Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. It is always exciting to embrace a new year and the possibilities of new opportunities on the horizon.
Personally, I find myself asking questions such as: What do I want to accomplish this year? How can I live a more healthy and productive life? What challenges can I overcome?
Professionally, I focus on areas of the 4-H program that need either some improvements or refreshing changes to make the greatest positive impact.
One area I would like to strengthen this year is volunteer leadership. Volunteers are considered the heart of 4-H, and I couldn’t agree more. La Plata County is blessed with more than 100 adult volunteers who give their commitment, energy and time for the betterment of our young people.
Volunteers act as club leaders, community organizers and/or county project leaders. Most importantly, 4-H volunteers act as adult role-models for our youths. These volunteers develop positive youth-adult partnerships that make significant impacts on people’s lives.
In the coming months, we will be offering three interactive sessions to promote volunteer leadership. These are open to current and prospective 4-H volunteers. Is 2015 your year to become a 4-H volunteer?
Each session will be held in the Extension Building at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. We also are looking into having satellite stations in Hesperus and Ignacio. We will provide light food and refreshments for participants.
These sessions will be Internet-based and will be put on by the Oregon State University Extension Office in collaboration with the 4-H Western Regional Leader’s Forum. This is a new way for 4-H volunteers to network and learn.
The first session will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Jan. 27. The theme for this date is “Youth Connect: At Great Meetings.” Because 4-H members attend monthly club and county 4-H meetings, this session will look at ways to make meetings effective. You will hear from experienced volunteers from around the West about how they have been successful in engaging youth during meetings.
The second session will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 12. The topic will be “Widening the Circle: Special Connections.” This session will be led by Colorado State University professor and 4-H alumni Temple Grandin, who will share her unique experience with having autism and excelling in 4-H. She will inspire others in attracting young people with a diversity of learning abilities.
The final session will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. March 2. This session will be called “Youth Connecting: In Your community.” The session will discuss how to engage youth in community service and citizenship opportunities. It also will explore social media techniques to promote the great activities 4-H’ers are doing today.
If you would like to attend any or all of these sessions, please call the Extension Office at 382-6463 or visit http://oregon.4h.oregonstate.edu/wrlf2015.
email@example.com or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.