The Pike County 4-H youth development program is looking for volunteer leaders to help expand its scope.
Thoughts of 4-H bring me back to an embarrassing learning moment at summer camp.
I grew up in Iowa farm country where many of my classmates helped with morning chores like feeding the hogs before boarding the school bus.
Many of us were in 4-H. My club, the Cresco Chums, focused on cooking and sewing. I was a “townie”so some of the mysteries of raising livestock escaped me. All the clubs came together for co-ed camp where specialty classes were offered.
Over dinner, a counselor was pleased to announce an addition to the course line up: how to castrate a bull.
It got snickers from some of the boys.
I wanted to know why, so I asked the obvious question.
“What’s a bull?”
This led to a series of additional questions, answered by baffled, mocking, preteen farm boys and culminating in a decision: the rhubarb jam making class was probably more my speed.
That is the neat thing about 4-H. It is as hands-on as you want to get.
The program reaches 6.5 million youth in all 50 states. It is the largest youth-serving program in the world. Members age 8 to 18, learn by doing any of more than 150 projects, including gardening, sewing, pet care, rocketry, insects, careers, wildlife, raising large animals, cooking, creating websites, babysitting and more.
In Pike County, there are around 75 members in five clubs, 4-H educator Susan Albrecht said.
There are clubs focusing on horses, art, knitting and shooting, although the shooting club is full and not currently taking new members. The Penn State extension, which oversees 4-H locally, is working to develop other clubs.
Pike County no longer has a county fair, where 4-H members traditionally display projects to have them judged.
“It is an issue for us, we want to have an annual show, so we’ve attached ourselves to the Delaware Township Harvest Festival,” Albrecht said. The festival is held in September at Akenac Park.
“We would love to grow this program,” Albrecht said. The program relies on leaders to guide 4-H members as they work on projects, participate in activities and help the members reach their potential. No special skills are required to be a 4-H
leader. Leaders are supported by Penn State Extension with training, guidance and curriculum.
To learn more about becoming a 4-H leader, contact Penn State Extension in Pike County, 514 Broad St, Milford, 570-296-3400.