What makes 4-H different from other youth organizations? One characteristic is our learn-by-doing approach! Our programs are intentionally designed to immerse youth in learning by experiencing and doing activities. Today happens to be National Youth Science Day. For over a decade, 4-H has been using science experiments to use their HEAD and HANDS to connect science to their everyday life. 4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for kids everywhere to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. This year’s challenge, Game Changers, teaches young people coding skills through physical activity and puzzles. Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, this hands-on experience includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform, as well as two unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games, physical activities and puzzles. Game Changers is perfect for first-time and beginner coders, ages 8 to 14.
In today’s world, computer skills are vital and can open doors for youth in every field, as well as help them excel in schools and explore careers related to agriculture, business and even the arts.
All kids everywhere are invited to participate in 4-H NYSD. Additional information can be found at 4-H.org/NYSD, including information on how to register and get involved. Game Changers kits are available for sale at 4-HMall.org/nysd. Each kit comes equipped with all the materials necessary for youth to complete the experience, including instruction booklets for both youth and adult facilitators. For more information, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office or check out this short video on 4-H NYSD.
4-H NYSD 2018 was developed in collaboration with Google, with support from our national partners —Donaldson Filtration Solutions, HughesNet, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force.
Plan to attend the 2019 UF IFAS Art, Garden and Farm Family Festival
Fall is coming soon and an amazing family friendly event is coming soon after that. Don’t miss the 2019 Art, Garden, and Farm Family Festival on Saturday, October 5, 2019! The 2019 Art, Garden, and Farm Family Festival is an event that attracts a diverse audience from the Big Bend area. This annual event brings fall colors, festive activities, and local vendors that you will enjoy visiting with.
Enjoy your Saturday with us by taking a tour of the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center’s beautiful gardens while at the festival! And once inspired from your nature walk, ask our EXPERTS at the UF/IFAS horticulture booth so you too, can have a gorgeous garden of your own! After getting your questions answered, journey down to the annual plant sale while enjoying the local musical entertainment, homemade jams, jellies, honey, baked goods, and craft vendors along the way. It’s a magical Fall Saturday filled with festivities!
- What: 2019 Art, Garden and Farm Family Festival
- When: October 5, 2019, from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
- Where: North Florida Research Center, Quincy FL on Pat Thomas Highway
- Who: Open to the Public
- Why: Visit the informational booths, craft vendors, kid’s zone, food vendors, and plant sale. Enjoy live entertainment.
- Cost: Free
- For More Information: https://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/art-and-garden/
This year, the 4-H Educational Booth will be in the Kid’s Zone. Bring the kids over to learn more about wildlife, 4-H, and assemble a bumble bee! You may even buzzzzz across some friends that you have not seen in a while! Remember to bring money so you can support the local 4-H club’s fundraising efforts. Save the date so we can see you on October 5, 2019!
Looking for additional community events, family activities, educational opportunities? Visit your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional 4-H information and events that can benefit you and your family.
A youth competing in the NW District Tailgating Competition carefully prepares her protein.
Did you get to do any grilling this summer? Over 110 youth from throughout the Florida Panhandle participated in 2019 4-H summer day camps that taught them how to grill, food and fire safety, and cooking skills.
Ten different FL Panhandle counties provided nine unique day camps on grilling. Then, on July 20, 2019, 37 youth from eight counties participated in the Northwest District Tailgating Contest at the Washington County Ag Center. Youth participated in competitions in beef, pork, poultry, and shrimp divisions and were judged on their food and fire safety skills around the grill and the taste of their chosen protein. In all, $3,200 was awarded to Panhandle youth for placing 1st– 4th in their competitions.
Now, the top two youth in each protein category will compete at the Florida 4-H Tailgating Contest in Gainesville on September 28th. They will compete against youth from across Florida for an opportunity to win college scholarships. For the state contest, the first place winner in each protein area receives a $1,500 college scholarship and the second place winner receives a $1,000 college scholarship. September 28th is also the 4-H Day with the Florida Gators. You can get tickets for the football game for just $20 and sit with 4-H members from around the state. For more information, visit http://florida4h.org/blog/4-h-day-at-florida-gators-football-vs-towson/.
Join us as we cheer on the following NW District 4-H participants as they represent us at the Florida 4-H State Tailgating Contest:
- Beef Division
- Colton Serpas-Washington County
- Alan B.-Escambia County
- Pork Division
- Lillian Sparks-Washington County
- Brent Young-Holmes County
- Poultry Division
- Sarah Crandall-Jefferson County
- Rylee Sweat-Walton County
- Jamison Scheffer-Washington County
- Shrimp Division
- Claire Diamond-Escambia County
- Evelyn Moyers-Bay County
If you are interested in furthering your grilling skills, please check out the Florida 4-H Tailgate Series of EDIS documents at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_series_florida_4-h_tailgate. If you would like more information on the Tailgating Contest so you or youth that you work with can participate next year, please visit http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/animalscience/4-h-tailgating-contest/.
Learning responsibility is just one of the many skills learned through 4-H Chick Chain.
Since March, 4-Hers have watched their chicks grow day by day into pullets. Spanning six months, the 4-H Chick Chain project teaches youth how to care for growing chickens. They’ve learned all about nutrition, housing needs, and disease management along with showmanship preparation and practices. Youth kept project books of their experiences, taking note of expenses, and breed information. Youth who participated in the past 2018 project have continued to care for their chickens who are now laying eggs and providing a food source for their family.
On September 28th, youth will participate in the 2019 4-H Chick Chain Show. For 2019 projects, youth will exhibit two of their best project pullets (a pullet is less than one year old at laying age), participate in showmanship to show off their handling skills, and enjoy a skill-a-thon to show what information and knowledge they’ve learned during the year. For 2018 projects, those youth will bring their two best layers which are now in peak egg production.
Best of Breed winners from the 2018 4-H Chick Chain
2019 4-H Chick Chain Show Details
For youth participating in the 2019 4-H Chick Chain Show, remember to register through your 4HOnline profile by midnight, September 13th. Your project book and photography entries are also due to your 4-H agent that day.
Youth will earn awards in skill-a-thon and showmanship. Awards will be given to best of breed and overall champions will be named.
Here’s a timeline of events for the 2019 4-H Chick Show:
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Washington County Ag Center – 1424 Jackson Ave, Chipley, FL – check-in on the west end of the building.
- If your flock is NPIP certified, bring your card to check-in
- 8-8:30 am – District II Check-in (Walton, Washington)
- 9-9:30 am – District III Check-in (Leon, Liberty, Jefferson, Wakulla, Franklin, Gadsden)
- 10-10:30 am – District I Check-in (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa)
As soon as birds are checked-in, youth will participate in showmanship and skill-a-thon with awards tentatively scheduled for 12 pm.
Summertime is typically associated with summer vacations, sleeping late, fast foods, rainy days, hot afternoons, and one 4-H camp after the other. Some would argue that summer camps are simply an advanced “day care” program for parents to drop their kids off to “play” so they can be productive at work without worrying about their children. However, research shows that youth who attend camps during the summer come away with so much more than what camping programs are given credit for.
Camp Counselors at Wildlife Camp doing a team building activity.
For many youth, traditional summer camp means no homework, no tests, lots of recreation, camp songs, crafts, and lots of swimming. While these are typical camp activities that normally take place during a week of camp, these experiences have a two-fold purpose in that they also serve as a vehicle for significant learning to take place. Many parents are concerned about the amount of knowledge that kids lose during the summer. There has been substantial research that shows students can lose up to 3 months of what has been learned during the school year. By keeping young people’s brains active, acquiring new skills and knowledge, camp offers the chance to decrease the typical summer learning deficit. How is this done??……I’m glad you asked!
4-H is intentional in providing critical components of a successful learning experience as part of all its summer camp curriculum. These Essential Elements are: Belonging, Independence, Mastery, and Generosity. They are designed to meet the developmental needs of youth. Let me give you some examples.
4-H campers seining in Lake Lafayette for aquatic specimens
4-H Camp attendees experience a sense of Belonging, the first Essential Element, during cooling off time at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake, while being cared for by camp staff, counselors, and 4-H Youth Development Professionals. Campers enjoy being in a safe place with their peers without a fear of being bullied. 4-H accepts youth where they are and helps them ignite the spark that exist within them, enabling them to reach their potential.
With no parents on the camp grounds telling their children what to do and when to do it, Independence, the second Essential Element, is a key element that a residential or day camp provides for its attendees. Providing the opportunity for youth to be independent thinkers and to better understand themselves develops at camp as youth learn to make decisions based on experiences and knowledge obtained during camp.
In order to develop the self-confidence needed for youth to feel they can be successful, camp provides many opportunities for Mastery, the third Essential Element, to take place. Whether it is passing the swim test, learning a new skill, or leading a game, having that “I can do this” moment for a camper can make a positive impact on a young person’s life.
Lastly, 4-H camps provide opportunities for youth to learn the importance of Generosity, the fourth Essential Element, by learning and working with campers from diverse backgrounds and different socio-economic levels. Camp could very well be the first time they have spent an increased amount of time with people whose background, race or religion is different from their own. Through planned program curriculum consisting of team building and get acquainted activities throughout the week, the campers learn to focus on what they have in common and to value the contributions of others who may not look or act like them.
Cooling off time at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake
So being away from home, making new friends, being a part of a team, and trying new things are key building blocks to obtaining a successful experience to meet the developmental needs of youth. 4-H summer camp provides youth the platform to create great memories and lasting relationships that can last a lifetime.
For more information on how your youth can participate in 4-H camps, find your local UF IFAS Extension Office and contact your 4-H Agent to explore what programs are offered in your area.
Exploring New Activities with 4-H Club and Camp
When Chase Weston arrived at a meeting of the Panacea 4-H Explorers Club for the first time, he was not sure he wanted to be there. Chase’s normal activities of choice included reading and playing video games. He rarely played with other children and did not usually enjoy playing outdoors.
The Panacea 4-H Explorers Club meets weekly and offers youth the opportunity to sample activities ranging from painting and cooking to outdoor skills. Members march in parades and volunteer together at community events.
Getting Active With Archery
Chase receives archery instruction from Club Leader Trena Gooding.
From that first day attending an Explorers Club meeting, during his time with 4-H, the once very reserved and quiet boy has undergone a dramatic transformation. This summer, Chase had the opportunity to participate in a two day archery summer camp. On the first day, he did not want to participate and asked to go home. On the second day he started to warm up to archery and by the end of the day he did not want the camp to end!
Club Leader Rhonda Lundy said, “I have seen a drastic change in Chase through his participation in 4-H. He is definitely trying things outside his comfort zone and his parents couldn’t be happier.” Chase accepted the opportunity to attend Camp Timpoochee with support from a 4-H state scholarship. During his week at camp, Chase enjoyed activities like dance class and kayaking. He was able to continue with his newfound love for archery during residential camp.
Happiness in a Hammock at Camp
Chase enjoys free time in a hammock at Camp Timpoochee.
While he has stepped outside his comfort zone and tried many new activities during the week, Chase declared his favorite thing at Camp Timpoochee was enjoying the view from the vantage point from one of the many hammocks strung between trees throughout camp.
Links to Resources
For more information on how your family can participate in 4-H, find your local UF IFAS Extension Office and contact your 4-H Agent to explore what programs are offered in your area.
Benefits of Summer Camp
Camp Choices with 4-H
Youth Development Outcomes of Camp Experiences