Discover, Lead, Grow with 4-H Workshops
University extension requires being in tune to the communities it serves. Part of being in tune to Hardin County’s youth development and economic needs means providing close-to-home opportunities for youth within and outside of 4-H to discover new interests; participate in 4-H based learning experiences; and enhance their learning by working with local professionals. In summer 2015, 4-H workshops were launched at the Spark Lab.
4-H workshops were a first of their kind for Hardin County, and developing them has been my primary job as a 4-H and Youth Development intern. In addition to giving 4-H’ers an opportunity to complete significant portions of their 4-H project books, which is certainly a selling point for the 4-H’ers’ project helpers, 4-H workshops allow youth to work alongside local professionals in the area of their project. Whether that professional is a local photographer, a nationally competitive archer, a family and consumer sciences high school educator, or a service forester, these professionals are able to answer 4-H’ers most compelling questions and gain networking through the Hardin County OSU Extension Office. In the two years that 4-H workshops have been up and running, over one hundred 4-H’ers and twenty professionals have caught the innovation fever of the Hardin County Spark Lab.
Regardless of if a 4-H’er has just started or finished their project, working one on one with adult professionals in the area of their 4-H projects gives youth a clear image of what 4-H skills can translate to in the professional world. Part of youth development includes creating opportunities for youth to see themselves in the future. Our hope is that youth who attend 4-H workshops will be motivated by working with professionals to continue growing their knowledge base beyond the 4-H program.
Spark Lab 4-H workshops are not exclusive to 4-H members; they are open to all youth ages 8-18. Whether or not a youth is in a 4-H project that correlates to the subject of a workshop, simply attending a 4-H workshop gives youth opportunities to explore new fields that may not be available to them in a traditional school setting. Not to mention, these workshops highlight skills and professions available within the Hardin County community.
In the past two years, 4-H workshops have been offered in the following subject areas: scrapbooking, sewing, home decorating, archery, photography, cooking, natural resources, insects, birds, trees, cake decorating, art, and writing. It is my hope that more 4-H subjects will be included in future workshops, based on the interests of Hardin County youth. At this time, workshops are determined by the amount of interest in a particular subject.
WHICH MEANS! … IF YOU ARE A 4-H’ER OR A 4-H PROJECT HELPER WITH WORKSHOP INTERESTS OTHER THAN WHAT IS MENTIONED ABOVE, CALL THE OSU HARDIN COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE TO PLACE A REQUEST!
IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL LOOKING FOR NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AND WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR TRADE, CONTACT THE OSU HARDIN COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE