Fun with 4-H!

By Mackenzie Crump4H Ride

4-H. Learning by doing, animals, crafts, computers, whatever you are interested in - there's a 4-H club for you. I'm a 14 year old 4-H-er that has done projects with horses, sheep, candy making, pet care, sewing, and other projects and activities that I could go to through the 4-H program.

4-H is learning by doing. It got started at the turn of the century when teachers began to see the needs of young people in the nation. They began to introduce nature study as a way to better educate people about agriculture. 4-H stands for head, heart, hands and health. These are the 4 areas that the club emphasizes. Head trained to think, heart trained to be true and kind, hands to be useful and skillful, and health for service and vitality.

Animal care is an important part of 4-H, but you don't have to have an animal to be a part of a 4-H club. There are clubs that teach skills in sewing, candy making, art, archery, cake decorating, nature study, computers, small engines and many other non animal hobbies. If there is something that you want to do and can find an adult leader to teach others, you can start a club.

People in 4-H range in age (as of January 1st) from 8 to 18. After age 18 you can become a leader and still be active in your club teaching. Being a member can be a lot of fun. You can also compete in different areas. There are presentation and speech contests, judging contests, photography contests, local fairs and lots of other things as well. If you win on one level you move up and compete in state and regional competitions.

There are camps, clinics and conferences that are available to different 4-H-ers. Junior leaders can go to training conferences that bring you together with other young people your own age. You go to classes where you can do fun things together, meet new people and make new friends.

If you are interested in joining 4-H, you can call the county extension office in your area and find out what clubs are in the area. Tell them what sort of club you are interested in and they can help you join the one you want.

Being a 4-H-er is a lot of fun. The meetings have things to learn and fun games to play. They teach you about leadership and how to work with others. You can work on lots of different projects and learn from others' experiences. 4-H has taught me a lot about my horses, my sheep and the other projects I have worked on, while having fun!

Mackenzie Crump is an active member of the Diamond H 4-H. She and her family currently take care of their three horses, fourteen emus and three cats. She is active in the local soccer league and school band. Thank you, MacKenzie, for taking the time to share with us!

To find the 4-H clubs in your area, look in the phone book in the Blue Pages, GUIDE TO HUMAN SERVICES, Children and Youth Services, under the Growth and Enrichment section, or under COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Agricultural Department.



My Riding Teacher

Running to help her friends.

Always acting kind.

Never running out of patience,

Does very, very good deeds,

Is helping someone all the time.

by Bethany

Ephrata, PA