There was a total of 715 4-H Youth that partook in this year’s conference. Participants from Gordon County were Kam Childers, Becca Gentry, Madison Glass, Katie Hurst, Brayden Silvers, Ashley Smith, Gabe Soto, Amy Timms and J.J. Winston. Childers, along with 100 other 4-Hers entered projects at the Exhibit Fair. Childer’s project area was Agricultural and Environmental Sciences where he placed second.
“It is wonderful to see such a large assembly of Georgia’s finest young people here tonight,” said Evan Nichols, from Bartow County as he welcomed participants on Saturday. “GA 4-H has been, is, and will continue to be the largest and best youth organization in the state and country.”
Junior conference is a state wide event designed for 7th and 8th grade 4-Hers to experience belonging to a group of peers, have an opportunity to demonstrate generosity through service projects, master subject matter through classes and workshops, and exercise independence as they learn about possibilities available through Georgia 4-H. Also providing an opportunity to build leadership skills, youth have the chance to represent their peers by serving on a 36 District Junior Board which works with an adult committee to plan the conference.
High school 4-Hers can also take part in the conference by instructing workshops in their particular areas of expertise. This year there were only 75 workshops available and 145 high school applicants.
Classes instructed by high school 4-Hers and adult volunteers included curriculum on healthy lifestyles, portfolio development, and communication. The conference also provided a variety of entertainment and recreation such as a dance; a one mile fun walk; a talent review; a performance by Clovers & Company, the Georgia 4-H Performing Arts group; and multiple games such as miniature golf, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, relay races, and even Wii Fit.
Service projects, which were designed by 4-Hers, provided participants with the opportunity to exhibit generosity and compassion. Together, the 715 4-Hers, 4-H staff, and teen leaders made 111 letters for the Veteran’s Hospital, 228 anti-bullying posters for schools, 45 pillow cases for cancer patients, 100 journals for cottage, 66 terrariums for nursing homes, and painted 150 flower pots for shut-ins.
In addition to service projects, 4-H’ers continued their 10-year tradition of collecting and selling pop tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald Houses of Georgia. This year 4-H’ers collected 15,182 pounds of pop tabs with a total value of more than $9,500. Northeast District Board President David Rice was very pleased with this year’s pop tab results.
“The only appropriate word is ‘wow,’” he said. “Georgia 4-Hers: you really outdid yourselves.”
The project began in 2002 when 7th and 8th grade 4-Hers presented the idea to 4-H administration. Since that date, 4-H’ers have raised more than $50,000 to support Ronald McDonald Houses across the state by selling 98,437 pounds of pop tabs.
The date for next year’s Georgia 4-H Junior Conference has already been set for Nov. 3 and 4. Georgia 4-H provides fun, exciting, and educational events year round for all youth ages 9 through 19.
Call Becky Pass at 706-629-8685 to learn how you can become involved with 4-H.