Ohio 4-H Highlights : September 2019

  1. Join us for Celebration of Youth

    Guests at the 2018 Celebration of Youth.

    Since 1998, Celebration of Youth has been an annual fundraiser supporting Ohio 4-H Youth Development programming and operations. The evening celebrates all 4-H has to offer and will be held at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Saturday, October 12. 

    Katie Smith playing basketball for Ohio State.This year’s Celebration features a special 4-H alumna who will share her passion for Ohio 4-H.  Katie Smith, former Ohio State University basketball player, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and one of the most decorated professional basketball players of all time, got her start as a 4-H member in Hocking County. Katie will share her story and the importance of the skills 4-H members learn as youth that they take with them for a lifetime. 

    Come join us and support the Ohio 4-H Youth Development program. For ticket and sponsorship information contact ohio4hfoundation@osu.edu.  Registration closes September 30. 

    Silent Auction at the event.

    If you are unable to attend but would like to support the event, go here to make an online donation.

    Event is sponsored by the Ohio 4-H Foundation.


  2. A Day in the Life with NFL player Avery Williamson

    Avery Williamson with Franklin County 4-H’er Joyona.

    Be sure to watch this video of Franklin County 4-H’er Joyona with NFL player Avery Williamson and her visit to Avery’s family farm in Tennessee. Avery, a 4-H alumnus, is excited to share his experience growing up with a young person who loves 4-H as much as he does.



    A special thanks to Nationwide for sponsoring this video.

  3. Special Flag Flown at Ohio Military Kids Camp

    Campers at Ohio Military Kids Camp folding the flag.

    Flag ceremonies are a regular part of 4-H camp traditions, but the flag flown this year at Ohio Military Kids (OMK) camp had a special meaning.

    Last September, a flag was sent to Ohio Military Kids Project Director Dr. Theresa Ferrari, 4-H Extension Specialist. Accompanying the flag was a certificate indicating the flag “was flown in your [Ohio Military Kids] honor during a combat mission by America’s Leading Task Force with pride, on a Special Operations aircraft over Afghanistan,” as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The certificate was signed by then Senior Airman (now Staff Sergeant) Jacob Michael, who had attended OMK Camp at Kelleys Island for six years, first as a camper and then as a counselor. It was only fitting that the flag flew over camp in August. “It’s awesome to see that I can still be a part of my family at the camp even though I haven’t seen most of them for years,” said Jacob. Jacob Michael (right) in his third year as a camp counselor for Ohio Military Kids Camp.

    When asked about what attending camp meant to him, Jacob noted he first attended when his dad was deployed to Iraq. “The camp showed me something that I had never seen before – that there were other kids that were going through the same thing I was. It's hard to understand exactly what a military kid goes through if you never were one, so meeting hundreds of other military kids that understood exactly what I was going through was a gigantic relief.” The support he received from friends at OMK through the years, including his time as a counselor, and the memories he made “are things that only Camp Kelleys Island could have allowed me to do.”

    Jacob, whose father is in the Ohio National Guard, joined the Air Force after high school. He stated that without some of the things he learned from camp programs, he would have struggled more during his dad’s deployments and was better able to help his two younger siblings, as well.

    Ferrari noted that during all 15 years of OMK camp, campers, counselors, and parents have all said the connections military kids make with each other are the most enduring aspect of the program. “To receive this flag from Jacob, four years after he last served as a counselor, shows that these connections have a long-lasting impact.”

    Ohio Military Kids is grateful for the support from many generous donors, including the Ohio 4-H Foundation.  If you would like to support this program you can donate online.

    Jacob's flag flying during Ohio Military Kids Camp Kelleys Island, August 2019.

  4. Faces of Ohio 4-H

    Young Katie Smith showing her steer.

    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 are featuring Katie Smith, former OSU basketball player, WNBA standout and member of both the Women’s and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

    I joined 4-H in Hocking County and was part of The Furnecettes 4-H club. I enjoyed learning how to sew, cook and eventually took steers and sheep to the fair. I even did some public speaking projects. 4-H taught me general life-skills such as sewing and cooking, but also responsibility. The day-to-day work that was involved in growing and caring for an animal was an invaluable skill that you carry on with you. I remember learning how to train a sheep that didn’t want to walk and how to groom a steer for the fair to make sure I was getting the hair just right. They are fun memories! Katie Smith 

    If I were to give current 4-H members some advice, I would tell them to invest in the projects to learn and grow. 4-H is amazingly broad and there are so many life lessons you can learn. The skills you learn by trying to finish a project are just like the skills you need to practice for a test where you want to put your best foot forward. 4-H provides the opportunity to practice important life-skills such as public speaking in an environment of supportive peers and mentors to help support growth.

    I’ve got a lot of love for 4-H.

    Katie Smith playing basketball for Ohio State.Katie is basketball icon. While attending Logan High School, Katie was awarded the National Gatorade Athlete of the Year Award. She attended Ohio State and led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship and the NCAA title game during her freshman year. She broke the Big Ten scoring record for points scored in both men’s and women’s basketball. Her hard work and talent on the court earned her two Big Ten Conference Player of the Year awards.  Ohio State retired her jersey and she is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame. Katie earned a B.A. in Life and Human Sciences (2008) and a M.S. in Medical Dietetics (2014). 

    Katie is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and is one of the most decorated professional basketball players of all-time. She won two WNBA Championships with the Detroit Shock and two ABL Championships with the Columbus Quest. She was a 7-time WNBA All-Star and named to the WNBA All-Decade team, top 15 players of all time and most recently top 20 at 20.

    Most recently, Katie was inducted as a first ballot member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.  Currently Katie is the head coach of the WNBA New York Liberty and is also an analyst for women’s college basketball for ESPN. She lives in Columbus and is always striving to empower women and grow the game she loves. 

    Katie Smith coaching.

    Katie Smith will be our guest speaker at the Ohio 4-H Foundation's annual fundraiser, Celebration of Youth.  Come join us and support the Ohio 4-H Youth Development program. For ticket and sponsorship information contact ohio4hfoundation@osu.edu.  Registration closes September 30. 

  5. Calendar of Events

    4-H Camp Palmer

    September 29, Cincinnati Buckeye Run – Support Hamilton County 4-H by participating in this 5k run/walk. Registration is $30. Click here to register.

    September 29, STEAM on the Quad at Ohio State Lima – Experience just how fun science, technology, engineering, art and math can be with hands-on experiments and activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, register here.

    October 6, Fairfield County 4-H Endowment “Awareness” Breakfast - Reservations are not needed and the breakfast is by donation only from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Find more information here.

    October 6, Celebrate 4-H Camp Palmer – Open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., come to Camp Palmer to enjoy ziplining, archery, the climbing wall, flying squirrel, wagon rides, canoeing, and more!  Want to learn more about Camp Palmer?  Check out their website.

    October 9, Tree Walk (Wooster) – Held at Secrest Arboretum on Wooster Campus from 1 to 2 p.m. Free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

    October 12, Celebration of Youth (Columbus) – Join us for this annual fundraiser held at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. Registration required.  Contact the ohio4hfoundation@osu.edu for ticket information.

    October 19, ExploreAg Experience with Ohio Rural Electric Cooperative – Students in grades 7-12 are invited to join us for a hands-on experience to explore careers within the electric industry. This event is free and will include lunch at the end. Click here to register.

    October 25, 3rd Annual Spooktacular Whitewood – Join us at Camp Whitewood from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for trick-or-treating, gourd painting, hayride tours of camp, arts and crafts, lantern hikes, and costume contests! Free to all ages. See the flyer here.

    October 27, Trunk or Treat (Madison County) - Come in your best costumes to trick or treat with all the Madison County 4-H Clubs at the Madison County Extension Office from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.! This event is open to anyone in the community. Hot dogs and drinks will be served, and of course, candy! There will also be costume contest by age category and a group costume contest.