Citizenship is a major component to the 4-H Youth Development program. We understand that good citizenship doesn’t just happen. Therefore, we actively teach and develop skills for youths to become caring and responsible citizens.
This is done in a variety of ways. We develop skills for members to intelligently participate in group decision-making; provide insight into principles, processes and structures of government; and create an understanding of and respect for different cultures and perspectives.
These objectives are accomplished through action. 4-H clubs have monthly meetings where officer teams conduct business. These business meetings allow clubs to properly discuss motions pertinent to the club. Many motions involve how clubs decide on community service events. Clubs work together to ensure they have the financial resources, commitment and dedication of the majority of club members to go forward with action.
4-H club officers learn great tools for life. Officers get trained in conducting efficient meetings, learning parliamentary procedures and creating an inclusive environment for engaging others. We are hosting training for officers at 6:30 p.m. today at the Extension Building at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave.
Later this month, senior members from Archuleta and La Plata counties will be heading to Denver for the annual Leadership Development Conference. This Colorado State 4-H event features a trip to the Capitol. On this day, 4-H members will attend mock sessions on government processes and hear presentations from state legislators.
In addition, they will be present on Jan. 30 when both the state House and Senate proclaim this date as 4-H Day in Colorado. In years past, we have toured the Capitol and been able to meet Gov. John Hickenlooper and our local representatives.
I would like to thank past House District 59 Rep. J. Paul Brown for always meeting with us and his dedicated service to our area. I would also like to welcome in our new representative, Barbara McLachlan. We look forward to meeting and greeting her while at the Capitol. It is a great privilege that our representatives take the time to be with our young people.
These experiences help shape our members to be better citizens. They get to see firsthand how regular people work together for the betterment of our communities. We believe these experiences will inspire a lifelong passion and commitment to service and community building.
Two quotes from President Barack Obama’s farewell speech last week really resonated with me. “I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together to demand it.” And, “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”
It is my honor to serve the people of La Plata County through Colorado State University Extension Office. I am humbled to work with today’s youths. I take great pride in teaching skills in civil discourse and good citizenship. I look forward to showing up, diving in and staying at it for our community in 2017.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen