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Celebrating the past and looking to the future

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The 2020-21 Montgomery County 4-H program year is slowly coming to an end. While some may believe that 4-H is just the fair, our program year actually starts Oct. 1 annually and ends on Sept. 30. While the past year has been difficult with many up’s and down’s, the Montgomery County 4-H program has so much to celebrate. This past year there were 575 youth in grades K-12 enrolled in 4-H and 30 10-year members. Our 4-H clubs were able to meet in-person and provide youth the opportunity to gain and enhance important life skills.

4-H members also took on new leadership opportunities that will not only help grow the next generation of leaders, but will empower them to be a positive role model for younger youth. Our teen leadership team have taught civic engagement lessons at our Mini 4-H Day Camp, local club meetings and during the fair. This year, nine youth were selected to be a part of the first 4-H Junior Livestock Board. These exceptional 4-Hers participated in Linden Library’s “Barnyard Buddies” program, volunteered throughout the fair and held their own “All Species Showmanship Clinic.”

Looking ahead, our 4-H program is growing and needs 4-H volunteers to help lead it. The North Central Region 4-H Volunteer Impact Study (2019) stated that 88% recruited new youth to 4-H, 84% made new connections in the community on behalf of 4-H, and 84% spoke about the value of the 4-H program to members in the community. As we prepare for the 2020-21 4-H program year starting Oct. 1, our adult 4-H volunteers play a large part in sharing the message of 4-H and inviting new youth to participate. There are multiple ways you can volunteer and give back to the youth in the community. We are currently seeking co-leaders for the Clever Clovers 4-H Club. We are also in need of additional certified instructors for our Shooting Sports: Archery group and the Shooting Sports: Firearms group. There are also opportunities to serve on a variety of committees or lead a SPARK Club. If you want to learn more, contact the Montgomery County Extension office.

The 2021-22 4-H program year starts Oct. 1 so be on the look-out for 4-H materials being sent home through schools, shared in school newsletters, etc. You can “like” us on Facebook, Montgomery County 4-H, to see what opportunities will be offered throughout the community. Have questions about joining 4-H, how to enroll, or just general questions about what your child can expect? I would love to talk with you and help get these questions answered. Feel free to call 765-364-6363, email asweet@purdue.edu, or stop by the Extension office. I am always happy to share how amazing the 4-H program is and how it benefits the youth in our community.

 

Abby Morgan is the Montgomery County Extension Education, 4-H Youth Development Educator. The office is at 400 Parke Ave., Crawfordsville; 765-364-6363. She may be reached by email at asweet@purdue.edu.

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