Sydney English, Santa Rosa 4-H member and FL 4-H Officer serving as Sergeant-at-Arms.
All Sydney English ever knew was Louisiana. It was home. At the age of five, Hurricane Katrina hit and Sydney’s life was turned upside-down. With a complete loss of her town and neighborhood, her family decided to move back to Santa Rosa County, Florida where her parents were raised. Little Sydney found herself in a new town, in a new county, in a new state. Soon her mother reached out to Santa Rosa County 4-H to help Sydney make connections and allow her to feel part of something.
Prudence Caskey, the current Santa Rosa County 4-H Agent, met Sydney and her family at the county fair. Shortly thereafter, Sydney was enrolled in 4-H and attended her first meeting in hopes of finding some new friends in her new hometown. Over the next few years, Sydney would find many friends and even find herself.
One of the first events that Sydney attended was 4-H Day at the Capitol. Sydney was enamored with the Legislative process as well at the respect of the elected positions. Sydney decided she would attend 4-H Legislature as soon as she was old enough. Elected as a district officer, Sydney also became a member of the 4-H Executive Board. This was a time in her life where she had to make a tough decision. She wanted to serve on the Executive Board, but would be unable to due to her volleyball practice obligations. After much thought, Sydney told her parents, “I have decided to step down from the volleyball team. I have been thinking about it and I thought, what would volleyball do for me in the years to come? 4-H will do a lot more for me! I’m gonna stay in 4-H.”
Now, all these years later, Sydney has given more to 4-H than she could know. She has served as a camp counselor and mentor for over 50 youth from across her 4-H district. Sydney also had the distinction of representing the entire Panhandle of Florida as a 4-H State Officer, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms. This summer, she is excited to have the role as Camp Staff at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake. As she plans for graduation, Sydney hopes to attend law school and become a political attorney. 4-H has made her who she is and with her service, she is helping to make Florida 4-H even better!
To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as independence, goal setting, and decision making to your children so that they will grow up to become successful leaders like Sydney, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office, or follow us on Facebook.
Santa Rosa 4-H member, Private 1st Class Wolf, serves his country in the United States Army.
Receiving an official title can be very exciting for a new employee. Santa Rosa County 4-H member, Payton Wolfe has a new title and he hasn’t even graduated from high school yet. His new title is now Private 1st Class Wolfe. You see, Payton is serving the United States of America in the Army. Wolfe completed his Basic Combat Training during the summer between his Junior and Senior years of high school. He has officially been in the Army for quite some time now.
Payton Wolfe has a love of animal husbandry and has hatched over 5,000 eggs throughout his high school career. During his many years in 4-H, he has raised numerous types of poultry including quail, chickens, pheasants, turkeys and ducks. “I even had a couple of cows, but they were really just for pets, I never showed them,” Payton explained.
Along with animals, Payton has learned to have a heart of service for a long time. He has completed over 300 hours of community service while in Santa Rosa County 4-H. He has served his club as an officer, his community in service projects whenever needed, and now Payton will serve his country in the United States Army for six years. Enrolling in the Army Veterinarian Specialist program seemed like a natural fit for him. He will be helping care for bomb dogs and horses. Thank you for your dedication and service to our country Private First Class Wolfe!
We are proud that Payton is using the skills he learned as a member of 4-H to protect our country and are excited to see how he will continue to serve his world in the years to come. To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as leadership, independence, and goal setting to your children so that they will grow up to become successful members of society and have a heart of service like Payton, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office, or follow us on Facebook.
Imagine this…an appointment runs long, you skip lunch and end up snacking the rest of the day. That leads to eating dinner very late and you feeling like your whole diet and commitment to eating better in 2019 is blown! Don’t toss in the towel and give up; each new morning brings a new day and a fresh start and a chance to start over.
One of the most important skills youth learn and practice in 4-H is goal setting behavior. Here are some ways to help make goals more achievable for you and the youth in your life:
Youth are most motivated when they set their own goals.
Make goals S.M.A.R.T.
- Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Tangible
- Develop an Action Plan
- Write goals down
- Have an action plan to track progress
- Reflect along the way
- Make your goals present in your daily activities
- Put a reminder note on your mirror
- Set a reminder alarm on your phone
- Get an accountability partner
- Find someone you can trust to report your progress
- Check in an chat
Nothing matches the look on a face when a goal is reached!
My son is my physical activity accountability partner, and he and I walk together. Sometimes he has to drag me out of the house, and sometimes I have to get him motivated to go – whatever it takes to meet your goals.
Remember, every day is new with the opportunity to start fresh each day. Make a New Day Resolution to achieve your goals. If you fell off the wagon yesterday, let it go. Best wishes for a great new year and for every new day you have!
For more information on 4-H in your county, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.
Resources: How Setting Goals Helps Teens Succeed
Photo credit UF/IFAS Washington County
Black Friday is only a week away, but you can get one gift taken care of TODAY!
Making my list…checking it twice…adding 4-H Camp for a kid who’s been nice!
This holiday season, parents and grandparents get swamped with requests for the newest toys or gadgets. Does it drive you crazy? So, I have a suggestion for you. Give the gift of 4-H Camp this year.
Life skills to last a lifetime
I began attending 4-H summer camp when I was eight. As a new and eager 4-H member, I learned so many life skills I still use to this day – like making my bed, cleaning up after myself, helping others, learning to be an independent thinker and most of all, leadership. At the age of eight, I was a leader! I was only leading myself, but I was responsible for myself. As I grew in the 4-H program, I became a camp counselor leading other youth. 4-H camp taught me so many wonderful skills as a child, and I only thought I was having fun!
Fun, adventure (and education, too)
When a child attends 4-H summer camp, their week is full of fun and adventure. Youth will learn to kayak, dance and even shoot a bow! Many of our youth experience new and exciting adventures like learning how to build a fire and even what “Ga-Ga Ball” is all about. In addition to all the “fun” stuff, 4-H camp teaches life skills, like how to get along with others, independence and leadership. If you have a teen in your family, 4-H camp provides leadership experiences that can help them with college scholarships and applications.
4-H Camp keeps on giving
We’ve all seen Christmas gifts go unused shortly after they are taken out of the box. The gift of 4-H camp will not go unused and will keep giving every year as your child, grandchild, niece or nephew grows in the 4-H program. Contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office and find out how to register the child on your list for 4-H Camp today.
Through 4-H, Victoria is able to share her skills and passions to help young people grow workforce and life skills.
Victoria Ballard came to Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2011 from Texas. Her family has been involved in 4-H since her oldest daughter turned eight. As a military spouse, Victoria has seen 4-H in two states. Prudence Caskey, the Santa Rosa County 4-H Extension Agent, has worked closely with Victoria and the two clubs that she leads. These clubs have completed projects on Marine Science, Wildlife, Horseless Horse, Robotics, and Veterinary Science; in addition to supporting a wide variety of individual projects such as poultry, photography, leadership, community service, and many more. To say that Victoria is vital to the success of the 4-H clubs that she leads would be an understatement. But the true success of the clubs comes from the dedication of the youth leaders that volunteer to serve as club officers and run the meetings and present program. The youth, ages 8-17, work together to decide their projects and activities, and learn what it takes to run an official meeting and be a leader in the community.
Victoria worked diligently to establish a summer horse day camp program. Creating the schedule, designing activities and obtaining volunteers was all part of the process, and she handled every aspect of the program. “When you find a volunteer’s passion, then you can just let them take the reins, so to speak”, says Prudence Caskey, 4-H Extension Agent. “She has a passion for horses and youth and so it was such a natural fit!”
When asked what she enjoys most about being a 4-H volunteer, Victoria says, “I really enjoy teaching kids about technology and animals that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to those topics.” Prudence Caskey said, “We would not have been able to implement nor offer several programs if not for the tenacity and dedication of Victoria.”
Do you have knowledge and skills that you would like to share with young people? Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer. 4-H is in every county, in every state, and several countries, so it a perfect opportunity for military families especially. 4-H offers a wide variety of roles to fit any schedule. To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.