Gordon County 4-H’ers help the community, but they also need help from the community. They need support through funding, volunteers and guidance in their project areas.
“Gordon County 4-H programs offer so much to the youth here,” said Beth Carlan-Watson, Extension Service agent with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “There is a project in 4-H that interests almost everyone. Participants find what’s for them through learning and judging events, fun activities, community volunteering or statewide competitions.”
Almost 1200 4-H members from fifth through 12th grade are enrolled in Gordon County. The Extension 4-H agent and 4-H program assistants meet with 4-H members through in-school club meetings in fifth through eighth grade as well as after school programming. In 2010, more than 155,000 youths participated in Georgia 4H programs.
Besides projects and competitions, members can go to special camps and exciting events all over the state and nation. Special UGA football and basketball days, camps at the beach, in the mountains, in the city and at Rock Eagle and even trips to Washington, D.C., offer exciting ways to learn while having fun.
In Gordon County, our 4-H activities this year included Cloverleaf Camp at Rock Eagle, Project Achievement, Cotton Boll/Consumer Jamboree, Rivers Alive, Rabies Clinic, Horse Care Day, Summer Day Camps, Fall Forum, Livestock Judging, State Council, S.A.F.E. BB Team, Livestock Show Teams, Junior Camp at Jekyll Island, Georgia Youth Summit, Poultry Judging, Senior Conference, Wilderness Challenge Camp, Senior Camp at Wahsega, State Congress and Dairy Judging.
But the 4-H’ers aren’t the only ones having fun. Adult volunteers work with 4H’ers helping them prepare for competitions, sharing their knowledge with them and, most importantly, spending time with them.
“I don’t know what we’d do without our volunteers,” Carlan-Watson said. “They work with our 4H’ers on so many projects and teams.” A few of our volunteer-assisted activities are Livestock Judging, Poultry Judging, Dairy Judging, S.A.F.E. BB Team, S.A.F.E. Shotgun Team, Project Achievement and Livestock Show Team. Without the help of all our wonderful volunteers these programs would not be the success that they are today.
Many volunteers are 4-H alumni, so they recognize the benefits of 4-H. When asked about their 4-H experience, most 4-H volunteers state that they learned life skills that they use on a daily basis. They remember what 4-H meant to them as a youth and want to help today’s youth have the same experiences and opportunities.
If you want to find why YOU are Georgia 4-H, call the Gordon County Cooperative Extension Office at 706-629-8685, come by the office at 1 McDaniel Station Road SW or visit the Gordon County 4-H Website at www.ugaextension.com/gordon.