Wednesday, May 07, 2014

4h

My girls are both card carrying 4-H members. Michael and I both card carrying 4-H leaders. Now most of you are asking what in the hell is 4-H? Some of you are asking isn't that the club for farm kids? A couple of you are nodding your heads because you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Actually, 4-H is a grassroots organization of leaders building leaders. At the beginning of each 4-H meeting the club participants recite the 4-H pledge that speaks to the organization's big picture message...

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
my heart to greater loyalty,
my hands to larger service and
my health to better living
for my club, my community and my country.

In 4-H kids aged 9-21 learn to do by doing. Leaders come together to create a 4-H club and the members learn about the topic selected. During the course of the club (12 hours in length, typically six - two hour meetings) kids develop leadership skills like public speaking, meeting management, parliamentary procedure, decision making and communicating. For a mere $65 a year the kids are welcome to participate in as many clubs as they'd like. Abby is currently signed up for a bunch of clubs - photography, glee, horse, drama, gardening, and photo editing.

For the 6-8 year old set, 4-H offers the Cloverbud program, of which Maya is a member and Mike and I are two of the leaders and Abby tags along to lend a hand too. The little ones keep us on our toes, but we're both having such a fun time with it. Cloverbuds runs the whole year, we aim for a meeting every three or four weeks on topics like paper crafts, dairy cows, dance, the five senses and celebrations around the world.

This afternoon Mike and I spent at the police station picking up our police checks, so it looks like we're in this for the long haul. This is really something I wouldn't have been capable of doing before... from the volunteer screening interview to the police check process to providing leadership. I am really so happy to be in this place though. This experience so far has been fantastic for both girls, but also incredibly rewarding for me. I can't wait to share all of our 4-H adventures with you.

2 comments:

Betsy said...

Can't wait to hear more about it. Sounds like a really good program.

Julie Leclair said...

I knew of 4H but always thought it was a farming sort of thing. very cool!