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.
Dear Educators and Volunteers,
What if - Everyone was so clear on the goals and objectives of 4-H that we didn't need a rule book? What if we could operate 4-H based on what was in the best interest of 4-H members, their families and communities, and everyone was so well in tune with those interests that we did not have any battles over deadlines and rules about who could do what and when they had to do it? I know by now most of you are thinking I have lost my mind! I know in reality we will always need some rules and some policies just as we have speed limits and other civil laws that all of us have to follow.
As we enter the stock show season and begin planning for the summer, I challenge you to think at times about ways you can focus your program, your leaders and your parents on thinking about what is best for kids and less about the rules. The harder we work to get everyone on the same page when we think about WHY WE HAVE 4-H, the less time we will have to spend talking about or justifying the rules.
Have a great month.
Interim State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
Come spend the night at the OKC Zoo while learning how to be safe around animals. After dark you will venture outdoors for a hike through the dark at the zoo. The hike will be followed by some social time and activities.
In the morning you will slip out for an early tour of the zoo while the animals are active and having breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to spend at the zoo. Make plans today. It's sure to be a “Wild” time!
Registration is first come/first served. Forms and information available online. Cost is $32 for 4-H youth (ages 9-19) and $17 for adults. Cost includes educational program, lodging at the zoo, donuts and juice in the morning and full day zoo admission.
The 4-H dog show in Muskogee is open to all 4-H members statewide and is scheduled to be held Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Muskogee County Fairgrounds. Members and their dogs will have the opportunity to participate in 4-H Showmanship, Obedience, Rally, and Agility.
Contests are structured to allow both new and experienced members to participate. However, it is important that members work and train their dogs prior to the show so that they know how to insure both the safety of their dogs as well as other dogs and people. Any dog showing aggressive behavior may be excused from the show.
Agility obstacles pose a potential safety risk for dogs, and it is the responsibility of the handler to make sure that his/her dog has been properly trained on agility obstacles prior to competing in this event. It is also recommended that handlers visit with their veterinarians about whether their dogs are healthy and mature enough to participate.
For specific information about the show at Muskogee, including registration fees, vaccination requirements and directions to the facility, log on to http://agweb.okstate.edu/fourh/events/animal.htm.
The 4-H Indoor Fair Classes for the 2014 State Fairs have been updated and submitted to both the Oklahoma State and Tulsa Fairs. Information is available on the state 4-H website at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/oklahoma-state-fairs/oklahoma-state-fair
One of the biggest changes this year is the Fabrics and Fashions section. The committee has worked hard for more than a year to improve this section. Some of the Expressive Art classes have been incorporated into the F&F. Please make sure all interested persons are aware of the changes. Questions about this section may be asked on the OK 4-H Fabric and Fashions Q&A Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/OK-4-H-Fabric-and-Fashions-QA/700780739954148
Below are a couple of changes that are going to be made by the Oklahoma State Fair this year:
- The premiums for the majority of the classes will be $7/$5/$3, as opposed to the $5/$4/$3/$2/$1 as it has been in the past. As an FYI - Tulsa has been paying this way for the past couple of years.
- OKC will mail all of the checks made payable to youth to the county office address. There will be separate checks, but the county will have to distribute them.
When the updated fair information is posted on the OKC and Tulsa State Fair sites, it will be linked to our website. Note: It is a good idea to check their file when available. If there are updates on dates/times/locations, theirs is the best source of information.
Other forms, such as the interactive booth information, authentication card, etc., will be updated as information is available.
If you have questions about the upcoming state fairs, please contact Tracy Beck at 405-744-8891.
If you want ADVENTURE - Think 4-H! If you want a CHALLENGE - Think 4-H! If you want the ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE - THINK 4-H OUTDOOR ADVENTURE!
Interested in a challenge - one that requires outdoor skills in hiking, canoeing, camping, compass/map reading, outdoor cookery, safety and working with other people? A challenge demanding physical conditioning to experience the great outdoors? The 2014 4-H Outdoor Adventure Program can offer you those challenges. Crews made up of 4-H youth and adult volunteers from across the state will have the opportunity to experience this unique and challenging program.
The 4-H Outdoor Adventure Program is an outdoor leadership program designed for teens, with guidance from adults. The purpose is to develop character and integrity in young people through the teaching of teamwork, leadership and outdoor skills, And it allows youth to share their knowledge and skills with others. It provides participants the opportunity to see themselves from an entirely new perspective. Experiencing the challenge of the out-of-doors, participants grow personally, developing an understanding of themselves and their limitations. By being a member of a crew they learn to understand and appreciate the needs of others and members of their team. Involvement in the program instills a new respect for the natural environment and helps participants develop those key life skills. It is a comprehensive education program that encompasses many 4-H project areas and develops in young people an appreciation for and respect of the outdoors, animal life and other areas of nature.
A required one-day training will be held in March for participants and at least one parent/guardian. An additional required weekend training for the Outdoor Adventure participant will take place in April. The climax will be a 7-day trip to the Buffalo River in Arkansas June 23-29, 2014. Established as America's FIRST National River in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains. Youth must be 14 years of age by December 31, 2013.
Cool Projects, Epic Field Trips and Awesome Makers
Maker Camp is a 6-week virtual summer camp for anyone interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and discovery. Access a full list of Maker Camp projects, activities, and Field Trip Fridays at www.makercamp.com. The first day of camp is July 7th, and materials lists for the first week of camp will be posted on the MAKE Google+ page on June 26th. Each week is themed to appeal to every camper’s unique interests:
- Makers in Motion
- Create the Future
- Health & Science
- Art and Design
- DIY Music
- Make: Believe
The State 4-H Council is hosting a State 4-H Dance and lock-in on April 4-5, 2014, at the Murray County Expo Center. Registration is limited and will be first come/first served. Participants will arrive at 8 pm on April 4th to enjoy dancing, workshops, and games until lights out at 1 am. On Saturday April 5th they will get up, enjoy a light breakfast and return home at 8:30 am.
For more information, registration materials, and adult chaperone forms, log on to http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/4-h-dance or contact your state council representative.
Ever need an excuse to go play in the mud? Check this out. It is a Mud Run! This program is sponsored by another organization. It looks like a lot of fun! If you have a group participate let us know.
The Ambassadors have created an Oklahoma 4-H Story Blog. We have created this blog to allow members and non 4-H members to experience the love and passion our alumni, current members, state officers, and ambassador team have for this outstanding youth organization. It is through these stories we wish to showcase truly how 4-H makes the best better. What we need now are stories! What we are looking for is a moment where you had a great time or learned something. Tell us about a trip or an accomplishment. If you are an educator, what made you want to become an educator? If you are a member, what told you that you should join 4-H? Please share your favorite 4-H experiences with us. Go check out the blog www.ok4hstory.com and send in your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Katie Symes, Oklahoma 4-H Ambassador
Bake and Take 2014 will NOT be a contest. However we would still like to encourage you and your clubs to participate in this wonderful service project. Simply bake something made with wheat and take it to your neighbor or someone in need in the month of March.
Attached, please find the latest updates for the 2014 national FilmFest 4-H. We encourage you to visit the website (http://4h.missouri.edu/filmfest), and to share this info with all who care about 4-H communication skills in a digital age. Missouri hopes to see you this summer!
Oklahoma is once again participating in the Japanese Exchange program with LABO, the Japanese language learning laboratory program which brings Japanese students to America for a month during their summer break. We are looking for 10 families to serve as hosts for about one month, beginning the week of July 20th. We have been assigned five boys and five girls, with an age range of 11 to 13. Families are not paid to host a youth, but based on where our host families come from, we will provide at least one family outing that will be paid for by the program. The outing may be to the zoo, aquarium or some other similar attraction. This is a great way for 4-H families to experience another culture without ever leaving the country. For more information or a family application form, please contact Jim at email@example.com.
June 24-25 Digital Media
July 10-11 Lego Robotics
Leisure Lab is an event designed to provide training for teen leaders, adult volunteers and Extension educators to prepare them for various summer 4-H programs, such as overnight camps, day camps and junior roundups.
Some of the activities that camp will cover include roles and responsibilities of counselors, various camp ceremonies, risk management, icebreakers, team-building activities, crafts and games. We are expecting a large crowd and would like to have some educators help out with leading workshops.
Camp will take place near Stillwater at Saints Grove on May 29-30. Mark your calendars today. We will be finalizing registration materials later this month.
We have several changes to the state 4-H record book and scholarship programs this year. Please note the updates below and share them with your 4-H members and club leaders:
- Dates for 2014: Awards applications are due in the State 4-H Office by noon April 28, 2014. Record book judging will occur on May 6, 2014. Interviews will be conducted on June 9, 2014.
- New for 2014: All project scholarships have been increased to $1,200!
- New for 2014: To reflect Oklahoma 4-H policy, we have increased the age limit for submitting state 4-H record books. Now, a 4-H member may continue to submit record books provided they have not reached the age of 19 before January 1 of the program year. The exception is for youth who reach or pass their 19th birthday by December 31 while still remaining in high school.
- New for 2014: We will be offering an online training for all record book judges several weeks prior to judging. If you volunteer to judge, please be on the lookout for more information.
- New for 2014: Almost all of the tools available on the state 4-H website have been updated. Please visit http://4h.okstate.edu/awards to see the changes.
Volunteer Engagement and Activation Resources (VEAR) Pilot project - March 20 and 27. Four (4) forty-five minute sessions will be delivered each day via Adobe Connect, with a short break-in between each session.
Participation SIMPLE - Cut and paste the sessions, URL links and phone access numbers for Adobe Connect right into your calendar. The call-in access is the same for all events, but we encourage you to enter the Adobe Connect room and follow the prompts to have the system call your number. 800-591-2259 582765#
Thursday March 20, 2014
Session One: 11:00 - 11:45 AM
Overview of Volunteerism and Future Directions - The purpose of the VEAR pilots
Session Two: 12:15 - 1:00 PM
VEAR Corporate #1 Site Presentation
Session Three: 1:30 - 2:15 PM
Developing and Communicating Clearly Defined Roles for Volunteers
Session Four: 2:45 - 3:30 PM
VEAR Corporate Site #2
Thursday March 27, 2014
Session Five: 11:00 - 11:45 AM
Recruiting Strategies for Diverse Volunteers
Session Six: 12:15 1:00 PM
Special Interest Groups - Episodic
Session Seven: 1:30 - 2:15 PM
Teens as Teachers
Session Eight: 2:45 - 3:30 PM
Putting It All Together
The State Parent-Volunteer Conference will be held June 28th in Stillwater. The conference theme is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) and our objectives are:
O - Ongoing programs which extend knowledge and change lives
C - Curriculum for a 21st century 4-H program: new trends, new curriculum, repackaged/revised programs/activities/events, etc.
E - Educating volunteers about positive youth development, club management, teaching, project development, etc.
S - Service that impacts our community through Youth in Governance, Youth-Adult Partnerships, Service Learning, etc.
The following is a sampling of the workshops.
Super Seminars - 2 hours
- Lego Robotics
- Club Management - Tool Box
- Performing Arts
- Service Learning - Citizenship at its MAXIUM
Workshops - 1 hour
- Career Preparation - 4-H Job Readiness
- Mason Jar Crafting
- Fabric and Fashion Update
- Red Wigglers - Composting at Home
- Food Science
- Floral Arrangement - an art
- Icebreakers for the Club
- The ARTS in Crafts
- Blue Thumb - Water Quality for the Community
- Art with a Heart
- Youth Voices - Involving Youth in Civic Engagement
- Eating Your Way through a Productive Meeting
County, district and state volunteers of the year and life-time volunteers will be recognized at the luncheon.
SE District Volunteer Board and Karla Knoepfli
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
- Communication Skills
The Market Place was introduced three years ago at the State Parent-Volunteer Conference. Youth and volunteers alike learned from the experience. Youth vendors may showcase their business and offer products for sale from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon June 28th in the Classroom Building. That afternoon the youth will participate in a workshop and debriefing.
- 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'ers are responsible for setting their 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, a workshop and debriefing will be held for the vendors and volunteers.
Deadline to register is June 2. Contact Stephanie Weckler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 580-669-1124.
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.