What is 4H?
“A community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.” (Definition taken from Clemson.edu/4h)
There is a common misconception that 4H is only for children growing up on a farm, where they can raise their sheep or bunnies and take them to the county fair. While livestock is a major part of 4H, it’s not the only part.
Areas of focus for 4H
Agriculture and Animals, including insects, horsemanship, and livestock.
Healthy lifestyles, including fitness and sports, food and nutrition, health, safety, and archery.
Leadership and citizenship, including Government leadership, speeches, community service, and workforce preparation.
Personal development, including arts and crafts, child care, sewing, and performing arts.
Natural resources, including forestry, honey bee keeping, and gardening.
STEM programs, including rocketry, robotics, and photography.
What is 4H?
4H is basically a mentoring community for children ages 5-19, set up to help these children achieve their goals and learn more in their field of interest. There are guidelines and requirements to follow. Your child will join a club that has been set up for their field of interest. If there is not a current club in your area, consider starting one. This club is often led by older children, giving them a chance to practice their leadership skills. They take the learn-by-doing approach with the oversight of adult volunteers. Adult volunteers are key to making this work. Many adults have a love for their specific interest and want to pass it on to the next generation.
I grew up being involved in 4H, so here is my specific example. A sewing club is where I spent most of my time in the summer. We would gather at our teacher’s home to work on a specific project. This project would be age appropriate and skill level appropriate. At the end of the summer our projects would be judged. I made many things from a simple gathered skirt to a tailored wool coat. As I got older, I was given more responsibility in my club and had many opportunities to teach the younger children. The lessons I learned in participating in 4H are invaluable.
Interested in finding a 4H club?
The 4H season runs from September through August. So now is the perfect time to look into what your area has to offer. Many areas of study will be seasonal, such as bee keeping or gardening. But, research, learning, and club meetings can take place year around.
You can find out more about 4H by visiting Clemson.edu/exension.
Here is a list of clubs and leaders for our area:
Teen Council – Patricia Whitener [email protected]
Archery – Kim Walker [email protected], Alan Walker [email protected]
Jr. Bee-Keepers – Ashley Dover [email protected]
Stablemates – Donnie Tomlin and Holly Jewell [email protected]
4-H Pinterest (for cooking and sewing) – Bridgette Husband [email protected]
Latigo Farm Club – Jeanetta Morrow [email protected]
Whispering Pines – Debbie Webster [email protected]
Air Rifle Club – Robert “Clay” Curtis [email protected]
Greenville Outdoor Club – Jenny Cox [email protected]
Cloverbud Club – Karen Lyons [email protected]
There are several after-school clubs that are considered 4H clubs, but are only associated with specific schools. You may contact Patricia Whitener at [email protected] for more information.
Would a 4H program be perfect for your child?