Orleans CCE celebrates National 4-H Week Oct. 3-9

Posted 1 October 2021 at 9:35 am

Photos courtesy of Orleans CCE: Participants in the 2021 Orleans County 4-H Fashion Revue model their clothing and textile projects during the event held April 24, 2021.

Members of the Orleans County 4-H Outback Orleans outdoors club meet to plan the 2021-2022 project year. Club leaders are Dale Frasier and Floyd Young of Kent.

Press Release, Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County

KNOWLESVILLE – The 4-H year begins October 1st and the week of October 3-9 is National 4-H Week when youth, families and volunteers celebrate everything 4-H.

“National 4-H Week is a time to showcase the many positive youth development opportunities offered by 4-H,” said Kristina Gabalski, Orleans County 4-H Program Coordinator.  “This year’s National 4-H Week theme is “Find Your Spark.”

“4-H is about supporting and helping youth find their spark,” Gabalski explained.  “A spark is an area of interest especially exciting and compelling to them.” Mary Arnold, Ph.D., a professor at Oregon State University, is chair of the 4-H Thrive Model task force.

“A spark is a passion for a self-identified interest or skill,” she said, “or a capacity that metaphysically lights a fire in a young person’s life, providing energy, joy, purpose, and direction.  Having a spark or sparks gives a person a sense of direction and encourages goal setting.”

Members of the Orleans County 4-H Outback Orleans outdoors club meet to plan the 2021-2022 project year. Club leaders are Dale Frasier and Floyd Young of Kent.

For more than a century, 4-H has offered a wide range of project areas to spark a youth’s growth and passion, Gabalski said.

“4-H members thrive in this environment because of a greater sense of belonging, independence, generosity and mastery. Our incredible 4-H volunteers and club leaders provide a welcoming, safe and supportive environment in which youth can develop their voice, make choices and prepare for their future.”

Research has shown that youth with a sense of purpose are more goal-directed, Gabalski said. “They have increased life satisfaction and better emotional well-being.”

Orleans County 4-H will celebrate the week in several ways. The Orleans County 4-H Horse Program will host a Fall Horse Show on Sunday, Oct. 3; a soil painting workshop will be held at the Ed Center on the 4-H Fairgrounds Tues., Oct. 5 at 5 pm; Orleans County 4-H will participate in the Scarecrow Fest being held this year at the fairgrounds on Sat., Oct. 9, “and we will have posters up in libraries across the county, as well as a table at the Orleans County Youth Bureau Family Game night on Oct. 7,” Gabalski said. “This is a great time to join 4-H.”

4-H clubs in Orleans County are beginning to meet to start the new project year. During a recent meeting of the Outback Orleans outdoors club, 11-year-old member Brayden Aydelotte of Albion said he enjoys 4-H because, “you get to meet people outside of those you know in school.”  Fellow club member, 9-year-old Marissa Young of Kent agreed, “I like making new friends, meeting new people and hanging out with animals.”

Marissa said she is also involved in dog and goat 4-H projects.

For more information on the 4-H program in Orleans County call CCE Orleans at 585-798-4265

Outback Orleans outdoors club members Marissa Young, 9, and Jackson Frasier, 8, both of Kent, release pheasants into the wild this past August. Orleans County 4-H annually participates in the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Day-Old Pheasant Chick program.