LaSalle County 4-H welcomes new members

LA SALLE COUNTY - Have you heard of 4-H? University of Illinois LaSalle County Extension invites all youth, ages 5-19, to participate in the many opportunities 4-H offers.

As the youth development program of the University of Illinois, 4-H is the largest out-of-school youth program and is located in many countries around the world. The 4-H Program is over 100 years old and provides youth with many different and fun opportunities to explore their interests, learn new skills, meet new friends, and to consider and plan for their career.

4-H is not something you do alone. Once someone signs up as a 4-H member, they will choose a local 4-H Club to join and that is where all the magic happens. With more than 1,600 clubs across Illinois, so there is sure to be one close to where you live.

What is a 4-H Club?

A club is a group of five or more 4-H members. Each club has screened adult volunteer leaders who help members in their 4-H journey. Members meet together as a club at least six times during the year. During club meetings, 4-H members learn new skills, such as running a meeting, speaking in public, working together as a team, and making decisions. Members help out in their communities and lead activities while they practice the skills they will need in school and careers.

What are some of the things members do in a 4-H Club?

That is really up to the members. Club members vote on the things they do as a 4-H Club. They may choose to plant flowers at a local park, visit the local police headquarters, have a robotics demonstration, tour an historic museum or choose to build rockets and launch them. Many clubs also go on fun outings or field trips with the members in their clubs. There is no way to list all the things youth can do in their 4-H Club because there is no limit to their imagination.

All young people welcome

Any youth, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, or disability may enroll as a 4-H member. 4-H members must be enrolled in at least one project of their choice. There are over 200 projects to choose from such as shooting sports, natural resources, small pets, dogs, cats, and livestock, crops and so much more. A young person can be a member of multiple 4-H Clubs within a county in Illinois. They can participate in community clubs, after-school clubs, workshops, summer camps and more. Youth are expected to join the 4-H Program in the county where they live.

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For more information about joining the 4-H Program, contact Toni Pienta, 4-H Program Coordinator, University of Illinois Extension, LaSalle County Office at (815) 433-0707.