Letter: Become a 4-H leader

We are looking for new 4-H leaders! A 4-H leader can be anyone from 19 to 100 years old who enjoys working with youth, wants to make a difference in a person’s life and the community as a whole, and who enjoys donating their time and efforts to a worthy cause.

If this sounds like you, then you were meant to work with 4-H!

A 4-H leader can offer a club to youth in the county on a particular topic of interest to youth in the county. For example, if you are a person who knows a handful of 9- to 19-year-olds who would love to belong to a hiking club, but you don’t know a thing about hiking, you could still form a club and with the club members’ and parents’ help, find people hiking experts and enthusasists to come to club meetings or lead activities.

On the other hand, if you are a master craftsman and would like to offer a woodworking club, you may not need to find many guests to direct activities at your 4-H club meetings.

Another example of a 4-H club is the community club, which offers a wide variety of activities. Club members may learn about horses at one meeting and may make candles at the next.

One of the many beauties of 4-H is that the club members, not the adult leaders, are supposed to run the meetings. Leaders are there to oversee the club meetings and make sure that decisions that are made are based on reality. (No trips to Paris are planned without going through the proper channels!)

Leaders are trained at the local Extension office on 4-H basics and are asked to come to leader meetings three or four times a year. Club members are asked to come to officer training workshops and project book workshops at the Extension office. The club members have a lot of responsibility in making the 4-H club a success.

Clubs usually meet at least once a month for an hour or more. Each club is asked to perform one community service project and all members are asked to complete a project book throughout the 4-H year, where 4-Hers document what they did in the club and what was learned along the way.

The 4-H experience is meant to be fun, educational and life enhancing for both the 4-H youth and the adult leaders. In fact, the mission of 4-H is “to assist youth and adults working with those youth to realize their full potential – becoming effective, contributing citizens through participation in research-based, non-formal, hands-on educational experiences.”

Just think, you could lead a music club, a singing club, a photography club, a poetry club, a rocket-making club, a plants and animals club, a “learn to speak German” club, an outdoor adventure club . . . .  The possibilities are exciting and endless!

If you are interested in leading, co-leading or assisting with a new or current 4-H Club, or if would like more information about this possibility, please contact me at the Extension office Monday through Wednesday at 540-675-3619.

Jenny Kapsa
4-H Coordinator
Rappahannock Extension office

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