Everyone has an organization that they want their children to join when they reach the age. Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League, Dance, Gymnastics, AWANA’s…The list goes on. For me, it is 4-H. I have wanted our children to be a part of a club before they were born. Now that Bubs is officially a member, I see the benefits even stronger.
1. Let me start with the biggest misconception of 4-H. You have to have many acres and be a farmer and your child’s project must involve a large animal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While some kids do choose to have a bucket calf or show sheep, it is an option. You can go through 11+ years of 4-H and never have an animal. If you like animals but don’t have the acreage to have livestock, another option is pet care. The child will learn how to properly take care of a fish, dog, cat, or other pet.
2. Secondly, don’t judge 4-H by the meetings. In the state we live, the once-a-month meetings are mandatory. For the most part, they are pretty boring for younger children because the plans are made for future projects and discussion occurs over old business. (Think small church business meeting.) What makes it unique is that the meeting is held like a true meeting. The kids make motions, second it, address the club properly, etc. I love this factor! In our club, the Cloverbuds (youngest kids) leave during the old/new business portion of the meeting and an older member of the club leads a demonstration. Then the Cloverbuds return to the main group and present what they learned. Very cool! Demonstrations and talks also occur doing the meetings.
3. Leadership, leadership, leadership. Bubs is not a natural born leader. Because of this, we have to provide him with opportunities to learn how to lead. 4-H is a wonderful place for child to learn leadership, public speaking, and initiative. Next month Bubs is giving his first demonstration. It will be full of mistakes but it is a safe place for him to learn and grow. Where else can he get the opportunity at the age of six to talk in front of a group and build up confidence?
Okay, this was going to be a short little blog and it has already ended up way long. So, I will close it off here and return tomorrow!