Crook County 4-H celebrates National 4-H Week with an Oct. 4 open house, spotlighting local members

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - The Crook County 4-H program teaches local kids about a variety of things including livestock, which they look to show at the Crook County Fair during the summer.

Which program teaches kids about livestock, sewing, photography and cooking? How about gardening, rabbits, archery and leadership?

The answer is Crook County 4-H, and the youth program celebrates National 4-H Week Oct. 1-7 with a Crook County 4-H Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 at the Clover Building in Prineville.

"The 4-H Open House is a time for the community to get a sneak peek at what projects are offered in our local Crook County 4-H program," said Lindsay Walker, the 4-H youth development faculty. "There will be live animals, robots to demo, and engaging activities with each club in attendance."

Families will learn more about the Crook County 4-H Program, check out what projects are offered this year, and sign up.

This summer at the Oregon State Fair, several local youth qualified for the National Family and Consumer Science Classic Skill-a-thon in Denver, Colorado, next January. They will sell food during the 4-H Open House to help them fundraise. They are also collecting cans.

Since 4-H began more than 100 years ago, it has become the nation's largest youth development organization. The 4-H idea is to help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy.

National 4-H Week is a chance to highlight 4-H youth in communities and showcase the experiences that 4-H offers young people. Walker invites the community to follow the Crook County 4-H Facebook page to read stories from 4-H alumni and videos from current youth members.

4-H is available to youth 9 to 19 years old as of Sept. 1, 2017, and Walker said the Crook County program also has a growing Cloverbuds program, which is for 5 to 8 year olds.

Enrollment begins Oct. 1 at the Extension Office. The annual enrollment fee for 4-H members is $30 and $25 for Cloverbuds. The youth can be involved in as many projects as they choose.

The 2017-18 project list includes archery, breeding projects, Cloverbuds, cooking, dog, gardening, goat, health, horse, knitting, leathercraft, outdoor adventure, photography, pig, poultry, rabbit, sewing and fashion, sheep, steer, STEAM, teen leadership, vet science and woodworking.

4-H members who are enrolled in at least one project area may also do an independent project, such as junior leader, cake decorating, horticulture, baking, food preservation and art.

"Besides our club projects where youth will have fun, build skills, and make friends, 4-H offers camps, conferences and study abroad opportunities," Walker said. "We want to spark an interest for every youth in the community!"

This year, Crook County 4-H is adding a woodworking club, YA4-H Club, which is Teens as Teachers with Health Topics, and most likely a leathercraft club.

They are recruiting leaders for art, robotics, fishing, another Cloverbuds Club, another foods club and another sewing club.

"This means we also need dedicated adults to lead clubs and help youth develop a passion for that project area," Walker pointed out.

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