What could be better than influencing the life of a young person through empowerment and valuable skill development? Well, this is the basis for the 4-H Organization. Beginning over 100 years ago with a youth program in Clark County, Ohio, this organization has grown to include over 6 million participants!
The foundation of the program is to educate, enlighten, teach, and reach as many children as possible, showing them that they are strong and valuable people who have unique skills that will help them to achieve their goals in life.
4-H Clubs are typically formed with at least 5 to 6 youngsters (often many more) and adult mentors, who pass along information, help to shape and hone skills, and, most of all, make sure that the kids are having fun while learning. The 4-H Pledge pretty much says it all, “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
4-H in SLO County
San Luis Obispo County has some great 4-H programs that all focus on different projects, skills, and etc. With over 1400 members (children from 5 to 19 years old) and nearly 300 adult volunteers, SLO County offers a wide variety of positive learning through hands on application that helps kids to emerge as leaders who are able to give back to their community. There are actually 28 separate 4-H clubs in SLO County, which is one of the largest in the state!
Meet Ella Mitchell from Creston 4-H
We spoke with Ella Mitchell, the Creston 4-H Reporter a little bit about her experience in the organization. She has been involved with the organization for 3 years. Her personal benefit has been quite strong, and she says, “I’ve learned a lot of things in 4-H, including bookkeeping, how to write a check, responsibility for my animals, how to jump on my horse, and how to speak in front of a group.” She also went on to say, “My favorite thing about 4-H is meeting so many new people at our county horse shows, because members from lots of different clubs participate.”
Ella suggests that if you are looking for a way to get your own youngster engaged in something that will help to teach responsibility, strengthen their confidence, introduce them to new people with positive attitudes, and have them learn valuable new skills, that you look into one of your local 4-H clubs. She reminds us that September is the beginning of the 4-H year, so the time to get started is now!
“Come and join the Creston 4-H, or one of the many other 4-H Clubs in our county, and be part of the 4-H family. We have lots of fun projects planned, such as horses, archery, rabbits, and chickens, and we also have market livestock projects, including swine, beef and sheep,” Ella tell us.
“4-H is a great place to learn and to have fun.”
So, maybe it’s time that you looked into giving 4-H a try, either for your youngsters or as an adult volunteer. To join a club near you, check out the SLO County 4-H website for all the information that you need. Remember, the future is riding on the youth in our world, and closer to home, our community. Support an organization whose purpose is to create a better world.
Photos: Ella Mitchell
Cover photo: Creston 4-H Trail Clinic