4-H Provides Opportunities for Military Volunteers
Victoria Ballard came to Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2011 from Texas. Her family has been involved in 4-H since her oldest daughter turned eight. As a military spouse, Victoria has seen 4-H in two states. Prudence Caskey, the Santa Rosa County 4-H Extension Agent, has worked closely with Victoria and the two clubs that she leads. These clubs have completed projects on Marine Science, Wildlife, Horseless Horse, Robotics, and Veterinary Science; in addition to supporting a wide variety of individual projects such as poultry, photography, leadership, community service, and many more. To say that Victoria is vital to the success of the 4-H clubs that she leads would be an understatement. But the true success of the clubs comes from the dedication of the youth leaders that volunteer to serve as club officers and run the meetings and present program. The youth, ages 8-17, work together to decide their projects and activities, and learn what it takes to run an official meeting and be a leader in the community.
Victoria worked diligently to establish a summer horse day camp program. Creating the schedule, designing activities and obtaining volunteers was all part of the process, and she handled every aspect of the program. “When you find a volunteer’s passion, then you can just let them take the reins, so to speak”, says Prudence Caskey, 4-H Extension Agent. “She has a passion for horses and youth and so it was such a natural fit!”
When asked what she enjoys most about being a 4-H volunteer, Victoria says, “I really enjoy teaching kids about technology and animals that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to those topics.” Prudence Caskey said, “We would not have been able to implement nor offer several programs if not for the tenacity and dedication of Victoria.”
Do you have knowledge and skills that you would like to share with young people? Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer. 4-H is in every county, in every state, and several countries, so it a perfect opportunity for military families especially. 4-H offers a wide variety of roles to fit any schedule. To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.