Katie Bohne receives a lesson on how to correctly hold a chick during a 4-H Feathered Friends Poultry Club fundraiser in March at Murdoch's. It was Bohne's first year with the Feathered Friends club, and the event promoted chick days at Murdoch's.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Katie Bohne receives a lesson on how to correctly hold a chick during a 4-H Feathered Friends Poultry Club fundraiser in March at Murdoch's. It was Bohne's first year with the Feathered Friends club, and the event promoted chick days at Murdoch's.

Airedales to zebras, and everything in between

Wide variety of projects available for new, returning 4-H enrollees

"Geospatial" - it's a brand new 4-H project in Colorado that's all about exploring spaces, going places.

This and other titles of various units of 4-H projects are so intriguing that they just make kids want to work on them. They make parents want to help lead the projects, too.

Take "See Them Sprout" and "Let's Get Growing," for example. These are two gardening unit areas. And consider "Wheels in Motion" (bicycling), "Magic of Electricity" and "Wired for Power" (electric projects).

Who wouldn't want to study small engines with titles such as "Crank it Up," "Warm it Up" and "Tune it Up?"

Among units in food and nutrition, "Riddles and Rhymes and Food Fun Times" is unique, indeed.

There are even project units for kids who like to fish. "Take the Bait," "Reel in the Fun," and "Cast into the Future" are three of them.

Kids can learn about science, too. "Reach for the Canopy" and "Explore the Deep Woods" are examples of projects that can be done in forestry. "From Airedales to Zebras" is the first unit in veterinary science.

There's plenty of time for area children and their parents to be thinking about the more than 100 projects that are available in Colorado. (And parents can start considering giving some of their time to lead project areas.)

Enrollment in Colorado 4-H is actually open 365 days a year. However, the 4-H program encourages those thinking about enrolling in livestock projects to do so early in order to get their animals going and to meet weigh-in dates.

If 4-Hers can finish General Projects by completion dates, they can enroll anywhere from January through April. Sometimes counties even have late-comer enrollees.

Alisa Comstock, 4-H Youth Development Agent for Moffat County, said that 4-H enrollment for Moffat children will begin in December and January. According to Dessa Linsley, Rio Blanco County's 4-H Youth Development Agent, enrollment for their county will start in January.

Ann Brenner, 4-H administative assistant, said Routt County 4-H enrollment also will begin in January.

Children can start 4-H work at age 5. The Cloverbud Program is designed to help develop youths' self-esteem, teach them to work and share with others, and help them discover their talents and interests.

In Moffat County, Cloverbuds meet weekly, beginning about February and ending in May.

The Cloverbuds make small projects and carry out other activities during these meetings.

In Rio Blanco County, Cloverbuds meet every other Thursday, starting in January or February. In Routt County the Cloverbuds join the county's community clubs.

Joining community clubs is an option for older 4-H members in the area. Youths, ages 8 (as of Dec. 31 this year) to 18, may do projects independently or sign up for community or specialized project clubs.

The Hamilton Busy Beavers is one community club in Moffat County. Meeting at Hamilton, Colorado, members of this club elect officers and carry out community projects and other activities in addition to project work. Members of this club also may be members of project clubs, designed to help them with project work.

Dessa Linsley said this year Rio Blanco County will have two brand new community clubs for General Project members.

The clubs will meet in Meeker and Rangely once a week from January to April.

Ann Brenner reported there are eight community clubs in Routt County, located in Hayden, Steamboat Springs and South Routt.

Colorado State University Extension recently carried out a survey with Colorado youth. It showed that 4-H work is important to positive youth development.

Research showed that 4-H members are more likely than other youths to report that they succeed in school, getting more A's than other students. They're more involved as leaders in school and the community, are looked up to as role models, and they're more likely to help others in the community.

For more information about the Moffat County 4-H Program, call Alisa at 824-9180. In Rio Blanco County, call Jeani, Dessa or Bill at 878-9490. In Routt County, call Jay or Ann at 879-0825.

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