Monroe County 4-H
Monroe County 4-H
What is 4-H?
4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. It serves as a youth development organization that teaches youth through experiential learning. The most common method is through a 4-H club or school enrichment programs, although 4-H Afterschool programs do exist. In the club environment, youth have various leadership opportunities, engage in community service, and participate in 4-H projects. Any child from 3rd-12th grade may participate in 4-H. Clubs in Bloomington are a part of Monroe County 4-H, which is coordinated by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service- Monroe County Office, housed in Bloomington.
Monroe County Program Overview
Monroe County 4-H is a well established organization of young people that come together and learn about working with each other and developing leadership qualities that they will need to be an outstanding citizen in the community. Nationally, 4-H has been around for over 100 years since 1902. Community service is a part of every 4-H member's vocabulary. "The sky is the limit on community service", according to Jeff Holland, the extension educator for Monroe County. The benefits the kids get from being a part of an organization like 4-H are tremendous. According to Jeff Holland, "Youth can meet others in their community and work with youth and adults to develop their own self-esteem and leadership."
About The Monroe County 4-H Program
In Monroe County, there are about 900 4-H members this year, but the county has had a high of around 1200. Those 900 4-H members are divided up into roughly 38 4-H clubs. There are clubs for people that raise livestock, show domestic pets, and for those that just like to make projects. 4-H members can show their livestock in the beef, poultry, swine, rabbits, sheep, horse, and pigeons clubs. The domestic animals that members can show are cats and dogs. There are over 100 projects that youth can do to participate in 4-H. Some examples of the projects include photography, computers, crafts, foods, collections, and bottle rockets. In their clubs, 4-H members interested in leadership can be elected to have the role of president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer.
Jeff Holland said that a normal 4-H meeting will usually consist of, "a pledge to both the American and 4-H flags, some type of business meeting, hopefully a demonstration, and fun." Anyone can be a part of the 4-h program if the are between the 3rd and 12th grades. For younger kids there is a Mini 4-H program available in Monroe County. The 4 H's of 4-H stand for: Head, Heart, Health, and Hands, which are said in the pledge. The 4-H pledge is: "I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hand to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world." It was written by Otis Hall in 1918.
The 4-H in Monroe County gives 4-H members a considerable amount of activities to do besides just projects and raising animals. During the summer kids can participate in band, chorus, and leadership camps. These camps are usually located at Purdue University and they allow for kids around the state in different 4-H clubs and counties to come and see other people from different parts of the state. There is also a 4-H camp that is usually held in June at Camp Timber Ridge, located in Owen County. Another fun thing that 4-H members usually always participate in is the Monroe County Fair. For 2007 the fair will be held from Saturday, July 21st until Saturday, July 28th. The Monroe County fair grounds are located off of Airport and Kirby Roads. The exciting thing about the fair for 4-H is not only displaying what they have worked on all year, but also for the community to come out and enjoy a fun filled week seeing what the 4-H kids have been doing.
There is also a club for older kids in 4-H to participate in. The club is called Junior Leaders. Junior Leaders consists of 4-H members from grades 7th- 12th grade. Junior Leaders is a club that consists of kids from different clubs around the county. During the fair the Junior Leaders have a food stand open the whole week of the fair to raise money for their completion trip. The food stand is located right in front of the show arena for the animals and right next to the demolition arena. At the end of the 4-H year, right after the fair, they have a Completion Trip for all the work that they have done during the year. The 4-H members who are allowed to go on the trip are those who have attended a certain number of club meetings, have done some sort of community service, and have worked in the Junior Leader food stand during the fair.
Indiana University has a Collegiate 4-H Club. It is a group of college students interested in providing service to 4-H and their community. They volunteer with Monroe County 4-H and with 4-H clubs in Bloomington. In addition, the club volunteers with dozens of events and non-profits in the community.
- Monroe County 4-H
- Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service- Monroe County Office
- Indiana 4-H
- National 4-H
- Indiana University Collegiate 4-H
Some of this information was taken from:
4-H. Feb 19, 2007.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-H.Wikipedia.
Holland, Jeff. Email interview. 01 Feb 2007
Indiana 4-H.. Purdue University. http://www.four-h.purdue.edu/
Monroe County 4-H.2003.Purdue University. Feb 13, 2007.http://www.ces.purdue.edu/monroe/.