Clark County 4-H recruitment underway- County 4-H Week to be celebrated March 3-9 PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 00:00

What is 4-H?
4-H is a voluntary, educational program designed to meet the needs and interests of any boy and girl both rural and urban across all demographics. Any child throughout Clark County may enroll in the Exploring, Mini, and traditional programs and are encouraged to join a club in their communities. Clark County has 26 community clubs throughout its borders where 4-H members, parents, and leaders have great fun in learning and working together in various activities, project groups, special interest groups, and endless special interest events.  Specifically, 4-H programs help the individual:
*Develop leadership skills.
*Gain knowledge and skills in various project areas.
*Become self reliant.
*Use scientific methods in making and solving problems
*Explore careers.
*Serve the community
*Build self esteem
Traditional membership is open to boys and girls between grades 3 and 12. Youth may become 4-H members if they will be in the third grade as of January 1 of 2013. They may continue their membership through the year in which they enter the 12th grade. There is also a mini 4-H program for youth grades K-2nd. Youth of all races, places of residence, socioeconomic situations and educational backgrounds are welcome. There is a place for any interested youth in 4-H. Call the Clark County Office at 812-256-4591 to enroll in 4-H as a member or volunteer. There is a $25 program fee for 2013 due upon enrollment. Members may enroll online or by paper form from the Extension Office located on the 4-H Fairgrounds near Charlestown.
What Makes 4-H Different?
*4-H is real life experiences. It is learning how to do jobs and how to make decisions similar to those that are important in adult life. 4-H can be a family affair. There is a place for all family members if they want to participate. Sometimes you can reach and teach others: friends, parents, brothers, and sisters through the 4-Her’s in “your club”.
*4-H is adaptable. Programs can be and should be “tailored” to fit any individual, any home or community. That’s part of the fun. You can help your club “cut and fit” the program so that everyone gains from the experience.
*4-H is decision making. Learning to stand on one’s own feet and learning to work with a group are important. Early practice in making both personal and group decisions builds for the future. You help members find possible answers. You encourage them to explore and decide which path they will follow.
*4-H is based on science and fact. The resources of Purdue University, our land-grant college, are used consistently in developing and implementing projects and activities.
*4-H is part of the community. A club becomes involved with improving economic and social conditions where the members live. They learn how to be good citizens by taking community responsibility.
*4-H is “learning by doing.” It’s an action program. Participants watch others, they study, they experiment, but they “do and practice” themselves. People remember 20 percent of that they are told, 30 percent of what they see, 50 percent of what they hear, 70 percent of what they say, and 90 of what they do and think. 4-H offers doing and thinking!
The Local 4-H Club-New clubs forming
The basic unit of 4-H is the local 4-H club. The club provides the unit for members to enroll and become active in 4-H related activities. 4-H clubs may be organized by project areas, within a community or neighborhood, or within a school or class. This group is responsible for the local 4-H program. 4-H Volunteers serve in a number of capacities but the key critical link is to organize youth in a club setting helping youngster learn parliamentary procedure, community service, and leadership. All adults that become involved in the local and county efforts are screened only after following through with the application process citing their references. Any responsible adult, not just 4-H Alumni, are welcome to join our team. The Clark County Extension Office has plenty of resources to share in starting a new 4-H club. Please call Bob Allen, Clark County 4-H Youth Educator, at 256-4591 as soon as possible to get a club started near your neighborhood. Or simply sign on to help with an existing club near by. The earlier youth are enrolled, they take advantage of the educational offerings, workshops, experiences, and scholarships.
4-H Projects/Exhibits Are The
Learning Tool!
There are currently over 60 different project subject matter areas that youth may become enrolled in to pursue knowledge in their interest area. The majority of the projects have research based manuals provided by various land grant colleges, specifically Purdue University which continue to be offered free of charge. Members learn through the manuals and the end result will be that they complete by creating an exhibit to ultimately be entered in at the upcoming summer 4-H fair July12 through July 20 for a judge’s critique.
Youth will receive ribbons and trophies once the evaluation is completed. The very best exhibits, in many cases, will then be enrolled for competition at the Indiana State Fair in August. Project areas for study include a range from Arts and Crafts, Animal exhibits, Cake Decorating, Electricity, Flowers, Gardening, Photography, Sewing, Sport fishing, Shooting Sports, Bicycle, Forestry, Geology, Entomology, Wildlife, Woodworking, Robotics, and many more.
Life skills-are taught in many of the activities that are organized at the local, county and state levels. A number of career development events are organized yearly to include various judging contests which enhance member’s decision making skills. Clark County youth compete annually at county, area, and state level judging events. This past year Clark County has had area contest winners in Livestock and Entomology judging,  Junior Leadership opportunities occur monthly filled with community service activities, and planning out of state exchange programs.
4-H Camp and Summer Science
Trips for Membership
Every summer many 4-H club members take advantage of the three day 4-H Camp at Country Lake near Henryville which will be Sunday, June 9 to Tuesday, June 11. Youth choose from a cadre of educational/environmental activities of their interest. Southern Indiana Extension educators deliver the camping program with a large number of trained teen counselors. Kayaking, Fishing, Recreational Sports, Arts and Crafts, and of course swimming are big favorites. Youth have nice handicapped accessible housing which are also air conditioned. Youth in grades third through eighth attend 4-H Camp.
Older teens, nine through twelfth grades, have the option of attending Science trips to Purdue University in mid June to explore many subject matter specific camps. These three day trips are designed to give youth extensive education regarding Aerospace, Engineering, Animal Sciences, Computers, Electricity, and Plant Sciences. Youth experience the college atmosphere and living in the dormitories. 4-H Round-up is yet another trip designed for 7th-9th graders to experience career exploration. This trip is held in late June and is a three day excursion to Purdue University as well. This group resides in the residence halls on campus as well.
4-H Consignment Auction-March 9
The annual 4-H Consignment/Equipment Auction will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 9 a.m. in and around the 4-H Food Center. Please contact Wally Estes at 293-3575 if you plan to sell any item at the auction. All farm equipment, tractors, and related items will be accepted.
This is the Clark County 4-H Programs primary fundraising event.