October 3, 2013

Celebrate National 4-H Week October 6th-12th

by Pat Wiggins Scotland County Youth Education Assistant

What is 4-H? 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H is young people making new friends and memories while preparing to be future leaders. It is the largest volunteer-led and supported youth organization in the world. 4-H is supported by University of Missouri Extension through local Extension offices and councils. It is an organization that includes the whole family, children, parents, grandparents, and other extended family members.

As members in 4-H clubs, youth enroll in projects and participate in group activities and meetings. Each club has a club leader as well as project and activity leaders. Projects vary from livestock to foods, from aerospace to woodworking, and from arts and crafts to entomology. Members help in the planning of the program and carrying it out. Each 4-H club has representatives who serve on the County 4-H Council and help to plan county events and programs. The 4-H Council plans Achievement Events, Recognition Events, parts of the Scotland County fair and sponsors fundraising for the fair and other 4-H events. 4-H Clubs in Scotland County are very active in community service. Each individual club carries out at least five community service projects. The 4-H Council sponsors the pre and post fair clean-up days at the fairgrounds.

Youth between the ages of 8 and 18 can enroll in 4-H clubs. Younger kids between the ages of 5 and 8 can belong to Clover Kids. All 4-H ages are considered as of January 1 of the current 4-H year which is 2014. Participation in the Scotland County Fair and other state and county events is limited to members who are in "good standing" with their local 4-H Club. This includes meeting deadlines and attending a majority of club meetings. Clover Kids do not get premiums at the fair but receive special Clover Kids Ribbons because according to early childhood research, it is detrimental to have this age of members participating in competition.

4-H also reaches youth through special interest programs that are co-sponsored by 4-H, University of Missouri Extension and other groups. Groups that fall under this category in the surrounding area are day camps. 4-H in Scotland County reaches school groups through school enrichment programs (Hatching Chicks in the Classroom).

There are four 4-H Clubs in Scotland County: the Azen Jolly Timers, the Gorin Go-Getters, the Jolly Jacks and Jills and the Missouri Mischiefs.

4-H Clubs are reorganizing at the present time so now is the time to join. 4-H members can join any time during the year but need to have attended six meetings before the fair if they plan to exhibit. Youth interested in becoming 4-H members can contact members or leaders of the club they are interested in, or they can contact the Scotland County University of Missouri Extension Office for more information. (660) 465-7255.

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