Happy birthday, 4-H

From contributed reports
The 4-H organization has been schooling youth on the basics of farm life for 108 years. But it also offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers science and technology, career and economic education, citizenship, communication and expressive arts, family sciences, and leadership.

The 4-H is being celebrated during National 4-H Week starting Oct. 3.

More than 128,000 youth are enrolled in Virginia 4-H’s hands-on educational programs and activities geared to youth ages 5 to 19. Six 4-H educational centers located throughout the commonwealth teach life lessons to more than 14,000 youth in the 4-H camping program. In addition, more than 14,000 adults and teens volunteer their time to 4-H’s many mentorship and educational programs.

Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based agents, Virginia Cooperative Extension delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. The Extension utilizes a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 13 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers to provide solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.

In Rappahannock County, 382 young people participate in a variety of 4-H programs including clubs, three camping programs, the “Share the Fun” talent show, the Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock Farm Show, the VT program for senior 4-H members “Congress,” and in-school programming.

Youth from ages 5 to 19 can join one of six 4-H Clubs, which include:

• Amissville 4-H Community Club for ages 5 to 19. Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Bethel Baptist Church. Youngsters in this club are involved in a variety of activities from making a craft to trying a new recipe or playing a game. Jennifer Gray, fondly known as “Mama G,” has led this 4-H club for more than 20 years.

• The 4-H Basket Making Club serves youth from 5th to 12th grade. It meets the first Tuesday of every month from 3:45 to 5 p.m. at Kim Nelson’s house. Club members learn to make beautiful, simple reed baskets and ornaments. Nelson and her mom, Nancy, have been making baskets for years.

• The 4-H Cloverbud Club is for ages 5 to 8. It meets on the third Wednesday of each month, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Extension office. Tasha White, who works at the front office at the RCES, is the club’s leader. She will be teaching the kids many of the 4-H camp songs and traditions and plans to lead many fun activities.

• 4-H Cooking and Crafts is for ages 5 to 19. It meets the first Wednesday of each month from 3:45 to 5 p.m. at the Extension office. Members of this club make a wide variety of crafts and learn to cook different foods. Vickie Miller, a longtime 4-H leader and a Library Aide at the RCES, is leading this 4-H club. Club members can expect to make crafts, cook, and use recycled materials to make a variety of items. (With a note from their parents/guardians granting permission, RCES students can ride the school bus directly to this 4-H club meeting.)

• The 4-H Livestock Club is for youth from 9 to 19 years old. Its members meet on the third Monday of each month from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Extension office. Club members will learn to raise, care for, and show livestock animals at the Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock Farm Show. Club members can earn money from the sales of their market animals.

• The 4-H Teen Club invites youth from ages 13 to 19 to join. The group meets on the third Sunday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Extension office. Club members perform community service activities and fundraisers to pay for fun events such as dances and field trips.

For more information about the Rappahannock County 4-H program, call 4-H coordinator Jenny Kapsa at 540-675-3619 or email her at jkapsa@vt.edu.

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