What is the Buzz about 4-H in the Summertime?

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Yadkin County 4-H is always buzzing with exciting programs throughout the year, but summertime always seems to be the most action packed! Our youth are always doing something whether that be going on trips, attending educational programs, or competing in competitions. Our 4-H’ers cannot keep still! Let’s take a look at what Yadkin County 4-H’ers have achieved this summer already.

One of the most life long beneficial competitions we offer in the summer is our 4-H Presentation competition. 4-H Presentations are a huge part of North Carolina 4-H. It is one of the most successful ways to help a young person learn how to do a public speech. It focuses on members teaching others what they know about a particular project/subject matter. This year, submissions were sent into the state 4-H office virtually. In early June, Yadkin County 4-H had five youth that competed in 4-H Presentations on the county and district levels and all five are going to the state competition. Those competitors are Sydney Tucker (District Silver, 17) with a presentation on Photography, Skylar Kimmer (District Gold, 14) with a presentation on Entomology, Griffin Taylor (District Gold, 14) with a presentation Bat Conservation, Reece Jones (District Gold, 13) with a presentation on Dairy Foods, and Lola Wilbanks (District Gold, 11) with a presentation on Peanut Foods. As you can tell by the topics of these presentations, 4-H’ers can present on a wide range of topics in this competition!

Starting June 1, Yadkin County 4-H started offering our annual Summer Fun programs. Some of our events were in-person and others virtual. As for our virtual programs, we had Painting with an Artist where youth learned how to paint from an artist, Just Grow It where youth learned how to a garden, Chef and the Child where youth learned how to make kid-friendly recipes with real chefs, and Junior Master Chef: Preserving Edition where youth learned how to preserve foods. We also offered two in-person programs. One program was called Dairy Day and youth learned about dairy cows and dairy products. We also had a 4-H STEM Day where youth got to engage in fun experiments and other STEM activities. We are also hosting one more program called “4-H’ers Walking for a Better Community” where youth will be performing a walkability audit in the town of Yadkinville in late July.

Youth conducting an experiment at 4-H STEM Day

Youth conducting an experiment at 4-H STEM Day

North Carolina 4-H Citizenship Focus is a great trip for youth to learn about how to be more actively engaged in their communities. This is a three-day conference where delegates participate in facilitated discussions and activities related to the importance of advocacy, local government, state government, and action planning. Through various conference sessions, delegates learn from leaders across the state and from other conference attendees. This year, this event was held virtually on June 14th-16th. Yadkin County 4-H was represented by Skylar Kimmer and Sydney Tucker who learned how to better their own communities.

Youth also got to show off their sewing skills at the North Central District 4-H Fashion Revue. This is where youth sew a garment that they can wear and model to judges. Youth had to submit their entries virtually and were judged by a panel of judges on their sewn garments and on their interview abilities. Yadkin County 4-H had three participants this year including Skylar Kimmer with a skirt (Senior-3rd Place), Reece Jones with an apron, and Lola Wilbanks with a dress entry (Junior-2nd Place).

Junior division 2nd place

Junior Division 2nd place

Another program one of our 4-H’ers did this year was AIRE. AIRE stands for Application, Resume, Interview, and Electronic–Video and is a workforce development and college prep program. This is a great opportunity for youth to develop crucial skills that will help them in their employment one day. This program also gives youth the chance to win fully paid trips to 4-H events across the country. This year, in early July, we had one 4-H’er, Sydney Tucker, complete this program and we are awaiting her results. 

Camp is yet another event where 4-H’ers get the chance to partake in the summertime. 4-H Camps are for ages 8-14 and are designed to help youth gain independence, learn about nature, take part in physical activities, learn healthy lifestyles, and just have fun. Our Yadkin County youth had the chance to attend Betsy Jeff-Penn 4-H Camp during July 4–9. These youth got to rock climb, swim, archery, ride horses, go fishing, canoe, and so much more!

4-H Camp

4-H Camp

North Carolina 4-H Electric Congress is another trip that 4-H offers to youth every year. The 4-H Electric Program is a hands-on youth program conducted by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and its professional 4-H agents and volunteer adult leaders around the state. Youth learn about the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism, renewable energy technologies, and energy conservation. Youth learn many life skills while participating in this program, but also generate more enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). To be able to attend this trip, youth must submit an electric project and be selected to attend this program. This year, Yadkin County 4-H had three youth attendees for this event. Our representatives were Sydney Tucker who created an electric portfolio, Griffin Taylor who submitted a project record book on electric, and Reece Jones who also submitted a project record book on electric. At this one-day event on July 13th, youth learned about careers in electric, completed a soldering project, learned about more they can do in the 4-H electric program, and received awards for their efforts.

Learning about being a lineman

Learning about being a lineman

North Carolina 4-H Congress is the last major 4-H event we have for the summer. This is an event where teenage 4-H’ers come together from the 100 counties and EBCI in North Carolina to learn about leadership, citizenship, and even community service. At this event, youth will improve knowledge of current issues through educational experiences such as speakers, discussion groups, workshops, etc. This year, like many of our events, was held virtually. Yadkin County 4-H was represented by three of our Yadkin County 4-H Teen Council members including Sydney Tucker, Bryson Helton, and Skylar Kimmer. These youth attended award ceremonies, workshops, participated in community service, helped elect the 2021-2021 State 4-H Officer Team, and got to meet other 4-H’ers from around the state.

NC 4-H Congress

NC 4-H Congress

As you can tell, there are so many ways to be involved in our 4-H program! 4-H is free to join and is for ages 5-18. If you would like to know more about 4-H in Yadkin County and see what you can do in this program, please contact Madaline Jones, 4-H Youth and Development Extension Agent, at madaline_jones@ncsu.edu or call at 336-849-7908.

As seen in the Yadkin Ripple July 29