Editor’s note: “A Better Life” is a new weekly column by the USU Extension – Tooele Office that will focus on a variety of topics intended to enhance quality of life.
If you’re looking for a way to detach your kids from their electronics, enrolling them in 4-H may be your answer.
The Utah 4-H website defines 4-H as the nation’s largest positive youth development program. 4-H is for youth between the ages of 8 and 18. Limited opportunities are available for children under the age of 8 in the Cloverbud program. To me, 4-H is learning life skills while having fun with friends. It has taught me to be responsible, be a leader and how to problem solve.
4-H offers a wide variety of programs that are sure to pique your child’s interests. There are clubs and camps for sewing, baking, robotics, photography, dog training, raising livestock, and more.
Every summer in Tooele County, we have a family 4-H camp. Sometimes we camp overnight with our families and other years we spend the day at Stansbury Lake participating in fun activities. It is always definitely a highlight of my summer.
Teen Council is a group of older 4-H youth, ages 13-18, who work together with the County Extension staff to plan events and activities. The council also mentors younger 4-H youth and serve in the community. We recently had our first Teen Council meeting of the year with our new teen council advisor, Robyn Handley. Robyn is an energetic person who loves working with youth. She has been a 4-H club leader for many years. We are planning some exciting 4-H events and activities for the coming year.
As a Teen Council, we are also planning service projects and a Teen Council retreat. One of the main purposes of a teen council is to develop leadership skills. Some of the opportunities I have been able to participate in are conducting meetings and public speaking exercises.
One of my favorite things about 4-H is how inclusive and inviting it is. I have made some of my closest friends through the 4-H program. Many of those friends live in different parts of the state. We each come from different communities and backgrounds, but through our 4-H activities and camps, we have been able to create strong bonds with one another.
This year I have had the wonderful opportunity to be a 4-H Northern Region Ambassador. I get to meet with teenagers who live in other counties in the northern region of Utah and plan activities for Utah 4-H members. Right now we are currently planning a public speaking camp where we are going to help youth learn about public speaking and the different parts of giving a speech. We are also planning an overnight retreat for youth who live in the northern region of Utah.
We would love to have more members of 4-H. If you are interested in getting involved in 4-H or 4-H Teen Council, contact the Tooele County 4-H office at 435-277-2409 or come by the 4-H office in the Tooele County Health Department at 151 N. Main, Tooele. Normal business hours are 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday.
Ashlee Greenhalgh is president of the Tooele County 4-H Teen Council.