

Restating the fourfold life development pattern in terms that boys and girls could understand, he emphasized the 4-H idea of Head, Hand, Heart and Health. He also was instrumental, with the collaboration of others, in combining the 4-H's and the four-leaf clover emblem, which had been used by some club groups in some states, thus creating the basic design for the 4-H pin which was soon adopted throughout the country.

To develop in the fourfold way could lead only to a life of usefulness, high ideals, and service to one's fellow beings. This concept was stressed by "Teepi" in all of his contacts with 4-H club members. He always held out a challenge to each club member to spur him on to greater achievements. Through pointed stories with a punch, catch phrases, slogans, poems, songs, and other de-vices to impress ideas, he fixed such thoughts as "Be yourself at your best," "Make the best better," and "Create a masterpiece" firmly in the minds of many hundreds of West Virginia boys and girls.

One of "Teepi's" favorite poems, Be The Best Of Whatever You Are which are typical of those he used so frequently, will serve to illustrate the philosophy of life which he infused into 4-H club members.

Individual development, important as it is, was not the only goal in "Teepi's" mind. To bring a youth a vision of life's possibilities, together with a way of realizing the fullness of that vision, was a major objective in his work. He realized that an individual can only attain his best through service to others-sharing and passing on the good things he has gained for himself, thus perpetuating the extending the influence of the 4-H program. To this end, he placed much emphasis on the development of leader-ship and encouraged it on a "volunteer" basis.

Not only did "Teepi" keep boys and girls "on their toes" (stretching and growing) in the process of fourfold development, but he also provided recognition for their achievements as a means of encouragement and incentive to further endeavor. This recognition was given in ways that served as new challenges-pins bearing one, two, and three, or four H's, depending on the degree of attainment for which they were awarded. When a member received a one-, two-, or three-H pin, he was motivated to keep on working for the fourth H.

Be The Best of Whatever You Are
by Douglas Malloch

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley--but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass--
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail--
Be the best of whatever you are!

Another type of recognition was the bestowing of an Indian name that emphasized some worthy attainment or character development. It signified that from that time on the member was through with the less things of his life and would live up to the implications of his new name. Educational trips that enlarged the member's horizon and gave him a broader outlook on life were another type of recognition. Various other forms of recognition similar to those mentioned also were given.

Prize Winners' Course for a week at West Virginia University-from 1913 to 1921-served to provide inspiration and enlightenment for hundreds of county champions in the various project activities. To provide recognition for outstanding 4-H activities beyond that accorded by the 4-H pins, a few members who had demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership-particularly service toward their local clubs and home communities in taking back to them the ideas gained at Prize Winners' Course-were awarded five-pointed red star pins with a fifth H indicating honor for home achievements. About 15 such pins were awarded at the 1917 and 1918 Prize Winners' Courses. "Teepi" referred from time to time to those so recognized as "All Stars." It was at his suggestion that those of them who were present at the 1919 Prize Winners' Course formed the All Stars Organization to help perpetuate the 4-H ideals.

All Stars Organization Formed

ORGANIZATION of the All Stars in June 1919, during the State 4-H Prize Winners' Course at West Virginia University, was a natural outgrowth of developments in the 4-H program during the preceding 6 years, the high lights of which have been sketched briefly.

Those "All Stars" who were presented at the 1919 Course reacted favorably to the suggestion of "Teepi" Kendrick, that they had now reached the stage in their fourfold development where they should assume some responsibility for the advancement of the 4-H program, not only in their home communities, but generally throughout the state. Banding together in a definite organization seemed to be a logical step, particularly from the standpoint of state-wide support of 4-H activities. So, after some discussion of purposes or objectives and concurring on general principles and procedures, "Uncle Charlie" Hartley and Walter C. Schnopp, of Preston county, one of the star-pin group, were drafted as a committee of two-with "Teepi" as counsel-to draw up a constitution and outline a procedure for recognizing some new members during the week of the Course.

Drawing on their background of 4-H love and tradition, their knowledge of student organizations on the University campus, and contacts with fraternal orders, the committee drafted a Constitution and Consecration Service for receiving new members. This was supplemented by a ritual of secret procedure for the final initiation of those selected at the Consecration Service. These were subsequently adopted at a business meeting after the new members had been taken in.

Unfortunately, records of those who were present as charter members of the group as well as those who were received as new members that year have gotten away, and it has not been possible to verify a complete list. Among those who had previously re­ceived star pins were Carl Bibbee, Wood County; Stephen Morton, Webster; Mabel Sidell, Wetzel; Fielding Smith and Ray Frame, Braxton; Walter C. Schnopp and Lynn A. Taylor, Preston; and Martha A. Thompson, Monroe. Adele Bigelow, Wood; Eleanor McClung, Monroe; Gladys M. Scranage, Taylor; Raleigh Shawyer, Fayette; and Freda H. Ward, Randolph.

For the Consecration Service, Walter Schnoop served as Big Chief, Carl Bibbee as Scout, and Martha Thompson as Scribe. This service was patterned after the "Link Day" ceremony of Sphinx, a West Virginia University campus organization of senior men chosen on the basis of scholarship, leadership, and service to the University. Intended as an outdoor event, because of rain the service was held in what was then Commencement Hall. The original members wore gowns which were borrowed from the faculty members and formed a circle on the stage while the Scout marched through the audience, selected the new members, and escorted them to the stage one by one. The secret initiation ceremony was held later in the evening in one of the class-rooms in Oglebay Hall.

During the business meeting held the next day officers for the ensuing year were elected. Stephen Morton was chosen as Big Chief. Because of the loss of records for the early years the other officers cannot be verified. In adopting the Constitution, the name, object, and motto of the organization were established and defined. While no song was officially adopted, "Follow The Gleam" was so much a part of the members through their 4-H experiences and inheritance that by common consent it was then and has continued to be accepted as a "beacon light" pointing the way and leading members on to their self-chosen goals of service.

At a Vesper Service conducted by the All Stars at the last Prize Winners' Course held at West Virginia University in 1921, Raleigh Shawyer read a poem entitled "His New Day" which epitomizes the feeling of responsibility fore service that comes to new members when they are "consecrated" as All Stars.

Organization Swings Into Action

THE 1921 Vesper Service, one of the first activities of the All Stars in giving support to the state 4-H program, served as a "spring board" from which the organization launched into an active program of service. With the shifting of the Prize Winners' Course activities to the State 4-H Camp at Jackson's Mill, the All Stars found ever widening fields in which they could serve.

From such humble beginnings as sponsoring get-acquainted parties at Volunteer Leaders' Camps and serving as hosts for teas, receptions, and parties at other camps, the All Stars have contributed in many ways to the camps at Jackson's Mill as well as to the general 4-H club program throughout the state. They have sent delegates to the meetings of the student section of the American Country Life Association, provided 4-H camp scholar-ships sponsored a University 4-H Club for 4-H club members who are students at West Virginia University, and numerous other activities described more fully in a later section of this progress report.

First All Stars Banquet In 1921

DISCOVERING that there were six 4-H club members attending West Virginia University during the 1920-21 term who had been awarded star pins in 1917 or 1918, the "activated" members of the All Stars, including Big Chief Carl R. Bibbee, Lesser Chief Walter C. Schnopp, and Scout Gladys M. Scranage, arranged a banquet on January 17 at the Old Home Tea Room near the University campus as a means of acquainting the potential members with the organization and receiving them into it.

Following the banquet a modified consecration and initiation ceremony was conducted for Leland Booth, Barbour, Theresa Dower, Mason; Seigel O. Gardner, Monongalia; Grace Givens, Monroe; Ezra E. Hamstead, Preston; and Floyd Rothlisberger, Wetzel. This increased the group to 11 student members. (In addition to these members, the banquet was attended by three other members who came in from the state, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Kendrick and C. H. Hartley.)

All Stars Spread To Other States

SHARING with others the good things one possesses is a form of service the All Stars have not overlooked. From the beginning they recognized that if their activities were helpful in West Virginia similar activities on the part of similar groups in other states would be helpful to those states too. One of the first amendments to the Constitution provided for the admission of new chapters. The incentive to "Follow The Gleam" has reached out into a number of states and seven others now have All Stars organizations.

West Virginia group aided in establishing the All Stars in Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, while Virginia passed the light on to Tennessee. Then came Mississippi and New Hampshire. West Virginia All Stars are deeply interested in the advancement and well-being of the other state groups and maintain close contact with them.

Maryland - 1921

Having first shared the light with Maryland and installed their organization of 12 charter members at the Maryland State 4-H Club Week in 1921, the West Virginia All Stars have taken pride in the achievements of the Maryland group. It had grown to 767 members by 1949 and published a 102-page history of its activities as a high light of that year's attainments.

The Maryland Chapter of 4-H Club All Stars was established in 1921 by a team of four West Virginia All Stars-
Gladys Scranage, Raleigh Shawver, Adele Bigelow, and Stephen Morton. E. G. "Daddy" Jenkins, then 4-H club leader in Maryland, tells about this event:

"In the summer of 1920, I sent Miss Eloise Hill, principal of the Flintstone High School in Allegheny County, to West Virginia to report on their Short Course which was then held at Morgan-town. She was enthusiastic about All Stars. In 1921, Adice Jones, then state girls' agent, and B. B. Derrick, county agent in Hartford County, also attended the West Virginia Short Course. They were most enthusiastic about the All Stars organization and had tentatively agreed for the All Stars of West Virginia to send a delegation to Maryland to organize a chapter. A month or two later they came to our club week and using their charting methods selected twelve young people, Adice Jones, my assistant P. W. Chichestin, and myself and organized Beta Chapter."

Virginia - 1922

Following closely on the trail, Virginia 4-H folk caught the All Stars' vision and requested help in organizing its chapter. Accordingly, representatives from the West Virginia and Maryland chapters conducted the installation during the 4-H Short Course at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in August 1922.

The charter group consisted of nine active 4-H club members with outstanding records from seven counties and three members of the state Extension Service staff. From this beginning has developed a strong state-
wide group with about 1,600 members by 1968 representing all counties. Virginia All Stars are on the march and in the forefront of 4-H progress and development in the Old Dominion State.

Rhode Island - 1928

Eager to join the caravan, the Rhode Island group was established in the fall of 1928 and functioned for nearly two years as "4-H Junior Counselors" while awaiting formal installation as a chapter of All Stars, which materialized on June 11, 1930. Representatives from the Maryland and West Virginia chapters con-ducted the ceremony.

Massachusetts - 1929

Beginning with a charter group of only four members, the Massachusetts chapter of All Stars was organized at Camp Vail during the Eastern States Exposition in 1929, with representatives from the Maryland and West Virginia chapters conducting the installation service.

Tennessee - 1948

Joining the procession in 1948, Tennessee is already off to a flying start with three organized groups of All Stars and plans for two more-one in each of the five districts into which the state is divided for general Extension and 4-H club work. To get the spark to kindle the fire a group was sent to the Virginia All Stars meeting where it was formerly initiated and then returned to start the home fires burning.

Eighty-nine active members were consecrated in the three chapters, each of whom has served as a junior 4-H leader and assisted in setting up an Honor Club in his county. They also have served as counselors at 4-H camps and in many other ways have helped to promote the 4-H program in the state.

Mississippi - 1950

The Mississippi Chapter of 4-H All Stars was organized at State College, Mississippi, during 4-H Club Congress, June 19, 1950. At that time 126 4-H club members, recommended by their Extension agents, became charter members of the Mississippi 4-H All Stars.

Mississippi was the seventh state in the United States to be accepted as a member of the Interstate All Stars organization. At the first organizational meeting in 1950, the philosophy of the All Stars was heard by all the members as taken from the philosophy of the other states, mainly West Virginia and Maryland. William Henry Kendrick, father of the All Stars, presents a challenge-"Be yourself, at your best all the time." "Daddy Jenks" has said that "no greater attainment can be achieved by a 4-H club member than to so conduct his life that he will be chosen a member of the All Stars group." The competition principle does not enter into All Stars activities. The desire to get ahead of the other fellow will get a candidate nowhere. Club members will not try to down others but will try to raise themselves. Our great 4-H club motto, "To Make the Best Better," is in its greatest degree exemplified by the 4-H development of one who has been selected to membership in the All Stars.

At the 1951 state meeting, Bobby West Medicine Man, gave a report on the Interstate Conference that had been held in Rhode Island in the fall of 1950. Bobby West was the only delegate that attended the first Interstate Conference just after organizing. At this conference, Mississippi was officially recognized as a member of the Interstate Conference.

The 1955 fall camp was conducted October 29-30, at which time the Future Plans Committee announced the action projects for 1956, namely: (1) Develop more county honor clubs; (2) Continue the support and service to the Philippine Project (4 years old) ; (3) Be responsible for increasing the Mississippi 4-H Alumni Roll; (4) Service the three 4-H club centers by helping develop the amphitheaters; (5) Prepare and publish two issues of the 4-H All Star Newsletter.

New Hampshire - 1954

New Hampshire formed an All Stars Chapter in May, 1954. While the All Stars organization may vary somewhat in different states, the fundamental ideas and principles are the same. The All Stars have at no time promoted the expansion of the organization but has made available to any state group information regarding the organization.

I believe in 4-H club work for the opportunity it will give me to become a useful citizen. ...

I believe in my country, my state, my community, and in my responsibility for their development.
From the National 4-H Creed

Related Links:

West Virginia 4-H All Stars Website
West Virginia 4-H All Stars "The Torch" Newsletters
Tennessee 4-H All Stars Website
Virginia 4-H All Stars Web Page

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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