July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

County fair: Teens build work ethic, learn business by running stand

MEDINA — Maybe milkshake-making means mustering more effort than most might imagine.

“I don’t think people realize how much work it is,” said 16-year-old Sarah Waite, of Medina, one of five teenagers tasked with running the milkshake booth at the Medina County Fair this week.

Sarah Waite, 16, of Medina, delivers the goods at the 4-H milkshake booth at the Medina County Fair on Tuesday. Waite is one of five milkshake booth chairpersons, all 4-H teenagers, who are responsible for managing the booth. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

The 4-H teens are milkshake booth chairpersons, voted into the volunteer position by their peers. They must commit to two years on the job and are in charge of ordering product, taking inventory, managing the staff and making sure the facility is clean.

Being the one and only milkshake stand on the fairgrounds, it’s not uncommon for the line to zigzag in front of the booth, down the street and behind the grandstands.

“Most people are pretty patient about it,” Waite said.

The other staff members are also 4-H members, and an adult adviser is always on site.

“It’s their job to make sure everything runs smoothly,” said 4-H adviser Kim Schreiber, of Chatham Township.

She said a former booth chairperson recently decided to major in business because of the skills she learned managing milkshake-makers.

“She really felt like this gave her an advantage in her first year of college,” Schreiber said.

For most, she added, the position is the kids’ first real job, even if they aren’t paid.

Waite, whose favorite milkshake flavor is chocolate peanut butter, said the treats are popular because of the effort the students put into making certain they come out just right.

“We always make sure that they’re thick and a good quality,” she said.

Time management and responsibility are the two big lessons Waite said she is learning as she is tasked with overseeing her friends on the job.

But it’s not all work, she said.

“It’s kind of like a 4-H family,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.

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