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What Exactly is FL 4-H State Executive Board?

What Exactly is FL 4-H State Executive Board?

Youth headshots in a circle

Executive Board members putting their heads together to make the best better!

4-H Agents and long-term 4-H members are often asked, “What exactly is Florida 4-H State Executive Board?”  So what better way to get the best clarification than to get it straight from the source.  I turned to Shelby Sumner, our Florida 4-H State Council Reporter, to give us the best inside scoop…Here is Shelby’s reply:

Executive Board is a committee composed of 4 delegates from each of the 13 4-H Districts, as well as up to 30 Executive Board appointees, and the 8 Florida 4-H State Officers. The Executive Board members meet 3 times each year to work together to plan state events, and to work in their respective standing committees.

 

STANDING COMMITTEES

The standing committees include Entertainment, Communications and Council Support, State Project, and Ways and Means. Entertainment works to provide entertaining activities at the State Executive Board meetings; Communications and Council Support assists with the promoting of different State 4-H events and opportunities available; State Project plans and implements a statewide community service project; Ways and Means is responsible for fundraising for the Florida 4-H State Council.

 

EVENT COMMITTEES

Similar to the standing committees, there are 4 event committees on Executive Board as well. These include 4-H Legislature, 4-H University, Day at the Capital, and Intermediate State. Executive Board members play a vital role in the planning and implementation of these state events by providing input into our state events during their working committee meetings at Executive Board Weekends, and helping throughout the course of the event itself.

 

Youth at Executive Board weekend

Executive Board Weekend

A SECOND FAMILY

While the work that Executive Board members put in throughout the year is obviously an important component of Executive Board, it does not encompass what I believe to be the best part: the second family that it gives you. Laura Manzueta, a Miami-Dade County Executive Board Member, described what Executive Board means to her, stating, “To me, Executive Board means a family of youth that are responsible, care about the community, and are going to change the world.”

 

 

 

Members at Executive Board working together to plan great things.

LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES

Additionally, Executive Board gives youth life-changing experiences and connections that help them to grow as individuals. “Executive Board has shown me that surrounding yourself with people you look up to, helps to make you a better person.”-Daylyn Hutchinson, St. Lucie County Executive Board Member.

 

 

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR NON-EXECUTIVE MEMBERS

Third Executive Board provides an opportunity for non-Executive Board members (4-H ages 14-18) to get a feel for what Executive Board is like, by taking part in activities such as the State Project activity, and they have chances to observe standing and event committee meetings.  Third Executive Board will be held at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake in Madison, FL, on April 3-5, 2020. The cost for non-Executive Board Members is $120, and $115 for Executive Board Members. Registration for this event opens on 4-H Online on March 9, 2019 and closes March 27, 2019.

Between the various learning and leadership opportunities, and the chances of meeting new best friends, becoming an Executive Board member is one of the greatest decisions that a 4-Her can make, and attending Third Executive Board is the perfect way to learn more about this endeavor. So, don’t miss out on an amazing weekend, and make sure to attend Third Executive Board in April!

For more information on Executive Board or other 4-H programs, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.

Special thanks to Shelby Sumner, Florida 4-H State Council Reporter, for providing this article, and Courtney Quirie, Florida, 4-H Events Coordinator, for providing the pictures.

 

Helping Youth Become Financially Savvy

Helping Youth Become Financially Savvy

Money between the University of FL Extension and 4-H logo

Are you financially savvy?

As a parent, I worry about children and their money habits! They often have trouble distinguishing between a need and a want.  I often wonder if I am empowering them to be financially savvy. I know this is a topic that I continually work on for myself. It is important to start teaching healthy money habits early!  It is also important for children to hear about personal finance to understand how money works in a variety of settings: home, school, and youth organizations. I know my children receive money as gifts and it tends to “burn a hole in their pocket” until it is gone. Like adults, children need to practice making “healthy financial” decisions so that those decisions become “healthy habits,” reducing stress in their lives.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might think of helping your children or grandchildren start a savings account to provide some financial security for the future. Then, encourage them to keep adding 10-20% of any money they receive to the account for a rainy day or that big purchase they desire.

 

RESOURCES AVAILABLE

Extension and 4-H have several publications and project books that provide guidance in the area of personal finance on spending, saving, investing, and donating. These projects can be done in a group setting or as a self-study project. National 4-H Curricula include “Financial Champions 1: Money FUNdamentals.” This piece has activities allowing kids to develop a money personality profile and style, understand the difference in needs and wants, make informed money decisions, set financial goals, and develop a money plan.

“Financial Champions 2: Money Moves” allows kids to learn how to predict outcomes and analyze their finances. They calculate interest; determine the cost of credit; learn how to manage a checking account, explore selecting financial services, make informed marketplace decisions and discover ways of handling money. National 4-H also has free curricula you can download for older youth.

UF/IFAS Extension also has free resources about money and financial management for adults and families on a wide range of topics such as Consumer Rights, Credit and DebtManagement, End of Life Issues, Finance and Family, Personal Finances Insurance, Retirement Planning, and Saving and Investing. University of Maryland 4-H also has a program called Financial Nuggets. This is a free download giving ideas on how to teach financial decision making to youth. It is designed for family involvement. Therefore families will increase their basic financial capacity and ability to make both short-and long-term decisions regarding spending and saving. It explores topics like needs verses wants, planning and managing money using a budget, how wealth is created and built, and managing risks.

Extension and 4-H want to encourage children, teens, and families to learn about personal finance, to practice what they learn and to teach others. We really want to get 4-H members and their families on the road to being money smart consumers. For more information on financial education and tools to help you become financially savvy or get out of debt, contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org. 4-H is one of the nation’s most diverse organizations and includes people from all economic, racial, social, political, and geographic categories. There are no barriers to participation by any young person. Participants are given the opportunity to engage in activities that hold their personal interest, while being guided by adult volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your local office.

 

November is National Role Model Month!4-H Volunteer Dedication:  A Decade and Counting

November is National Role Model Month!4-H Volunteer Dedication: A Decade and Counting

November is National Role Model Month

4-H Volunteer Dedication: A Decade and Counting

4-H volunteers are the vital precious gems of our 4-H programs.  Each volunteer brings his/her own unique perspective, skills, and resources to the club or event they are working in.  Whether a volunteer’s role is long-term as a 4-H Club Leader, or short-term as an episodic volunteer, they each donate an immense number of hours annually to ensure the youth of our Nation receive the best positive youth development opportunities. 

A woman wearing a cowboy hat smiles for the camera

Missy attending graduation at UF

Walton County 4-H is extremely fortunate to have a 4-H Club Leader that has dedicated 12 years to her Naturally Balanced Homesteading Club.  Missy Bolen had only attended two club meetings as a youth because she didn’t have a project horse to be able to fully participate in club activities.  This may have been the initial spark that led Missy to develop her own 4-H club decades later, in which youth get the opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of activities.  Within Naturally Balanced Homesteading, a homeschool (in-school) club, youth have completed projects and demonstrations in leather working, gardening, sheep shearing, leadership training, conservation, and numerous educational field trips to name a few.  Due to Missy’s passion towards 4-H, she currently has the largest club in our county, with more than 30 youth in attendance each month!

As a veteran 4-H volunteer and Club Leader, Missy’s advice to new volunteers is, “If you have a passion for youth and there isn’t a club already established, follow that passion; start a club and try to reach as many youth as you can!  If you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, you won’t get bored and you will remain energetic and enthusiastic.”

A mother and son pose for a picture together.

Missy and son, Jesse, attending Bee College at UF

Volunteering in 4-H gives you the opportunity to be a role model to upcoming generations by providing them with activities and resources that target development of life skills.  The life skills youth gain in 4-H programs afford them the foundation to build on as they become productive adults in society.  When asking Missy to share the most rewarding part of being a volunteer, and what keeps her going after 12 years, she states, “My children are a huge factor because they have a club where they can do what they love alongside other youth with the same interests.  It’s very rewarding to see them graduate, go on to great universities, and become productive adults!  They recognize 4-H as the main reason for their accomplishments because many of their most valuable skills were developed through their clubs such as social skills, leadership skills, networking and confidence.” 

A group of youth stand in a circle outside, listening to a law enforcement officer teach.

Missy’s club learning about careers in Law Enforcement.

Volunteers are truly the HEAD, HEART, HANDS, and HEALTH of the 4-H organization.  As Missy would say, “Most importantly, you must keep your focus on one thing:  It’s all about helping the children.”  If you are a new or current volunteer, club leader, or even 4-H Agent, the resources below are an excellent source of information as an orientation to 4-H or an annual refresher:

·       Volunteer Orientation

·       Volunteer Resources

·       Volunteer Training Series

If you would like to learn more about how to get involved as a 4-H volunteer in your 4-H community, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org

 

November is National Inspirational Role Model Month!

November is National Inspirational Role Model Month!

November is National Inspirational Role Models Month

Before the medals and the ribbons and the physical manifestations of success, there is a club, a meeting, and adult, a friend that changes the life of a youth. Someone that gives youth the confidence to believe in themselves.  Someone that they can look to as an example to follow. The Oxford dictionary defines a role model as “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” In the midst of the social media culture where people have the potential to drastically influence a person’s life without ever holding a conversation, it is essential that youth have positive role models who will guide them in an ever changing society.

Organizations like 4-H, where programming is highly reliant on the dedication of volunteers, there are innumerable individuals who function as role models. Though there are many individuals, I have often found that most great role models function in similar manners and styles. Each style is as unique as each person, more important is the fact that each individual has an impact on the youth around them, consciously or not. Some individuals strive to have a significant impact on youth such as Angela Tinker.  As the leader of the county wide Leadership Club, Angela Tinker is a positive role model and a consistent presence in the lives of the youth she works with.  She is a shining example of just one of the many 4-H volunteers who serve to inspire youth as positive role models.

The Shepherd: Angela Tinker

Pictured is Angela Tinker with her husband, Bill Tinker.

Pictured is Angela Tinker with her husband, Bill Tinker. Angela has served as an Escambia County 4-H Volunteer since 2008.

The role of the shepherd is to look after the safety and welfare of their flock. As youth grow older and near the completion of their 4-H careers, youth not only want to demonstrate their independence, but they need a safe environment in which to do it. They also need individuals who will lead them, and more importantly who will lead them by example.

Angela Tinker exemplifies a shepherd. She has worked as an Escambia County 4-H volunteer for eleven years.  Over the course of her tenure, she has worked with younger youth as well as teenagers. She continues to lead the Leadership Club where she works with teenagers. When asked why she continues to serve as a volunteer, even though both of her daughters have graduated and moved on from the program, Angela responded, “seeing the little successes, which turn into big successes.” It is her passion to cultivate an environment in which the little successes of everyday emerge as life altering successes that enables her to be the role model these youth see when working with her.

Our Future

Angela is a role model that leads by quietly tending to the youth she works with, and by ensuring that they have the best opportunities to grow and build their skills. As budding adults, the youth Angela works with are in some of the most formative years of their lives. Everything and everyone that these youth encounter shapes them in one way or another. It is the positive role models in the 4-H organization like Angela who ensure that our youth have the best chance to develop into the best person possible.  Angela is an example of the 4-H way of “Making the Best, Better” every day.

Who Do You Inspire?  Become a Role Model – Become a 4-H Volunteer

If you have knowledge or skills that you can share with youth in your community, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer!  4-H is always in need of caring, positive adult role models to serve in the role of 4-H volunteers.  From leading a club to judging public speaking or teaching a craft project, contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office or visit our website to learn how you can serve as a positive adult role model today to make a difference in the lives of our youth tomorrow.

 

Special thanks to Aly Schortinghouse, UF/IFAS Escambia County 4-H Agent, for providing this article and picture.

 

Reap the Benefits of Becoming a 4-H Volunteer

Reap the Benefits of Becoming a 4-H Volunteer

A picture of a heart full of descriptive words about volunteering

The goal of 4-H is to teach youth essential life skills.  In so doing, we find that we also equip them with marketable skills, a sense of belonging, and a sense of self-worth, each of which makes them more apt to be successful.  However, besides the most obvious benefit that your volunteer services are to your local youth and community, there are benefits for you personally as well.  In fact, studies indicate that individuals who volunteer experience greater health benefits such as an increase in social skills, an expanded social calendar and even a decline in depression.

 

A volunteer is helping a child with a hammering craft project.

A teen volunteer helps a Cloverbud member during a summer workshop

Another thing to consider is that by volunteering with 4-H you will have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children.  This more than likely will trigger a sense of commitment, pride, and accomplishment in you which leads to a more positive self-image.  The more positive your self-image, the more likely you are to set and accomplish positive personal goals, thus feeling a sense of accomplishment which creates a continuous circle of self-worth and confidence.

One of the most undervalued benefits of volunteering with 4-H is the time spent practicing the very life skills you are teaching through 4-H programming like communication, teamwork, and program planning.  As you work with your youth to help them develop these life skills, you too are strengthening them in yourself.  When they combine their increased life skills with taking part in the wide variety of training opportunities presented through 4-H, some volunteers may open new doors for employment based on the skills they have learned and developed.

In today’s time when families are busier than ever and time seems limited, having a positive adult role model can truly influence the path of youth.  Volunteering with a 4-H program allows these positive impacts to occur.  If you are already a 4-H volunteer, take pride in your contributions and reap the joy and benefits associated with such.  If you are not currently a volunteer, the great news is that you do not have to look far to find a perfect match for your volunteer services…the Florida 4-H program welcomes you, and area 4-H Agents are eager to help you get started!

Now is the perfect time to start your path to volunteering and making a difference!  The new 4-H year begins September 1, 2019 and all counties across the state of Florida are in need of positive adults to serve in the role of volunteer.  Whether you are interested in working directly with youth to lead a 4-H club or would like to assist behind the scenes in preparing others to facilitate outstanding 4-H programming, Florida 4-H needs dedicated individuals to carry out its mission.

So, go ahead.  Reap the benefits of volunteering!  Join the 4-H family today.  The process to become a volunteer is relatively simple:  visit http://florida4h.org to apply online or stop in to your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet with your 4-H Extension Agent for assistance.

Out of Gas: Helpful Tips for Busy People

Woman with her face down on a desk

Are you physically or mentally running on E?

Are you racing “90 to nothing” in your daily life?   until something forces us to hit the brakes or the emergency brake is applied. Instead of clearing our plates, we add sideboards onto them so that we can accept more.

We wear many hats outside of work such as a family member, caregiver, volunteer, student, etc. Some days we find ourselves in foul moods where we lack comprehension, patience, and focus. Is it because we are hangry (hungry + angry) or just plain ole tired?  You’ve heard the saying; “you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip”… or is that a beet?…LoL, you get the point. How do we avoid the breakdown that can and will happen if we keep pushing ourselves without intentional refueling?

Here are several tips to help you stay fueled and refreshed:

  • Block scheduling: I shared a photo of a tool that I use, but you use what works for you. The key thing is for you to understand where you can capture time for yourself to refuel.
  • Rest: Sleep on a regular schedule and take breaks during the day.
  • Eat well: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Have some fun: You are encouraged to have fun. Adulting is tough.
  • Take lunch: Go visit a local library, museum, or sit in your car at a local park.
  • Vacation: Plan for it, and take it. But leave some recovery time, so you are not rushing back to work the next day. Another option is weekend trips or a day-cations while kid(s) are at school.
  • Nurture your hobbies: When was the last time you ____________?
  • Guard your time: Once you’ve blocked it out, it’s yours.  Don’t let others guilt you into giving it back.

Slowly implement some of these tips into your life, and remember an empty tank is just that. Empty. You will be more productive by taking care of you, and you’ll be better able to wear all those hats.