In anticipation of returning to in-person activities while following COVID-19 restrictions, Extension’s Nevada 4-H Youth Development Program is looking for volunteers to serve as 4-H club leaders. Clubs in Carson City and Douglas and Washoe Counties are offering community members the opportunity to encourage youth ages 5 to 18 to pursue interests and gain skills in communications, leadership, civic engagement and healthy living.
“I grew up in our 4 Paws Dog Club and now have the pleasure of leading the club and watching our 4-H’ers become participating community members through their project area,” Annamarie Thompson, 4-H leader in Carson City, said. “I can’t imagine my life without my involvement in 4-H. The 4 Paws members play important roles in developing our 4-H Dog Show, participating in fundraising efforts and making decisions on the direction the club will take in each year’s community service outreach.”
Leaders will conduct weekly or monthly meetings either online or in-person as allowed. They teach from a curriculum and lead activities that relate to the club’s subject matter. Club leaders can either start a new club using pre-existing researched-based 4-H curriculum, such as photography or robotics, or they can start clubs that focus on a hobby or skill without an existing 4-H curriculum, and Extension 4-H professionals will find new researched-based materials to help the leaders conduct the club’s activities.
- In Carson City, 4-H staff are interested in starting clubs focused on photography, cooking, filming making, crafts and woodworking. In addition, they are looking for new leaders for their cat, sewing and rabbit clubs.
- In Douglas County, 4-H staff are recruiting leaders for poultry; rabbit; horse; dog; beekeeping; robotics; hiking and outdoor recreation; and gardening, horticulture and floriculture clubs.
- In Washoe County, 4-H staff are particularly interested in starting clubs focused on home arts and sciences, including robotics, photography, culinary arts, fabric arts and sewing, beekeeping, gardening and fine arts. They are also looking for leaders for a small animals club specializing in dogs, and large animal clubs. In addition, they are seeking leaders for their Cloverbud clubs, which teach children ages 5-8.
In 4-H clubs, youth learn skills beyond the subject matter, such as learning math when doubling a recipe, learning responsibility when caring for an animal, and learning business skills when serving as a club officer. 4-H clubs also provide youth with a chance to build positive relationships with peers and adults.
All 4-H programs engage youth in experiential, or “hands-on,” learning and are fueled by university-backed curriculum. According to the “4-H Study of Positive Youth Development,” a decade-long study completed by a team of researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University in Massachusetts, 4-H youth excel beyond their peers. 4-H members are:
- Four times more likely to contribute to their communities;
- Five times more likely to graduate from college;
- Two times more likely to make healthier choices; and
- Two times more likely to participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs during out-of-school time.
Clubs working with animals usually run for the entire 4-H club year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Other clubs may run for about three to six months. Club leaders are encouraged to attend monthly project leader meetings and a quarterly Leaders’ Council meeting.
For more information on becoming a 4-H club leader in Carson City, email 4-H Professional Sandy Wallin or call 775-887-2252. For Douglas County, email Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester or call 775-782-9960. For Washoe County, email Sarah Chvilicek, Extension 4-H Program coordinator for northern Nevada. Or contact your local Extension office. For more information on Extension 4-H clubs, visit the Nevada 4-H Youth Development Program website.