Many people, when asked what 4-H is, immediately come to one conclusion: farm animals.

Though much of 4-H is about animal science and livestock, there is a world beyond these areas of focus that truly makes 4-H shine.

For instance:

 


It is the largest youth development program in the nation.
It focuses on teaching our children through hands-on learning and strives to make our youths productive and caring citizens.
Under the large umbrella term 4-H, we find over 50 different curriculum and project areas ranging from public speaking to environmental science to green engineering.

 

Projects serve more than one purpose. Children are learning a new specialty area, but they are also meeting new people and expanding their social skills. During school vacations, youths in our area can participate in day camps or attend overnight camps offered by 4-H.

Some of the many topics explored during day camps include sewing, canning, soap making, robotics and nutrition.

Overnight camps during the summer help our youths develop leadership skills, as well as meet other young people in our area.

So, though farm animals are a large part of what 4-H does, it is certainly not what defines this expansive organization.

For those interested in joining 4-H, there are several clubs available locally. Some of these clubs include vet science, dog specialties and archery.

We are always looking for individuals willing to donate their time to become club leaders and start new 4-H clubs for our youth.

Contact me at vgraham@co.okaloosa.fl.us or 689-5850 for details on becoming a volunteer or starting a new club in a project area that has yet to be explored in our area.

Veronica Graham is the 4-H Program Assistant for Okaloosa County.