4-H grows leaders

 Jessica Wells competed at 4-HU speaking on rehabilitating rescued horses and earned a blue award on her presentation.

Jessica Wells competed at 4-HU speaking on rehabilitating rescued horses and earned a blue award on her presentation.

In 4-H programs across Florida and the United States, 4-H grows true leaders. In Washington County 4-H, senior 4-H members have several opportunities to learn and put those skills into practice. Because we believe in the power of our youth, we give them experiences that help grow the life skills they need to succeed. Skills like confidence, responsibility, independence and compassion are the focus of many of the educational opportunities 4-H members have.

4-H Camp Timpoochee is a week-long, overnight camp for campers ages 8-13. Without the help of senior 4-H members who spend the week as counselors, the week wouldn’t be possible or nearly as successful. Counselors are responsible for their campers all week from the time they arrive at camp until the last bag is unloaded when they return home for pick-up. While a week on the bay might sound ideal, the counselors work hard from waking up their campers and getting their days started, rotating through workshops with them and assisting camp staff, being energetic, solving problems, making sure their campers are happy and well during the week to making sure the last one is showered and in bed for the night. Camp counselors have most likely been campers themselves so they know what makes a successful week of camp.

4-H Camp Counselors, River Basinger, Brandon Rogers, Taylor Munroe, Austin Sapp, Will Watson, Colby James, Ethan Clark, Sara Padgett, Abby Sapp and Mary Beth Adkison, spent a week with campers at 4-H Camp Timpoochee.

4-H Camp Counselors, River Basinger, Brandon Rogers, Taylor Munroe, Austin Sapp, Will Watson, Colby James, Ethan Clark, Sara Padgett, Abby Sapp and Mary Beth Adkison, spent a week with campers at 4-H Camp Timpoochee.

Taylor Munroe, Austin Sapp, Brooklynn Hayes and Jessica Wells attend week-long 4-HUniversity exploring careers, leadership development and participating in service projects.

Taylor Munroe, Austin Sapp, Brooklynn Hayes and Jessica Wells attend week-long 4-HUniversity exploring careers, leadership development and participating in service projects.

Florida 4-H University is a week-long overnight event for young adults held at the University of Florida where they have the opportunity to participate in educational workshops led by University of Florida faculty, explore career opportunities, lead community service activities, interact with youth from all over the state, and have fun while developing critical life skills that helps youth become productive and engaged citizens of their community, their country, and their world.

Giving 4-H members opportunities to put their leadership skills into action is one of the main functions of the 4-H program. 4-H members can leader their local clubs as officers, but they can also lead as district officers when they become senior members. They will assist their 4-H agents with officer training, help plan the annual teen leadership retreat for the district and promote the overall 4-H program.

District II 4-H Officers:  Austin Sapp-President and Jessica Wells-Vice President from Washington County and Erika Pereda – Secretary and Nathalie Yoder – Reporter from Jackson County.

District II 4-H Officers: Austin Sapp-President and Jessica Wells-Vice President from Washington County and Erika Pereda – Secretary and Nathalie Yoder – Reporter from Jackson County.

To learn more about how 4-H grows leaders, contact 4-H Agent, Julie Pigott Dillard, at 850-638-6180 or juliepd@ufl.edu. 4-H is open to all youth 5-18 years old, and enrollment for the 2016-2017 4-H year begins August 22nd at http://florida.4honline.com.