The 4-H program has two distinct areas. First the volunteer lead club program that has changed little in Pacific County over one-hundred years. The two biggest changes are girls and boys are now meeting together in the same clubs and a variety of projects are available. The second area is enrichment which is relatively recent. Both areas practice the fundamental 4-H ideal of learn-by-doing, experiential education that encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think. Unlike other youth organizations, 4-H offers families the opportunity to participate together.
4-H clubs begin at a table wherever a public spirited person decides they have time to give children the opportunity to reach their full potential. Members of 4-H clubs take the lead on their own projects and set and achieve goals. Adult 4-H leaders keep youth safe and challenged. 4-H youth and adults in the club program learn, grow and work together. These pivotal experiences build a foundation of leadership and skills for success in future careers. 4-H is a lot of work.
It is getting up each day and caring for your project animal, or spending time working on a challenging project. It is entering fair and presenting what you have done in the past year. It is doing community service with your club and giving a public presentations. It is the experiences of camp and state fair. The more you do the more you get out of the 4-H program.
Enrichment programs are open to all youth on a variety of topics. This spring many Pacific County families participated in Super Saturday at the fairgrounds.
Youth and their families learned about shooting sports, cooking, small animals, crafts and a variety of 4-H topics. The highlight for many was making a vegetable flute out of a tap root with the Master Gardeners. Youth participate in quilt camp or teen rally or summer day programs. Here 4-H is empowering youth to work and learn life skills in partnership with caring adults.
I am constantly surprised, enchanted and challenged as the current Pacific County Washington State University Extension Educator in 4-H/Youth Development.
The 4-H program is, and always has been, a partnership between Pacific County, Washington State University and United States Department of Agriculture. With the support WSU Extension staff, adult volunteers inspires young people in 4-H to work collaboratively, take the lead on their own projects and set and achieve goals with confidence. These are the community members who chart their own course through life, explore important issues and define their place in the world.
4-H members past, present and future stand up for themselves and contribute to their communities.