National 4-H Week continues through Saturday, as a time to not only get kids interested in joining clubs and recruit volunteer leaders, but to promote the positive influence the organization can instill across Lake County.
Overseen by Lake County OSU Extension, opportunities abound to get kids involved in group projects that fit interests from LEGOs to knitting, archery, photography, arts and crafts, food, animal care and more. It is also a time to recruit adult leaders to advise student clubs – with OSU Extension this year specifically seeking assistance for dog, arts & crafts, swine, and clothing & sewing.
National 4-H Week, Oct. 6-12, is treated as a time for recruiting new and returning members for a busy but fun year of activities, culminating with Lake County Fair. Open to ages 9-19, there are a variety of groups aimed to fit interests and like-minded individuals to find a peer group socially while learning valuable life skills. While daily tasks associated with projects for fair may be at times demanding, 4-H provides an uplifting social setting steeped in teaching responsibility, leadership and discipline.
Kaydyn Kintzley, a freshman at Lakeview High School, knows all too well what a difference 4-H can make. Notoriously shy for much of her life, her six years in 4-H have not only forced her out of her comfort zone to expand her horizons; she has emerged as a leader among peers, called on to speak publicly often about her work in 4-H.
As a 4-H junior leader and president of the Rolling Thunder Livestock Group, Kintzley has coordinated fundraisers, organized community service work groups, and helped fellow students with their 4-H projects. She has presented numerous animal projects at fair, and competed in ranch horse events at the state level.
This year she led her group in repairs to fencing at the Lake County Fairgrounds – soliciting funds, donations, and coordinating work crews over three days to replace wood fencing with new pipe fencing along the southeast gate near the pig weigh-in area. The project necessitated developing a business proposal, fundraising, and presenting her plans to the Fair Board for approval.
“We do one community service project as a group every year,” explained Kintzley. “I saw that the pig barns looked very rundown, and that was the main entrance to get to the animal barns. We worked three days to put in fencing. In past years we have painted the wall on the grandstands, painted fences outside the fairgrounds, and we painted garbage cans one year.”
In addition to school activities and participation in LHS volleyball, every morning and evening is spent feeding and caring for animals that Kintzley is preparing for fair. When not working on her own projects, as a junior leader she is helping other students prepare their projects, lead meetings, and provide an example for younger 4-H members.
“It is a fun experience, and I do it for potential college scholarships, plus it looks good on applications,” added Kintzley. “Through 4-H I have become more confident, it has helped me gain leadership skills, and helped with my animal showing skills.”
“If people are interested there is something for them,” said Melissa Maxwell, education program assistant for the Lakeview OSU Extension Office. “We have a lot of different clubs, and it’s a great opportunity for kids to grow in a lot of different ways – specifically in leadership, and having fun with something they love. It is important for kids to have something to belong to, it keeps them busy, and if they don’t have enough to do there is always something in 4-H.”
Enrollment during National 4-H Week (Oct. 6-12) in a 4-H group enters each student in a drawing for 4-H swag. For enrollment forms contact OSU Extension at 541-947-6054 or stop by at 103 S. E St. in Lakeview.