4-H is the youth development program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Many folks know of 4-H as an agricultural program where kids raise an animal and then show it at the fair. This is our historical base and is still an important component of our program today. Many may also know of 4-H as a place to learn about sewing or cooking and creating a demonstration to teach others about such things. These too are areas where we still offer educational programs. But as the 4-H motto says we are always working to “make the best better.” This means that 4-H changes with the times and teaches additional basic skills that are needed in today’s world.

In actuality the program topic is just the means to an end. What 4-H is really teaching is leadership, responsibility, critical thinking, teamwork and healthy lifestyle choices. Maybe you know a young person who would like to get involved in 4-H. We have ongoing clubs that will continue to meet throughout the summer as well as activities specifically designed for summer fun and learning.

Summer Cloverbuds: This is a co-ed 4-H group for children ages 5 to 8. We are growing a “pizza garden” with tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs and later this summer will be learning about insects. This group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at 3:45 p.m. The next meeting is June 21.

Summer Explorers Club: The focus of this club is an exploration of all kinds of science, including technology, engineering, earth science and life science. It is for children ages 9 to 13 and meets the second Monday of each month at 3:30 p.m. The next meeting is June 12, and the topic is “Snot, Mucus, and Sneezes.”

Summer Youth Leadership Council: This group for teenagers provides youth with opportunities to leave a positive impact on the community by creating, serving, and implementing change. This summer will be focused on learning skills such as tips for college applications, how to decorate a dorm room, and cooking in a microwave. We will also celebrate our accomplishments, find new youth council members, and plan for next year. This group is for rising 9th-12th-graders and meets the first and third Sunday of each month at 5:45pm. Contact Heather Gordon for more information at 586-4009 or heather_gordon@ncsu.edu.

In addition to these ongoing clubs, Jackson County 4-H is offering summer activities such as Gem Mining, Sewing, First Aid & CPR for Teens, Step Back in Time Camp, Fairy & Gnome Gardens, Hiking, Archery Club, Corn & Tomato Summer Club, Survival Skills, and Overnight Camp. Many activities are free while some have a fee. There is no cost to join 4-H but we require an enrollment form and a notarized medical form. Contact the Extension Office at 586-4009 or kerri_rayburn@ncsu.edu for more information. The 2017 4-H Summer Programs brochure and registration information, as well as the 4-H Activities Calendar, can be found at the 4-H blog: jackson4-h.blogspot.com. 4-H Grows Here!