If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for your 8 to 18 year old, you may want to consider 4-H. The Lebanon County 4-H Friends Club is gearing up for the new year, recruiting new members to join and looking for new volunteers to act as mentors to the young members.
4-H is as American as Apple Pie. Founded in Ohio is 1902, it began as a way to teach rural youth how to be better farmers and homemakers. Today, in many places, like Lebanon County, those elements are still important, but there’s so much more going on behind the famous 4 Leaf Clover emblem. The 4-H’s are Head-Heart-Hands-Health.
In 1970, 4-H expanded its goals to include a wider range of young people and life experiences. It teaches them how hard work, respect and compassion will help them create positive change in themselves, their community, and the world. The 4-H Motto is: “To Make The Best Better.”
Today, there are about 6.5 million 4-H members in the U.S. where the program falls under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and are administered by local Cooperative Extension Service offices. In Lebanon County, that is the Penn State Extension Service at 2120 Cornwall Road.
The Lebanon County 4-H Friends Club meets once a month on a Saturday morning at the Lebanon Expo & Fairgrounds. Members select a project from an area that they’re interested in, like Home Economics, STEM, Animal/Plant Science, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife/Nature and more. Each club then sets its own agenda.
There is a $20 fee to join 4-H and there may be others minimal dues and costs associated with the individual groups. You can get all the details at the Penn State Extension Service 4-H website. They even have a club for kids ages 5 through 7 called “Cloverbuds.”
As you can probably guess, adult volunteers are needed to help these ambitious young people discover the things they want to know about. If you have experience in a certain skill, talent or hobby, you can put your knowledge to good use as a 4-H project leader.
Right now there is a need for mentors with knowledge of: Electricity, Robotics, Engineering, Entomology, Cake Decorating, Photography, Forestry, Cycling, Wildlife and Veterinary Pet Care.
Interested families can contact Martha Gregory, Extension Educator, at this email address or call (717) 270-4391 for more information about any of the clubs listed below.
Community 4-H Clubs (general projects)
- 4-H Friends Club
- American Eagles 4-H Club
Single Project 4-H Clubs (animal-focused)
- NoSoAnn 4-H Club
- NorLebCo 4-H Club
- Lebanon County Goat 4-H Club
- Hoof & Horns 4-H Club
- Latigo 4-H Club
- Saddle Up 4-H Club
Livestock (beef, dairy beef, sheep, swine):
- Lebanon County Livestock 4-H Club
- Lebanon County Dairy Beef 4-H Club
- Lebanon County Poultry 4-H Club
- Lebanon County Rabbit & Cavy 4-H Club
If you’re still not convinced that 4-H is right for the young people in your family, click here to scroll through a list of notable alumni from all walks of life. It is worth reading.
For information on 4-H membership and volunteer opportunities, call the Director of the Lebanon County 4-H Friends Club, Linda Siegel, by telephone at (717) 274-1197 or by email here.