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Laura Allen: Time to get involved with 4-H

Happy National 4-H Week! This year, Oct. 3-9, is officially National 4-H Week when 4-H is celebrated and promoted all across the United States.

With nearly 6 million members across the United States, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization and youth in Rowan County are reaping the benefits.

4-H began in 1902 as a way for rural youth to learn about leadership skills and agricultural technologies through hands-on learning. Today, 4-H, the youth development sector of Cooperative Extension, continues to focus on practical, hands-on youth development opportunities, but it is no longer limited to rural youth. 4-H is found in rural, urban and suburban communities. Agricultural learning still happens in 4-H, but it is not limited to that. 4-H’ers today can also learn about cooking, nutrition, rocketry, robotics, environmental protection, computer science, photography, public speaking, service and more. We have six 4-H clubs in the county that youth can become involved in to help them expand their knowledge and skills. We are always looking for adult volunteers to lead programs, too.

Rowan County 4-H is available for ages 5-18 (as of their birthday on Jan. 1 of that year) and includes speaking skills, practice with record keeping, learning how to properly use parliamentary procedure, salesmanship skills during fundraisers, participation in competitive events, awards, good sportsmanship, learning to help others, lifelong friendships, travel, fun, networking opportunities, scholarship opportunities, leadership skills and more. Plus, 4-H experiences look great on scholarship, college and job applications.

Several upcoming opportunities are available, including a pumpkin decorating contest this month and an electric workshop in November. In December, we will host a holiday bake-off. Registration   will all be in 4-HOnline. If your children aren’t already enrolled in this system, you can enroll them for free at v2.4honline.com. You can also contact me to be added to our monthly email newsletter.

I am currently seeking out those interested in sending 8-14-year-olds to overnight camp for summer 2022. We don’t have camp dates yet, but I will soon have to request spots for this summer. For more information, go to go.ncsu.edu/2022rowan4hcampinterest. A parent whose child attended 4-H Camp last summer recently told me that “as a parent, Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H camp was everything I could want for my child’s summer experience.”

You can also donate during Tractor Supply’s Paper Clover Week Oct. 6-17. Donate to 4-H at the register  and 90% of the donations collected at the Salisbury store go to Rowan County 4-H. The remaining 10% goes to 4-H at the state and national levels.

The 4-H Fall Plant Sale is going on now through Oct. 28. All profits go to support the county 4-H program. Call our office  or visit https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/2021/09/fall-2021-rowan-4-h-plant-sale-order-now/.

Purchase items during the 4-H Wreath & Homemade Soap Sale through Oct. 25. Homemade soap is perfect for a stocking stuffer or gift for the holidays. Pick up is on Nov. 18. To keep greenery fresh for as long as possible, make sure to soak it overnight (greenery side down) in a tub full of cold water on the day you pick it up. Keep it in a cool location until you hang it. Purchase an empty spray bottle and fill it with cold water and spray your greenery every day. If possible, keep it out of sunlight or away from heat vents to prolong life. All information and the registration link can be found at https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/2021/09/4-h-wreath-homemade-soap/.

The 4-H Nursing Home Drive is a service project this month. We are collecting new items that we can donate to local nursing homes, such as lip balm, crossword puzzles, socks, soap, stationery, individual snacks, notepads and writing utensils. All items can be donated at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office.

If you are interested in having your child join 4-H or want to learn more,  contact 4-H Agent Laura Allen at laura_allen@ncsu.edu or call 704-216-8970. You can also follow Rowan County 4-H Program on Facebook, @Rowan4h on Twitter or rowan_4h on Instagram.

Rowan County 4-H is the youth development component of Cooperative Extension, located at 2727-A Old Concord Road Salisbury, NC 28146. Find us at rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.

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