4-H offers variety of opportunities | SteamboatToday.com

4-H offers variety of opportunities

Tammy Eggers/For Steamboat Today

Have you thought about enrolling in 4-H? Now is an excellent time to join and see what 4-H has to offer your children and family. 4-H is a community of young people learning leadership skills, citizenship, communication skills and daily living skills. Learn more about this program at the 4-H Open House, from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Millie Delaney, senior 4-H member, had this to say about 4-H: "When you are in 4-H, it is kids, from ages 8 to 18, that lead everything. Kids are running meetings, raising animals, sewing, building things, learning how to become what they want to be and inspiring others. 4-H is a huge commitment, but the kids in the program are learning more about themselves and how to build a better future than some adults ever will."

The 4-H motto, "learning by doing," provides youth with hands-on opportunities which enable them to have experiences and develop skills in areas they are passionate about. This is a unique, learn-by-doing model that provides youth with transferable skills for their future. 4-H has something for everyone, from youth in kindergarten to one year past high school.

Colorado's 4-H program has a variety of projects to offer youth. In fact, participants are only limited by their imagination. 4-H projects are designed to develop the following life skills:

• Positive self-concept

• Making contributions — being successful

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• Confidence

• Competence

• Connectedness

• Caring and compassion

Becoming involved in a 4-H project not only teachers practical skills in each project, but also fosters the development of needed skills to succeed throughout life.

4-H is not just for youth; volunteering has deep roots in the organization. Volunteers come from all age groups, educational levels and backgrounds. Volunteers play a major part in 4-H programs as the heart and soul of 4-H, filling an essential role in the delivery of 4-H programs in many different capacities, from being a club leader or project leader to simply helping at the county fair.

The goal of these volunteers is to help youth achieve greater self-confidence and self-responsibility, learn new skills, and build relationships with others that will last a lifetime.

Shannon Ragan, Routt County 4-H senior member, knows 4-H will always be a part of her life.

"I know that as I start to move on with the rest of my life that 4-H won't ever disappear and I will always come back as a volunteer leader even if it isn't in my own county," Ragan said.

More than 300 youth participate in Routt County 4-H, so why not give it a try? 4-H has something for everyone. Stop by the 4-H Open House on Thursday to learn what 4-H has to offer.

For more information on joining or volunteering in Routt Count 4-H, contact the Routt County CSU Extension Office at 970-879-0825 or teggers@co.routt.co.us, or visit rcextension.colostate.edu/4H/4h.shtml

Tami Eggers is 4-H and youth development extension agent for Colorado State University Routt County Extension.