During the week of the 4th of July, eight Butler County 4-H members had the opportunity to attend Citizenship Washington Focus at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, just one mile from Washington, DC. The 4-H members included Sam Krabacher (Nibbles & Needles 4-H Club), Eric Eden (Wayne Sizzlin’ Scissors & Livestock 4-H Club), Hannah Gentry (Union Busy Fingers 4-H Club), Robert Richter (Middletown Sportsman’s 4-H Club), David Winter (Wayne Wild Things 4-H Club), Adam Cheney (Union Busy Fingers 4-H Club), Hannah Messer (Union Busy Fingers 4-H Club), and Alan Hingsbergen (Middletown Sportsman’s 4-H Club). This trip was awarded to these 4-H youth based on their 2014 4-H Report Form. The report form is judged on project work, participation, honors, community service, leadership, club office positions held, committee positions held, non 4-H experiences, their personal 4-H story and a picture page that highlights all of their work.
Citizenship Washington Focus is a week-long 4-H citizenship program for youth ages 14 – 19. The programs provides youth with the opportunity to: strengthen their communication, leadership, and citizenship skills on a national level, understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders, exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds, and experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, DC. Each participant had the opportunity to enjoy a behind the scenes look at our nation’s capital and the chance to meet members of Congress, meet motivational speakers, participate in educational workshops and assemblies that increase individual commitment to citizen involvement and build lifetime skills for success, and activities that encourage new and lasting friendships.
The Butler County Township Association sponsored the total cost of the trip to Washington, DC for the Butler County 4-H members. The Butler County Township Association has supported the Butler County 4-H program for many years through their annual golf outing, which is scheduled this year for August 7, 2015. The golf outing will take place at the Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown, Ohio. All proceeds benefit the Butler County 4-H program. For more information contact a member of the Butler County Township Association. On July 9, 2015 all members of the Citizenship Washington Focus trip along with their parents and members of The Ohio State University, Butler County Extension 4-H leadership team had the opportunity to express their sincere thanks at the Butler County Township Association meeting.
As back to schools ads arrive in the newspaper and on television in the coming weeks I would encourage families to take a good look at 4-H for their youth for the 2015 – 2016 school year. Years down the road your youth could be the winner of the all-expense paid Citizenship Washington Focus trip.
Parents may have many questions about just what is 4-H. There are a total of 61 4-H clubs in the county with a total enrollment of over 1,200 youth. 4-H is an educational program for boys and girls to gain numerous learning experiences from club meetings, social activities, tours, camps and fairs.
Membership eligibility for the 4-H Cloverbud program begins when a child has reached age 5 and is enrolled in kindergarten as of January 1st of the current year. Membership into the 4-H club program begins when a child is at least age 8 and enrolled in 3rd grade as of January 1st of the current year. Ohio 4-H membership eligibility ends December 31st of the year in which an individual reaches the age of 19.
The Butler County 4-H program allows youth to learn about numerous projects and careers. Once they have completed their 4-H careers they have gained a wealth of knowledge, developed relationships for life and engaged in a lot of community service activities. The research studies have shown the following in comparison with other youth, young people involved in 4-H experience:
- greater educational achievements
- greater motivation and aspirations for the future education
- more civic active
- report better grades and higher levels of academic competence
- greater desire to go to college
All of these attributes will help our youth to better compete in a global society. The number one required skill in the workplace today is communication skills. There are over 200 4-H projects available for youth to select from. Each one of these projects will provide a wealth of opportunities to improve on workforce skills necessary to compete in a global market place.
I would encourage families with no knowledge of what 4-H is all about to attend the 165th Butler County Fair scheduled to take place July 26, 2015 – August 1, 2015. This would be the perfect time to get all your questions answered and enjoy some wonderful fair food. Families can also learn more about the Butler County Fair at: http://www.butlercountyohfair.org.
For more information about Butler County 4-H please contact Kevin Harris, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development (513) 785-6650 or Erin Simpson-Sloan, 4-H Program Assistant at (513) 785-6667.
For up-to-date program information, check us out on the web at: butler.osu.edu.
News Release provided by Kevin Harris.