outer banks child Spring 2009 : Page 17

feature story Head, Heart, Hands & Health Celebrating 100 years with North Carolina 4-H By Susan Bolling Ever see 100 candles on a birthday cake? While it would be quite the bright-light, North Carolina 4-H will instead be celebrating its 100th birthday in the same fashion it celebrates every year – with good, wholesome FUN – and a few special events to mark the historic occasion. The North Carolina Cooperative Extension invites all residents to participate in the “We Are 4-H” Centennial Celebration throughout 2009. There are some special activities incorporated into the programs, summer day camps and special camps, and 4-H welcomes any ideas to customize the celebration in your community. (check out www.nc4h.org for dates and more information) At 100, the 4-H organization is healthy and growing with nearly 7 million participants in the United States and over 10,000 established programs across North Carolina. Dare and Currituck Counties offer a variety of programs, including after school enrichment programs, livestock clubs, dog training groups, junior master gardeners and many more. Clubs meet throughout the year, but the summer camps offer a unique experience for the 5 to 19 year olds involved. JOIN THE CLUB find out more about 4-H Dare County Extension Agency - 4-H Youth Programs http://dare.ces.ncsu.edu/ (252) 473-4290 Currituck County Extension Agency - 4-H Youth Programs http://currituck.ces.ncsu.edu/ (252) 232-2262 North Carolina 4-H www.nc4h.org When deciding which 4-H camp is best for your child, it’s important to note that the day-camp is far different from the away-camps. “The tips that we offer parents vary based on the type of camp the child is attending,” says Katherine Irby, 4-H Agent for Dare County. “I think that if a parent has a specific question, they should just give a quick call - we will be happy to help them in any way that we can.” In addition to the benefits of learning more about the outdoors and team-building skills a child gains through participating in 4-H activities, research done by the state of North Carolina also suggests that: •4-H members are 50% less likely than non 4-H members to smoke cigarettes, shoplift, or use illegal drugs. •4-H members are 20% more likely to hold a leadership position in their school or community than non 4-H members. •4-H members are 24% more likely to get involved in projects that “help others” than are non 4-H members. •4-H members are 65% more likely than non 4-H members to have held conversations with an adult other than a parent that lasted 10 minutes or more within the past month. •40% of 4-H alumni have completed a university degree, compared to 28% nationwide. More than likely, there is a 4-H program that matches the interest of your child either locally in Dare or Currituck or, if visiting, in your hometown. From Science exploration to technology to camping, it’s a great year to join 4-H and become a part of history in the making! And, if the kid in your heart can’t stand being left out of the fun, worry not – there’s a place in 4-H for you too! “4-H’s foundation is built on volunteer efforts,” Katherine explains. “Any adult or teen that is interested in becoming a 4-H volunteer, whether you would like to be as a club leader or you just have a few hours to give, call [a local] Extension Office.” 17 The 4-H Pledge “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, my country, and my world.”

Head, Heart, Hands & Health

Susan Bolling

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