Focus on Youth
News for OCES staff and volunteers working with youth.
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
Dear Educators and Volunteers,
It is hard to believe we are approaching Thanksgiving! Since the new 4-H year began a lot has happened. State fairs and successful district leadership conferences are in the books. Awards and scholarship information has been updated and posted. Youth are preparing for Denver Western National while registration for Citizenship Washington Focus has been sent. 4-H Day at the Capitol planning has begun. Stock shows are just around the corner. And for many, summer planning is already underway.
I can proudly speak to our events and activities, report numbers, quote statistics, and talk experiential learning until I am blue in the face. All very important things to know in our profession. However, I can get so caught up in the what we do and how we do it that I need to remember to step back and focus on the WHY!
The following thoughts were collected from members, alumni and parents who attended their home state fairs. Through their words, I am reminded that WHAT we do and HOW we do it must always be focused to accomplish WHY we do 4-H!
What 4-H Means to Me
Four-H is my family, my life and my future. No matter where you are, be it a show ring or a project show, you always know you have people encouraging you and helping you along the way. I don't know who I would be without 4-H. - Justene, 18
Being free to be who you are and express yourself through your own talents. Learning to lead and not be afraid. - Emma P., 13
Finding out what I want to be when I grow up! Explore! - Hailey N., 17
It means FAMILY! People in your county become like your second family. - Ashly, 16
To me 4-H means work, frustration, failure, trying multiple times to do something, but it also makes you feel great when you accomplish something. Failure is good. It gives you more practice. It takes time, work and frustration, to make greatness. - Anonymous
Four-H is a place of community, friendship, support and challenge. Four-H helps create a better you by pushing your boundaries through cooperative competition and club activities. Go 4-H! - Gwen, 17
A chance for my children to show courage and attempt new challenges. - Rob, parent of a 4-H member
Being a part of something. Ross, 8
Place where I could fit in and meet other kids with common interests. Four-H was where I could learn to be a leader and take responsibility. Four-H helped me find out what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to go. It gave my curiosity fuel and room to grow. - Elisha, 4-H alumni
To do my best in everything, and if you don't get it, you try again. - Sara, 11
Lessons that you'll remember forever! - Lydia, 11
Cool science. - Oliver, 7
Four-H is being able to pass on knowledge that I have gained to the youth of tomorrow. - Joshua, 19
My son is on the autism spectrum, and 4-H gave him the opportunity to be a leader to his club and community. We love 4-H! — Lisa, parent of a 4-H member.
When I do 4-H, I feel like it’s a way to express my thoughts and feelings in a project. - Hannah, 12
It gives me responsibility and courage to do things in life. I learn things I didn’t know. It’s really fun to try out new projects and new things. - Haylee, 13
As a leader, it is always great to hear from my members’ teachers that they can tell who are 4-H members and who is not in their classes. The 4-H members can express themselves verbally, are very passionate in what they do, and their leadership skills. - Michelle, adult leader
A chance to experience before I choose my true goal in life. - Morgan, 12
To every educator, volunteer, parent, support staff, professional and 4-H member, I am GRATEFUL for you!!
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
Applications for 2018 State 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador are available and have been emailed. Please share this opportunity with 4-H members who are currently freshman, sophomores or juniors in high school and have an interest in healthy living. This program reaches beyond just eating right and moving more, but encompasses social, emotional and physical health.
Applications must be postmarked by December 15th to the State 4-H Office.
4-H Healthy Living Youth Ambassadors are an asset in accomplishing the goals and outcomes of the 4-H Healthy Living Mission Mandate. Oklahoma 4-H Youth Ambassadors will work closely with their fellow Healthy Living Ambassador Team members to plan and conduct an Oklahoma 4-H Healthy Living Summit, provide support and programming to local 4-H clubs and county programs and be a statewide advocate for 4-H Healthy Living.
The team will consist of six Oklahoma youth who will be selected from their applications to travel to the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit in Washington D. C. Participants will stay at the National 4-H Center and participate in educational workshops and complete a back-home action plan for promoting and conducting an Oklahoma 4-H Healthy Living Summit.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
We're excited to host the first-ever Oklahoma 4-H Night with the Oklahoma City Blue on Saturday, Jan. 6! Join fellow 4-H members from across the state at the Cox Convention Center to see the Blue take on the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League.
The game experience includes more than a night of pro basketball, as there will be healthy living programing throughout the game, and you'll receive an educational booklet with take-home lessons and activities. This is being offered to all 4-H members, leaders and families for a special price of $12 per person!
The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, December 15. Seats are available on a first-come first-serve basis, so please follow the instructions below to order your tickets today:
- Click here to purchase tickets: https://oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/okcnba/EN/link/promotion/home/3413f1678debd48299d5d0c2595b3d8e6f0457dc
- Log in to your Thunder account (if you have not purchased tickets before you will need to create an additional account even if you already have a Ticketmaster account)
- Enter the special offer code: OK4H
- After you complete your purchase, your tickets will be printed and mailed to you.
Got a group of 20 or more? Have any questions? Please feel free to reach out to Austin Ryan at 405.429.7740 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Oklahoma 4-H Foundation is excited to offer the 2nd annual Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar Essay Contest. Members ages 13 and older are invited and encouraged to enter this contest, sponsored by Dr. Ron and Linda Scholar.
Background - Dr. Ron Sholar spent three decades as a Cooperative Extension Specialist and Professor of Plant Science at Oklahoma State University. In addition to a career in Extension, he served in the US Army and Army Reserve for 39 years before retiring in 2010 as a Major General. Mrs. Linda Sholar spent her professional career as a kindergarten teacher in the Stillwater, OK, public school system where she was dedicated to instilling a life-long love of learning in her students
The Sholar's strongly support youth development programs that encourage the recognition of excellent communication skills critical for success.
Purpose - The purpose of the essay contest is to:
- Provide participants an opportunity to express themselves in regards to the impact of 4-H on their home state of Oklahoma and the influence of 4-H on them personally.
- Encourage the development of excellent skills of written expression.
Theme: "Because of 4-H, I can….."
Description, Prizes & Deadline: The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation will administer the inaugural Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar Essay Contest.
Essays will be judged by a selection committee with separate cash prizes awarded to the winners. First place cash prize of $500, $300 for second place and $200 for third.
The entry deadline for this contest is April 27, 2018. Entries postmarked by April 27th will be accepted. Essay contest winners will be selected and notified in May of 2018, and the formal presentation of award checks will be made during State 4-H Roundup.
Eligibility: The contest is open to all Oklahoma 4-H Members age 13 and older.
Format and Contents: All essays should be no less than 1,000 words and no more than 1,200 words, typed and double spaced. Include your name, age, address, telephone number, school, and grade as well as a statement from a parent, guardian or 4-H Educator certifying that the essay is your original work. The main selection criteria will be creativity and presentation of thought.
All entries are to be submitted to:
Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, Inc.
Attn: Sarah Dunn
205 4-H Youth Development Building
Stillwater, OK 74078-6063
Entries must be postmarked on or before the entry deadline of April 27, 2018. All entries become the property of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation.
Are you looking for an adventure and an opportunity to give back? The 2018 International Trip to Costa Rica slated for June 30-July 8 promises to be a jam-packed adventurous journey! 4-H members who will be 15 or older by June 30, 2018, are eligible to apply. Youth must be active 4-H members in good standing in their county and be able to participate in highly active excursions including kayaking, lots of walking, zip-lining, white water rafting and manual labor in a service project. Cost for youth is approximately $2800, and applications are being accepted now. Click here to access the website with the application and flyer. For more information, contact Cheryl Newberry.
The National Junior Master Gardener 4-H program has partnered with the WW1 Memorial Commission on a national service project for 4-H youth to be involved with building the WW1 Memorial. The Junior Master Gardener program is proud to promote this project because it ties to gardening!
Groups can make a donation of $64.99 and receive 60 poppy seed packets from the WW1 Memorial Commission. They can then sell the seeds to support their program. The recommended selling price is $2 per seed packet, which would generate $120. Basically the first dollar goes to fund the National WW1 memorial and the second dollar stays local for the 4-H club, school group, etc. to support their activities/programs.
We are promoting through all of our JMG groups and state partners, but this is open for any and all 4-H groups. It is a great opportunity for youth to learn more about WW1 while also being a part of a national service project. Many resources, learning experiences and details on how to participate in the poppy project can be found at the website below:
Groups can start now, but the big push is between Sept. 5 and October 20th. Representatives from 4 winning groups will be invited to experience an expense paid trip to the groundbreaking of the National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC in November.
The Mariee C. Wallace and the Leadership Development and Citizen Engagement (LDCE) is an educational effort of two partnering organizations: Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) and Oklahoma Home and Community Education, Inc. (OHCE). 4-H programming qualifies for grants as high as $1000. 4-H programming can be adult volunteer development, youth leadership/citizenship development, community development/service, etc.
LDCE grants are to provide seed money for emerging leaders to develop and refine leadership skills through specific training or by working on a project of importance to the community, neighborhood or county. The proposed project or training must foster leadership development and citizen involvement.
Prior to proposal submission, applicants should carefully consider the following selection criteria:
- Significance of need for leadership development - this need should be clearly described in the proposal
- Evidence of how emerging leaders will increase and/or enhance their leadership skills
- Evidence of collaboration among individuals or groups (i.e., school, 4-H, volunteer, and/or professional groups)
- Projected impact of leadership training and/or project
It is vitally important that each project proposal clearly indicate how leaders will be developed and/or how community projects will increase citizen involvement in addressing local problems. For more information: https://humansciences.okstate.edu/fcs/ohce/resources.html
Blast Off to Better Health, Special Clovers Camp will be held March 24 and 25th. The camp is open to 4-H members (8-17 years of age) with special needs. Campers will enjoy a full 4-H camp experience, complete with team-building exercises, outdoor activities, crafts and more!
4-H members (14-18 years of age) can also serve as a Clover Buddy to mentor campers. Clover buddies will arrive on March 23rd for training and camp preparation. Clover Buddies will also receive via conference call training prior to the camp.
Registration materials will be available February 1. Cost of the camp will be $15. The camp is supported through the Walmart Healthy Living grant.
For more information contact Cathy Allen.
4-H members 8th through 12th grade are invited along with 4-H educators and/or volunteers to spend two fun- filled days participating in hands-on activities, learning in interactive workshops and advocating for healthy Oklahoma youth. Topics to be presented include healthy living, citizenship projects, decision making, hunger, time management and more!
The Healthy Living Summit(HLS) will begin at 4 pm with registration on January 19th and conclude at 4:30 pm on January 20th. The HLS will be held at the Best Western Cimarron Hotel in Stillwater. Cost for the conference is $40, which includes hotel stay, three meals, snacks, workshop materials, take-home curriculum and a 4-H Heroes for Health shirt. Registration materials will be sent to county offices December 1.
Registration materials will soon be posted to the state 4-H website for the 2018 Oklahoma CWF Trip! Citizenship Washington Focus is a 4-H leadership program for high school youth. For six weeks of the summer, delegations of 15- to 18-year-olds from across the country attend this program at the National 4-H Conference Center, located just outside Washington, D.C. The program is aimed at enriching young people's lives by broadening their appreciation of themselves and others in the world. Participants attend workshops, committee meetings, field trips and social events for hands-on opportunities to learn and grow. Participants learn and practice skills that will make them better citizens and more successful individuals.
Oklahoma will attend CWF June 14-24, 2018. The trip will include visiting the St. Louis Arch, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and many sites in our nation's capital. Youth, ages 15 and older, are eligible to attend. For more information, please visit the state 4-H website at http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/national-events/citizenship-washington-focus-2/citizenship-washington-focus or email email@example.com
Registration materials and payment will be due to Ag Conferences by February 23, 2018.
New for 2018 - Please ONLY send money for the county delegate. If an alternate is chosen, the county will be notified and an invoice will be sent for the alternate's payment.
There is money available from the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation through the Rule of Law settlement for financial assistance for the Citizenship Washington Focus trip of up to $750. Applications are available on the website at: http://4h.okstate.edu/events-and-activities/national-events/citizenship-washington-focus-2/citizenship-washington-focus
Applications for the Rule of Law Travel Scholarships are due to the state 4-H office no later than January 19th, 2018. Due to delayed campus mail please mail 7-10 days before due date.
National 4-H Conference is a future-focused program that aims to build strong leaders through roundtable discussions, town hall meetings, group assemblies, and visits with national legislators. Being selected to represent our state at this conference is one of Oklahoma 4-H's highest honors. National 4-H Conference will be held in Washington, DC, April 7-12, 2018. Four youth will be selected to participate through a competitive application process. Attached is the informational cover letter and application. Application packets are due to the district offices December 15, 2017. Applicants will be notified in early January.
Date: February 16-17, 2018
Registration Due: February 1, 2018
Price: $45 per participant
$25 per Chaperone
Theme: Star Wars
Includes the new exhibit CurioCity, Planetarium, Science Live Show, Science Activity Tables and a fun-filled evening exploring the Science Museum.
Dress as your favorite Jedi Knight and jump to hyperspace as you head to a galaxy far, far away. Join SMO as we go deep into the science of light sabers and explore the forces of both Isaac Newton and Yoda! May the Forces be with you!
Who can attend?
Everyone! the science museum program is perfect for 8-12 year old youth, but every age seems to enjoy the evening. Since this is a non-competitive event, feel free to bring younger or older youth, brothers, sisters, cousins, even those really big kids (parents and chaperones) to enjoy an evening filled with science and fun. Families are always welcome to participate.
Each county group is responsible for the youth that attend from their county. We do not provide chaperones.
- Registration Form – Due February 1, 2018
- SMO Code of Conduct and Photo Release
For more information and registration go to:
The revised WWM Training for New Volunteers and Volunteers Being Re-certified has been posted at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-educators/volunteer-management-system/powerpoint-presentations. Please use the revised accompanying help sheet 4-H.VOL.122 Working with Minors (2017) when conducting training.
The system will be notified when online versions of Title IX and WWM are available.
The following excerpt was printed in the August edition of Focus on Youth.
WWM and Title IV & IX Training
The office of Institutional Diversity has approved our combined WWM and Title VII and IX training for volunteers.
- The two trainings have been merged for returning volunteers only. Volunteers will get ½ of each training every other year. Example: Odd year, training includes half WWM and half Title IX content. Even year, the volunteer gets the other half of each training. The recorded training will no longer be part of e-Xtension. The online training will be taken through 4HOnline.
On a regular interval all volunteers will be re-screened/re-certified. At that time, the veteran volunteer will complete both trainings in full, as if they were a new volunteer.
- New volunteers and staff cannot use these combined sessions for their annual training.
- We are working with the University to get the 4-H Youth Development WWM training uploaded to the OSU Talent site for annual training requirements.
- New volunteers must do both trainings the year they are being approved.
The program fee guide has been updated. Please download the 2017 version.
As you plan your promotion of your 4-H program, don’t forget the marketing resources on our website. There you will find templates, promotional materials, graphics and more. Click here: http://4h.okstate.edu/literature-links/marketing-resources/marketing-resources
The NIFA webpage and all of the resources related to 4-H Name and Emblem have been updated.
- 4-H Professional's Handbook (The handbook is designed to assist 4-H professionals to understand the 4-H Name and Emblem federal regulations that must be adhered to and to assist them in executing their role as both an authorized user and the authorizing entity within their limited geographic area.)
- NEW Quick Reference Checklists for Key Regulations.
- Training Resource for 4-H Professionals (10 minute self-study)
- 4-H Charter Fact Sheet
The final Thursdays at 3 pm for 2017 will be conducted December 14. Information shared and reviewed is pertinent to all staff with 4HOnline privileges (county manager and admin). Each webinar will be recorded for the convenience of your schedule and for future reference.
Adobe Connect http://dasnr.adobeconnect.com/fourhonline/
Sign up for National 4-H newsletters to stay connected with what's happening in 4-H. Get information about national youth events, programs and contests, read stories of youth impact, check out the latest curriculum, and buy 4-H apparel and club supplies. http://4-h.org/newsletters/#!features-panel-1
June 23, 2018 (Annually the fourth Saturday of June)
THEME: Volunteers - Superheroes of 4-H, UNITE!
Understand - Understanding your role in positive youth development
Nourish - Physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially nourish yourself and the youth and families we serve through the 4-H experience
Ignite - Light a spark of enthusiasm for the 4-H experience
Teach - Learning to learn and then passing along the interest to learning
Empower - Growing leaders - learning how to encourage, share and nurture leadership in a club, project group or committee
Workshop Applications will be made available in December.
State Volunteer Board, Karla Knoepfli
4-H Salute to Excellence Program
The State Volunteer Board encourages each county to honor and recognize the efforts of their volunteers. A county may submit one nominee for each of the two awards:
- Volunteer of the Year (less than 10 years of experience)
- Lifetime Volunteer Awards (an accumulation of 10 or more years of experience)
County nominee(s) will be recognized at the state awards luncheon on June 23, 2018, as part of the State Parent-Volunteer Conference.
The application form and guidelines for 2017 District and State volunteer awards is available at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-youth/awards/volunteer-recognitions.
Electronic nominations are due annually to the district 4-H office no later than 5:00 PM on or before March 14. Nomination includes volunteer resume, 3 letters of recommendations and an electronic photograph.
National Volunteer Month - April
National Volunteer Week - April 15-21, 2018 http://www.pointsoflight.org/signature-events/national-volunteer-week
Through programs such as the President's Volunteer Service Award, Daily Point of Light Award and the Extra Mile - Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, the Points of Light organization recognizes individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and government entities and the tremendous impact they are making on our country's most critical challenges year-round. Take action...
Share your stories - Tell us about the impact volunteers are having in your community or through your organization.
Learn more about these volunteer recognition programs and how to nominate volunteers for awards.
The National 4-H Volunteer e-forum incorporates the knowledge, experiences and resources of the national 4-H system to offer consistent, in-depth, relevant training for 4-H volunteers across the country. A webpage has been set up for Oklahoma Extension Educators.
The primary audience for the e-Forum is 4-H Volunteers who serve in a variety of roles such as club organizational leaders, project/subject leaders, committee members, and advisory boards. Youth volunteers are also welcome to attend the e-Forum programs. A secondary audience is 4-H Extension Professionals.
Three e-Forum sessions will be held the fall of 2017. Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. (Central time) and will conclude by 7:30 p.m. It is recommended that each site invite participants to arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the session.
4-H Volunteer e-Forums Site Locations
Please contact the site contact to register for a forum. Some sites have limited capacity. Date, time and location noted below.
Counties e-Form Contact/Coordinator Location Registration Deadline Comanche Dec. 7
Great Plains Technology Center
4500 W. Lee Blvd.
Bldg 100, Room 118 Auditorium
1 week prior Washita Dec. 7 Grady Dec. 7 Jackson Dec. 7 Major Dec. 7
Fairview Community Center, East Room
208 E. Broadway
2 days before Grant Dec. 7
112 E. Guthrie, Room 301
Bryan, Carter, Johnston, Love, Marshall Dec. 7
Murray State College
1 week prior Atoka, Choctaw, Coal, McCurtain, Pushmataha Dec. 7 Kiamichi Technology Center
1 week prior Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, Pittsburg Dec. 7
Frink Chambers Elementary School
1 week prior Hughes, Murray, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Seminole Dec. 7 Murray County Extension Office
1 week prior
Open to surrounding counties.
Dec. 7 3660 Gibson St.
1 week prior
2017 Topics and Schedule
December 7, 2017 - 6:00-7:30 PM (CT) - Helping 4-H'ers Grow in Life and Work
In 4-H, all youth can explore their future. Club meetings, events, camps, and after-school programs are places to develop life skills and expand their interests through 4-H. During this session volunteers will share ideas, receive resources, and see a variety of successful programs that help youth focus on lifelong learning, workforce readiness, and career exploration. Caring adults can help all young people make decisions and create their own positive future.
All due dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.