Zach Nason , of Pairie Village and Jessica Gunkel, of Shawnee were among the winners of the “I Dare You” Leadership Award. Nason and Gunkel are members of the Great Plains 4-H Club. They were picked for this award due to their commitment in 4-H, involvement and leadership in community service, and for maintaining leadership roles within 4-H. Submitted photo

Jessica Gunkel
Club reporter
The “I Dare You” Leadership Award was started by William H. Danforth, founder of Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis, who dared young people to achieve their highest potential and to influence others through lives of service.  The  award is given for personal integrity, balanced living and potential leadership in youth.
The award takes its name from the book, “I Dare You”, written by Danforth, in which he commends the balanced life of mental, physical, social and spiritual development as the backbone of leadership.
In November 2012, 4-H youth and family members from Johnson County gathered for the yearly awards banquet held at the Johnson County 4-H building in Gardner.
Among several award areas, the “I Dare You Award” was given to Zach Nason of Prarie Village, and Jessica Gunkel, Shawnee, both from Great Plains 4-H Ccub for their leadership in their club, community, and county.
Each year 4-H club members from Johnson County are given the opportunity to turn in a Kansas Award Portfolio (KAP’s). When you turn in a KAP in leadership, you have a chance to win the “I Dare You” award.
The “I Dare You Award is given based on a member’s involvement and leadership in community service, serving as a chairperson for a 4-H club committee, leadership roles within the club, such as an officer, and project leader, and service within the county.
Each girl that turns in a KAP for leadership, will be judged with the girls, and they pick the best KAP and award them the “I Dare You”. It is also the same with the boys.
The award includes a certificate of recognition, the William Danforth “I Dare You” book, and a scholarship for the Global Youth Conference held in March 2013. The annual Global Youth Conference is where you can learn all about different cultures, environments, technology, environment and careers.
The Conference features tours to Kansas City area businesses, career workshops, dances, and cultural events.  Youth from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma attend.