by aschortinghouse | May 13, 2022
Youth from across north Florida gathered to compete at the 2022 Area
2022 Area North High Point Division Winners bridle bags.
North Horse Show in Clay County. Area shows take place throughout the state and serve as a qualifying show for the state show which takes place this summer. This is not just another horse show though, these 4-H Area shows are unique in that these shows are just one part of the larger project these youth are involved in. At the beginning of each year, youth declare which horses they will be working with. They are then responsible for working with their horses to learn more about equine sciences and to prepare for the various show and project opportunities such as workshops and shows. At the 2022 Area show, youth had the opportunity to participate in various disciplines including western, hunter, speed, and ranch divisions. Youth were eligible to earn ribbons, high points, and versatility awards. What youth are achieving inside the arena is second to that of what is being developed in our youth outside the arena.
Outside the Arena
2022 Area North Horse Show Sportsmanship award winner.
2022 Area North Volunteer of the Year.
In addition to the competition in the arena, youth and volunteers are recognized for their efforts outside the arena with various awards such as the sportsmanship and volunteer of the year awards. Horse projects and shows offer youth a chance to develop life skills, while loosing themselves in the magic of a horse. Horses demand responsibility, decision making, communication, among many other life skills. While some youth will be recognized for their success with ribbons, all of our youth are building skills that will carry them throughout their lifetimes. All of this though is not possible without the support and tireless effort put in by our volunteers. Thank you to all of our volunteers who made this even possible and congratulations to our 2022 volunteer of the year!
Congratulations to all the youth who competed and qualified for the State 4-H Horse Show later this year. To see a full list of qualifiers, click here. If you want to learn more about how you can get involved!
by Claire Davis | May 6, 2022
How do you know when it is appropriate to send a thank you card? Have you ever received a gift from someone? Did a volunteer donate their time for an event or for a club meeting? Are you in 4-H and someone purchased your project animal at auction? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should have written a thank you note to them! It does not just have to be a life changing event, such as a wedding, birthday, or baby shower, that warrants a thank you card. Whenever someone has done something nice for you, it is definitely worth sending them a thank you card.
Writing thank you notes is a skill that many people should have, but many overlook. What exactly do you need to say in your thank you note? Here is an easy guide for a few things that you should include in your thank you note, regardless of the reason you are writing it!
Make sure that you start off by thinking of why you are writing a thank you note! Thank you notes let the individuals know that you care, that you are proud of your accomplishments, or make them feel appreciated for something that they have done for you!
A decorated academic cap at commencement. Photo taken 04-29-17.
Make the letter personal by starting with a salutation. Address the individual(s) by their name. If it is someone that you are well acquainted with, it is alright for you to address them by their first name. If it is someone that you are not as familiar with, stick to Mr., Mrs., Ms, and/or Miss last name. Below are a few examples of how to address someone:
Dear Aunt Renae,
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Leonard,
- Get right to the point and express your gratitude. Some examples could be:
“Thank you so much for your generous wedding gift.”
“Thank you for the birthday present.”
“Thank you for donating your time at the Horse Club Meeting.”
“Thank you for purchasing my steer at the Calhoun County Livestock Show.”
- Maybe mention a specific detail or two. There is no need to exaggerate about their gift, but tell them what it might be used for or what you appreciate about it. Here are a few examples of things to say.
“I am so excited to get to use the birthday money on my upcoming trip to Disney World.”
“I’ve had my eye on a smoothie maker, and now I am a smoothie making machine!”
“We are saving the wedding money to help build our future home together.”
“The knowledge you shared at the meeting is incredibly valuable and the kids were soaking it up!”
“I am going to save the money from my 4-H steer project in my college fund.”
- Look ahead to the future. You may be excited about your trip to Disney World or the new smoothie machine, but make sure they know that you appreciate them or enjoyed working with them. If you are likely to spend time with them again in the future, this is a good way to move your letter towards wrapping up.***This suggestion may not apply to every letter.
“I can’t wait to have dinner with you again.”
“I’ll be up that way here in a few months and would love to see you.”
“I am interested in the position and look forward to hearing from you soon.”
“We cannot wait to have you teach us again at the club meeting next month.”
- Wrap it up with another thank you and sign off. Make sure that your letter is clear, you want to thank them for their time, donation, money, etc. You do not have to use fancy language to end your letter.
“Thank you again for thinking of us on our special day!”
“Thank you for being so generous to our organization.”
“Again, thank you for spending your time with us.”
Albert the Alligator Florida Gator mascot holding a thank you sign. Photo taken 11-16-16.
Make sure to end your letter appropriately, whether that be professionally or casually.
When in doubt, write a thank you card. Your recipient will feel extra special that you want to show them your gratitude!
by Allison Leo | Apr 29, 2022
Benefits of being recognized
Ways to feel special without food! Youth receiving rosette for a job well done!
One of the most important aspects of working with youth is the relationships that we build with them. Recognition is a basic human need, and in 4-H, recognition of youth members for their knowledge gained and mastery of skills is an important part of our positive youth development program. Using incentives and prizes during a 4-H program can be an effective way to create a sense of belonging. While working with youth, it is important to acknowledge their achievements and hard work throughout the club year.
Using Food as a Reward
Candy and sweets are often used to reward good behavior or accomplishments because kids like them and they are inexpensive. It is tempting to lean towards sweets and candy when selecting rewards and prizes for youth, but when food is given as a reward, children start to connect it to good or bad, and not fuel for the body. Rewarding youth with sweets can contradict the teaching and modeling of behaviors that promote healthy life skills in 4-H. Often, these foods have little or no nutritional value.
Non-food rewards are a great option for acknowledging youth at 4-H club meetings, in school, and while at home. By using non-food rewards to acknowledge behavior, this promotes a healthy environment and helps children develop a healthy relationship with food. Recognizing youth with words of appreciation are better motivators than rewards of food. Telling a child, “I am so impressed with how hard you worked on your project,” is a healthy alternative to giving them candy for their success.
Creating an Inclusive Environment
Non-food rewards also create an inclusive environment for those we have food allergies and cannot partake in many food rewards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs” recommends the “use of non-food incentives for prizes, gifts, and awards.” While a shift to non-food incentives may require slight changes to traditions, there are many potential benefits. Below is a list of free and low-cost reward options to use with kids.
- Lead a game or activity
- Help teach lesson
- Trip to the park
Examples of non food reward items.
- Special privilege at home or club meeting
- Book exchange
- Stress balls
- receive a plant, seeds and a pot for growing
- Art supplies
- Coloring book g
- Cupcake Wrapper Rosette
- Small toys
- Bowling party
- Field day
- Movie day
- Trip to a community park
- Canoe or kayak trip
by pmdavis | Apr 22, 2022
Happy Earth Day Everyone! 4-H has a wonderful recycling project for you to do with little ones as an activity for Earth Day. The exciting part is that you will most likely have the materials around your house!
The activity is the creation of a recycled paper pot. This is a great way to start seeds inside to watch them grow. Then, you can transfer the pot and all into the ground when the plant is bigger.
Great way to start seeds and recycle
Of course, you can buy special seed trays. You can recycle old nursery trays and pots if you clean them properly with a mild solution of bleach and water and rinsed well. You can also use disposable cups, or you can sow seeds in old deli trays, rotisserie chicken containers, milk jugs, almost anything that will hold a couple inches of soil.
However, the 4-H paper pot is another fun recycling project that is easy to do. These are biodegradable pots that will last about 6 weeks before they disintegrate. This project is an easy seed starting activity for all ages! It’s a great way to teach responsibility, record keeping, teamwork, and care for living things. Plus, you can save money and resources by making your own paper pots to start your seeds.
For this project, you will need
- Newspaper or other paper cut into strips (not glossy inserts)
- A Container, bottle, can or jar that can be wrapped in paper (not glass)
What to do:
- Cut strips of newspaper or regular paper about 4” wide.
- Wrap strip of newspaper around an empty container and roll fairly tight.
- Scoot paper down so the paper will reach the half way point and when folded. It should overlap the open end of the container.
- Fold the ends of the paper against the bottom of the container, starting where the paper meets the on the outside.
- Push the bottom of the container against a flat, hard surface (such as a table) to seal the bottom of your pot.
- Pull the container out and you have a finished paper pot. Fill with soil and plant your seeds.
- When the seedling is ready to transplant, simply drop the entire pot into the ground.
The newspaper will biodegrade in your garden or pot. Your plant will never be uprooted and continue to grow undisturbed. When planted make sure the paper is not sticking out of the ground. If the paper is above ground it will wick water away from the plant.
Photo of succulent garden at entry of NSA-PC Youth Center Created by 4-H Garden Club
You can print a PDF version of the instructions for this activity.
Other great gardening resources include:
• Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide
• Florida Planting Calendar by Region
• Florida AG in the Classroom
• Junior Master Gardener Program
If you have a green thumb, consider becoming a 4-H gardening volunteer! 4-H needs caring adults like you to share their knowledge and passion for gardening with the next generation. Through the 4-H gardening project or other environmental focused programs.To get involved, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office, or visit Florida 4-H. We hope you will consider making the best better with 4-H.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, IFAS, FLORIDA A & M UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COOPERATING.
by Prudence Caskey | Apr 1, 2022
To get help for someone call or text this number
Understanding Signs of Human Trafficking
The common misconception when the average person hears about human trafficking is that the victim has been kidnapped and sold into slavery across the world. The visions of young people restrained in the back of a semi tuck or cargo ship may come to mind. The reality of the matter is kidnapping of victims only happens in about 9% of these cases. The sad fact is that most victims are trafficked by someone they know and trusted at one point. Many victims even feel they are doing their trafficker a favor now and then in exchange for a new cell phone, video game, or some other type of prized possession.
Understanding the signs of human trafficking is the first step to helping the victims find their freedom. Many youth who are venerable can be influenced and controlled by savvy individuals they initially see as a trusted adult. Through research, the susceptible victims are targeted and are in over their heads before they know what has happened. Often, these victims feel stuck without any hopes of relief or rescue.
The signs to look for are subtle and for experienced traffickers, sometimes well hidden. A sudden change in appearance or attitude could be a sign of youth hanging out with a new crowd. If you notice youth that have a new friend who is considerably older, this could also be a signal that the relationship may not be healthy. Here is a sample of additional signs to look for:
- Sudden absences from school
- Repeatedly running away
- Abrupt change in attire, behavior, or relationships
- The existence of an older “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”
- Being escorted by an older male or female who is not their guardian
- Sudden existence of costly material belongings
- Signs of psychological pressure, such as anxiety, depression,
- An overly submissive attitude
- Tattoos or other branding marks
- Lack of control over their schedule or money
- Unable to possess their own proof of identification
- Signs of physical trauma (like bruises, cuts, burns, or scars)
- Coached or rehearsed responses to questions
If you are a trusted adult and changes are noticed, a few well-placed questions, may help the victim open up a little. Victims may be resistant to questioning but may speak more freely with an open-ended conversation. Can you tell me more about, “the new friend’s name here”? What do you do when you hang out with “new friend”? Why did “new friend” buy you such a nice cell phone? It is not necessary to confirm abuse before calling the Florida Abuse Hotline to report suspicion. Remember, these victims can also be young adults that have been trapped inside a human trafficking ring for years. If abuse is suspected, please call Florida Abuse Hotline (report abuse for children) TEL: 1-800-962-2873 TTY: 1-800-4955-8771 The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Please use the links below to report a child or adult abuse. National Human Trafficking Resource Center 24/7 (for adults). 1 (888) 373-7888
BeFree Textline 24/7 Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE) Send a text for crisis support, referrals, and more – to get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking or to connect with local services.
by pmdavis | Feb 2, 2022
Youth at teen retreat learning about financial literacy
The Northwest District 4-H Teen Retreat registration will close Feburary 7th. The actual event will be 25-27 @ Timpoochee 4-H Center. This weekend features leadership building and fun workshops for 12-18 years old youth.
Register NOW in 4honline for the NWD 4-H District Teen Retreat at 4-H Camp Timpoochee.
6:00-7:15 pm – Check-in & pizza
7:15pm – Welcome & District Intros
8:00 pm – Campfire
8:30am – Breakfast
9:15am – Group Pic
9:30-11:30am – Workshop Sessions
12:00pm – Lunch
1:00-2:45pm – FUNshop Sessions
3:00pm – Rec Time – 4-Hers vs Agents Kickball & Nine-Square
5:00pm – Service Project
6:00pm – Dinner
7:00pm – District & State Events Reports
7:30pm – Dance, Games & Snacks
9:00pm – Music, Campfire & Smore’s
7:00pm – Rise & Shine, pack-up
When I ask the youth that attended previously what they got out of the program? They said they learned how to interview for a job, how to write a resume, and find college scholarships. Another teen said, I met really nice people from other counties and how to decorate cakes. A third memeber said she learned how to start managing her money.
For more information contact your 4-H Agent. We can’t wait to see you at the 2022 NWD 4-H Teen Retreat!