NATIONAL 4-H WEEK: Local clubs prepare to celebrate
Mariposa Weekly Gazette, September 29, 2011
Across the country, 4-H will celebrate National 4-H Week 2011 Sunday, Oct. 2 through Saturday, Oct. 8. National 4-H week, celebrated annually, provides recognition to youth and leaders involved in 4-H programs.
With an expansive network reaching every corner of the country, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. More than 6 million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards, military bases, and rural farming communities stand out among their peers: building revolutionary opportunities and implementing community-wide change at an early age.
In the state of California there are more than 20,000 4-H volunteer leaders, and the organization serves over 120,000 youth. This past year in Mariposa County there were over 180 members and 66 4-H volunteer leaders.
In Mariposa County the 4-H members from our four clubs: Bootjack 49ers, Cathey’s Valley, Triangle and the Don Pedro Rattlers 4-H will be wearing their uniforms to school, church, doing presentations at schools & clubs, and inviting their friends, young and old, to join this wonderful Youth Development Program.
From self-defense to sheep to small engines, local
The California 4-H mission statement is: “The University of California 4-H Youth Development Program engages youth in reaching their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” The 4-H YDP is an educational program to assist youth in their development by providing learn-by-doing educational projects, developing skills, leadership, citizenship, and partnerships for programming and funding which will benefit youth throughout life.
It also strengthens families and the local community by working together as a team. 4-H is not just animals; the Mariposa 4-H YDP is adding new projects each year to expand our youth’s knowledge. For this upcoming year, some local projects are Hi 4-H (for seventh through 12th graders), Junior Master Gardeners, self-defense, Cloverbuds (for kindergarten through third grades), livestock, leadership, photography, theater arts, and more.
4-H also offers youth and adult conferences and workshops, leadership and officer trainings, camps for leaders and members, and outreach programs. This past program year, Yosemite Bank along with Mariposa 4-H Club Council sponsored “Camp Tweety.” This camp is offered to 4-H members and non-members in fourth through eighth grades. This overnight camp was held at Lions Camp Pacifica in Ahwahnee. Plans are already in the making for Camp Tweety in June 2012.
Along with 4-H clubs and projects, the youth program offers the School Enrichment Program, “Ag in the Classroom” which is sponsored by the Mariposa County Farm Bureau and County of Mariposa.
During this past year, over 16 teachers were able to check out incubators and curriculum to study Embryology, Ladybugs, Butterfly Gardens, Root- View Gardens, Honey-bee Life Cycle, and Cotton’s Journey curricula. Over 1,400 students at the county schools, homeschool and pre-schools had ‘hands-on’ experience with this program.
For youth joining 4-H to attend 2012 fairs with their 4-H projects, re-enrollment for current 4-H members must take place by Oct. 1 and new members’ enrollment must take place by Nov. 1. Enrollment fees are $20 for youth and $10 for volunteer leaders.
Volunteer leaders need to go through a new leader orientation and be fingerprinted before having project meetings with the youth. To complete a project, a minimum of six project meetings with ten hours of instruction is required for the leaders and members.
Anyone who would like to join 4-H as a member or project leader or have use of the “Ag in the Classroom” materials, contact the UCCE office at 966- 4829 or drop by the office at 5009 Fairgrounds Road.