Fuel your sense of adventure by joining 4-H

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Ashlee Hermiller (left), a member of the Clover Clippers 4-H Club, talks to a judge about her “Get Started in Art” project.

(Posted March 9, 2022)

By Frances Foos, Madison County 4-H Extension Educator

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Life offers youths countless opportunities throughout their childhood: sports, school activities, church groups, and 4-H, of course. Being a 4-H member opens doors for youths. With more than 200 projects to choose from in a variety of topics like animal science, STEM, arts, and natural resources, participants have can choose their adventure and write their own 4-H story.

Want to learn about rocketry? There’s a 4-H project for that. Interested in shooting sports or exploring the outdoors? We have several projects related to those topics. 4-H projects include livestock, rockets, cats, dogs, shooting sports, trees, woodworking, nutrition, creative arts, scrapbooking, cake decorating, and more.

4-H members enroll in projects that help them find and nurture their “spark,” their passion, interests, talents and what eventually can lead to their career, enjoyment, and place in the community. 4-H allows youth to try something new and be exposed to something they may have not had the chance to explore otherwise.

The Madison County Commissioners proclaimed March 6-12 as Madison County 4-H Week: (from left) Commissioner Mark Forrest; Amanda Douridas, agriculture and natural resources Extension educator; Frances Foos, 4-H Extension educator; Deetra Huntington, SNAP-Ed program assistant; and commissioners Chris Wallace and Tony Xenikis.

4-H members start out by joining a club. Madison County 4-H has more than 30 community clubs scattered throughout the county in London, West Jefferson, Plain City, and Mount Sterling. Adult advisors who have completed training and background checks serve as club leaders, helping youths grow into responsible, skilled adults, assisting them with their project work and providing opportunities to learn and engage with their peers.

Clubs offer at least six regular meetings per year in addition to other learning experiences. At club meetings, members discuss business while including time for education and recreation. Every club contributes to the community with a project, such as collecting donations or donating time to fixing up an area park.

Once a member joins a club, they can choose their projects. Members can review and purchase project books at the Madison County Extension Office. They also can visit projectcentral.ohio4h.org to preview book pages and read reviews on projects from other 4-H members and family members.

4-Hers can take advantage of many other county, state, and national opportunities. Madison County hosts a county-wide 4-H camp, demonstration contests, judging opportunities and clinics. Youths also can participate in statewide camps related to forestry, shooting sports, STEM, and even a Sea Camp.

Ashley McKinney, advisor for the Madison County Show Offs 4-H Club, and her daughter, Adelyn Rupejko, take part in a cake decorating contest.

Ready for your adventure? Madison County’s deadline to join 4-H is March 15 to be eligible to participate in the Madison County Junior Fair or March 30 for new members. Get set up with a club today and enroll soon to fuel your adventure in 4-H. Find more information on joining at www.go.osu.edu/joinmadco4h.

To enroll in a 4-H project and competitive events, a child must be 8 years old and in the third grade or 9 to 19 years old as of Jan. 1 of the current year. Any child who is 5 years old and in kindergarten through second grade can enroll as a Cloverbud.

Call the OSU Extension Office, Madison County, at (740) 852-0975 for a list of clubs in Madison County or visit Madison.osu.edu or “Madison County Extension OSU” on Facebook. Questions can be directed to Frances Foos, Extension educator for 4-H youth development, at (740) 852-0975 or foos.61@osu.edu.

Joining Ohio 4-H is a privilege and responsibility for individuals and is subject to the Ohio 4-H Code of Conduct and applicable policies of The Ohio State University. Membership is open to any youth regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, age, handicap, or Vietnam-era status.

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