In an age where the topic of participation trophies sparks a heated debate, 4-H offers an alternative by teaching youth activities where the results are the reward through life skills development!
Projects like Gardening encourage active lifestyles and help expand the food choices of participants. Cooking and Baking help youth learn to read recipes, do common fractional math, and make choices to consume a healthy diet. Woodworking, Sewing, and Repair Skills make youth independent and able to think critically about a situation. They also make youth more responsible consumers because they can determine the best quality products to purchase.
Judging Competitions like Poultry and Livestock Judging help students teach decision making skills and equips them with the public speaking skills to defend their decisions. And raising animals like livestock teaches responsibility, personal safety, and recordkeeping skills. Both teach youth where their food comes from and how to be savvy consumers. And don’t forget the teamwork that comes from working with an animal that cannot verbally communicate with you!
Through the connections made by youth in 4-H, friendships are made, leaders are developed, and responsible citizens are prepared to take the reins of our country moving forward. All of these skills are valuable on their own, but 4-H also offers you the opportunity to excel and be recognized for that excellence in a competitive event! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the best of both worlds to me!