Huron County 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).

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.

4-H Youth Exploration Days

4-H Exploration Days — Michigan’s largest annual 4-H event is designed to help students:

  • Learn new ideas and techniques
  • Increase their interest in and readiness for college
  • Explore career options
  • Develop decision-making skills
  • Develop independence as well as teamwork

Participants also meet and interact with people from different backgrounds and areas throughout Michigan. 4-H volunteers and staff are on hand to provide oversight and guidance. Participants pre-register, choosing from more than 200 session options which they attend throughout their three-day stay. Huron County’s delegation consisted of 15 youth and four adult chaperones. 2017-18 had six first-time delegates.

Career Exploration Day

Career Exploration Day — A partnership was established with Bad Axe Middle School and the Huron County 4-H Youth Development Program to provide a “Career Day” for approximately 150 youth in 6th and 7th grades. It was held on April 20, 2018, and a variety of careers were presented to the students with an emphasis on traditional and non-traditional agriculture careers. MSU Extension Dairy and SNAPED Programs also participated by presenting educational and career experiences in those fields. Response from the youth participants was overwhelmingly positive.

4-H School Enrichment Program

4-H School Enrichment Program — Huron County youth developed critical life skills during 4-H school enrichment programming. An opportunity was provided to three local school districts to receive programming for six weeks which consisted of one hour sessions. During these sessions, students learned various lessons focusing on 4-H life skills such as, sewing, nature, character education, nutrition, crafts, leadership and animal science. Over 100 students participated in this enrichment programming.

4-H Proud Equestrian Program (PEP)

4-H Proud Equestrian Program — is a therapeutic horseback riding program that offers riding lessons to youth with special needs. In 2017, 18 youth, the maximum number of participants allowed, with special needs participated in the 4-H PEP horseback riding program. Not only do they get riding time, but they also spend time in a stable management class where they learn more about the horses and do arts and crafts projects. Numerous 4-H leaders volunteer their own horses for this program each year.

4-H’ers Earn Group State Award

State 4-H Awards — Three Huron County 4-H members brought home the Michigan 4-H State Award in the Group Award category during Michigan 4-H Exploration Days in June. Royce Daskam, Pearl Daskam and Addy Battel of the Boots and Bling 4-H Club earned the award on behalf of their project Meating the Need for Our Village, which provides high-quality protein to low-income families. 4-H members and other youth raise meat animals and donate milk to food pantries as part of the four-year-old hunger relief project. Through Meating the Need for Our Village, youth have provided nearly 7,000 pounds of meat, more than 600 gallons of milk and soon eggs, leading to a $43,000 impact in the Thumb.

The Michigan 4-H State Awards program provides members an opportunity to showcase what they have learned through their 4-H experiences and to receive recognition for the dedication and hard work of compiling their 4-H State Awards application. After the Daskams and Battel submitted their application, judges named them delegates to the awards program. At Michigan State University they gave a 10-minute presentation about their project to a panel of judges and answered questions to determine the state winner. A 4-H State Award is the top honor a 4-H member can earn, and through the process all applicants and delegates have built their skills and expanded their portfolios.

4-H Project Workshops

4-H Project Workshops — are offered to allow all youth ages 5 to 19 (4-H and non-4-H members) to experience how to use their skills and gain new ones as well as letting their creativity flow through making different arts and crafts and other projects. This round of workshops featured five different project areas such as fleece-tied blankets, jam making, photography, making a stuffed teddy bear and planting flower pots. These workshops were attended by area 4-H members in 2017-18 and organized by the Huron County 4-H Council and the MSU Extension Youth Development Program.

4-H Camp

4-H Camp — The main purpose of 4-H camp is to get youth (ages 9 to 14) involved in an outdoor-living experience. Thumb Area 4-H camp offers an excellent opportunity for 4-H’ers and non-4-H’ers to make new friends and share experiences in camping, all while building and developing life skills. 4-H camp activities include Great Lakes ecology, tree climbing, mud hiking, swimming, archery, outdoor survival skills, teambuilding skills, skits, games, crafts and more. There were 84 youth (Huron – 26, Sanilac – 12, St. Clair – 32, Tuscola – 14), 15 adult chaperones/volunteers, along with a team of 28 teen counselors (Huron – 6, Sanilac – 6, St. Clair – 11, Tuscola – 5) attending the 2017 Thumb Area 4-H camp held July 6-8 at Camp Cavell in Lexington, Michigan. In order to become a teen counselor, teens must go through intensive training and be responsible for planning and implementing activities for Thumb Area 4-H Camp each year. Throughout the year, committee members are involved in numerous workshops and trainings in preparation for Thumb Area 4-H Camp.

State Youth Leadership Council Members

4-H State Council Members — Established in 2015, the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC) is a statewide leadership opportunity for 4-H youth. SYLC members serve as representatives of the Michigan 4-H program, promoting 4-H through state and local activities, and can provide a youth voice and perspective on the development of 4-H programs and curricula. SYLC members are also provided an opportunity to represent Michigan in attendance at the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. Huron County 4-H’ers Addy Battel and Pearl Daskam were both selected to serve on the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council. Their term began in January.

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