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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Ohio 4-H Highlights: December 2021

  1. Ohio youth attend National 4-H Congress

    Large block letters that say "Welcome 4-H National Congress 2021".

    On the day after Thanksgiving, 44 4-H members traveled to Atlanta for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. National 4-H Congress is an educational program focused on leadership, and it makes a lasting impact on participants. In Ohio, youth who win an Ohio 4-H Achievement Award are selected to attend.

    Allie Carter, 4-H member from Fairfield County, shared her experience. “It was great to meet people from all over the country. I loved learning how 4-H is different in other states, but also how much we all have in common. By the end of the week, I felt connected to The group who attended Congress dressed up for the gala.everyone and didnt want to leave!”

    When Kaylee Sharp, Fairfield County 4-H member, was asked about her favorite part of the experience, she said, “At National 4-H Congress, I not only got the opportunity to meet youth from 37 different states, but also to listen to some amazing speakers. My favorite lesson was from Emmanuel Ohonme of Samaritan’s Feet. He said, ‘We always have the chance to make our choices, but we seldom have the chance to pick our consequences. So be careful with the choices you make.’ Dan Clark, a motivational speaker said, The Ohio delegation at their group service project.‘Your life matters now, because if not now, when? And most importantly, what are you going to do that makes that determination?’ ”

    Thanks to our generous supporters who help make this experience possible. If you want to support programs like National 4-H Congress, donate here.

  2. Teens experience Puerto Rican culture

    A group of youth hiking in Puerto Rico.

    Ten 4-H teens traveled to Puerto Rico last month for an eight-day immersive experience that gave them the opportunity to learn more about the culture and landscape of the country.

    The group spent part of their time in the mountain town of Castañer and the rest in the capital of San Juan. Each location provided unique experiences for the 4-H members.

    Since the trip took place during Thanksgiving, members joined Puerto Rican families for Thanksgiving dinner, where they enjoyed both familiar food and Puerto Rican dishes.

    A group of people in front of a bright green house-like building holding baskets of freshly harvested coffee beans.During the trip, the group hiked in the mountains and toured a farm where they learned how coffee is grown, harvested, and processed. They also had the opportunity to meet with local 4-H members.

    Team building and personal development were important aspects of the trip, according to Steve Brady, 4-H educator from Warren County who has been leading cultural immersion trips to Puerto Rico since 2015. “This was the quietest group I’ve ever had,” he said. “But by day three or four, they were laughing constantly.” The group developed close ties by stepping out of their comfort zone to explore new areas,A group of people drumming. by working together to cook dinner, and sharing evening reflections.

    Brady plans to continue hosting the immersion trip each year. For more information, contact Steve Brady at

  3. Shaping the future of Ohio 4-H

    A group of Cloverbuds tie-dying shirts.

    Across the state of Ohio, 4-H clubs are getting Cloverbuds involved with hands-on activities.

    In Knox County, 4-H educator Jana Mussard coordinated five Cloverbud Saturdays, where activities were based on a book. After reading the book, children rotated through different stations with hands-on experiences. One of the most popular activities allowed children to make their own bubble solution. “These programs are a great way to introduce children to 4-H,” said Mussard.

    The Cloverbud program is designed for children between the ages of 5 and 8A young girl reading The Rainbow Fish. and provides them with the opportunity to participate in fun, age-appropriate activities with their peers. This gives children the opportunity to make new friends and encourages them to become 4-H members when they are older. Reading Adventures is a program available to all 4-H volunteers and Cloverbud leaders. Please look here for more information

    3 girls pressing apples for apple juice.In Franklin County, Cloverbuds enjoyed a Fall Fun Day with seasonal activities. Cloverbuds pressed their own apples for apple juice and painted pumpkins. They also wrote what they were thankful for and decorated jars to look like turkeys. 

    A group of kids painting pumpkins.

  4. You can make a difference before the year ends!

    Two kids learning from a teenager about rabbits.

    Help us start the spark that kindles experience, service, and knowledge among Ohio 4-H youth. Planning your year-end giving? Don’t forget to include Ohio 4-H. A gift to Ohio 4-H is an investment in our youth and our community’s future. Where can your gift be applied?

    You can also mail your gift by completing a giving form and enclosing a check with the fund number written on it to:

    The Ohio State University Foundation
    P.O. Box 710811
    Columbus, OH 43271-0811

    Gifts to Ohio 4-H will qualify for a tax deduction in this calendar year, so any donation made before Dec. 31 is deductible for 2021. Thank you for supporting Ohio 4-H Youth Development!

  5. Faces of Ohio

    Cindy Hartman

    Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alumnus. They have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month we feature Cindy Hartman, retired school superintendent and Hocking County 4-H alumnus.

    Hartman’s experience in 4-H was a picture-perfect representation of how 4-H can have a lifelong impact. She began her 4-H career when she was 10 and continued as a member until she was 18. “Most of that time was spent taking sewing projects, A sewing project in progress.but I also took some cooking projects. Early on, our club went to the state fair to present a play we developed on littering.” 

    After her high school graduation, she still wanted to be involved, and she served as a club advisor.

    Hartman’s favorite 4-H memories are like those of many alumni. “I attended 4-H camp every year at Tar Hollow, then became a junior counselor and later senior camp counselor,” she said. “The Hocking County Fair was also a big part of 4-H, where I served as a Junior leader and a Junior Fair Board member.”

    These experiences and the adults she worked with made an impact on her. “As I think back, I remember all the adults who were a huge influence on us and encouraged us to take on real responsibilities like teaching leadership skills. This included leading meetings, running camps, and the county fair!”

    Even though she learned many skills during her time in 4-H, Hartman did not hesitate to share the most important thing she gained from 4-H. “The leadership skills influenced me later in life as I became a teacher, principal, and school A young girl dressed up for Halloween in a yellow dress, holding a basket with teddy bears.superintendent. I learned the importance of working with others to take on responsibilities and complete tasks, of course, while having lots of fun! I still have lifelong friends from our time spent together in 4-H.”

    While Hartman isn’t actively involved in 4-H anymore, she gives back to the program by encouraging her daughter’s involvement. And she still uses an important skill she learned in 4-H. “I continue to sew, especially for my grandkids, making quilts and holiday costumes!”

    Hartman offered this advice to 4-H’ers: “I encourage them to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. The friends you makeLeft to right: a young man, an older man, an older woman, a young woman, and in front of them are a young boy and girl. They are standing on the beach in front of the ocean. will be lifelong friends, and the possibilities available to you are unlimited, from the county fair to the state fair to worldwide opportunities.”

    Fun fact: Hartman’s daughter, Emily Kruse, is the executive director of development for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Emily got her passion for 4-H from her mom and is thrilled to now help raise funds for the program.

  6. Calendar of events

    A holiday lights display

    Dec. 4 to Jan. 1, 2022, Wood County 4-H Lights Up the Holiday Tour (Wood County)—4-H families across Wood County have decorated the outside of their homes for the holidays. Enjoy the holiday lights from Dec. 4 to Jan. 1, 2022. Check out this Google map with specific locations.

    Dec. 21, Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk and Conifer Tour (Columbus)—4:30 p.m. Start your solstice celebration with a tour of the Chadwick Arboretum Conifer Collection before joining us for the annual Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk! Walking the candlelit labyrinth in Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens is a peaceful way to welcome winter. We will have an open fire, roasted chestnuts, and hot cocoa to warm you inside and out. Note: While this event is free, parking in a nearby parking lot is about $2.25/hour, payable by credit card. This event will cancel in the event of heavy rain/bad weather. Please check the Chadwick website for cancellation updates.

    March 26, 2022, 4-H Camp Piedmont Benefit (New Philadelphia)—4 p.m. Mark your calendars for an exciting event to help Camp Piedmont! Camp Piedmont was hit hard due to not being able to have camps in 2020 and having only limited camps in 2021. Camp is also in desperate need of multiple repairs. We know how much Camp Piedmont means to you, and we need your help to keep the traditions going. Its time to give back to the place that gave you so many wonderful 4-H memories and experiences. Make plans now to attend the benefit in March, but if you cant go, you can help in other ways. Contact the Extension offices in Belmont, Carroll, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Noble, or Tuscarawas counties.