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,
Summer is flying by and it is hard to believe camps are over, the 96th State 4-H Roundup is in the books, school is underway and fair season is just around the corner!
County fairs are an iconic piece of Americana that have a rich history stretching back over several centuries. People embrace county fairs as an opportunity to set the rest of life aside and delve into the sights, sounds, and feelings that combine to create an experience that is unquestionably unique, while at the same time timeless and familiar, no matter where you are.
There are too many highlights of these jubilant celebrations to possibly name them all, but here are the top reasons we all love county fairs.
Tradition: In many ways, the county fair is a lot like Christmas. It comes only once a year, requires extensive advance preparation, is followed by a boisterous burst of gaiety and frivolity, and then it ends and life returns to normal. And, like any other holiday, the county fair is filled with family traditions that must be observed. Maybe you always watch the judging of the exhibits in the morning, then take the kids to hop on their favorite rides in the afternoon. Maybe you spend the evening roaming the gaily lit carnival and top off the night with a ride on the Ferris wheel. Maybe you all split up at the gate and only see each other briefly as you rush from one overpriced-but-exhilarating carnival game to the next. But whatever the tradition, the excitement and fun are always at the foundation.
Camaraderie: County fairs unite people. Friends and neighbors come together for a few days of carnival rides, competitions, food, and fun. If you attend the same county fair each year, it even starts to become a reunion of sorts - an annual gathering of the community clan - with the same exhibitors, judges, and fair officials all coming together year after year. You might catch up with some old friends that you don't see every day and have a chance to chat while absorbing the atmosphere of the fair, or you might find new friends among the exhibitors. You never know!
Competition: The stakes, in general, are low: You might win $3 for exhibiting a first place slice of pumpkin pie or hand-knit sweater, but the prestige that accompanies that humble blue ribbon goes a lot deeper than you might think.
Livestock: Whether you're exhibiting your own livestock or simply admiring all the animals, livestock shows are a definite highlight of any county fair. By strolling through the various livestock buildings and show rings, you can expect to encounter all kinds of animals ranging from horses and cows to rabbit and chickens and goats and sheep. It's a great chance to see and learn about breeds with which you might not be familiar, as well as a chance to see premium examples of livestock in all their show-ring glory.
Food: At the county fair, you can find an assortment of foods that are unlike those you can find anywhere else - at least not easily. Mounds of cotton candy in colors not naturally found in food? Bring it on. Lollipops as big as your five-year-old's face? Oh, yeah. Deep-fried delights? Yes, please! A fair is not the place to try to keep to a strict diet, or even eat in a remotely healthy style, but after all, it's only for a day or two, and it just wouldn't be fair if you didn't sample some of the available fare.
Carnival rides: With their flashing lights and loud, cheerful music, they set the stage for the event and lend a whimsical backdrop to counterbalance all the hard work and effort that goes on before and during the fair. Carnival rides give the young and young-at-heart a chance to step into a world of pure bliss and exhilaration as they swing around the merry-go-round and ascend the heights of the Ferris wheel.
Youth: At every county fair, you will find many young 4-H and FFA members intent on doing their best, wearing numbers pinned to their crisply ironed shirts, and running from stall to stall in the livestock barns readying their bovine, equine, or even caprine entries for the show ring. It's gratifying to watch these youngsters who have worked all year for this day and are ready to parade in front of the judges with their well-groomed projects. They're learning about showmanship, sportsmanship, and agriculture all at the same time, and that's a priceless award of its own.
Judging: Everyone gets a thrill out of watching the judging of exhibits. The excitement is palpable and the atmosphere so competitive that you have to give the judges respect for the skill it requires to weed the winning exhibits from those that are less than successful. These men and women know how to handle the competitions and the competitors, both of which can become pretty intense at times. Of course, the judges also get a thrill of their own, for they are the ones who get to divvy up the precious blue ribbons to the well-deserving recipients.
Exhibits: There's so much to see! There are posters and exhibits made by 4-H members, countless colored sketches created by elementary school students, photography exhibits, untold rows of vegetables, flowers, and exotic plants, woodcraft products, maple syrup, honey, oil paintings, handmade purses, jams, jellies, and a dazzling array of baked goods - all lovingly created with the goal of winning a prize at the county fair. It's easy to see the passion and effort that goes into each creation, and win or lose, you know the contestants have prepared an exhibit of which they can be proud.
To every educator, volunteer, parent, support staff, professional and 4-H member, I am GRATEFUL for you!!
See you at the Fair!
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES
The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation is excited to announce a new social media contest for Oklahoma counties! Generate awareness for the 4-H organization and promote your county 4-H program by sharing your county fair pictures on social media.
Participating is easy! Upload your county fair pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ShareYourCountyFair and tag @Oklahoma4h. Be sure to include your county name in the caption. The county with the most pictures posted on social media will win $1,500 for their county 4-H program. Click here for complete contest guidelines: http://okla.st/2uzgTF8
Attached is information for the 2017 three District Contests. Guidelines, dates and contact information are included in the brochure.
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
2017 State 4-H Judging Contest: Entomology, Crops, Horticulture, Consumer Decision Making, and 4-H Robotics
The State 4-H Judging Contest will be held Saturday, September 30th, on the campus of Oklahoma State University. There will be a $5.00 participant fee to cover the cost of awards and contest supplies. Medallions will be awarded to the top 3 teams and top 3 individuals in each contest. A minimum of 12 pre-registration participants are required for each contest to make.
9:30 am Judging 101 for all participants Track 5: 4-H Lego Robotics Team Competition 10 am-12 pm Track 1: Entomology Track 2: Horticulture Robot Build and Programming 12 pn-1:30 pm Lunch on your own 1pm-1:30 pm Judging 101 (repeated session for those not attending at 9:30 am Robotics Challenges 1:45-3:45 Track 3: Consumer Decision Making Track 4: Crops Challenges Continued Approximately 4 pm Awards Ceremony Awards Ceremony
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in either Track 1 or 2 during the morning and either Track 3 or 4 during the afternoon. Youth will not be able to compete in all four contests. Track 5 Robotics is a standalone contest for teams that will take the full day.
REGISTRATION: Registration must be postmarked on or before September 20th, 2017, and mailed to the State 4-H Office. Checks are to be made payable to 4-H Conferences. Registration forms were emailed on 8/9/17.
Robotics has been a late addition; competition information and forms will be emailed by 9/1/17.
For the 75th consecutive year, millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country will be celebrating National 4-H Week during the first full week of October. Oklahoma 4-H challenges local clubs to celebrate National 4-H Week this year by showcasing the incredible experiences 4-H offers young people and highlighting the remarkable 4-H youth across the state.
This year’s theme is #TrueLeaders. National 4-H Week will be a great opportunity to showcase the exceptional leaders in 4-H. Additionally, this is a week to recognize how 4-H has made leaders in our 4-H alumni. Share how 4-H has made #TrueLeaders in your communities by showcasing them on social media. Tag your posts with #TrueLeaders and #OK4H.
The National 4-H Council has provided all the resources clubs need to promote and celebrate National 4-H Week. From flyers and radio PSAs, to social media content and even a Snapchat filter, the National 4-H Week toolkit has everything you need to make this week a success. You must create an account on the website, but it is a quick and easy process. From there you will have access to all the marketing resources from National 4-H. 4-H Week Toolkit Website: http://4-h.org/professionals/marketing-resources/4-h-week-toolkit
4-H National Youth Science Day is the world's largest youth-led science experiment. Every year thousands of youth take part in the National Science Challenge focusing on important STEM topics and issues. This year's NYSD event will take place on October 4, 2017.
The 2017 event "Incredible Wearables" is a fun way for youth to build wearable fitness trackers.
For more information or to order a kit go to: http://4-h.org/parents/national-youth-science-day/
NYSD Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBL6jkBIii0
Register your event:
Youth guides and resources: http://4-h.org/parents/national-youth-science-day/#!guides-resources
Oklahoma 4-H will be taking delegates to the 2018 Western National Roundup in Denver, Colorado, on January 4-7, 2018. 4-H members must have passed their 14th birthday to be eligible to participate. Delegates are usually freshmen in high school and older. Counties often award this trip to 4-H members for their outstanding 4-H career. Details and registration will be going to the county OSU Extension centers in the near future.
4-H members will participate in social and educational program, experience and develop greater personal growth and experience and develop greater personal growth. Tours of the Denver area or a ski trip are part of the conference.
Save the Date: February 16-17, 2018
State Office Registration Deadline: January 30, 2018
More information coming soon!
The 4-H enrollment packets for youth and adults have been revised for the 2017-18 program year. A committee of experienced support staff and educators from each district provided leadership to this process.
Do not use any enrollment form not dated for the 2017-2018 4-H year.
We continue to encourage all counties to transition to family management of their own enrollment, by entering and updating information directly in the 4HOnline system. This process will save valuable staff time inputting information.
June 22nd Trisha Gedon sent out an issue of "Clover Connection" for the July county newsletter. The content focused on re-enrolling. This suggestion came from the committee.
- New - Oklahoma 4-H program fee must be paid within 30 days of enrollment.
- Enrollment Packet pages 5-8 (Health Form) - Same as last year, the Health Form is not required, but strongly encouraged.
- Paper Form - The family is to keep pages 9 the Code of Conduct and page 10 the Informed Consent, Voluntary Waiver, Release of Liability & Assumption of Risks.
- Adult Re-Enrollment Form - Same as last year, form can only be used by certified volunteers re-enrolling. We encourage online enrollment, over paper enrollment so the volunteer becomes familiar with the system and can help families with online enrollment.
- Health Form - Same as last year, not required, but strong encouraged.
- New Volunteers - Same as last year, NO paper enrollment. These individuals must enroll through 4HOnline as they have screening information to complete. Staff are NOT to enter enrollment for a New Volunteer.
- Teen Volunteers The application has been updated and posted online. As a reminder,"If interested in working with 4-H youth as a teen leader, a project or activity leader, a camp counselor, workshop instructor, district or state 4-H officer or in any situation that is unsupervised by staff or a certified volunteer, ..." the teen must be a certified 4-H teen volunteer.
- Staff Serving as a Certified Volunteer - We will no longer collect Form 6 for OSU or Langston Staff serving as certified volunteers. The information is now contained in the enrollment packet/online.
- Youth Participation Form 1 and Adult Medical Form 4 are now formatted the same.
- Form 2 Rx Medication: There is no longer a Prescriptions Medication Form 2. It has been merged with Form 1 at the encouragement of a University Attorney.
- Form 5 and 6 RISK and RELEASE OF CLAIMS, PUBLICITY RELEASE FOR USE WITH NON-CERTIFIED 4-H VOLUNTEERS: The two forms have been merged. Form 5 is to be used with Non-Certified Volunteers (employees and/or citizens) assisting with 4-H programming.
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.
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
All webinars take place at 1 pm CST
September 12, 2017 - What's happening around the world? (global citizenship)
By Chesley Davis, CEC 4-H Agent, University of Georgia
Extension educators and youth from around the world met in Ottawa, Canada in July at the 4-H Global Summit. Speakers and workshop presenters came from across the US and Canada as well as Finland, Scotland, Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica, and Pakistan. Each day focused on a specific topic: 1) Community engagement and communications; 2) science and technology; 3) sustainable ag and food security; 4) the environment and healthy living. Learn much more about this event and about how you can get involved in future global 4-H summits.
November 7, 2017 - Put kids and politicians in the same room and watch what happens: State and local government youth development programs (domestic citizenship)
By Darren Bagley, Extension Educator, Michigan State University
You will hear about three citizenship programs in Michigan:
Citizenship Academy - In most K-12 educational programs, youth learn a great deal about federal government, a small bit about state government, and very little about local or tribal government. Citizenship Academy teaches young people about county and/or tribal governments. We connect high school-age students with county and/or tribal leaders. Activities include touring and meeting with department leaders, locally elected officials. Then, the youth go through an issues identification process and present their recommendations to the elected officials.
Youth Conservation Council - A statewide group of young people select an environmental topic and present it to a state senate committee. The entire process is driven by the youth. Youth select the topic, run the meetings, gather the research, write the paper, and perform the presentation. The work of these young people has changed the laws of the state.
Capitol Experience - Youth learn about state government. They are divided into issues groups, roughly correlating to state committees and then the youth visit state agencies, lobbyists, legislative aides, and community organizations related to their topic.
The National 4-H Volunteer e-forum will incorporate 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.
Attention Site Facilitators - Registration is now open for the training on September 20 from 1-2:30 pm. You must be registered if hosting an e-Forum. Please visit http://4-h.org/professionals/professional-development/ to register and learn more.
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.
2017 Topics and Schedule
October 5, 2017 - 6:00-7:30 PM (CT) - Cultivating an Environment for Growing True Leaders
Creating an environment where 4-H members feel safe as they grow and develop leadership skills means having volunteers who understand the basics of positive youth development. This session will feature ideas and activities that help foster life skill development by focusing on strategies for more effective club interactions. Participants will learn about the Essential Elements of 4-H and the 5 C's of positive youth development, so join us to set the stage for more successful club meetings!
November 2, 2017 - 6:00-7:30 PM (CT) - "STEM"ming into Animal Science, Growing True Leaders
Build on the roots of 4-H as we STEM our way into agriculture and animal science for experienced and new 4-H'ers. Gain resources to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) leaders through traditional animal sciences project areas in communities. Volunteers will gain ideas for planning and organizing fun, educational sessions for youth.
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.