By Nicole Reed, Morgan County 4-H Program Coordinator
The holiday season is an exciting time of year for the Morgan County 4-H Program. As our Fall 4-H programs come to a close, our youth are presented with the opportunity to do a community service project. We find it is very important for our youth to think of others during the holiday season and to learn about different ways to bring some extra light and joy to someone who may be going through a difficult time. This year, our members are helping put together blessing bags for homeless people. Our youth always have a wonderful time doing service projects and they are sad to have the programs end. On the bright side we have another fun filled Afterschool and Cloverbud Series planned for the Spring.
Starting in January, our Extension Office will be offering our Spring Afterschool and Cloverbud Series in both Morgan and Mountain Green. We invite all youth in Grades K-2 for Cloverbuds, and all youth in Grades 3-5 for Afterschool, to come join the fun with a wide variety of 4-H Activities. There is limited space in each program. A flyer for both programs will be sent out through the schools in the month of December. Be on the look out for it so you will know all the details.
Afterschool and Cloverbud Programs are a few ways that a 4-H member can participate in the 4-H program without joining a club. It is an opportunity for youth to meet with certified leader(s) after school to learn life skills through activities that are fun and hands-on. It also provides a great opportunity for the 4-H program to team up with local businesses to provide youth with unique opportunities. In the past, youth have visited a dairy farm to see how a dairy operates, then they have gone to a cheese factory to see what is done with the milk once it leaves the dairy. We also like to do a service project with each afterschool series to teach the youth how to give back to their community.
We will also be continuing with our Teen and Jr. Teen Councils after the Holiday Break. The 4-H Jr. Teen Council is made up of Middle School Students who would like to work on becoming great leaders, communicators, and contributors to the community. We meet once a month to learn leadership skills. Jr. Teen Council members have opportunities to attend state camps in the summer and to begin preparing to be more involved as they move into high school. Being part of the Jr. Teen Council provides opportunities for service, fun activities, and is a great way to become involved in the 4-H program. The 4-H Teen Council is made up of High School Students who are looking for opportunities to serve and increase their leadership skills. We build upon the things we learned in the Jr. Teen Council and are looking to make an impact in our community. As Teen Council members, there is even more opportunities to be involved in 4-H on a State and National level through camps, retreats, and conferences. If you are looking for resume builders and scholarship opportunities, you should definitely join Teen Council.
To keep our programs growing and successful, we need the help of volunteers. Volunteering does not have to take a lot of time. It can be as simple as coming to one of our programs and helping youth with the activities that day. If parents have youth in the program and they would like to stay and see what is going on, that is great! We highly encourage parents to do this so they can see firsthand what we do in our programs and to see for themselves how they can help volunteer. To learn more about our Afterschool, Cloverbud, Junior Teen Council and Teen Council programs this spring please contact the Morgan County Extension Office at 801-829-3472. Also check us out on Facebook: USU Extension-Morgan County 4-H and on our webpage: extension.usu.edu/morgan.