Friday, September 4, 2009

New 4H group forming

We have around 40+ kids who are interested in 4H, so we are proceeding with our plans to start a new group. Many of the interested are homeschooled kids, but not all. This new group has 2 main focus points: #1 to not schedule meetings on Sundays and #2 to be community service minded with possible service projects monthly. Right now Becky Black and I are working with the extension office in getting a new group going. Just to clarify, this is not a group splitting or anyone leaving because they are upset, it is simply that there is a need for another group that is not meeting on Sundays.

On Monday, Sept 14 at 6:30 we will have a meeting for any interested parties to come and learn more about 4H and for you to share your thoughts and ideas. I would encourage you to come if you are interested, but if you can not, we can fill you in later. It will be held in Plattsburg at the US Bank. The bank is about 1 block north of the intersection of 116 and C highway. (downtown main drag...well the only downtown drag in Plattsburg) From the intersection you can see the sign. We will have information & project books to pass out at that time. Also, our group will need a club name--so start thinking of ideas to throw out.

If you are interested, and have not already, let me know so that I can start directing future emails to those who are, rather than to everyone.

I did have several questions that were asked numerous times, so I will address those now:

#1. There is no uniform and you do not earn badges as in scouts. You do NOT have to live in Plattsburg or Clinton County. You do not have to be a farm kid. There are over 100 projects and a self determined one (which means you can decide your own project).

#2. Your child has the option to be in or not to be in the county fair or state fair. Kids can earn small premiums for showing at the fair and ribbons. Kids not only do their projects but are also required to keep records as to money spent and money earned while doing their project. They learn finances, record keeping and such as well as their project. 4H tries to teach life skills. 4H stands for head, heart, hands and health.

#3. Attendance to the state fair is NOT a requirement.

#4. Parent involvement is very much encouraged. Ideally the kids run the meeting with parental/leader help. The kids are the officers, not the parents. Kids and parents often serve on committees together. On the flip side, if a parent works during the meetings and is unable to attend, your child can still be in 4H-but another adult will need to be appointed to be over your child.

#5. Fundraising--If our group decides to raise money for a service project we may look for things to do to earn money--such as mowing, raking, cleaning a barn, labor auction, car wash.... Kids are not REQUIRED to sell anything. We may at some time sell for a fundraiser, but if you don't want to that is fine.

#6. What kind of service projects?? Ideas may include: washing police cars, fire dept trucks, kids adopting a nursing home pal, collecting food for the food pantry, cleaning a vacant lot, making a first aid kit to donate to a group..... The kids and parents will decide these projects as a group.

#7. What are Clover Kids? They are kids too young to be in 4H. Providing we have some, we would like to "split them off" during part of the meeting and do something on their level that would correspond with what the older kids are doing. At one time I was a Clover Leader and we did a simple lesson, and often a craft. It keeps them involved without being bored.

#8. Club meetings are held monthly. To show a fair project, you have to have made at least half of the meetings plus one more. There may be an additional meeting for a service project or they may be done during the monthly meeting--depends on what the group decides to do.

#9. Individuals pick their own projects. Some projects are self directed, others have parents volunteer to be the project leaders or project leaders may come from other clubs or in the community.

#10. Dues are $10 per child a year and if a family can not afford that, the extension office has funding to cover it for you.

#11. Volunteers (including parent volunteers) do undergo a background check.

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