Hunting, when approached responsibly, can be a rewarding and educational experience for young individuals. As a 4-H agent dedicated to fostering a love for the outdoors, I recognize the importance of instilling a strong foundation of ethics and safety when introducing youth to the world of hunting. To ensure a positive and educational introduction to this amazing tradition, several key considerations should be considered.
- Safety Training and Ethical Hunting Practices:
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers comprehensive safety resources, emphasizing the importance of proper firearm handling, wildlife identification, and safe hunting practices. Educating young hunters about the critical role of safety protocols ensures a secure and enjoyable experience in the field. There are a variety of hunter safety courses available. Visit the Which Hunter Safety Course Is Right For You? | FWC (myfwc.com) webpage to find out what course to see what may work best for your family. If you have completed an online course and have a certificate, you can participate in the upcoming Field Day on November 18, 2023 at West Pittman Baptist Church in Holmes County. Visit the Hunter Safety Registration (site.com) webpage to register or find other courses in your area on a different date.
- First Shot Fundamentals:
Holmes County 4-H has been awarded several grants from the The National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation. Our Holmes County 4-H Shooting Sports Program includes archery, rifle, and shotgun disciplines. Youth members learn “first shot fundamentals” that will translate to important life skills as they may choose to ultimately participate in hunting opportunities. Emphasizing the values of fair chase, respect for wildlife, and the importance of humane and responsible harvesting helps instill a deep appreciation for the natural world and ecosystem.
- Conservation Education:
Collaborating with 4-H programs that incorporate conservation education can help young hunters understand the vital role they play in wildlife conservation and habitat preservation. Teaching the principles of sustainable hunting and the importance of maintaining ecological balance contributes to the development of environmentally conscious and responsible hunters. This also includes ongoing education and research related to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Holmes County and the surrounding region to learn what we, as hunters, can do to help.
- Mentorship Programs:
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission often organizes mentorship programs that pair experienced hunters with newcomers. These programs, align with 4-H’s emphasis on positive youth development and foster a supportive learning environment. Mentors follow the guidance outlined in mentorship materials to provide hands-on training, impart valuable skills, and promote the development of strong ethical values in young hunters. Visit the Mentored Hunts Registration (site.com) webpage to find upcoming opportunities across the state of Florida.
- Legal Compliance and Regulations:
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) provides up-to-date information on hunting regulations, licensing requirements, and seasonal restrictions. Educating youth about these regulations instills a sense of responsibility and legal compliance, contributing to the cultivation of law-abiding and conscientious hunters.
By integrating these considerations into the process of introducing youth to hunting, we can ensure that they develop not only a passion for the sport, but also a respect for wildlife and the natural world. Together, we can foster the next generation of responsible and ethical hunters who prioritize safety, conservation, and ethical hunting practices in their outdoor adventures. For more information about how your youth can get involved with Holmes County 4-H, visit the Holmes County 4-H (holmescounty4h.com) webpage.
Miah, daughter of the Holmes 4-H Agent, enjoys the opportunity to harvest her first deer at age 6.
Holmes County 4-H Agent, Chris Lauen, introduces his children to a Holmes County whitetail buck.
In today’s fast-paced digital age, it’s essential for young minds to engage in activities that foster creativity, practical skills, and personal growth. Summer day camps with 4-H provide an excellent opportunity for youth to explore their interests and develop new talents while having “sew” much fun! Thanks to the Florida 4-H Foundation’s Clothing, Textiles, and Fashion Mini Grant, supported by JOANN Fabric and Craft, Holmes County 4-H Sewing Summer Day Camp was made possible. In this post, you will discover the enriching experiences and valuable lessons that 4-H members gained while immersing themselves in the world of sewing, textiles, and fashion.
At the heart of the sewing summer day camp lies the spirit of creativity. Through hands-on projects and guided instruction, participants discovered the joy of transforming fabrics into unique and stylish creations. From selecting patterns and colors to sewing intricate details, campers were encouraged to let their imagination soar. The camp provided a safe and supportive environment for young minds to explore their creativity, leading to the development of innovative designs and personal style.
Building Practical Skills:
Sewing is a practical skill that cultivates patience, precision, and problem-solving abilities. Throughout the camp, youth were introduced to the fundamentals of sewing, including understanding different fabrics, operating sewing machines, and mastering essential stitching techniques. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, participants progressively honed their skills, learning how to read patterns, measure and cut fabric, and assemble garments with finesse. These newfound skills empowered the youth to embark on independent sewing projects beyond the camp.
Fostering Teamwork and Collaboration:
The sewing summer day camp fostered an environment of teamwork and collaboration, where participants worked together to complete various sewing projects. Whether assisting each other with challenging stitching or providing creative input during design discussions, campers learned the value of cooperation and the power of collective effort. Through these interactions, they discovered that the world of sewing extends beyond individual endeavors and that sharing knowledge and skills can enhance everyone’s experience.
Cultivating Attention to Detail:
Precision and attention to detail are crucial aspects of sewing. Throughout the camp, participants were encouraged to carefully measure, cut, and sew fabrics to achieve flawless results. They learned the importance of meticulous planning, double-checking measurements, and maintaining focus throughout the sewing process. Cultivating this attention to detail not only improved their sewing outcomes but also instilled in them a valuable life skill applicable in various contexts.
Navigating Fashion Trends and Sustainability:
Through engaging discussions and interactive sessions, campers explored the concepts of fashion, upcycling, and sustainable fabric choices. They gained an understanding of the environmental impact of fast fashion and discovered how they can make a positive difference by embracing sustainable practices in their own sewing projects and daily lives.
The Holmes County 4-H Sewing Summer Day Camp, made possible by the Florida 4-H Foundation’s Clothing, Textiles, and Fashion Mini Grant supported by JOANN Fabric and Craft, offered an incredible opportunity for youth to explore the world of sewing, textiles, and fashion. Participants not only developed practical sewing skills, but also nurtured their creativity, fostered teamwork, honed attention to detail, and gained insights into sustainable fashion practices. Through this enriching experience, 4-H youth were empowered to express their individuality, explore their passions, and embark on a lifelong journey of creativity and self-discovery.
For more information about upcoming youth programming related to sewing, textiles, and fashion with Holmes County 4-H, visit the UF IFAS Extension Holmes County 4-H Facebook page or contact the Holmes County 4-H Agent at 850-547-1108.
To learn more about how JOANN can support 4-H programming in your county, visit 4-H | JOANN Discount Program.
As summer approaches and the days grow longer, it’s the perfect time to engage 4-H youth in outdoor activities that blend fun, learning, and teamwork. One exciting way to accomplish this is to organize a tailgating (grilling) camp and grilling exhibition in preparation for your District 4-H Tailgating Contest. 4-H Agents and volunteers have a unique opportunity to guide young participants in the art of grilling while instilling valuable life skills and fostering a sense of camaraderie. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of incorporating a tailgating (grilling) competition into your summer programming.
Building Life Skills: Grilling is not just about cooking delicious food; it also teaches various life skills that are essential for personal and professional growth. By incorporating a tailgating competition into your summer programming, you can help young participants develop skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication, time management, and problem-solving. These skills are valuable in all aspects of life and will benefit them in the long run.
Fostering Creativity: Tailgating competitions offer a platform for youth to unleash their creativity. Encourage participants to come up with unique recipes, experiment with flavors, and showcase their grilling techniques. This will not only boost their confidence, but also stimulate their culinary imagination. Remember to emphasize the importance of food safety and hygiene throughout the process.
Encouraging Healthy Eating: While contest participants are limited to pork, beef, chicken, and shrimp during the actual competitions, you can use the tailgating competition as an opportunity to promote healthy eating habits among youth. Encourage participants to incorporate nutritious ingredients such as lean proteins, fresh vegetables, and whole grains into their recipes. Teach them about the benefits of balanced meals and provide resources on how to make healthier choices when grilling.
Creating a Sense of Community: Organizing a tailgating competition brings people together and creates a sense of community among participants. Encourage teams or individuals to share their grilling experiences, techniques, and recipes with one another. This fosters a supportive environment where everyone can learn from each other and build lasting connections.
In June 2023, Holmes County 4-H added another element to their annual 4-H Tailgating Summer Day Camp by including a public grilling exhibition and competition. The event was held in conjunction with Peppertown Market, a monthly community-wide street market in downtown Bonifay. Holmes County 4-H youth had an opportunity to hear constructive criticism and words of encouragement from judges and volunteers as they competed for a spot at the Northwest District Tailgating Contest. The grills and youth were strategically placed to create a high impact opportunity to boost awareness of Holmes County 4-H. Event attendees had the opportunity to speak with 4-H volunteers and the 4-H Agent to obtain resources and learn more about Holmes County 4-H. Volunteers also utilized the event as a fundraising opportunity by selling peach cobbler made in a Dutch oven on location near our 4-H youth that were grilling. Proceeds were used to offset the costs associated with the Tailgating Camp and Grilling Exhibition.
Incorporating a tailgating camp and grilling exhibition into your summer programming offers numerous benefits for youth development. By teaching grilling skills, fostering creativity, promoting healthy eating, and creating a sense of community, you can inspire young participants to embrace outdoor cooking as a lifelong hobby. Remember to prioritize fire safety, provide access to reliable resources, and encourage participants to explore various grilling techniques. With your guidance, they will light the fire for grilling success and create memorable experiences that extend beyond the summer months.
The 2023 Florida 4-H Northwest District Tailgating Contest will be held in Chipley, Florida on July 22, 2023. Winners from the each of the District contests will be invited to compete at the State Contest on Saturday, September 23, 2023 in Gainesville, Florida.
Contact your local 4-H Agent and visit Tailgate Contest – Florida 4-H – University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences – UF/IFAS (ufl.edu) to explore a wide variety of informative resources that can help “spark” a passion for food science and fire safety.
- Region 1 | Northwest District Contest
|Saturday, July 22, 2023
|Washington County Agricultural Center, 1424 Jackson Ave, Chipley, FL 32428 Counties
|May 5 to July 15, 2023
|Grill setup will be from 9:15 a.m. CDT to 10 a.m. CDT with grills starting at 10:15 a.m. CDT.
|Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, Washington
|Mark Mauldin, firstname.lastname@example.org, & Brian Estevez, email@example.com