“I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

Do you remember reciting this 4-H pledge when you were a child? Many 4-H alumni report gaining a sense of belonging through their 4-H Club involvement, and lots of folks tell me about their projects and oral presentations.

Are you a 4-H alumnus? Did you sew a skirt and model it in the Fashion Review? Did you create an electric project? Did you attend every 4-H Congress while you were a member? How about summer camp? Do you have a favorite memory? Did you make a presentation, or demonstration, at District Activity Day? We’d love to hear from you about the learning that occurred when you were a 4-H member.

4-H is a youth organization committed to building citizen leaders with marketable skills to succeed in today’s global society. “We believe that youth development is not something you do TO youth, but is the result of programming WITH youth and is dependent upon the family and other adults in the community.”

Four concepts have been developed to guide our work with young people in 4-H: Belonging, Independence, Mastery and Generosity.

Did 4-H help you develop some essential skills? Come share your memories and learn what Jackson County 4-H’ers are doing these days. Join us at the 4-H Drop-In and Pumpkin Carving from 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Cooperative Extension Office. Our office is now located at 876 Skyland Drive, Sylva in the same building with the DMV. This event is open to everyone – 4-H alumni, current members and anyone else who would like to learn about 4-H.

Heather Gordon is extension agent, 4-H Youth Development, Jackson County Center, N.C. Cooperative Extension.