Science on Saturday, Oklahoma County

Welcome to 4-H


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Focus on Youth

News for OCES staff working with youth.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

July, 2012

Dear Educators and Volunteers,

July has arrived and so have hot temperatures. Hats off to those counties that had camps when it was cool and even raining. I think it was more luck than skill, but good for you anyway. As we look forward to Roundup later this month, we are hopeful we will get more cool weather then, too!

In the meantime we have several other events to plan for and things we hope you will take advantage of. The State Parent and Volunteer Conference will be held on July 14 on the OSU campus. Then the next week the annual Animal Science Field Days are in town, and you can learn more here.

This is also the time to begin making plans for OAE4-HA, fairs and the Southern Region Volunteer Leader Forum in Little Rock in October. For those who enjoy golf and want to help the 4-H Foundation at the same time, consider playing a round of golf at Cherokee Hills.

As you can see, July just gets things started for a busy summer and fall! Among all of the activities, take some time to enjoy some time for yourself with family and friends. Thanks for all you do!

Charles Cox
Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development
Oklahoma State University


Candidates for State 4-H Leadership Council Administrative Positions

Attached is a copy of the candidate profiles for the positions of president and reporter. The document is also posted on the 4-H webpage at

All council members on the 2012 ballot have exemplified dedication, responsibility and leadership with minimal direction during their first term as a district or at-large representative and met or exceeded 80% of the expectations of their Quarterly Progress Reviews.

Speeches will be done at the Roundup opening assembly on Wednesday July 25th. Candidates will answer questions posed by voting delegates during the Town Hall meeting on Wednesday evening.

During the filing period no one eligible under the terms of the council bylaws filed for the positions of vice president and secretary. These vacancies will be filled by the council at their August meeting under the provision of Article V, Section 3.

How this will work

Article IV, Section 1B, states that administrative positions of VP, secretary and reporter are to be "elected from the class of representatives elected the previous October at District Conferences." No one from the class of 2011 filed for the positions of VP or Secretary. A second call was made, and no one filed by the second deadline. This meant these positions must be left vacant through Roundup and filed by the Council at the August meeting. "In the event of a vacancy for all other administrative positions the vacancy will be filled by electing a current member of the council to complete the remainder of the term."

One outgoing member (class of 2010) expressed an interest in a position during the first filing period, and a returning council member (class of 2011) expressed an interest after the second filing period. These individuals would qualify as "current members of the council" at the time we fill the vacancies (August 2012), thus they would be able to complete the term of office.

In the very near future Charles will have a team of youth and adults reviewing the current council system and structure. They will be seeing what seems to be working well, what may need to be dropped, and considering ways to make sure the council is working to develop leaders and empowering them to lead statewide. As that team is finalized, we will let you know who they are so you can provide your input.

Charles Cox and Karla Knoepfli

Tough Lessons for Organizations Serving Vulnerable Clientele

By Melanie Lockwood Herman  6/27/2012 issue of Nonprofit Risk Management Center E-News

Last week’s verdict in the criminal case against Jerry Sandusky offers a sobering reminder about the risk of sexual misconduct or abuse facing every nonprofit that provides services to vulnerable clientele, including children, individuals with disabilities and the elderly. While it remains true that vulnerable service recipients are statistically safer while participating in programs sponsored by nonprofits than they are in their own homes, the compassionate leaders of today’s nonprofits must be aware of the potential for harm and avoid the naïve thinking that puts our clients at undue risk.

My takeaway reminders from the recent verdict include:

  • Any adult in your nonprofit who is "above suspicion" shouldn't be. During the 20-year history of the Center we have been retained on numerous occasions to conduct post-incident reviews for client organizations that have faced allegations of abuse. During several of these engagements we were told that the alleged—and eventually convicted perpetrator—was "an ideal citizen," "beloved volunteer," or"“walked on water as far as we were concerned."
  • Never ignore or discount reports of misconduct involving vulnerable clients. During the Sandusky trial the jury and public learned that reports of misconduct made by a graduate student in 1998 were not investigated. As difficult as it may be to imagine that a trusted insider has perpetrated a crime or violated your policies regarding the care of clients, allegations of wrongdoing must be investigated promptly and thoroughly. When inappropriate conduct or injury is alleged, it is imperative to determine what happened, how it happened and identify immediate steps to prevent further harm.
  • Criminal history background checks do no inoculate your agency from the risk of misconduct. Despite the volume of information now available on predators, including the fact that most have committed multiple offenses before their first arrest, too many nonprofit leaders continue to rely on background checking as a principal or sole youth protection measure. Background checks are simply one tool in what should be an evolving toolkit of practical strategies.
  • Never assume that your staff and volunteers have a shared understanding of what constitutes permitted and impermissible behavior. Many onlookers in the Sandusky case were shocked to read about the inappropriate “games” the now convicted coach played with young participants. Guidelines that clearly specify permitted and strictly prohibited conduct are a "must" for nonprofits serving vulnerable clients.
  • Changes in program scope, size or delivery warrant a close-up look at the effectiveness of youth protection measures. The publicity surrounding the Sandusky case recently led the leaders of two leading nonprofits to engage the Center for an independent review of youth protection measures. The leaders of these client organizations recognized that as their organizations evolve, strategies to provide a safe environment must also evolve.
  • No risk management strategy can prevent all harm. Don't wait until harm is alleged before deciding how you will respond to allegations. Nonprofit leaders are well-served to consider today how they will respond in the wake of allegations of misconduct involving a vulnerable client. Not even the nation’s largest and most respected agencies can guarantee a safe environment. Every organization should take the time to consider how it will respond with compassion even in the glare of a media spotlight.

To learn more about how to develop effective youth protection and other risk management strategies, attend the Center’s annual conference, the 2012 Risk Management and Finance SUMMIT for Nonprofits. Early bird registration is available at:

If you are looking for an authoritative guide to risk management for your youth serving nonprofit, check out The Season of Hope: A Risk Management Guide for Youth-Serving Nonprofits, which offers practical guidance.

Melanie Lockwood Herman is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. She welcomes your ideas about any risk management topic, feedback on this article and questions about the Center’s resources at or (202) 785-3891. The Center provides risk management tools and resources at and offers consulting assistance to organizations unwilling to leave their missions to chance.

ATV Safety Resource

Do you want to provide some educational resources in your county to address ATV safety but not an entire ridercourse program? Consider promoting the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) Online courses.These are a great way to learn the fundamentals of the ATV riding, with an emphasis on risk management and avoidance. The free online safety courses on the ASI website ( are custom designed for each specific adult, teen (12-15 years old) and youth (6-11 years old) audience.

These online courses are a great way to learn about ATV safety strategies, but you don’t have to stop there. Upon completion of the age appropriate ASI Online E-Course, the student can simply show their printed certificate of completion and be eligible to participate in the free, specially designed S-Course version of the popular ASI RiderCourse – actually operating and riding ATVs.

Attached is a link to a brochure you may wish to use at events you have this summer. 


Volunteers Needed for Kids Craft Area at OKC Fair

The Oklahoma State Fair is once again coordinating a kid's craft area on weekends in the Creative Arts Building at the OKC State Fair. They need youth volunteers to assist children in making crafts. If you have 4-H members who are interested in volunteering and have experience in overseeing and assisting children doing crafts, please complete the attached form. Four-H members must be 14 years of age and able to work a 2 to 3 hour time slot. The dates available are September 15, 16, 22 and 23. Tickets will be available for those who are selected to work. If you have questions, please contact Stefanie Heinrich at the Oklahoma State Fair, (405) 948-6700. The application form is attached and will be due to the Fair by August 31, 2012.

Tracy Beck

Interactive Displays at OKC Fair

At the Oklahoma City Fair, there are opportunities for groups to do interactive displays in the 4-H exhibit area on the weekends (Sept. 15, 16, 22 and 23). The guidelines and application form are attached.  If you need additional information, please call me at (405) 744-8891. The deadline for being considered is August 31, 2012.

Tracy Beck

Food Demonstrations at OKC Fair

This year, we have the opportunity for individuals or groups to do interactive food demonstrations. They will be 30 minutes in length, which will include prep and cleanup. The dates are Sunday, September 16, from 10 am - noon and then on Wed., September 19, from 6 - 8 pm. If you have someone or a group that is interested, please email me at

Tracy Beck

Tulsa State Fair Service Project Opportunity

The Tulsa State Fair is collecting quilts for kids. Information about this program can be found at For more information, please contact Kara Eschbach at the Tulsa State Fair 918.744.1113 ext. 2012.

Tracy Beck

Stampede 2012 - OAITC Summer Conference - August 3

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is holding its annual state teacher conference, Stampede 2012, August 3 at the Embassy Suites in Norman. Extension educators are invited to attend. The event features teacher-led workshops and round tables led by various ag experts. Lunch is included and there is a $10 fee. Register on the OAITC website.

Pat Thompson


Harvest of the Month posters available online

The Harvest of the Month posters, produced by Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, are now available online as jpg files for downloading or printing. The posters include colorful photos of various Oklahoma-grown fruits, vegetables and pecans, along with information about the crops and nutrition information. You can find them on the OAITC website:

Pat Thompson

4-H Photography Contest deadline extended to July 31

The deadline for entry into the 4-H Photography Contest, "This is My Agriculture," has been extended to Tuesday, July 31. For more information, please see the attached flyer, revised to show the extended deadline.

The contest is open to 4-H members (age 14 and older), staff and alumni. It is part of the USDA's 150th Anniversary Celebration.

Charles Cox


All Due Dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.