Crawford County investing in Crawford County youth with 4-H 2017

MSU Extension's 4-H program has impacted more than 1,411 youth in Crawford County.

In Crawford County 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. By providing opportunities to learn and lead, 4-H helps youth become informed and engaged community members. While exploring new topics and activities in an experiential way, youth build the skills they need for life.

In 2017, Crawford County 4-H had a total of twenty-six screened adult volunteers, ninety-six youth enrolled as 4-H club members and six youth who attended summer camps from around the county. In addition, 1,315 children or 51.6% of Crawford County youth aged 5 to 19 took part in learning
opportunities with MSU Extension. Essential skills youth develop while participating in 4-H include problem solving, decision making, leadership, resiliency and communication.

4-H is unique in that it offers experiences to young people who live in cities or rural areas by providing the opportunity to participate in community 4-H clubs, learning experiences in school classrooms, day and overnight camps and other special interest events. One example includes MSU 4-H Exploration Days, a pre-college program where over 2500 youth stay in MSU residence halls, take a variety of action packed classes and experience other aspects of a major university. In 2017, seven youth from Crawford County attended MSU 4-H Exploration Days.

“Exploration days was fun because I got to see a university and what it is like to stay there and attend classes. It makes me want to go to college.” - 4-H youth member

Beyond the excitement of learning something new through a project, youth have the opportunity to participate in leadership conferences, travel the world, become involved in their community through service, and meet new friends in a safe and comfortable setting. A young person’s experiences in 4-H makes a difference for a lifetime by allowing them to grow and appreciate the importance of being a good citizen, strong leader and person of character. Leaders also help youth achieve their personal goals and provide encouragement and a support system.

The relationships built among adult volunteer leaders and youth also have lasting effects. From 4-H experiences, youth gain important leadership, citizenship and life skills that can be applied to daily living, used in their community, in future jobs or when they continue their education. Although it may be years before a youth realizes and truly appreciates the influence of the 4-H leader that served as positive adult role models, one can be certain that volunteer leaders are truly making a difference for life.

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