My involvement in Wayne County 4-H from the time I was nine years old through high school had a huge impact on my life, and is a big part of why I went to college. As we start 2021, I’m looking forward to sharing with you through this column many of the great opportunities available to youth as members of 4-H and experiences for adults as volunteers in the 4-H program.
What Does 4-H Offer?
With more than 200 project areas to choose from, youth can learn about animals, computers, cooking, leadership, photography, public speaking, robotics, sewing, shooting sports, woodworking and so much more. In addition to the projects, 4-H teaches life skills, creates lifelong friendships, and helps prepare youth to be capable, competent, caring, and contributing citizens. And it’s a whole lot of fun along the way!
Is it Just Projects?
No - in addition to completing educational projects, 4-H offers summer camping experiences and the opportunity to exhibit and show projects and livestock at the Wayne County Fair and Ohio State Fair. There are opportunities for older youth like the Junior Leaders Club, Junior Fair Board, serving as a camp counselor, and participating in conferences and events at the state and national level. There are also programs available related to STEM and career exploration!
How old do youth need to be?
In Wayne County youth that are age five and enrolled in kindergarten are eligible to join 4-H as Cloverbuds, and youth that are age eight and enrolled in third grade as of January 1st of the current year are eligible to join 4-H as a member. Membership ends December 31st of the year in which the youth reaches age 19.
How do I volunteer?
Volunteers serve as club and project advisors and/or on special countywide committees. There are around 45 4-H clubs spread throughout Wayne County serving more than 1,400 youth. 4-H in Ohio is a part of Ohio State University Extension and as such all Extension volunteers are required to complete an application, interview, and criminal background check process.
Now is the key time of the year for youth to join 4-H and for adults to become volunteers. For more information about how to join 4-H or to become a volunteer, please contact me at the Extension Office by calling 330-264-8722 and/or visit us on the web at wayne.osu.edu.
Doug Foxx is an OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
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