Developing youth and communities

When you support MSU Extension 4-H programs, youth participants learn life skills that prepare them for the workforce – especially for highly sought after jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Extension programs help children develop early literacy skills that support school readiness. They learn leadership and decision-making skills in 4-H that increase their likelihood of becoming civically active.

4-H’ers also demonstrate reduced high-risk behaviors such as drug use, and learn to complete tasks, solve problems and seek any help they might need from peers and adults. 4-H involvement also helps participants avoid or reduce involvement with the court system. This helps ensure more young people succeed in school, attend college and contribute to their communities. More successful young people in communities results in greater tax revenues and consumer spending and increases the likelihood that young people will stay in, or return to, their communities.

Growing true leaders

With innovative ideas, exuberant energy and the ability to look beyond preconceived obstacles, youth have the capacity to change the world. However, many lack the skills and confidence to empower these assets into motion. They need experiences and training that help them to feel ready and capable to lead.

Michigan 4-H helps to prepare current and future leaders by offering numerous opportunities for leadership development. From the club experience to statewide youth councils, all youth have the chance to serve in a leadership role. Those experiences and various leadership trainings provide youth with skills to last a lifetime and empower them to stand up today as true leaders in their families, schools and communities.

4-H Clubs

The club model of program delivery is essential to 4-H. It is the original and the oldest method of providing 4-H programming to county youth. Club leaders and other adult volunteers work with groups of youth, focusing on specific project areas and educational goals. There are 13 active clubs in Gladwin County. Projects include: livestock, small animals, shooting sports, crafts, and performing arts.

Exploration Days

An event open to youth ages 11-19, Exploration Days is designed to help young people learn new ideas and techniques, increase their interest in and readiness for college, explore career options, and develop their decision making, independence and team-building skills. Each year, approximately 2,500 Michigan youth attend this educational event. Gladwin County had 9 youth members attend Exploration Days and two adults serve as chaperones for the event.

Kettunen Center Events and Trainings

The center is a full-service conference and retreat facility that is owned and operated by the Michigan 4-H Foundation. Workshops at the Kettunen Center offer hands-on opportunities to youth and adults and include many indoor and outdoor educational options. Gladwin County Extension Educator Bev Przystas taught and facilitated sessions at the events and workshops offered throughout the year. Workshops attended by Gladwin County Youth and Adult Volunteers:

  • 4-H Winterfest
  • 4-H Beef, Sheep and Swine Workshop
  • 4-H Vet Science Workshop
  • 4-H Visual Arts, Crafts, Sewing, and Textiles Workshop
  • 4-H Advisory Board Retreat
  • 4-H Challenge U Workshop
  • 4-H Goat Workshop

4-H Palooza, Spring Break Day Camp

Gladwin 4-H hosted a two-day camp for youth ages 7-12 during the week of spring break for Gladwin area schools. Youth participated in fun, educational activities and learned about science, healthy living, money around the world and more. Youth also participated in fun activities such as building rockets, learning new camp songs and making tie-dyed shirts. 28 youth participated in the event, along with five teen leaders and four adult volunteers.

Junior Master Gardeners

In partnership with the Beaverton Activity Center and a grant received from the SHOPKO Foundation, Gladwin County 4-H hosted a six-week SPIN (Special Interest) Club called Junior Master Gardeners, featuring the “Learn, Grow, Eat and Go,” curriculum. Six Gladwin youth and four adults learned about gardening, how to eat healthy, and be healthy all while growing their own garden outside of the Beaverton Activity Center.

4-H State Goat Show

The 2016 Michigan 4-H Goat Show was held June 25th at the MSU Pavilion-South Barn. Over 70 youth from across the state competed in various dairy, meat and fiber goat as well as goat pack, driving and obstacle classes. The show allows youth to demonstrate their knowledge and skill with their goat project in showmanship and breeding classes. Gladwin County 4-H youth members participated in the show.

4-H Fish Fry

The Gladwin Knights of Columbus holds an annual fish fry to raise funds for the Gladwin County scholarship fund. 4-H families attend the event to help promote 4-H and to serve, wait tables and clean up alongside the Knights of Columbus members. 63 youth members and 16 adults helped to make the event great. Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus for their continued support of the program.

Winter Fun

4-H Members enjoyed tubing at Snow Snake in Harrison, Michigan, one of the many fun things that 4-H members get to do throughout the year.

Gladwin County Fair

Over 200 4-H youth participated in the Gladwin County 4-H Fair. The Gladwin County Fair is an event in which 4-H members showcase their hard work and efforts throughout the year. 4-H’ers participate in animal projects, still exhibits, shooting sports, and help with the 4-H concession stand. The livestock and small animal auctions were both a great success in 2016 thanks to the continued support of local businesses in Gladwin County and surrounding areas. The fair theme was “Christmas in July.” Clubs decorated booths in the still exhibit barn, decorated their project areas in animal barns, and participated in the parade to start off fair week.

4-H State Horse Show

Gladwin County 4-H members participated in the State 4-H Horse Show in East Lansing in August. This three-day event brings together almost 600 4-H’ers from across Michigan, selected by their county 4-H programs. Gladwin County had 8 youth members that participated and 3 adult volunteers.
Over the three-day show, members compete in English, dressage, western, trail, jumping and gymkhana with some of the most accomplished young equestrians in Michigan. Many have spent months, even years, preparing themselves and their horses or ponies for the show in hopes of bringing home a gold medal or even being named a state champion. Congratulations to all the participants.

4-H Summer Camp

In partnership with Gratiot and Isabella Counties, Gladwin 4-H hosted 4-H summer camp (ages 9-12.) Over 100 youth members participated in this multi-county event with the theme “4-H Campalooza, Whooo’s Ready for Camp?” 4-H camp features fun, educational activities that are hands-on and innovative for youth members. Teen leaders serve as counselors for the camps and are able to develop leadership skills and enhance their life skills.

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