Science on Saturday, Oklahoma County

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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.

May/June, 2012

Dear Educators and Volunteers,

Wow, where does time go? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about OYE, and now it is time for summer camps, field days and Roundup! I am kind of glad we moved Roundup to July a few years ago to get off the later school year, as we need that extra planning time these days.

I want to congratulate all of the youth who completed a state recordbook, and especially those who did their very first one. They are certainly no easy task, but one day the members will look back and be thankful for learning those skills of record-keeping and reporting. Also congratulations to all who will be interviewing in a few weeks! We also want to thank all of the staff and volunteers who helped with book judging. I stopped by a couple times during the day, and there was not a sound being made as 70+ folks were hard at work reading every word in those books. What a task that is!

I personally want to thank all of you for getting your IRS information submited so I could send it on to the USDA. If you have done e-post cards in the past, you DO need to do them again this year as you have in the past. I suspect that at some point in the future we will get an official letter saying the status has changed, and the reports are not needed.

We still have a few Walmart health dollars available that could be used for county camps that wish to use the health curriculum introduced at the April in-service. If you did not get an application in, please contact Cathy Allen or me, and we will see if we can help you out to some degree. You will be required to do some evaluations with the program.

As always thanks for all you do!

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


Proposal for a 4-H Youth in Government event

State 4-H Congress was an event I enjoyed and learned a great deal from as a 4-H member. In fact it helped impact my education and career to this point. To that end, as a member of the 4-H Foundation board, I have been working the past few years to find a way to provide some of the educational opportunities that were provided by State 4-H Club Congress. With the many events we currently hold, it has been difficult to generate enough participation to bring this back as a statewide event or to add on an additional conference. Yet this event provided a great insight to the legislative process in Oklahoma, so there is still a need to provide opportunities for youth who may want to know more about the legislative process.

I also currently serve on the Oklahoma YMCA Youth in Government Board of Directors as the vice-president. This program, a national program run by each state which participates, allows students to go to a district and a state conference and present ideas written in the format similar to legislation. This program takes the top 25 students from the state conference to a national conference located in North Carolina over the Fourth of July each year.

I have been working with staff members from both 4-H and YMCA to find a way to meet the needs of both organizations. The 4-H side would like to provide another opportunity for students to have the chance to experience something akin to Club Congress, and Youth in Government would like to grow their numbers, both in chapters and students. I have proposed that 4-H establish the opportunity for two high school students to attend from each county that wishes to participate, along with one additional student who is a ninth grader. I will be running the new ninth grade legislative body this next year for the Youth in Government program with the potential expansion of students.

We held our first attempt with this last year and had two 4-H'ers attend the district and state meetings. Both were selected as officers and one, Hannah Nelson of Chickasha, will be returning this year. I have asked her to serve as the student leader for this upcoming year, and she is also available to provide insight to your students who desire to participate.

I envision the participating students would have the opportunity to apply with each county office, and you would establish a selection process and award this trip to those who could participate. To attend the state meeting, students would be required to attend one of the two regional district meetings with the Youth in Government program. There is also a new club member meeting in August which is highly encouraged for both students and advisors, and I would like to encourage each of you to attend this to learn more.

I will be serving as the state director for the coalition of the two groups and will be the advisor at the district and state meetings. The cost of the Youth in Government trip would be about $150, which covers registration for both district and state, along with the hotel costs for the state conference and the meals provided at the conference. The district meeting is a one-day event, for the south in Moore and the north in Guthrie. The state conference will be held in Oklahoma City at the State Capitol Building over three days, and the students stay at the OKC Downtown Sheridan.

I will be happy to assist any of the students via email with their ideas to present in their legislation and most everything is available for review located at on the Internet. I encourage you to check out this program and feel free to call me at (580) 476-3745 should you have any questions.

I look forward to working with each of you who chooses to participate in this program.

Oklahoma Representative Joe Dorman

State-Wide 4-H Family Horse Camp May 26-28, Coalgate

The State-Wide 4-H Family Horse Camp is intended to educate youth and adults about camping with horses with minimal damage to land or water quality. This educational program will cover: safety, stabling, tying, environmental concerns, grounds keeping, trail riding, overnight camping, biodiversity, Equine Psychology, happy watersheds, IPM concerns and comradery. Attached is the registration form and flyer.

Record Book Interviews June 11

Record book interviews will take place Monday, June 11, beginning at 1 pm at Eagle Heights Baptist Church, Stillwater. Those of you with 4-H'ers who are interviewing will receive more information in the mail very soon. This will include detailed instructions for the 4-H'ers, this year's changes, and an interview schedule. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Suzanne Simpson, state 4-H coordinator for marketing, promotions and special programs, by calling 405-744-7960 or sending an email to

Suzanne Simpson

Anti-Bullying Resource

This new site emphasizes action steps individuals can take to prevent and stop bullying in their schools and communities. It also features easy-to-use tools and resources for community leaders, young people and families, including:

The site will help you share ideas and start discussions about the role you can play in preventing bullying in your community. Show your support on your own website with the widgets and badges, and subscribe to email updates to find out about new content on the site. Consider submitting your materials for inclusion in the resource database. You can also follow on Twitter or Facebook for more information on how to take action. Cathy Allen

Cookies Classes at the Fairs

It seems that each year more and more cookies are disqualified at the State Fairs because they do not fit the class in which they have been entered. Barbara Brown has worked up a table that will help with the classification of cookies. Please work with 4-H youth and volunteers to make sure cookies fit into a class prior to the Fairs.

Tracy Beck

Dog-Training Workshop for 4-H Volunteer Leaders

dogOn June 23, 2012, 9 am - 4 pm, at the Logan County Fairgrounds, 4-H will be hosting a hands-on dog-training workshop for beginning 4-H Dog Club leaders and those interested in becoming 4-H Dog Club Leaders. Four-H volunteers should bring their dogs (vaccination records required) and a desire to learn and have fun. Topics will include basic training philosophies, 4-H dog show competitions, how to start and run a 4-H dog club, and games your club can play to make training fun.

Classes will be taught by Steve Beck, Oklahoma 4-H Companion Animal Programs Specialist, and Alissa Cable, Owner/Operator of Sit, Stay and Go! Dog School. Alissa Cable's dog-training career began at 12 years old, when she joined a local dog-training club. While at the club, she earned several titles in AKC Agility, Rally, and Obedience Classes and was able to assist the instructors in teaching classes. Alissa now operates a dog training business in Stillwater, where she teaches dog-training classes, utilizing positive reinforcement methods.

The workshop costs $12, which includes lunch and snacks. Pre-registration is required so that we may contact you with additional information prior to the conference, but you may pay at the door. The Logan County Fairgrounds are located 30 miles north of Oklahoma City on Hwy 77 in Guthrie.

To pre-register send the following information to; 1) name, 2) email and/or phone number, 3) 4-H County, 4) your role: Certified 4-H Leader, Parent, Educator, or Other Involvement.

Health Requirements 4-H dog event:

  1. Current rabies vaccination and proof (rabies certificate- signed by a vet) checked at the door
  2. Only visually healthy animals will be allowed to stay on the premises (this includes external parasite infestations)

Health Recommendations 4-H dog event:

  1. Health exam in past 10 days by veterinarian
  2. Vaccinated - distemper- adenovirus-parainfluenza - parovirus and leptospira
  3. Internal and external  parasite screen

For more information and program updates or contact, Steve Beck at or (405) 744-8886.

Steve Beck

Roundup 2012

Below is some information regarding the upcoming 4-H Roundup, July 25-27, 2012. Roundup registration information and forms have been posted to the 4-H Website at

  • The deadline for registration is 5:00 p.m. June 22. Because of delayed campus mail delivery, registration that is mailed must be postmarked by June 18. Counties whose registration fails to meet this deadline may not be accepted. If it is accepted, they will be assessed an additional $10 fee per delegate. This is a VERY FIRM deadline!

  • FYI.....Roundup registration forms are worked in the order they are received! To make sure your delegates get the workshops they want, please send early!

  • Wednesday lunch will be on your own. No meal will be provided in the Dining Hall.

  • Registration times will be Tuesday, July 24, from 4-7 pm, and Wednesday, July 25, from 9-11:00 am.

  • Counties will be REQUIRED to bring a corresponding chaperone for each gender of youth they bring. If the county has male delegates, it must bring a male chaperone. If a county has female delegates, it must bring a female chaperone.

  • Groups may choose to stay in either Kerr Drummond or the Village Suites again this year. Registration cost will be based upon choice. Counties must choose only one housing location (i.e., cannot split group). Note: Res Life will do housing assignments for the Villages. Therefore, we cannot guarantee location, who you are next to, etc.

  • There will be a Partial Linen Service option offered for $5 per person per night. This charge will not be included in registration; however, reservations must be made in advance. If you choose this option, you will pay Residential Life upon arrival, and it must be for your ENTIRE group. Partial Linen Service means that Residential Life will provide linen packets at the end of each bed, and the delegates make up their own beds. Linens included are sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels (and a bar of soap) for the duration of the camp.

  • The cost for Tuesday Night Out is $21 for Kerr Drummond and $28 for the Village Suites. This does not include linens. To make arrangements for Tuesday Night Out, please call Residential Life at 405-744-4771 before July 13, 2012. Payment must be made by check upon arrival. They are NO longer able to accept cash. Checks need to be made payable to OSU. Make sure to ask them for a receipt.

If you have questions, please contact Tracy Beck at 405-744-8891.

Tracy Beck

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

Kansas City Global Summit

The KCGS conference committee has decided to continue the Kansas City Global Summit in 2013.  The dates for the trip will be Thursday, March 14, through Sunday, March 17, 2013. This is an excellent conference for youth ages 15 and older. Below are the goals of the conference:

  • Identify work-force needs and trends:  globalization, technology and environmental impacts
  • Provide interaction with diverse ethnic groups
  • Develop career and leadership skills for the corporate workplace
  • Increase confidence for functioning in a global society of political, economic, religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity

If you have questions about the conference, please call the State 4-H office at 405-744-8891.

Tracy Beck

State Parent-Volunteer Conference

2012 OK4HPVC LOGOJuly 14, we will be groovin' in Stillwater at the State Parent-Volunteer Conference. The educational objectives are:

  • Recreating 4-H for the 21st century,
  • Rejuvenating by embracing challenges which may zap your youth and
  • Recycling proven ways and ideas which save time, money and resources.

Our guest luncheon speaker is Christina Kirk, co-owner and Director of Academics for A Blessed Child, LLC, counseling and tutoring facility. Christina's dedication to the youth of Oklahoma City is immeasurable. After noticing the lack of African American Girl Scouts leaders, Christina became the proud troop leader of the Divas of Girl.

Christina's involvement with youth is not limited to Girl Scouts. She speaks at schools encouraging youth about the importance of education and future planning. She also is the adult advisor for Divas, LLC, a youth-led community service organization, and director of Prep "U"niversity, a college preparatory program for high school students.

Kirk was recently selected as one of three Oklahoma small business owners to the Governor's Conference on Small Business.

County Parent-Volunteer/Leaders Associations are encouraged to showcase Revolution of Responsibility stories, activities and/or materials used during National 4-H Week or sometime throughout the year.  Each county is limited to one Share Fair display which must be registered by June 15.
Back by request is the 4-H Market Place, an entrepreneurial experience for 4-H members to present and sell merchandise which is 4-H project related or hand-made. Youth will have the wares on display from 8 am - noon.

Twenty-three workshops will be offered during three tracks of workshops.

Early-bird registration is $35, which includes lunch, breaks and materials. After June 22nd the registration fee will be $45.

Monsanto Scholarships are available to certified 4-H volunteers attending the conference for the first time. Scholarship applications are due June 22nd. Recipients are to give a presentation at local club meeting for parents, at a county Parent-Volunteer Association meeting or provide a 4-H Volunteer Continuing Education program and file a simple report by 1/11/2013.

PVC - promotional materials are posted at and/or attached.

Karla Knoepfli

4-H Market Place: Showcasing 4-H Entrepreneurs

The 4-H Market Place is an entrepreneurial experience for 4-H members to present and sell merchandise which is 4-H project related or hand-made. Through the entrepreneurial experience, 4-H members may grow in the following areas:

  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Economic Awareness
  • Responsibility
  • Communication Skills

The Market Place was introduced to the State Parent-Volunteer Conference last year with great results. Youth and volunteers alike learned from the experience. So, back by demand we are soliciting youth vendors to showcase their business and offer products for sale from 8 am - noon, July 14th, in the OSU Classroom Building.


  • All vendors must be 4-H members
  • There will be a $5 set-up fee per vendor (which will go to the Oklahoma Children's Hospital).
  • 4-H'er is responsible for setting his/her own prices and handling sales/transactions.
  • All items sold must be hand-made or project-related.
  • Space will be limited to the first 10 applications.
  • Following the event, vendors must complete a short survey reviewing their experience.

To register, contact Stephanie Weckler at or 580-669-1124.

Karla Knoepfli

Southern Region 4-H Volunteer Forum

whatevFun, fellowship, dedicated volunteers, six 90-minute workshops, two 60-minute fun shops, speakers and targeted project leader training are only a small part of this great experience. Brochure and registration attached.

The west asked for equity, action was taken, and the Forum was placed on a rotation, making the forum physically closer to volunteers and staff on the western side of the southern region. This is the second year in a two-year rotation in which the forum will be located in Arkansas. In 2013 and 2014 the Forum will return to Georgia.

OK is the Forum Host

This year Oklahoma is the host state. For the past three years, a committee has been busy within our state working closely with the Regional Planning Committee. Each district has been assigned various responsibilities to organize and implement.

Why to make the Investment

The Forum is a wonderful learning opportunity for volunteers and Extension professionals. It is a personal and professional investment for the participant.

The primary purpose of the forum is continuing education and professional improvement for 4-H volunteers and new Extension professionals. Continuing education is vital in developing and maintaining a quality volunteer system which connects young people with caring adults, leading to positive outcomes for youth.

Participants can expect:

  • Quality programming which will improve and expand the 4-H Youth Development effort
  • Advanced knowledge about volunteer development and its contribution to meeting the needs of young people
  • Capacity building of volunteers and professional staff in creating safe, sustainable and vibrant learning environments for young people
  • Innovative approaches to teaching and learning which engage volunteers and prepare them for action in 4-H and in their communities

Special Project Leader Training - Only in 2012

Unique this year is track programming targeted at volunteers or educators who want to grow their knowledge/skill and leadership for the project areas of:

  • Food Science
  • Visual Arts
  • Environmental Awareness/Natural Resources
  • Positive Youth Development (geared toward extension educators with 1-5 years experience and/or volunteers

Instructors have been recruited with purpose and experience for each track. A tentative outline of project development is noted in the attached brochure.

Each track will have core content (subject matter and youth development) followed by project application in one-two areas of specialty. Participants will receive 12 hours of programming.

Oklahoma will be offering partial scholarships to volunteers and staff enrolled in the track with the expectation that they will return home to coordinate project groups and clubs in the county and present a workshop at the district and state volunteer conferences. Each state is allowed a limited number of participants in each track. Individuals will be selected from those who submit an application by July 1, 2012.

Registration and Scholarships

District Scholarships - Five $50 scholarships will be awarded to volunteers in each district. The volunteers will be expected to return home to do presentations at the district volunteer conference and training at the county level for volunteers. They will also have some assigned duties at the forum. Scholarship Application due July 1, 2012

Project Leader Scholarships - Four to eight $100 scholarships will be awarded volunteers. The volunteers will be expected to return home to coordinate project group/club training in their county and to present a workshop at the district and state volunteer conferences. They will also have some assigned duties at the forum. Scholarship Application due July 1, 2012.

Full Forum Participation - Early Bird registration - $250 until midnight on August 27. Registration after August 27 and before September 7 is $270.

Karla Knoepfli

"What do you See?" National Exhibition

NAE4-HA Communications and Expressive Arts task force is excited to introduce a new interpretive web exhibition for 4-H members. The first exhibition will be up for public viewing in September, 2012.

The committee's goal is to expand the opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and career exploration in the areas of communication and expressive arts, through 4-H Youth Development efforts.

Our "What do YOU See?" exhibition encourages youth how to think, but not what to think. We want youth to look for ways to observe and interpret their surroundings and then to express their thoughts and/or emotions creatively through writing, music or some other form of visual medium.

Attached is a copy of the criteria and application. Entries due August 1, 2012.
To join the 4-H Communication and Expressive Arts Community go to :

Karla Knoepfli

State Council - Support and Services

The Council representatives are eager to serve, yet many are discouraged. I am asking your support and assistance in providing these young people a positive youth development experience by supporting them in their duties.

One of the primary responsibilities for these young people is to - Serve as liaison to specific counties within a district. Cluster representatives will visit each county twice each year to conduct designated team programming/traveling workshops. At-Large representatives will visit each county at least once per year to conduct designated team programming. This does not include county visits or appearances at banquets or camps.

Traveling Workshops are prepared lesson plans for club and teen leaders. The council member comes to the county in a Train the Trainer role. They introduce the subject and lead a sampling of activities, leaving the volunteers with ready-to-use lessons/programs for the local club.

The other primary responsibilities include

  • Communicating with county youth and adult leadership teams on a regular basis. The communication is to schedule and conduct educational programs, encourage participation in 4-H programming and state service project and to collect news for the state 4-H newsletter.
  • Exemplify Youth-Adult Partnerships in all interactions.

A cluster map is attached, noting your representatives.

I have asked many of them to send me copies of the communications being sent and realize that they are not always clear or may even have a tone which can be misconstrued. I believe the youth are assuming you know and understand what they are contacting you about. 

With that said - on their behalf I am asking county staff to assist these young people in developing their skills by respecting the work they are doing by

  • Returning communications.
  • Asking them pertinent questions which pull out the information they are not communicating.
  • Scheduling with them far enough in advance that it works for everyone's schedule.

On a regular basis they have been asked to be professional, to understand their schedule will not be first priority and that they must work into existing county programs.

Please let me know if they cancel, are not prepared or if you have any other concerns. This information will only be used to assist the representatives in growing their skills as a leader and presenter.

Karla Knoepfli

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

Download Logos, Fonts & More

Need fonts or pictures to use in your flyers or local advertisements? We’ve created a collection of tools and templates that illustrate how logos, color, font and imagery should be used to reinforce your local 4-H efforts. 

Ideas to Help Make 4-H Camp a Hit

Summer is just around the corner so it's the perfect time to gear up for 4-H camp season! Refresh your theme this year by encouraging 4-H'ers in your community to Join the Revolution of Responsibility with these ideas in mind:

  • Show videos and challenge youth to develop their own community projects after they leave camp
  • Create a story contest and ask members to write and present their stories of impact to the group
  • Use the brand toolkit for photos, print ads and other materials to help promote your camp program
  • Visit the 4-H Mall for Join the Revolution of Responsibility items such as T-shirts, wristbands, water bottles and more

6 Pitfalls to Avoid in Risk Management

By Melanie Lockwood Herman
Is your road to a great risk management program paved with only the best of intentions? Even skilled and experienced nonprofit leaders sometimes find their risk management efforts falling victim to internal and external booby traps. Consider the following tips to avoid common planning pitfalls:

  1. Communicate freely and visibly. An essential part of any risk management framework is communication but, unfortunately, "communicate" is too often an afterthought. When you wait until your risk management strategies have been fully outlined to communicate them to stakeholders, you are setting a potentially disastrous trap for your program. When people feel uninformed or out of the loop, they generally resist new ideas, programs and policies, however great they may be.

  2. Shift your focus. Instead putting most of your energy into preventing losses, shift your focus to spend as much, if not greater, effort on the efficacy of response strategies and your nonprofit's bounce back ability after a major loss or crisis. Over time, every nonprofit will face their share of losses and even crisis events. To quote former Center board member Felix Kloman, "Resilience… is the essence of effective risk management."

  3. Start small and experiment. Consider testing new risk management activities, policies or processes on a small group instead of unleashing an unproven approach on your entire workforce or clientele all at once. Better yet, involve hard-to-please constituents in the design of any new risk management activity. Those involved in early versions of your approach will likely be your most effective ambassadors once the plan is rolled out.

  4. Keep it simple. When you aim for simplicity in your risk management policies you do yourself and those who must comply with those policies an invaluable favor. As you review draft policies, identify words, phrases and sections that are unnecessary and, therefore, can be deleted rather than asking What's missing?" or "What else could we include?"

  5. Embrace redundancy. A risk management program aimed at protecting a nonprofit's mission, financial assets and vulnerable program participants should include overlapping strategies to avoid any single point of failure. Like a car with anti-lock brakes, a camera on the rear bumper, always-on headlights, and side-impact airbags, a safe program has built-in redundancies. Never rely on a single policy, staff person or piece of equipment to keep your mission, people and facilities safe.

  6. Strive for feedback, not perfection. The delay in rolling out many risk management strategies is often due to the desire to create the perfect solution that will be widely embraced. Instead of over-thinking your approach, build easy-to-access feedback mechanisms into your programs which encourage others to make suggestions… or to submit complaints.

Following these six tips will help you make your risk management policies stick and also help you avoid common pitfalls inherent in the design, launch and implementation of a risk management program.


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.