Submitted by Helen Krehbiel Stateliners 4-H Club Reporter
Why should your kids join 4-H? Will they have fun? What will they learn?
As a 4-H member going into my 11th and final year, let me share a few of my insights into the skills your children will learn, the responsibility they’ll develop, and the fun they can have if they join.
The skills your children will learn in 4-H — like public speaking and leadership — are skills they’ll use throughout their lives. They will have an opportunity to develop their public speaking skills in a safe, supportive space within their club.
With opportunities at the club, county, state or national level, 4-H provides plenty of growing room for leadership ability. From the beginning, your kids will be encouraged to become leaders in their club, within a project, or during county council meetings.
Beyond public speaking and leadership, your children can choose to learn skills related to whichever projects they’re interested in. Maybe they want to learn how to show a steer, create a rocket, or bake cookies as good as Grandma’s. The projects in 4-H give them free reign to discover, create and present. There’s even a self-determined option in case their idea doesn’t fit within an existing project!
Not only will 4-H give your kids the opportunity to develop their skills, it will also push them to learn responsibility. 4-Hers will take responsibility for their own projects, making sure their pigs are fed and watered, or diligently sewing a little each week on their clothing construction project.
They will also be responsible for the club offices and committees they signed up for. It’s not always easy to remember to type up the reporter’s report and send it to the newspaper in a timely manner, or keep a detailed record of the club’s finances as treasurer.
Your kids will learn to manage upcoming due dates and work hard to finish projects in time. If they’re like most 4-H members, some projects will inevitably be finished last minute, and that’s another opportunity to learn a lesson the hard way.
One of the biggest areas where I’ve seen personal improvement is in the area of record-keeping. Although record books aren’t the most fun part of 4-H, they will provide your kids great practical experience keeping track of finances for a project, or simply noting the different activities they participated in during the year.
Record books can be a great learning opportunity, but it’s also rewarding to look back on everything your 4-H members accomplished during the year and what they want to accomplish next year.
I don’t want to make 4-H sound too educational, however! From the fair, to camp, to recreation at club meetings, 4-H is a lot of fun.
Your kids have the opportunity to dig into a project that interests them, spend time learning about it, and even share it with their club. Additionally, activities like 4-H camp in the summer or barnyard Olympics during the fair create fun memories, and 4-H is something your whole family can enjoy together.
As club members, your children will build friendships with other members as they work together, serve their community together, and have fun together.
At the end of the year, after working hard on all their projects and completing their record books, your 4-Hers will be rewarded by a sense of accomplishment. They may also be rewarded with a pin at the Achievement Night ceremony! It’s rewarding to be recognized for a project record or an officer book that’s well done.
Are your kids ready to learn new skills, develop responsibility, and have a lot of fun? Visit 4honline.com to enroll for the 2017-18 4-H year, or call the Nemaha County office for more information at 785-336-2184.