Select Page

iPads for Everyone

Allison Meharg
Livestock/4-H Extension Agent
Escambia County Extension Office
3740 Stefani Rd
Cantonment, FL   32533
(850) 475-5230 ex. 102

iPads. While that may seem like the most common word today, five years ago it didn’t even exist. The world has really changed dramatically and 4-H is changing with it in order serve every child. iPads are an important piece of technology that we can use to reach youth in our counties. Along with being extremely portable and versatile, they open a new world to kids that they can really touch and see.

Apple’s iPad has lots of uses within the education field, especially 4-H. Our ability o be creative and not constrained in program development allows agents the opportunity to take full advantage of many features that a traditional classroom would not. Apps are the main source of educational material and total in the hundreds of thousands to choose from. One in particular that students may already be familiar with is the various Stargazer apps. These apps allow the user to aim the device (iPad, iPhone, Driod) at the sky and identify constellations. The technology could be used in a youth astronomy program or twilight activity. Even on a cloudy night, youth can still see the constellations and identify the different parts of the sky. Apps also include recipe books, NASA educational information, drawing, and video software. Youth have thousands of options to choose from in order incorporate iPads into 4-H programs.

A second use for the iPads is with all our local county council and teen leader groups. We struggle sometimes with converting student minutes into a workable format or keeping track of all the business information conducted in their meetings. The iPads put everything at the member’s fingertips. They can keep minutes, take photos or videos, use to show information through a projector, as well as simply keeping roll on Excel. While it’s not the answer to every problem, an iPad does provide a compact source of information for our youth to utilize.

Tablets are a source of technology that allows the user to create their own path. iPads are a user driven device and can used in a variety of ways within our traditional programs. It is up to each agent or volunteer to determine the best program benefit from an iPad. With such a new technology thousands of uses are still to be discovered, but the available apps and features on the tablet open a new world of possibilities for our 4-H programs.

Tips for Summer Camp FUNdraising

Sherri Kraeft
Wakulla County 4-H Agent
Wakulla County Extension Office
84 Cedar Avenue
Crawfordville, FL   32327
Tips for Summer Camp FUNdraising
Every child wants the opportunity to attend summer camp, but some are unable to due to financial hardships on their families. In order to alleviate this problem, many counties have begun to fundraise specifically for camp scholarships. In order to have a successful fundraiser, it is helpful to have the following in place to help your fundraiser to be a success:

1.Have a theme or idea that is eye-catching and attention grabbing and center the activity around that theme. For example, Wakulla County 4-H is doing a battle of the bands competition this year called “Jam 4 Camp” and has invited local musicians to participate
2.Have buy-in from your 4-H Leaders, Community Leaders and Advisory Groups. These are the backbones of your 4-H program and they are essential at helping to coordinate staff and solicit resources and donations from the community.
3.Advertise, advertise, and advertise. We all know that word of mouth is the absolute best way to promote an event, but use social media sites, websites, email and good old fashioned posters along with media coverage in your local paper and news.
4.Set a goal amount and solicit sponsorships from local businesses, banks and organizations. Every little bit counts and it eventually adds up.

It’s Bug Time

 Paula M. Davis, Ph. D.
Bay County 4-H Agent
Bay County Extension Office
2728 East 14th Street
Panama City, FL   32401

Summer is a neat opportunity to learn about those creatures that cause many of us to go YUCK and jump back – bugs.  Most insects are beneficial.  Less than one percent of all insects are harmful. 

Go outdoors to see nature up close and personal.  Youth love to explore and together you can explore the bugs in your corner of the world by collecting them.  It is simple to catch bugs with this homemade bug catcher you can make with your children.  All you need is a paint strainer, duct tape, a wire coat hanger, and handle (wooden rod, broom handle, etc).  Start with the coat hanger and straighten the hanger part.  Stretch out the main part of the hanger to make a circle.  Attach the paint strainer to the coat hanger using duct tape or thread.  Attach the straightened part of the hanger to the handle with duct tape.  Your bug catcher is complete. 

Now all you need to do is go outside in your yard or local park and let them catch bugs.  Be careful once they have caught the bugs.  Make sure they are ‘friendly’ before anyone touches the bug.   For more information and bug ID go to  Also use care when handling the bug so it can be released back to nature. 

If you would like more hands on activities like these check out The ABC’s of Entomology . This material seeks to provide youth with a basic knowledge and understanding of insects and their natural history, to increase awareness and appreciation of insects and the complex roles they have in nature, to stimulate critical and creative thinking, to provide experiences for youth to learn and apply scientific principles, and to provide opportunities for youth to develop valuable life skills. Available in CD format with print ready files.

Summer Time Blues

 Janet Psikogios
4-H OMK Regional Coordinator
UF/IFAS Bay County Extension
2728 E. 14th Street
Panama City, FL   32401
(850) 784-6105
(850) 784-6107

Summertime!  It’s almost here.  We all look forward to what we will do during the summer.   Play sports, go to the beach, attend 4-H camp … there are lots of things to do.  But what about the needs of the military youth?  They serve and make sacrifices so their military parents can focus on the mission at hand.  They give so much by taking on additional responsibilities living without a parent for months at a time.

This is the time of year many military families relocate.  Moving during the summer months can be challenging, but it provides many opportunities to join new organizations and meet new friends.  During the summer, it is difficult to find things to do if you are new to the area.  However, you can help a military family that moves into your neighborhood by introducing yourself and inviting them to participate in some of the local summertime 4-H activities. 

Military families reside in every county; even counties without military bases have Guard or Reserve families.  4-H recognizes the sacrifices that military youth make, and inviting them to participate in 4-H summer activities is a good start.  Becoming involved in these activities can be a great stress reliever for military youth during deployment. 

One fun summer activity, OMK Camp Timpoochee, is scheduled for July 11-15.  If you are interested in attending OMK Camp Timpoochee visit to register.  There is limited space remaining including space for non-military friends of military.  OMK Camps are so popular, that all vacancies have been filled for Camp Ocala.

Volunteer Roles Over the Summer

Marcus Boston
Leon County 4-H Agent
Leon County Extension Office
615 Paul Russell Road
Tallahassee, FL   32301-7099
(850) 606-5213
(850) 606-5201

Recruiting and training volunteers is a vital part of starting and maintaining a successful 4-H Program. This is also true if you plan on implementing a successful camping program in your county.  Preparing teens to serve as Camp Counselors during your summer camps is very important in maintaining a well structured, safe environment for them to learn, be safe, and have fun.  There’s no “one fix all” method in implementing a counselor training program, however there are some common areas that deserve attention when you begin to develop a training program for your county. Listed below are some helpful tips that will assist in developing, implementing, and maintaining a successful counselor training program..

*Start Your Training Early    

*Share Expectations/Standards

*Community Service            

*Team Building, Team Building,

*Give Counselors the Training They Need

By implementing the steps mentioned above, you will begin to see a more productive week of camp from your counselors.