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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Ohio 4-H Highlights: June 2021

  1. Building future leaders

    A group of campers holding a sign that says "Thank you!"

    Ohio 4-H is building future leaders one camper at a time.

    Since 1946, 4-H members ages 15-18 from across Ohio converge at the Ohio 4-H State Leadership Camp for one week each summer to build friendship networks and learn leadership skills that will carry them through high school and into college or into the workforce equipped to become young leaders in today’s society.

    Even the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders last summer didn’t stop the camp. They went virtual instead, said Hannah Epley, interim associate state 4-H leader and Ohio State University Extension specialist for camping and older youth.

    “At last year’s virtual camp, students were still able to connect with their peers virtually and able to gain valuable leadership experience,” she said. “We wanted to be able to still offer students an experience toOhio 4-H leadership campers line dancing. connect and enhance their skills and provide a positive experience for them, something that took on even more importance as many were managing school, the pandemic and other things going on in their world.”

    This year Ohio 4-H State Leadership Camp was back in-person and held at 4-H Camp Ohio. During camp, students explore six critical leadership skills and are encouraged to try new things without fear of failure. Students are also provided opportunities to allow them to experience personal growth, and the chance to learn new ideas and methods to help them strengthen their local 4-H programs.

    “I’ve witnessed campers develop their leadership abilities at camp and then observed them implementing these skills in their local communities,” Epley said. “We’re proud to offer these life-changing experiences for our youth.”

    FoZach and Bo working on an activity together.r Bo Wolford, 4-H leadership camp resulted in a statewide network of new friends and confidence to use his newfound skills to take on a leadership role in his local Junior Fair Board and his local 4-H camp as a camp counselor.

    “These leadership skills will also help me in college and make sure I get a higher paying job in diesel mechanics after graduation,” he said.

    For Zach Romero, the best thing about 4-H leadership camp was taking the fear out of meeting new people and building skills he was able to take back to McComb High School in Northwest Ohio.

    “Being a senior, you have to show leadership to underclassmen, so you don’t make bad choices that could influence younger students,” Romero said. “Plus, these leadership qualities– responsibility, planning, and discipline– arCampers preparing for an archery session at camp.e beneficial in the workforce and college.

    “For those who think leadership camp is boring, it’s not. I instead had the time of my life and made a lot of friends and had a great opportunity to learn new things and have new experiences.”

  2. Still time to support 4-H Camp Buckeye Funder

    3 candles sitting next to each other featuring labels designed by 4-H youth. There are red flowers around the candles as well as ferns.

    With the Send S’more Kids to Camp Buckeye Funder campaign half over, supporters should get their donations in soon. There’s still time for you to support 4-H camp and receive an exclusive candle.

    “If alumni and friends of 4-H are reading this, I want them to think about the relationships they’ve made because of 4-H camp and the person camp allowed them to be,” said Gretchen, Ross County 4-H member, “4-H camp needs your support.” A group of campers at Tar Hollow.

    4-H Camp is back this summer, but keeping campers safe means fewer campers this year, and as a result, less income for camps. After a year of being closed, this is financially challenging for our 4-H camp facilities.

    Send S’more Kids to Camp is an online fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $15,000 to support twelve 4-H camps, including Tar Hollow in southern Ohio, Gretchen’s home camp.

    Tar Hollow holds a very special place in Gretchen’s life. Her mother previously worked at the camp as a lifeguard and her father worked in the kitchen. Gretchen has been camping at Tar Hollow since she was a Cloverbud and has only missed one year of camp during her 4-H career. She has been a camp counselor for four years, also attended Sea Camp at Kelleys Island, Ohio 4-H Leadership Camp at 4-H Camp Ohio, and she will be attending Camp Canopy this month. 

    Tar Hollow is the home of 4-H camping programs for Athens, Fairfield, Pickaway, and Ross counties. Over the span of their camping programs, more than 800 campers and 375 counselors attend camp at Tar Hollow.

    Gretchen keeps coming back as a counselor because of the community she has built at Tar Hollow, saying that it feels like a family there. “You just have to be there. The smell of Tar Hollow is different. Waking up there is great, and it feels like home!”A view of the main activity area at Tar Hollow. Kids can be seen in the distance.

    The campaign concludes on July 14. If you donate $150 or more, you will receive an exclusive candle with a s’more or campfire scent, featuring special labels designed by Ohio 4-H members. Don’t miss out on this one-time opportunity!

    Show your support by donating at or establishing a larger gift through the Ohio 4-H Foundation. You can also share your support by using #SmoreKids2Camp on your social media pages. For details, contact Crystal Ott at or 614-688-1454.

  3. Ohio recognizes 4-H Achievement Award winners

    A teenage girl in front of plaques and ribbons.

    On June 9, the Ohio 4-H Foundation hosted the virtual Ohio 4-H 2021 Achievement Awards Recognition event. Achievement Awards recognize an individual’s accomplishments in a specific project area. More than 290 Ohio 4-H Achievement Records were reviewed for these awards. Applicants complete a comprehensive record form detailing their 4-H project work, participation in 4-H events and activities, honors, community service, leadership and more.  They also write a short essay sharing how 4-H contributed to their personal development, leadership skills, and career plans. Twenty-eight award winners will attend the National 4-H Congress with youth from all over the country in November in Atlanta. In addition, two 4-H members were selected for the National Dairy Conference and two youth received the Ohio Township Association Local Government Award in recognition of outstanding community service and involvement in local government. The 4-H representatives to the Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board were also announced. A full list of award winners and sponsors is available.


  4. CFAES Alumni Award Nominations Due

    The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni Awards nominations now open!

    Do you know 4-H alumni who were also College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences graduates?  Consider nominating alumni and friends for the 2022 CFAES Alumni Awards.

    Deadline is June 30, 2021, for all nominations for the 2022 awards. 

    The CFAES Alumni Awards are given annually in four categories:

    • The Meritorious Service Award gives public recognition to non-alumni and/or alumni of the college who have been singularly significant in the college’s quest for excellence.
    • The Distinguished Alumni Award gives public recognition to those who have brought distinction to themselves and the college at large through their participation, commitment, and leadership.
    • The International Alumni Award is presented to outstanding international agriculture alumni representing, supporting, and promoting the college and The Ohio State University across the globe.
    • The Young Professional Achievement Award recognizes alumni for their early professional accomplishments. This award provides recognition for these individuals and serves as a stimulus toward further efforts by younger alumni. Honorees are to be no more than 35 years of age at the time of the award ceremony.

    The award winners will be recognized at a celebration in March 2022.  

    Please note that once you enter the webform you will not be able to save your progress, so we advise compiling nominations in a separate document and copying them into the webform.

    Don't delay! Nominate a deserving colleague or former classmate before time runs out on June 30.

    Nominate Today!

  5. Faces of Ohio 4-H

    Cindy Folck

    Each month we highlight a 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 Folck PhD, 4-H alumna from Michigan, and the State Program Leader for Agriculture & Natural Resources at Central State University Extension.

    Dr. Cindy Folck grew up in the Michigan 4-H program, but her experience was much like that of Ohio 4-H’ers. “I was in 4-H for 10 years in Livingston County, Michigan. My main projects were beef cattle and sheep, A teenage girl holding the halter of a steer. There are two teenage boys standing behind the steer, one is holding a trophy.and I also took livestock judging, meats judging, public speaking, sewing, food and nutrition, small engines, beekeeping, and others. I was involved with the statewide 4-H livestock projects team as a youth representative, involved with Michigan 4-H Livestock Expo, and was honored to represent Michigan in the beef project to the National 4-H Club Congress and National 4-H Conference.” Not only was Dr. Folck busy with 4-H, so were her parents. “My mom and dad were 4-H leaders for 50 years, so they were very involved.” A young lady with a sheep in front of a flag with a 4-H clover.

    During Dr. Folck’s time in 4-H, she learned a lot from the many projects she took. It taught her skills she has used in her life and career.  “4-H gave me the confidence to take on new projects and opportunities. Starting my career in agriculture in the early 1990's, I was the only woman, or only one of a few, in many of the places where I worked. 4-H gave me the confidence in myself to be successful in my career.”

    “When I graduated from Michigan State with an agricultural communication degree, my experience with meats and livestock judging were key to my work in the meats industry. The knowledge and skills were vital and certainly helped my career.” 

    Her favorite 4-H memory took her even farther north. “I was honored to be one of six representatives from the U.S. to attend the Canadian 4-H Conference in Toronto. It was a great to experience 4-H through an A group of youth in front of a banner. international lens.”

    Since graduating from the program, Dr. Folck continued her involvement with 4-H. “I'm employed with Central State University Extension here in Ohio and look forward to being involved as we work with underserved, underrepresented youth to gain leadership and skills from 4-H programming.” She shared some advice for current 4-H’ers, “Take advantage of the opportunities 4-H offers outside of just taking a project to the county fair. Being involved with statewide opportunities will give you a network of people who will be a help as you move into your career.”

  6. Calendar of events

    Someone marking a date on a wall calendar.

    June 23 – Senior Scams Webinar (Zoom) – 11 a.m. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to fraud and scams; however many incidents likely go unreported. Learn more about the latest scams targeting our senior population, and find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones. The program is hosted by Jefferson County Extension and the Office of the Ohio Attorney General. Learn more about registering.

    June 23 – Fish to Fork: Grillin’ in the Great Lakes (Zoom) – 1 p.m. Preparing fish at home may seem intimidating, but you can do it! Seafood is an important and nutritious source of protein we can all benefit from in our diets. This webinar will show you how to choose, prepare and grill seafood kebabs using trout, catfish, and shrimp so you can take advantage of great seafood in the Great Lakes. You’ll also learn important food safety information, from buying, storing, and preparing fish and other seafood safely to putting away your leftovers properly. Learn more about registering.

    June 27 – 4-H Craft and Vendor Show (Hicksville) – 10:00 a.m. Defiance County 4-H and Junior Fair are hosting a craft and vendor show at the Defiance County Fairgrounds to raise funds for junior fair projects. Learn more about the craft show.

    June 29 – Food Preservation Basics (Zoom) – 4 p.m. Are you interested in learning about food preservation? Join us for these free webinars. Learn more about registration.

    July 10 – Educational Dairy Tour (Bellville) – 10 a.m. Spend the morning and early afternoon with the Morrow County Dairy Association at a working dairy farm where you will get a free hands-on educational tour. Delicious dairy treats will be provided. Read more about this event. Please RSVP by June 25th to OSU Extension Morrow County at 419-947-1070.

    July 28 – Conservation Chat: Oh, Crap! (Jeromesville) – 6 p.m. Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is joining with Holmes, Wayne and Richland Soil and Water Conservation Districts to host Conservation Chats: Oh, Crap! on July 28. This is going to be a fun, hands-on event focused on helping small and hobby farmers — from 4-H and FFA members to our local Amish producers — start thinking about manure management. As a bonus, Ashland SWCD will be providing fun, free T-shirts from the event to all participating 4-H and FFA members. The Conservation Chat: Oh, Crap! event is free, and includes dinner, but pre-registration is required. Attendees can register by calling the Ashland SWCD office at 419-281-7645 or by visiting The event will take place at Valley Vista Farm at 1567 County Road 175, Jeromesville and will begin promptly at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Ashland SWCD at 419-281-7645 or visit