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Orange County 4-H Goes Virtual

A Shift to Virtual 4-H Experiences

It seems that so much of life has shifted to an online or virtual version of what was once an in-person experience, and 4-H is no exception. When this abrupt shift occurred, Orange County 4-H was headed into a busy season filled with fundraisers, county and district level presentations, horse shows, scholarship and award applications and of course 4-H Record Book submissions. Following the safer-at-home order, we began planning for virtual versions of many of these important milestones in the 4-H program year.

County Events Day presentations became videos uploaded to an online platform, which were then judged and scored online as well. Awards will be presented through a social media audience rather than a live audience. Applications for awards and scholarships that were at one time completed by hand and submitted by paper have been converted to online-only submissions. Even 4-H Record Books, which represent all the project experiences for the year, have been adapted to allow youth to complete them electronically and upload photos directly into the document. The overall goal has been to support our 4-H members as much as possible in order to allow them to obtain the recognition that they have worked so hard to earn.

4-H Virtual Summer Camps

As we look toward a summer without our traditional weekday or residential 4-H camps, we are now busy working at the local and state levels to develop virtual versions of some of these experiences. More information will be available later this month regarding how families can register their children to connect and engage in these hands-on educational activities from home. In the meantime, many of our Orange County 4-H members are still meeting and learning online, engaging in meaningful community service, finishing record books, and of course looking forward to the fall when we hope to return to meeting and learning together again.

For more information regarding 4-H opportunities for Orange County youth ages 5-18 through community clubs, after-school and school-enrichment programs, please visit us at: https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/orange/4-h-youth-development/ or email orange4h@ifas.ufl.edu.