By Briana L. Luckenbill
Extension Educator, 4-H Coordinator
Interested in animals? How about bugs? Or, have an eye for photography? These are just some of the many interests that a young person could find in 4-H.
4-H is a community of young people across America who is constantly learning while working with caring adults. The program is a volunteer-based organization that allows young people to learn by doing—and, in 4-H, they can do just about anything that interests them. The 4-H experience begins by choosing a project which interests them from the more than 275 different projects offered in Pennsylvania! Some of the most popular projects offered in Schuylkill County are:
- Animal Science (livestock, equine & poultry)
- Shooting Sports (with trained instructors)
- Pet Care
Pennsylvania 4-H began in 1912 in Mercer County. From these rural beginnings in western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania 4-H has grown into the largest youth development program in the state. It now serves over 204,000 young people throughout the state.
Here in Schuylkill County there are approximately 190 4-Her’s in eight clubs: Schuylkill County 4-H Cloverbuds (for ages 5-7), Bridle Wild 4-H Horse Club, Blue Mountain 4-H Livestock Club, Grassy Meadows 4-H Club, Schuylkill Stampede 4-H Livestock Club, South Schuylkill 4-H Dairy Club, West Penn 4-H Community Club, and the Nocked and Loaded 4-H Shooting Sports Club.
Membership is open to young people ages 5 to 18 and do not need to be residents of Schuylkill County. 4-H members can also look beyond the local club and can participate in county-wide activities, make new friends, and broaden their horizons.
One of the activities that members participate in annually is the upcoming Schuylkill County Fair. At this event, 4-H members showcase their hard work by exhibiting and showing animals and displaying items they made regarding their project. All animals and projects will be displayed August 1-6th this year. Also, throughout the week the equine, livestock, and dairy clubs will be exhibiting their animals in the fair barns and show ring. Check out the Schuylkill County Fair website http://www.schuylkillfair.com/ to learn more about the show schedule.
Come Thursday evening of fair week, all 4-H market animals will be marketed to businesses and friends of 4-H. If you’re interested in supporting the members, please contact the Schuylkill County Extension Office to hear more. As for the culmination of a fun-filled and talented week, Schuylkill County 4-H will be sponsoring Country Line Dancing with DJ Chicken Nugget at 7:30 PM on Friday evening for all to enjoy. It’s promising to be a jammed pack good night with friends, family, and fair-goers.
As you can see, the Schuylkill County 4-H Program is in full swing this summer and we’re looking forward to meeting new faces, show casing our hard work and continuing in the 4-H slogan, “Learn by Doing”.
You can find out more information about joining a 4-H club in Schuylkill County or volunteering your time by contacting Briana Luckenbill at the Schuylkill County Extension Office. The Extension Office is located in the Schuylkill County AG Center, Pottsville. Contact Briana at 570.622.4225 or visit: http://extension.psu.edu/schuylkill or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/schuylkillcounty4h/