By Becky Jacobson
Since its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago, 4-H has grown to become the nation’s largest youth development organization.
The concept of 4-H is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills they need to be positive role models and members within the local community and develop ideas for a more innovative economy. The values of 4-H are just as important today as they were back then.
Colorado State University (CSU) Extension-Archuleta County is very proud of its 150 active 4-H members and we continue to look for new and innovative ways to expand our 4-H programming efforts.
The key to opening the door for our 4-H youth to learn leadership skills and give back to the community is our positive and caring adult 4-H volunteers. Local citizens provide youth practical skills, knowledge and hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom while applying what they learn to everyday life.
We recognize that the sustained relationships our 4-H members have with supportive and caring adults are powerful factors in protecting young people from negative behaviors and encourage good social skills, responsible values and positive identity. Each and every child needs love, affirmation and acceptance.
Parents, extended family members, teachers, coaches, community leaders, 4-H alums and 4-H volunteers who spend time with youth can be that positive, caring adult within a child’s life.
Today, 4-H is so much more than cows and cooking. We are always looking for new ways to expand our reach throughout Archuleta County in both rural and urban areas. We have opportunities for after-school programming, in-school enrichment, clubs and camps in a wide variety of science, engineering, technology and applied math subject areas — from agriculture and animal science to rocketry, robotics, sports fishing, shooting sports and veterinary science.
If you have a skill you would love to share with youth, please let us know and we will help you become a 4-H volunteer. Whether you love to sew, take pictures, decorate cakes, collect rocks or have a green thumb, we have an opportunity for you to share your passion with local youth. There are a few specific areas we are looking to fill; however, do not let these limit you:
• Co-leader for cake decorating.
• Club leader for Pagosa Peak.
• Shooting sports team.
• LEGO robotics (training coming up soon).
• Home environment (this is similar to DIY projects you would find on Pinterest, with an emphasis on refurbishing and recycling). This is great for design students or interior decorators, etc.
By showing an interest, listening, sharing knowledge and teaching skills, local 4-H volunteers guide and mentor Archuleta County’s future citizens and leaders. 4-H also allows our adult volunteers to further develop their personal leadership skills, meet new friends and have great new adventures.
Our adult volunteers play a critical role in the 4-H youth education programs we offer in Archuleta County. We have opportunities for 4-H volunteers to coordinate local clubs and to help plan and conduct local, regional, state and national 4-H events. 4-H leaders and volunteers help our 4-H’ers to:
• Learn by doing.
• Develop leadership and life skills.
• Make new friends.
• Give back to our local community.
• Build connections with others.
• Prepare, do and share.
Archuleta County 4-H takes great pride in the quality of our 4-H volunteers. We firmly believe that being a 4-H volunteer is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, we take great care in maintaining the safety of our youth members and require all volunteers who work with youth to go through a volunteer screening and background check.
We are always seeking new 4-H volunteers with a wide diversity of skills and backgrounds. Our annual 4-H open house is Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. and we would love to have new projects on display for kids to choose from.
So, are you ready to get started as a 4-H volunteer? If so, please contact Becky Jacobson, 4-H coordinator, at email@example.com, or Robin Young, CSU Extension director, at Robin.Young@colostate.edu or call the CSU Extension-Archuleta County Office at 264-5931 to learn more about becoming a 4-H volunteer.
Oct. 19 — Babysitting Class: Offered free to youth 11-18. Call the office to sign up. This class is limited to 15.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the Colorado State University Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 pm. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification.
4-H seeking positive, caring adult volunteers
By Becky Jacobson