Project Book Distribution: Per Ohio 4-H, 4-H project book distribution is suspended, effective as of close of business 3/18/2020 through 3/31/2020. This means there will be no project book distribution at the local or state level until after March 31. They will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and will re-evaluate project book distribution as we get closer to March 31. Office staff is prepared to make our second countywide order once this process resumes so that we can have our shelves fully stocked before beginning book orders.
If members are interested, they can visit: https://projectcentral.ohio4h.org/ and view the first few pages of their project book to begin thinking about leadership, citizenship and learning activities that are part of their project(s). If they are enrolled to take a self-determined project, they can start now: https://ohio4h.org/selfdetermined. If they aren’t enrolled in a self-determined project, the self-determined project idea starters still have a lot of ideas for educational activities to fill their time!
Camp Scholarship Application, Due March 31: At this time, please encourage members to continue working on them and submit via e-mail (email@example.com) before the March 31 deadline. I am considering a deadline extension, but need more time to process items related to camp before deciding. Download the application here.
Summer Events: I recognize that this constantly evolving situation is challenging, frustrating and causes many of us anxiety. I would love to be operating under our normal schedule, having regular meetings with teen leaders, etc…and I know that you want to be having 4-H meetings! The reality is, none of us can predict for certain the trajectory of the virus and what it means for our jobs, schools and many other things in our lives. I remain hopeful that if we all do our part to stop the spread, we will be able to resume some or all of our summer activities, although they may be in a revised format.
- What do we do about Quality Assurance? You may have noticed in one of the recent updates that the Ohio Department of Agriculture is allowing youth ages 8-18 to take the online YQCA course for QA credit this year. This is certainly an option for our families, but there is a cost associated with it for each child that we cannot expect to receive any discounts on because it is not a program distributed by OSU Extension. We currently have two face-to-face quality assurance sessions still scheduled for April and May, and might consider adding other dates if necessary. Since ODA waived the requirement that QA must be completed 45 days before exhibition this year, we have more time to schedule additional opportunities.
- Will there be camps? We had a virtual 4-H Camp Ohio Board meeting last week and are still making preparations for summer camps to take place based on the information we have available to us at this time. I can assure you that this group is very passionate about camp and will consider all possible avenues for ensuring camps take place if restrictions allow. As a member of the state 4-H Camping Design Team, I am working with colleagues to develop ways to training counselors in a virtual environment so they have the required hours and skills they need. A decision to cancel or postpone Cloverbud Camp will be made based on current restrictions, health & safety of all involved and schedule availability.
- Will there be a fair? The decision of whether or not there will be a fair will not be made by OSU Extension or our staff. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), Ohio Fair Managers Association and Muskingum County Senior Fair Board are actively monitoring the situation and currently plan to have fairs. I know many are concerned about purchasing livestock if there is the possibility that they cannot be shown or sold. Word from is that they are currently exploring online auction options should fair exhibitions not take place.
- Take into consideration that if you are unable to show or sell at the fair, we have several local processors who could process these animals and you would have food for your family or neighbors. I think it would be a tremendous educational opportunity for our youth to raise an animal from start to finish AND experience the food product results of their project first hand. In purchasing animals, you will have to consider what your family can afford – this may mean purchasing animals at a different price point than in the past or not purchasing a back up animal because of the unknown status.