October is exciting as it kicks off our new 4-H year!
We are working hard on planning new virtual and in-person events for our 4-H members and community members. In November, we will be hosting a leadership conference for our local 4-H youths from La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and Archuleta counties. The theme for the conference is “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges.” We will be focusing on teamwork, leadership, communication, mental health and (of course) fun!
October also kicks off the start of new projects for our 4-H members. These projects enable our members to learn life skills, responsibility, communication, leadership and talents that are directly related to their project. Although raising animals is a large component of 4-H, we do have a full variety of project opportunities for everyone to choose from, no matter if you live in an apartment or on a 1,000-acre ranch. All of these projects follow our slogan “Learn by Doing,” so youths get to actually make, build, grow or raise their projects.
Later in November, we will be hosting a virtual mental health week. This year has been challenging for everyone and the holidays can add a lot to the stress we are already feeling. Because of this, we have decided to make this event open to everyone, and the focus will be on resiliency, dealing with stress and improving our mental health. We will have challenges each day, speakers and (you guessed it) fun! For more information at the end of the month, visit www.laplatacounty4h.org.
In December, we will be focusing on community service and supporting those in need. Community service is an important component of our 4-H programs because it gives our members an opportunity to be active in making their community a better and healthier place to live. Community service also has a positive impact on the youths themselves; it allows them to build on their compassion, gives them a sense of accomplishment and teaches them to respect and care for people who have different lives from them.
Our 4-H clubs do a variety of activities for their community service projects that include food drives, gift giving and veteran support programs. During the months of November and December, we have a nonperishable food and toiletry item collection box at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, and everyone is welcome to contribute.
Our goal is to make 4-H welcoming and inclusive for everyone; part of this is keeping enrollment fees as low as possible. It only costs $25 to join La Plata County 4-H for the year, which includes project manuals and most of our local activities. We also offer scholarships for enrollment, camps and state leadership events.
Now is the perfect time to join La Plata County 4-H. If you are interested in getting involved in our 4-H program, as a member or volunteer, reach out the La Plata County Extension Office for more information and the steps to get started.
Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at email@example.com or 382-6460.Angela Fountain